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Davis

Davis, California

Friday, October 22, 2021

Local author, cyclist rides 2,300 miles

BRIANA NGO / AGGIE
BRIANA NGO / AGGIE

Douglas L. Waterman publishes ‘It Only Hurts When I Sit Down: A Bicycle Adventure on Historic Route 66’

On Jan. 20, Davis resident Douglas L. Waterman presented his book “It Only Hurts When I Sit Down: A Bicycle Adventure on Historic Route 66” to a large crowd at The Avid Reader. Waterman, 66, is recently retired, and he rode all 2,300 miles of Route 66 on a bicycle in just 30 days.

“This was a memorable experience,” Waterman said during his presentation. “It was frightening, it was sad in some places, it was educational and it was even funny.”

Waterman said that his journey included many bottles of anti-chafing ointment, dangerous highways, a semi-truck tire exploding next to him as he rode and a run-in with Chicago state troopers amongst other things.

As soon as Waterman returned to Davis, he began to write about his adventure. Throughout the process, he made use of several resources available to authors in Davis.

Waterman said that writing became a major part of his life a decade ago, when he received writing mentoring from the local Davis Arts Center.

“About ten years ago, I decided I wanted to learn how to be a writer,” Waterman said. “So, the first thing I did was I joined the art center writing club.”

When Waterman’s manuscript was ready for publishing, he took it to local book publisher EditPros. EditPros, located on F Street and staffed by long-time Davis residents Marti Childs and Jeff March, provides traditional publishing services and, for authors like Waterman who prefer to self-publish, editing and publicity services.

“We initially started as a writing and editing business and eventually, in 2011, we got into book publishing […],” Childs said. “For the Route 66 book we helped them go through everything, get their ISBNs, helped them get their book signing at the Avid Reader.”

March explained that bookselling is incredibly competitive and that publicity is the hardest part of the process.

“Having a good network and working that network to the greatest degree that you can is really, really important,” March said.

For Waterman’s book, part of the publicity push was his book presentation at The Avid Reader. The Avid Reader hosts about 100 book-related events every year, both on-site at their store and off-site at locations such as libraries and schools. Alzada Knickerbocker, owner of The Avid Reader, said that she tries to support local talent through The Avid Reader’s events as much as possible.

“I’m very predisposed to local authors,” Knickerbocker said.

Waterman’s legendary bicycle ride is enough to make any Davis-ite proud, and his journey to becoming a published writer shows that, through all the resources available to writers, Davis is a supportive town for aspiring authors.

Written by: Raul Castellanos Jr — city@theaggie.org

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