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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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Colombia: Part Two

Colombia: Part Two
The dirty fringes of Cartagena were very similar to those of almost
any central american city I had passed through. I was insane with the
desire to get away from the sweating, dirty, loud madness of these
places. I had hoped that Colombia would be different and sure, it was
subtly Colombia and not Panama or El Salvador or Nicaragua, but the
similarity was close enough to be very depressing. I started to feel
like the remaining thousands of miles all the way through Argentina
would be like this. More than anything I wanted to get where it was
cold. Biking in the heat is a painful, terrible experience, but even
worse is trying to sleep in a hot and still room, a room that stinks
like vomit or uring. Worse is twisting in the thin sticky film they
call a sheet in a half asleep daze until morning. My first several
nights in Colombia were this way, the same as nearly all my nights in
central America. Colombia was more scenic, the towns a bit cleaner and
the food was better. Fresh fruit, coffee and juice could be purchased
nearly anywhere and I was grateful for it, but I desperately wanted
Colombians are certainly the most friendly people of any country I
have come through. There is a tourist commercial that runs here which
says, 'the word in Colombia for foreigner is friend,' and this
certainly seems to be true. The general attitude seems to simply be,
'Friends are great. Let us therefore be friends.' It is instant and
genuine and good. They pride themselves in this hospitality, and are
proud of the recent improvements in security here but even still I
have been warned repeatedly by Colombians no to ride at night and not
to camp along the road. I have asked whether or not anyone has tried
to kill me to take my bike. Well I'm still here, and have not yet lost
anything to someone with bad intent.