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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Monday, December 7, 2009

Beginning to Break

Before I left I did not know how my body and mind would respond to the
stresses I would soon be placing on them. I imagined a plank of wood
set across a ravine. I imagined the trip like a massive weight dropped
on the middle of the board. I didn't know if my mind and body would
bear the load comfortably, if they would bend, creak and splinter, or
if my mind or my body would break.
I remember watching myself closely the first couple weeks. I
observed what I said, how I sounded and what I thought. How do you
know if you're going crazy? I seemed okay, I really felt okay. It
didn't seem to strain my mind at all and after a month my body had
caught up as well. That persisted with some constancy for quite some
Today I realized that I'm beginning to break. I have been pushing
hard. The climate is brutal and life has been rough. My body is fine,
beaten and tired, but fine. But my mind, my mind is deeply and
profoundly weary. Today I realized the symptoms I have been watching
for all along. Over the last several days I haven't been able to
focus. I can't listen to podcasts except for those that are simple,
otherwise my attention drifts and I can't follow what's being said. My
Spanish is worse. I have a harder time understanding, my words form
more slowly and my pronunciation trips often. I have found it
difficult to write. Words come more slowly and my train of thought
breaks like soggy spaghetti as I pull it from my head. I make worse
decisions and take longer to do so. I retrieve things from my bags
that I don't need and can't remember what I went to get in the first
place. Small problems seem large. My usual reserve of patience feels
scraped away leaving my senses raw and fragile. Loud noises make me
jump. I normally feel strong and capable, but now everyone else seems
tall and strong and better than me. I have trouble remembering what
I've already said and even where I slept last night. Even my digestion
has slowed and my appetite waned.
I don't want to cause anyone any anxiety. If you were to speak with
me you wouldn't notice anything amiss, I just wouldn't want to take an
SAT right now. I'm going to push hard tomorrow and hopefully get out
of Panama the day after (Tuesday) and rest up a bit in Colombia. I'm
not concerned, nor upset. I'm simply observing the changes as though
they were separate from me, like a doctor noting the symptoms of a
patient. I just feel I need to get out of Central America.