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Understandably, after sharing the news of our Christmas present / adventure vehicles, the question most everyone wanted to ask, and some actually did, is where do we plan to ride? It only makes sense for people to be curious. When Rebecca and I discussed sharing our plans though, we were initially apprehensive as, at this point in time, we still have a lot of things in play that could affect where we begin, and which route we take. That said, I’m going to share what our big goal is, what – if everything works out perfectly – we’d like to do. If it changes, it changes. After spending the last 6 years with our travels largely influenced by the weather, we’re not unfamiliar with adapting to an ever-changing set of circumstances.

Where? Deadhorse, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina

The farthest point north that you can travel in Alaska without going on to private land is the town of Deadhorse, in Prudhoe Bay. Because of this, it is a common jumping off point for cyclists undertaking a Pan-American trip. The distance from there to Ushuaia, the “End of the World,” is shown as 9484 miles on the above graphic. That equates to 15,263 km. Of course, bicycles can’t take the most direct route as an airplane is able to, so most cyclists who complete a similar trip end up traveling closer to 30,000 km.

How long would a trip like this take? As long as you’d like! A common time frame seems to be approximately 1.5 years though, which allows people to begin their travels in Alaska during the warmer summer months, and end in Patagonia during their austral summer. Doesn’t that sound like a fun vacation?

28 Comments

  1. Sure does. Hope you can setup some kind of mapping that we can all follow along in real time. I’d imagine connectivity could be an issue along the way. Hope you get to do the whole thing.

  2. I love that idea!

  3. Wow. Holy cow. Very ambitious. The route you indicate is like the holy grail of cycling trips. Will be very interesting I think. Regarding the above comment…my Spot Trace is still puttin down points every 10 minutes like a champ. Any training trips planned or just start? Good luck! I’ll be following you if you blog it.

    • Once we have the bikes in our possession we’ll no doubt do some test rides to get our gear dialed in. As for training, it’s long enough that we’ll just get conditioned for it as we go. That’s the theory anyway. 🙂

  4. This is a totally different experience than sailing, pretty awesome goal to complete that ride.
    What will you do with the boat during that time?

    Best wishes

  5. If this comes to fruition, you guys should come by and see us in the East Kootenays of B.C. We have a guest cabin and laundry facilities, besides some of the most beautiful scenery in the world!

  6. Have you read Changing Gears: A Family Odyssey to the End of the World, by Nancy Sathre-Vogel? It’s available as an ebook. It’s a lovely memoir about a family that did exactly what you’re planning to do.It’s also a great book!

  7. Very interesting! What route thru the US is typically taken? I assume probably along the California coast?

  8. If you come through Vancouver, you can crash at our waterfront place in White Rock, BC…right next to the Peace Arch border crossing!

  9. Nice! I’ve been dreaming about doing this trip on a motorcycle. Very ambitious plan for cycling, it should be an awesome experience. If you’re planning to roll through Anchorage, I’d love to meet up and buy you dinner.

    • Hi Javan. It would be cool to hook up. Our mod 1 plan doesn’t have us going to Anchorage, but you never know. At a minimum I think we may fly through there on our way to Deadhorse.

  10. I’ve been looking towards this same trip for quite some time. Dalton sounds frightening which makes me smile, from there it’s all downhill. I’ve been told you want to start this trip by may14 which has me reeling as my bike is still backordered. What I learned on my last bike tour which was from the Canadian border to mexico on my little folding Brompton was that while I had all my gear I missed one fatal factor. I’m getting older and didn’t spend enough time stretching which resulted in a very aggravated IT band and I had to call my trip after only 500 miles. This ride is one of those life exchanging events, the people you meet, the weather… I’m so stolked for you guys that my head is about to explode.

    • We’ve always been thinking of a June start, more so becuase of the second leg, not just Alaska. I have read accounts of people starting as late as the end of August. That is late though. I think they end up racing the cold weather.

      What bike are you purchasing? Our frames are still on the ocean somewhere. 🙂

  11. I suggest trying some cushy padded cruiser seats. I know they don’t look like the Italian/French racing seats … but your butts will be spending a lot more time on them :). Enjoy the ride !

  12. Hola
    1) Just read about your Change of plans.
    I had time to kill in the airport returning from 3 weeks in Argentina.

    2) Met numerous Boy & Girls heading to / from Patagonia……… Nothing but GREAT reports. There are Backpackers every where in Argentina….. And from their reports all of South America. As you’ve implied how well you get on is directly proportional to your POSITIVE attitude.

    3) From a practical point I know zero Spanish, I got by…. Never went hungry, thirsty, or to long without a bathroom (did have to pee in the bushes a few times ). On the plus side I do have some fond memories of pointing, grunting , and sometimes being surprised with what I ended up with.

    4) I am ordering a Bike Friday folding travel bike as I was not impressed with the crapy retail bikes available. However, no matter how crapy,,, ANY bike is better than no bike.

    5) Yes I did ride the bike in (around / thru) Buenos Aires rush hour traffic. “Feel the tension —- Man what a ride” . After thanking Jesus I still had all my body parts I went out for a Beer or 3.
    And yes I did ride in traffic several more times after that it’s like you get the hang of it after a bit.

    6) Wishing you fair winds on your new adventures. (10-15 knots on the beam)

    7 Your stories and insites have been a great inspiration to me.

    Ed
    PDQ 32051

    • Hi Ed

      We can’t wait to have similar experiences. Thanks for sharing.

      There are some very nice folding bikes out there. We actually had a couple on ZTC for a period of time.

      Fair winds to you as well!

  13. Mike & Rebecca –

    What an awesome plan and it sound like quite a journey! No doubt you guys will Make It Happen, as you do with everything else you take aim at.

    While I’m sure that you have “frineds all over the place” who can show you hospitality, you might consider looking at https://www.warmshowers.org/ – There are a bunch of people all over the place who have agreed to allow cyclists to crash at their house or pitch a tent in that yard, and give people a place to clean up and get a hot meal. Well worth a look. Not sure of availability outside Canada / US, but every little bit helps. You may find that with a little planning, you can arrange for strategic stops along the way to recharge and clean up at somewhere a little more private than a campground or a public bath house.

    Best of luck, and I look forward to following whatever you can share of your journey as you start this new phase of your adventure.

    Doug T.

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