‘It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.’ 

– Ernest Hemingway, writing in Collier’s magazine, October 1944

Hello. We’re Ruth Jarvis and Will Fulford-Jones, a couple from London, and this website contains words and pictures from a 22-month, 28,683km bike ride we took from Rio de Janeiro to New York.

We’re both writer-editors with a varied set of professional interests but a shared desire to put them on hold for a while. When the sporting events on which Will had been working for the previous two and a half years ended in September 2012, we decided to shut down our London lives. An injury to Will three weeks before our planned December departure derailed us, but we eventually landed in Rio de Janeiro in July 2013 and didn’t arrive back in London until May 2015.

We started with a vague route plan, but it changed constantly. Before we left, our advance reading was more general than specific, and we didn’t look into particular roads at all (we wrote this in Rio with no clear idea which route we’d take out of the city). Instead, we spent much more time planning what to ride and carry in the hope that if we chose to go somewhere or do something, we’d have what we needed. We’d toured on bikes before – Ruth even spent six months riding in South America 20-odd years ago – but this was comfortably the biggest trip we’d ever undertaken.

We wrote here – and, indeed, may yet write again – separately and together; if you’re a friend of ours, you may be able to figure out who’s written what. Ruth is also on Twitter, where you can receive automated notifications whenever we post something new to this site. If you’d prefer to receive those new posts via email, you can subscribe by entering your address in the box on the right.

Neither of us particularly cares for Hemingway, incidentally, but it’s a nice quote.