On March 3rd, 2010 I arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina and ended my journey to the southernmost city in the world.

On July 25th, I left for Prudhoe Bay on the north shore of Alaska to begin a solo bicycle journey 15,000 miles south along the Pan-American Highway to Tierra Del Fuego, the bottom of South America. I traveled through the vast Alaskan wilderness, into Canada and crossed into the forests of northern Washington. From there I followed the coast down, all the way through the deserts of southern Baja, where I took a ferry to the mainland. I continued to follow the coast south through the rainforests of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama. Then came South America: Colombia, Ecuador, the endless deserts of Peru, Northern Chile and then finally Argentina. I will ended in Ushuaia and the bottom of the Americas.

This ride is a reminder of what can be accomplished through perseverance and a little hard work. It’s a reminder of what we as people are capable of, of what the human mind, body and spirit can achieve. I hope that I can help people realize that while it may take time, and it may be harsh and lonely at times, we can make our lives how we dream them to be. I do not want to be guilty of owning a life devoid of any living. Comfort and convenience are not synonymous with happiness!

For some reason I am under the impression that I will find both myself and God somewhere along this road. Maybe I won’t find either, but I must look! I want to allow the light of introspection a pure and undiluted chance to examine my soul. I have found greater value in thoughts born in solitude than those that spring from the fray of ordinary life. I hope this trip will be the beginning to a life full of experience, beauty and understanding. I don’t ever want to forget the way the world felt when I was a child: magical and huge, full of possibility and hope. I won’t let go of that. I am an artist at heart, and this, I hope, will be my first great work.

I am riding to raise awareness for 'Acirfa,’ a non-profit organization which provides quality bikes to the people of Zambia, giving them the means to help themselves, rather than depend on charity. A bicycle changes the life of a Zambian in ways that are difficult for Americans to imagine, allowing doctors to see more patients, parents to make a living and teachers to get to school.

To clear the air and clear your head, ride a bike once a week!

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

A dishonest collection

We all know that photos lie. It has long been acknowldged that photos,
paradoxically, capture in perfection every detail of a scene, yet
somehow do not correctly show what the scene actually looked, or felt
like. Certain photogrophers have been very good at overcoming this, or
embracing and manipulating it.
In a situation like mine, not only are individual photos dishonest,
but the problem becomes worse in the photos as a collection. What I
generally do is take photos of things of interest. Things of interest
are by definition deviations from the norm, and so do not give an
accurate picture of what my experience was really like.
I will quite often spend days at a time moving through completely
uninteresting landscapes, but then will suddenly come around a corner
and have a spectacular view of the ocean. Naturally I reach for my
camera and snap a photo. I'll do this for weeks, and then go back and
look through my photos which only show a series of things that were
different from my normal experiences. I have tried to do a better job
of taking pictures of the uninteresting things, but then when I go to
select which photos to share, those photos are, of course,
uninteresting so I don't post them! Oh well. I do feel that I can more
accurately share an experience with my words than with my photos.