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, January 14, 2010

Hey Dave, how ya doin?

Oh hey, good, well... fine. You know, hangin in there. Peru has
been really tough. I was sick through literally all of Ecuador and for
a while in Peru and I hardly ate anything and I felt really weak but
that's pretty much gone. My appetite is mostly back though the thought
of fried chicken still makes me nautious and I feel stronger so that's
good, but I am really ready to get out of this desert, or at least
this wind. In Ecuador I got really frustrated that by the fact that my
average speed was like 12 km an hour which is narly half my normal
speed because the Andes are just so steep so I cut over to the coast a
couple days early even though I really did not want to be back in the
heat and humidity. I was really ready to just go and go and go and
cover massive distance. Ride from dark to dark and only stop to eat
kind of thing, and for a couple days I covered great distance, but
then pretty much as soon as I got to Peru I rode straight into the
infamous headwinds here and the toughest riding of my trip so far. The
desert starts pretty much right where Peru and Ecuador meet and it
reminded me of Baja California, except Baja is luxurious and
Americanized and close to home. I was thinking 'oh boy, here we go
again. I can't say that I wanted to do Baja again.' When you get into
the desert the food gets worse (the coffee unspeakable), and the towns
get dirty and loud, at least compared with towns at elevation in the
Andes. The biking here actually would be pretty good if it weren't for
that wind! It's very flat and the scenery is exotic, but I'd be happy
taking it at double speed. The wind here really is just like riding on
a treadmil that moves back at half the speed you move forward. I don't
know what it is, if it's the wind or if the sun here is harsher or
what but my arms burnt real badly one day, like I've never had a burn
before. They didn't peel, but turned pink in patches and very painful.
Then the next day my face and finger tips sticking out of my gloves
and my neck all began to get the same burn. I'd say it's just a wind
burn except that I don't get it on my chest. The sun also made me feel
sick for a couple days. By the end of the day I'd feel like I had the
flu. My muscles in my neck and arms would be sore and I'd get cold
real easily but then by the next day it'd be gone until that evening.
So now I ride with my jacket on despite the heat to protect my neck
and arms from the sun. I wear my long fingered warm weather gloves and
keep my face covered witha tshirt I cut up and tie behind my head.
Getting through the Atacama and into Chile now sounds incredibly
wonderful. Any country that produces wine can't be all bad right?
Little luxuries now seem impossibly wonderful and distant to me.
Luxuries like a good bed, the food you like, leisure time etc. Working
five days a week and having a two day weekend seems impossibly
luxurious. I was finally able to get my clothes washed yesterday. I
hadn't since Colombia and it was certainly past time. I really do feel
ready to get done with this trip and I do not feel close to being
finished. I think that will change after the Atacama. Oh and I need
new tires but don't know if I'll be able to find any decent ones. I'm
hoping I can find a good bike shop in Lima, do you know any? Anyways
that's probably a longer answer than you wanted but it gives you an
idea. How are you?