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 “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].

 

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Anchorage, Alaska – Ushuaia, Argentina
7th July 2011 – 14th April 2014
30,893km, 1009 days, 16 countries and a million memories.

 

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!

 

22 Responses to “About us”

  1. Mary and David Says:

    Hello James and Sarah

    First of all, we have to say that your blog is wonderfully descriptive, beautifully written and interestingly illustrated, especially the foodie pics! but guess that food/energy is so fundamental to your trip as no obvious reliance on that pipe line!

    You talk of your ‘rollercoaster’ ride but in a way, that must also serve to accentuates the sheer joy of the ‘freedom’ you are now experiencing – there is nothing else like it.

    Loved the pics. of the clouds and lake before the hailstorm, the bike with moose appendage and the plastic mits. David has suggested you visit a dive shop – buy some neoprene and make yourselves some gloves (or ask them to make them) – they are not waterproof of course but they will keep your hands warm.

    Well, you will be with Junie Liz and Barbie in Seattle by now – hope you rest up well, enjoy the company and the place and are able to alleviate the knee damage.

    As for us, the big heat has finished here in Portugal and we are now into more comfortable temps.

    love and best wishes to you both

    Mary and David xx

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  2. Angie & Paul Says:

    Still loving the Pics and blog.
    We are in Mex city, heading to Yucatan next week.

    Safe riding

    Paul

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  3. Ramps Says:

    Boy and girl –
    Have been checking in occassionally to read this – just saw the photos of Cuba and some of Mexico…many happy memories sampling bran flakes followed by suppositories together James!
    Am out in kolkata at the moment doing final batch of filming so will check in again soon on your progress. let me know if you fancy a detour to west bengal
    Have fun!
    xx

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  4. Robin Morrison Says:

    Hi you two, if I knew your blogname then I forgot it! Anyway, Joan (Joan and Tim) gave it to me and I’ve started reading today. Makes my 6 days biking around the Norfolk coast seem slightly pedestrian but then again it was my first trip since I was 12 years old. I will keep working on it and hope to venture further and further before I run out of years.
    ‘Love your pics and commentary; I will read from the beginning.
    Best wishes

    Robin (& Ruth)

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    Sarah Reply:

    Robin! Great to hear from you and hope you guys and the lovely village of Barnack are all keeping well?! How’s the new neighbour???!!! Glad you find the blog and may it help to encourage you to keep getting on your bike, great to hear you’ve rediscovered the joys of bicycles. Biking the Norfolk coast sounds great, one of my favourite UK seaside places. Sx

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    Michael Reply:

    hi Sarah — this is Michael who you met in Brighton — it was lovely meeting you both ^_^
    congratulations on completing your trip — I love all the photos ;-)
    my friends in London who’d love to meet you and hear your story are: http://www.nipnip.co.uk/contacts
    ..they’re located at this shop: http://squeakychains.com (Nigel is the one who plans to cycle to Cape Town!)

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  5. Gareth Collingwood Says:

    I love this blog!

    Good writing, excellent photos; descriptive, inspiring, fun! And I like your laid-back approach to adventure cycling – “slow with eyes open” – that’s the way I tour too. It’s not a race!

    I’ve cycled through all the Latin American countries and for me it’s great to read Big Sur and see glimpses of places I haven’t seen for years! Not to mention all the other places I missed that you guys are seeing right now!

    My next ‘big’ tour won’t begin for almost two years (sniff), but it’s nice to know that in the meantime I can enjoy your beautiful blog and live vicariously! I’m going to give Big Sur a link on my own website (something I only do for the blogs I really identify with).

    Keep up the great work, amigos! Watch out for the dogs in Bolivia and Peru!

    ¡Mucha suerte!

    Gareth Collingwood
    http://www.elpedalero.com

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  6. Sophie Says:

    Hola James & Sarah!

    Your photos and blog are pretty dam inspirational! So much so I’m heading to Colombia in July… well for a frisbee competition in Cali but there’s time to explore after.

    I know you spent 6 months in Medellin but are there any other must see sights? The plan is to head north to Santa Marta and do the Ciudad Perdida trek, see the beaches, go to Cartegena etc before flying out of Bogota. Ideally I’d love to see the humpbacks on the pacific coast but 12 days just won’t be enough.

    Hope you’re both well xx

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  7. Lars Henning Says:

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts. This is exactly how we feel about about bicycle touring Latin America so far.

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  8. Ann Wilson Says:

    I keep looking in on you guys and your blog just gets better and better. I am totally so envious of the places you have been and the sights you have seen – did you once tell me there wouldn’t be a book?

    My trips since we met have been relatively short ones and next month it’ll be close to home, touring Ireland with my American friend Peggy who may have been with me when I bumped into you on the Pacific Coast. That seems an age ago.

    Looking forward to reading more of your exploits,

    Ann

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  9. aurore Says:

    hi James y sarah,
    i m looking for cyclists to cross the salar de uyuni and the sur lipez because alone they said it could be dangereous.
    my name is aurore, french girl, 30 years old, travelling with my little dog.
    please answer me, i will be in uyuni next saturday.
    see you
    aurore 73216001

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    Sarah Reply:

    Hi Aurore, we are leaving La Paz tomorrow (Friday 4th Oct) but are travelling to the salar via Lauca national park in Chile, then to Sajama in Bolivia and then crossing the Coipasa salar before reaching the Salar de Uyuni so I am not sure this fits in with your plans? Hope you do find someone to cross with – there’s lot of cyclists in La Paz at the minute so I am sure you’ll find a salar buddy…and perhaps we will see you down the road! I will send this to you as an email too, in case you don’t check here. Suerte! Sarah & James

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  10. kanaan Says:

    Yeah dudes!

    Livin the dream!

    You´ve got the philosophy dialed and the style tambien!

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    kanaan Reply:

    hey where are you at these days?

    we are in Villa La Angostura, Argentina lakes district. probably going back to Chile soon to check out Chiloe and the Carretera Austral! Hit us up.

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  11. Axel Says:

    Hello Sarah and James,

    I am sending You these wishes for the new year ( for me it starts when sun reverses it s course on the horizon ) a little late. I wish you both happiness and health and many more great cycling adventures.

    I am in San Martin de los Andes now after cycling some of the Chilenean lake region. It is beautiful here, in many ways quite the opposite of Northern Argentina. Trees instead of rocks, lakes instead of dried out river beds and ( unfortunately ) also cold instead of heat and rain instead of draught.

    You have not updated Your blog in a while and as i have heard from other cyclists that You once again have been sick ( and last seen in Salta ) i wonder how You are doing and where You are at now.

    It would be nice to see each other again somewhere down this road,

    Take good care and lots of love

    Axel

    ” El viejo loco “

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  12. Philip Murphy Says:

    Good evening James and Sarah (and Anna),

    This is slightly belated, as I intended to email on the roll from 2013 to 2014. We met briefly by the flags in the salt flats outside Uyuni. I was, and still am, inspired by your trip and attitude toward it. I have around 10 photos of y’all in the flats which we took from a 4×4 (cheaters) on passing. As I don’t know how to attach here, I will send them to an email address if you provide it.
    The blog tales of your trip are very enlightening and entertaining….please keep them coming.

    Hopefully the following playlist (best of Irish a mon avis) may provide a bit of distraction during an evening’s rest.

    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXLTcNw54xElG_QIz562rVlJNg3q49vKh&feature=mh_lolz

    Pop a word if you would like those photos.

    Go n-eirí an bother leat,

    Philip.

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  13. Steve, Pippa , Henry Charlie Says:

    Wonderful ! Hugest hugs and serious respect. We know how hard it has been over the last few months and the weather down there has been bloody awful, so , good on ya.
    Adrian awaits in B.A. , enjoy

    the chocos

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  14. Nestor Herrera Says:

    Hola Sara and james .
    Estas fotos son increibles,y pienso que el viaje en si debe haber sido mas increible, los felicito, y me gusta esa actitud de estar presente en el momento, en el instante presente, estar aqui en este momento. ustedes son magos !!
    Nestor de San Telmo, feria del pasaje Giuffra, stand de carteras y bolsas de cuero.

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  15. Bry Wilson Says:

    Guys!

    You’re still cycling! Wow, it’s clearly been far too long since I checked the blog. When are you back? How do I catch up properly with you crazy cats?

    Cheers

    Bry

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  16. JUANJO Y ANA Says:

    Hola chicos, somos Juanjo y Ana, nos conocimos el fin de semana del 7 y 8 de Junio en el Playazo de Rodalquilar….estamos empezando a ver vuestro blog y por lo poco que hemos visto, seguro que nos gustara mucho!!!!!!
    Que sigáis teniendo muy buen viaje……os admiramos un monton!!!!
    Un abrazo para los dos.

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  17. Cass Says:

    Hey guys,

    How are you? Re-adjusted, or missing the open road?

    I remember you saying you figured out a fun route through Bolivia. Mike and I are getting close to hitting the altiplano. We’re in Chilecito right now, and headed for Cafayate, and over the border to San Pedro.

    If you get a chance, can you drop me a line with any ideas?

    Thanks!

    Cass

    (PS sand is fun on the Pugsley!)

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  18. luca Says:

    hi sara, james, my name is luca, i’m from modena, italy…
    I found your blog today while searching for info about the ruta 40: in fact, i’m going to travel by bike for 3 weeks with my girlfriend antonia in december, starting from mendoza!
    first, your blog is awesome. congrats for the adventure and the report you made, i’m really jealous and happy for you! we’re trying to find out wether to go north or south from mendoza, what do you thing is the best part for cycling (and coming back to mendoza by bus after 3 weeks)?
    thanks for the help, hope you’ll read this!
    cheers!
    luca

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