Changing Gears: A Pedal-Powered Detour from the Rat Race

Changing Gears Front Cover onlyFrom March 2012 to November 2012, my partner and I cycled 6500 kilometres up Australia researching the simple living movement for a book titled Changing Gears: A Pedal-Powered Detour from the Rat Race, to be published spring 2013 (through Affirm Press). You can read about our adventure in this Age profile or at our website

From the blurb:

Greg Foyster quits his job in advertising and decides to live more simply. Looking for inspiration, he and his partner Sophie cycle from Melbourne to Far North Queensland (via Tasmania, naturally) scouting out ideas.

Preposterously underprepared, they are propelled by the inspiring and eccentric characters they meet along the way – from a forest activist living up a tree to an 18th-century woodsman and a monk walking barefoot through Queensland.

Featuring eye-opening encounters with DIY downshifters and leading figures in sustainability, Changing Gears is a jaunty adventure that explores an important question for the future: can we be happier with less?


“From advertising to dumpster diving. A fascinating account of one couple’s journey to live by their principles.” Craig Reucassel, The Chaser and The Checkout

“Greg Foyster raises questions many of us have asked ourselves about work, spending, values and commitment. Looking for a way to live well within an ethical framework, he and his girlfriend Sophie hit the road to cycle up the east coast of Australia. They were looking for others who had moved from a life of stress and overconsumption to a gentler and simpler way of living. What they found was self-belief, self-reliance and the beginnings of a better life. If your lifestyle clashes with your values, if you want to change how you live but need a push to get you there, this is a must-read book for you.” Rhonda Hetzel, author of Down to Earth

“Until humanity figures out what to do about climate change, we need heroes like Greg Foyster and Sophie Chishkovsky who put their lifestyles on the line to inspire us to change.” Colin Beavan, author of No Impact Man

“This book is honest, edgy, raw and confrontational. Greg shares his truth in an uncut, heartfelt and mind-digested way. In the saddle of his pushbike we share a personal journey that’s uncovering community for what it is… A compelling ride to the future we are all creating.” Costa Georgiadis, host of Gardening Australia

“Greg is funny, insightful and sometimes painfully honest. But Sophie is hilarious!” Tanya Ha, author of Greeniology 2020

“At first, Greg Foyster and the cast of characters he meets on his journey all seem a bit mad. Oh, how we need mad bastards like these. Changing Gears opens up new approaches to the way we live our lives, without the discomfort of saddle rash that Greg had to go through.” Sean ‘The Birdman’ Dooley, author of The Big Twitch

The book will be available in all Dymocks stores and most independent bookstores. It should be in the ‘new release’ section or the travel/memoir section. If you can’t find it, ask for it by name at the counter. You can also pick up a copy from the Affirm Press website or Booktopia.