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, February 11, 2010

The Weight of Memory

At times there will be some smell, some cue of the light or a curve in
the road that somehow seems familiar. In the flashing electrical
randomness of memory some quiet and undisturbed moment from the early
days of my ride flickers to my attention. In memory, in the warm
twisted nostalgia of memory these old moments seem ancient and
precious. It's simple things, the noise of the stove, rain and fire
camping in Canada, the precise smell of a forest, the debilitating
relief of arriving somewhere with warm food and a door to shut against
the world. These memories now all carry such a profound emotional
weight for me that when they come so suddenly and unexpectedly I often
find myself slamming my eeys shut, holding my breath and turning my
head for a moment until the memory plays through and then fades.
It is a weight, in a sense it is a scar. I sometimes feel damaged
and burdened under them, but at the same time they are simply
priceless. They are the pay I receive for the work I am doing. They
are beautiful and massive and too much for one mind to hold. I deeply
desire the time to be able to unburden them onto paper, and clear from
my mind the responsibility of maintaining them.