“We saw a vision of the entire Western Hemisphere rockribbing clear down to Tierra del Fuego and us flying down the curve of the world into other tropics and other worlds. ‘Man, this will finally take us to IT!’ said Dean with definite faith. He tapped my arm. ‘Just wait and see. Hoo! Whee!’”
Jack Kerouac, On the Road
In July 2011 we – Sarah and James – set off from Anchorage, Alaska on a slow, meandering bike ride through the Americas. Our plan was to head south until our appetite to ride was exhausted or our money ran out. Just over two years and nine months later, we finally rolled into Ushuaia, Argentina, with our appetite to ride fully sated (for the time being at least), and our bank account empty.
Some people ride to break records, raise money for charity, or simply to escape. Our trip was born from a simple desire to step off the treadmill of everyday life and to discover new places, people and experiences. The world is a big, exciting place and we feel so privileged to have the opportunity to explore it.
If you’d like to contact us, you can reach us by email at butcherjms [at] gmail [dotcom].
How we tried to ride:
- Focus on the journey in between, not the destinations
- We’re not out to break any records – slow with eyes open always beats fast with head down
- This isn’t necessarily a continuous bike ride – we ride the roads we want to ride but ferries, trains and buses are all options instead of self flagellation on dull, uninspiring highways
- Best laid plans are made to be changed
- Try to get under the skin of the places, people and culture we encounter
- Never say no to an invitation
- Calorie counting and cycling don’t mix (second helpings aren’t always enough)
- Time off the bike is just as important as hours in the saddle
- Campsites and camp stoves, rather than resorts and restaurants
- Finally but most importantly, enjoy ourselves!