Fiona (UK)
riding from Cartagena, Colombia to she’s not sure where
fiona-1280
Above, a family reunion of sorts. On the left, that’s Fiona, a Londoner who landed in Cartagena in July 2014 to begin a year(ish)-long tour through South America. On the right, of course, is Will. The two of them are unrelated, but their bikes are cousins – both originated in the London workshop of Ryan McCaig, who builds splendid frames under the name of Oak Cycles. (After 15,300km and currently wearing a don’t-nick-me electrical-tape disguise, Will’s is by far the dirtier of the pair.) We spent three lovely days chatting and drinking together under the sweltering Caribbean sun, and Fiona’s mix of apprehension, excitement and pure joy reminded us of the start of our own journey more than 13 months earlier. A former chair of London cycling charity Wheels for Wellbeing, she doesn’t have a specific route in mind, and doesn’t mind in the slightest. Her blog can be found here.
Cartagena, Bolívar, Colombia
22 August 2014

 


 

Sam (USA)
riding from Alaska, USA to Ushuaia, Argentina
sam-1024Part-modelled on the Surly Troll and designed around a Rohloff Speedhub, Sam’s touring bike was the first one we’d seen on this trip – and, we suspect, the only one we’ll see – to have been constructed entirely by its owner. Built as part of his studies in mechanical engineering at Stanford University in California, Sam’s first ever attempt at frame-building seems to have held up splendidly over the first year or so of his tour, which has zig-zagged down from Alaska through the US, Mexico and Central America as far as southern Colombia. Ecuador, Peru and all points south to Ushuaia will follow, before Sam heads back home to continue his studies in 2015. An enthusiastic chap with an impish grin, he’s writing about his travels at his website, where you can also read more about his bike.
Popayán, Cauca, Colombia
11 July 2014

 


 

Álvaro (Spain)
riding from Anchorage, Alaska, USA to Ushuaia, Argentina
alvaro-800We spotted Álvaro plugging uphill while we were, of all things, playing tennis. Suffering after a fall the previous day, he was nonetheless slogging on towards the Colombia-Ecuador border, crossing in the remote selva south of Orito rather than at the more popular Ipiales-Tulcán frontera. A softly-spoken Spaniard, Álvaro has been rolling for about a year, heading for Patagonia but avoiding the Panamerican Highway where possible. From the border, he’s riding to Quito, where he’s planning to take his pick between the mountain and jungle routes through Ecuador. When we met, his blog hadn’t been updated in a few months, but you can also connect with him on Facebook. The photos on his websites offer a rather better likeness than the Sketchbook Express doodle made by Will after we realised we’d left our camera at our hostal.
Mocoa, Putumayo, Colombia
5 July 2014