290 in North America
53 in Central America
7 crossing from Panama to Colombia
346 in South America
151 in Argentina and Chile; we crossed that border 13 times
Not including side trips, nor the few times we hitchhiked, we traveled...
through 14 countries:
18,311 miles by bicycle
798 miles on 14 boats
2,384 miles on 10 buses
We reached altitudes of...
20,144 feet on foot
18,900 feet by bike
16,325 feet on loaded bikes.
We ascended 47 passes over 13,100 feet.
|One of our many 4,000-meter passes, this one in Peru's Cordillera Blanca|
three of four rims
both front derailleurs
Tam's seat and seat post (yes, they outlasted Danny's Brooks saddle)
|These chainrings didn`t make it past Peru|
The stats above make it clear; we've come a long way. But just riding the miles was never enough. Throughout the last 23 months we've grown, learned, and challenged ourselves together and as individuals. We started on road bikes cycling only on pavement, and have ended on mountain bikes we built ourselves riding almost exclusively dirt roads, tracks, and trails. Our travels have been unique, and we're proud of all we have achieved.
A lot of people have called this trip a "once in a lifetime experience." In a very literal sense, this is true; neither of us plans on biking from Alaska to Argentina again. However, we don't see our past two years as the contained experience that this phrase implies. It hasn't just been a trip or a vacation; it has been a meaningful part of our lives. Throughout it, we've developed a way to live life to the fullest that extends far beyond the realm of the bicycle. Whatever we take on in the future – studies, work, or travel – we're confident that it will be equally as rewarding and exciting as this bike ride has been.
What exactly is this way of life? It's constantly seeking out challenge, taking full advantage of learning and teaching opportunities, living a simple lifestyle, setting long-term goals, never saying "I can't," being honest with ourselves and others, sharing freely, stepping out of our comfort zones, and opening ourselves up to the world.
These are not new ideas – we had read about and experienced some of them before – but the challenge we've just completed taught us what they really mean, why they're valuable, and how to make them a part of our lives.
We're in Ushuaia, and our bike ride from the farthest northern point accessible by road to the farthest southern city of the Americas is officially over, but the journey isn't.
|The road always goes on! Thanks to Dan for the photo|
Danny and Tamara
|Sunset over the Galapagos|