Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I'll Follow the Sun

As another arctic blast blows into town tonight and the cold virus attacks our family again, I will be warming up in front of the computer with a cup of tea, following the adventures of cyclists in warmer parts of the world. Through them, I can see places and cultures that I will probably never get to experience first-hand. I’m sure there are thousands of travel blogs and videos floating around the internet, but I’m only interested in the ones that document travels on a bike. Here are some of my favorites:

WORLDTRAVELLERS.DK - “A Danish Solo Expedition 2006-2010 Around the World by Bicycle”

Nicolai Bangsgaard and his friend Martin Amor left Denmark on their bikes in April 2006 to see the world. Unfortunately, Martin had to return home in the first month, but Nicolai decided to continue alone. He is now in his 3rd year on the road and is currently heading north through South America (Colombia, at last check). I’m glad I caught up with him in time to follow his last year on the road. I spent a few long nights over the holidays reading his most recent posts (from August to December 2008) and viewing slideshows of his gorgeous, National Geographic-worthy photos. I still have so much more to view in his archives that it will probably take me until spring. Here is the video of his recent travels through Chile and Argentina that he uploaded to Vimeo:

Around the World by Bicycle 2006-2010 from Nicolai Bangsgaard on Vimeo.

Revolution Cycle - “first irish circumnavigation of the world by bicycle”

In November 2008, best friends Simon Evans and Fearghal O’Nuallain left Ireland to begin their bicycle journey around the world. Their mission is “promoting the positive contribution that cycling can make to mental health and the environment, raising funds for Aware and highlighting climate change.” So far, they have ridden from County Wicklow in Ireland to Madrid, Spain, and then boarded a flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they were joined by their friend Marina. They recently visited the Iguazu Falls near the border of Argentina and Paraguay. It’s exciting to be following their progress from the very start, and I must thank John in Dublin for bringing it to our attention on his blog, Le Vie en Velo. Here is the video highlighting their European leg (highlights from Argentina will be on their site soon):

Europe Cherbourg to Madrid from revolutioncycle on Vimeo.

Travelling the world on a bicycle

Blanche is a Dutch woman who has taken many cycling vacations over the years. Her videos and photos are so beautiful and inspiring, and her website includes much information to help plan your own cycling trip. My sister is hoping to visit Cuba in a few months, so I suggested she check out Blanche’s site and video from Cuba (with wonderful music):

Salsa en la Calle from Blanche on Vimeo.

TOUR.TK – “What a Wonderful World Tour”

Sonya Spry and Aaldrik Mulder are an Australian woman and Dutch man who sold all of their belongings to travel the world by bike in search of a new place to call home. They left the Netherlands in July 2006 on a five year tour of the globe. Sonya’s journal entries are full of colorful stories and details that make the accompanying photo slideshows and video clips really come alive. Highly recommended reading. (Oh, my burning eyes, though!)

A Wayward Journey – “A Family Travels the Roads Less Traveled from the Arctic to Patagonia

In June 2008, the Vogel family (John, Nancy and 10-year-old twins Daryl and Davy) left their home in Idaho to travel the Pan-American Highway from Alaska to Argentina on a tandem and two single bikes. If they are successful in finishing their journey, the boys will both be able to claim the title of “Youngest Person to Cycle the Pan-American Highway” in the Guinness Book of World Records. Their blog has entries from each family member, giving their own perspective on the events of the day. They are currently in Texas preparing to cross into Mexico. I will definitely be sharing this family’s story with my 10-year-old daughter.

Thanks to Nicolai, Simon and Fearghal, and Blanche for allowing me to add their videos to this post.

I wish all of these cyclists success in their journeys and a safe return home. Don’t forget to write!


  1. If I keep watching videos like this, I'm going to end up quiting my job, selling my condo, and biking around Mexico until the student loan people hunt me down for payment.

  2. I'm not the most confident or experienced rider yet, so I'll be happy to start by renting bikes for a few days during our trip to Ireland this summer. But who knows where that could lead, maybe to more exotic cycling vacations!

  3. Ireland seems like a beautiful place to ride! As long as you have gears for all the rolling hills. I'm going to the UK and Russia in April and will try to find some bikes to rent. But I'm sticking to the park paths in St. Petersburg because the drivers there are seriously crazy.