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Riding off the Edge of the Map is a true account of the author and two fellow motorcyclists on an adventure-tour into Mexico’s rugged and stunning Copper Canyon. They follow an errant map until they have traveled so far into danger that returning is deemed more precarious than continuing. Struggling with nearly impassible roads, injury, terror, and broken equipment, the three men were eventually forced to independently find their way back to civilization from the most remote part of the Canyon. The quest begins in the heart of Central Mexico’s Sierra Madre Mountains and traces their journey up the Pacific Coast and into the largest canyon system in North America, 1700 feet deeper and four times the size of Arizona’s Grand Canyon.

Bryen, a career psychotherapist and motorcycle safety instructor, integrates his lifelong zeal for motorcycle riding and his passionate commitment to the life of the soul, and weaves the events into an odyssey that pulls the reader into an exterior and interior exploration of what it takes to venture into the heart of the Canyon. The trip required a crash course in new motorcycling riding skills, adjusting to rural customs and new language in a foreign culture, settling the stress-created conflicts among the riders, and finding the courage to face and deal with personal limitations. Eventually stripped of everything familiar where old maps, old rules, and old understandings no longer applied, this life-changing journey becomes an examination into fundamental questions of how to ride and how to live. The book describes being caught between the allure of beauty and the repulsion of terror, and explores how to access the deeper powers that become available to us when life seems most challenging. The author turns this motorcycle adventure tour into an opportunity to contemplate the longings, the fears, and the misapplied maps that govern our lives.

This book belongs beside two other classics, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and Robert Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.

Jim Tipton, author of Letters from a Stranger, All the Horses of Heaven and other books.


I felt like I was hanging on for dear life on the back of David Bryen’s motorcycle as he traversed Mexico’s treacherous Copper Canyon. .

Kelly Hayes-Raitt,

David Bryen captured me in the opening scenes of "Riding Off the Edge of the Map". I didn't put the book down until the last page was turned.

This is one of those most interesting books that weaves a personal life, an adventure, and no little philosophy and psychology. In some ways I think it is more of a man's book, so I will be interested to see how it is reviewed by women. David is a colleague of mine and while I have known him for some time, the book was an opprtunity for revelation and perhaps redempton. David is one of the most multi-faceted people that I know with a pretty significant battery of life skills. He shares this well in this story. I have to say that I was impressed with the integrity and honesty of some pretty hard-rock experiences. If you have ever struggled with some really tough stuff in your life, then this is a book you will appreciate and come away from with some new found understandings that articulate what we know deep down inside of us. I highly recommend the book!

A few chapters in I thought, "this is a masculine version of Eat, Pray, Love"! An easy Sunday afternoon or vacation read, David's psychological epiphanies are beautifully woven into his sharing of the motorcycle ride of a lifetime. Against the backdrop of Mexico's rugged and spectacular Copper Canyon, Bryen unpacks the underlying motivations and miscalculations of three very experienced riders - men relating to life and to each other, each determined to overcome adversity within the constructs of his own unique personality. Women and men alike will appreciate his challenging and revealing insights - not to mention the drama of this real life odyssey.

When a motorcycle trip to Mexico's Copper Canyon starts to go bad you'll find it hard not to turn the page. But the deeper you go, the deeper you'll travel into the insights and inner world of a lifetime motorcyclist who is also a thoughtful psychologist. This is a highly unique book!

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