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When strangers expressed astonishment at the length of our journey, our standard response was to shrug it off. ‘It’s not that tough,’ we’d say, pointing out that it was essentially just a lot of short bicycle rides one after the other. ‘The first ten miles are the hardest.’ This wasn’t just a glib response. Of...
Start spreading the news

Start spreading the news

Villa Laurinda, Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 10am, 20 July 2013     640 days, 17 countries and 28,683km later…     Battery Park, Manhattan, New York City, USA 2pm, 21 April 2015     Made it.     from New York, NY, USA
Song of the South

Song of the South

To a European visitor, no part of the US feels more foreign than the South. This is not a matter of landscape or geography but of attitude. The South feels different because, for reasons both quantifiable and intangible, it is different, and because those who live there are happy to see those differences – their...
Month 21

Month 21

10 March – 9 April 2015 Countries USA (total 17) Distance 2,265.20km (total 27,787.47km) Climb 13,186m (total 240,157m) Longest day 132.13km, Choctaw Lake, Tombigbee National Forest to Tupelo, MS, USA (longest so far: 160.11km) Top speed 56.7kmh (fastest so far: 68.8kmh) Punctures 4 (total 47; Will leads 31-16) And while we’re on the subject Our...
Snaps - March 2015

Snaps – March 2015

More offcuts and scraps from our 7,000-and-counting archive of trip photos. For past editions, click here. Only one more month of this rubbish to go.     Whatever they’re paying the marketing director at Barq’s, it’s too much not enough. South Vacherie, LA, USA 4 March 2015     The last 80km of our journey...
It's too late to stop now - A week in New Orleans

It’s too late to stop now – A week in New Orleans

Crossing the border from Mexico into the US six weeks ago felt like the end of… something. Leaving the Spanish-speaking Americas didn’t signal the climax of our trip; at the time, we still had more than 4,000km to ride. Even so, more than at any other border crossing, we sensed we were leaving behind a...
And finally...

And finally…

Several places bill themselves as the cradle of country music, which has long been an interest of ours, but few have a better claim than the handsome old railroad town of Meridian in eastern Mississippi. Meridian was the birthplace of the great Jimmie Rodgers, the Singing Brakeman, who became country’s first superstar in the late...
Further reading - Books about Latin America

Further reading – Books about Latin America

It probably goes without saying that there’s a vast supply of terrific books about Latin America. As we discovered during a visit to Oaxaca’s Amate Books, the best English-language bookstore we found in the Spanish-speaking Americas, we could have spent the last 18 months reading worthwhile volumes solely about Mexico and we still wouldn’t have...
Month 20

Month 20

10 February – 9 March 2015 Countries Mexico & USA (total 17) Distance 1,775.23km (total 25,522.27km) Climb 7,640m (total 226,971m) Longest day 138.04km, Navasota to Shepherd in Texas, USA (longest so far: 160.11km) Top speed 50.1kmh (fastest so far: 68.8kmh) Punctures 6 (total 43; Will leads 28-15) Touring cyclists encountered 3 (total 94) Best breakfast...
Saturday at Fred's

Saturday at Fred’s

We finished our food, dropped a $20 bill on the table, crossed the road and gingerly eased open the barroom door. It was 8.30, half an hour after the lounge had opened, and things were just beginning to warm up. At the bar, gossiping over bottled beers, a dozen or so old-timers, plainly locals. In...
Snaps - February 2015

Snaps – February 2015

Our monthly collection of snaps from the digital cutting-room floor. Previous months can be found at this link.     To our shame, we became a little blasé about Mexican churches after a while, but our eyes were still regularly caught by the breathtaking detail on the best of them. This is the cathedral in...
A Fortune, lost and found

A Fortune, lost and found

An imposing corner building in the small Texas town of New Braunfels, the Phoenix Saloon opened for business in 1871. Back in the 19th century, the ground floor held a bar, the basement briefly housed a brewery (a keg of beer cost a princely $2.25), the garden contained an alligator pit and the back room...