Follow the bikers of Going South on their adventures though the Americas.
After 48hrs of travelling, meetings, interviews and photoshoots, I have finally set down in Anchorage, Alaska. Although the flight in was pretty cloudy and grey, glimpses of huge snow-coveredmountains and massive white glaciers gave me a taster of what we are going to see on this first leg of our trip.After all the formalities of customs and immigration, with the usual suspicious questioning and a little sniff from the customs dog, I was out... finally in Alaska. I was greeted at the airport by what I at first took to be my Limo driver, holding a sign with my name and "GOING SOUTH", only to realise that it was Fin, standing there grinning at me from behind the sign. Then, from out of nowhere, a camera was in my face and I was being asked what it felt like to be in Alaska... the adventure had begun. Slightly dazed and very jet lagged, we returned to Ron and Barbs house, driving through downtown anchorage and taking in the grandiose scenery that surrounds the city. It was all really happening.
It was a complete coincidence that I managed to ride over some broken glass and get my first puncture on the day that deepeei film productions drove out to meet me. This happened on the ride down the George Parks Highway at about Mile 31, just before arriving into Anchorage several weeks back. The filming involved cycling slowly behind the car as Milan filmed from the open boot. They drove over some glass and I didn't have time to avoid it....hopefully it won't be the first of many! I am using Scwalbe Marathon tyres which have kevlargaurd reinforced puncture resistance - I do highly recommend them. Just seen Asa and Javier have started in Columbia - check out their blogs and photos!
Dear family, friends, known and unknown,
After ten hours in the air, with feet like elephants due to the lack of circulation finally we viewed the Promised Land, descending among the mountains and pastures to our hot desired El Dorado, the airport of Bogotá, the starting point of this long bike travel.
I just got back from a cracking weekend fishing for salmon down in Seward on the Kenai Peninsula. Ron and his law firm partner Jim took me fishing on board their old friend Ralph's vessel - the American Maid. They had told me stories of how they go fishing for as little as a day but come home with coolers full of wild salmon and halibut - enough fish for all the family for a year. The same is true with moose - Ron isn't a big hunter but like other Alaskans, most men hunt and eat what they shoot. Their freezer is full of moose meat which has become my favourite red meat because it tastes so good as its so lean - moose burgers, mooseloaf, moose burritos, moose tracks caramel cup chocolate ice cream (not moose but I love it anyway!)
Ron noticed that I didn't appear to be cycling comfortably on the bike the other day. Its true - my hands hurt alot with pins and needles, I had developed a bit of tennis elbow in the right elbow and I seemed to be a bit lop sided whilst cycling on the bike. Not a great combination for an 8 month 9000 mile cycle. Having never been properly fitted to the bike, Ron suggested I go for a bike fitting at Chain Reaction Cycles.
A few days into my first week of R and R in Anchorage Ron and Barb asked me if I would like to join them and their two friends Doug and Nancy on their trip to a cabin at Sheep Mountain for the weekend. They were taking part in the 2009 Fireweed, Race Across Alaska race and had booked a log cabin up on Sheep Mountain where the race started and ended that weekend. The race was in several categories, the 400 mile race from Sheep Mountain to Valdez and back, the 200 mile to Valdez, the 50 mile to Glenallen and the 100mile to Glenallen and back. We had entered in for the 100 mile event - 6 months ago the prospect of doing a 100 mile bike race to me was utterly absurd, now it seemed like a good idea and a great way to see some of Alaska I would not be experiencing during the main route of Going South.
Warmshowers - luxury option?
Our pousada (guesthouse) is run by a Swiss (Felix) and Brazilian (Thais). As we were their only guests we had our private hotel. It is low season here in Brazil, as it is there winter time. December is their high season. Although the photo may suggest we were on holiday, don't get misleaded. We arranged a meeting at 7 am to go and film Hugo at his atelier and a place where he stocks his precious roots and wood. That meant waking up at 5.30 to have breakfast and prepare all our equipment.
Greetings everyone, I am Fins new team mate and I would like to start by saying what an honour and pleasure it is for me to have been selected to become a part of this trip.
Three weeks have past since completing the first 1700km cycling for Going South and arriving back into Anchorage. It has provided time to rest, regain lost weight and reflect on the first leg in Alaska and think about all the amazing experiences had but also the difficulties faced. It was with sadness and disappointment that Anna and I decided to go our separate ways after only a few days. It was by no means a decision taken lightly. We had put in months of time and effort and planning and preparing for the trip and were both equally excited and up for the challenge of the 8 month trip ahead. Sadly it became very apparent that we were struggling to make the team dynamic work. This became more evident as we progressed further into the trip in the first week and cracks started to occur.
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