Cycling the Americas: Frequently Asked Questions


1) Alaska to Argentina....by bicycle....why on earth would you want to do that ?

We love to bike, we love to travel, and we love adventures.  Alaska to Argentina by bicycle is the perfect combination of all these wonderful things! 

2) How long will the trip take?

We are estimating that the trip will take one and a half to two years.  We started the trip in what was spring in the northern hemisphere.  We are hoping to finish in what will be spring or summer in the southern hemisphere.  Winters in both the south and the north are quite harsh, so the cycling season is short.  Since the seasons are reversed in the north and south, and we cannot possibly do the trip in 6 months, one and a half years seems most likely.  Of course, other factors like money, long rests,  family events etc might impact the length of the trip.

3) How many kilometers will the whole trip be? 

It is hard to say exactly how far the trip will take us.  Needless to say, we are not taking the most direct route.  However, we are estimating that the trip will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 30,000 km in total....but we'll see.

4) How far do you ride in a day ? 

This is a tricky question, because our distance varies a great deal as the conditions do.  Headwinds, steep hills, and poor road conditions can all make a low mileage day feel very very long.  However, we are probably averaging 50-80 km on riding days.  We have discovered that riding in the mountains, particularly when the road conditions are poor slows us down a great deal!  

5) How can you afford to do this?

We aim to spend $30 / day.  This was especially difficult in the north, where food was quite expensive.  Other factors which hurt the budget are bike repairs and maintainance.  But we have been saving for this trip for several years, and although we don't have income coming in, life  on the bicycle is drastically cheaper than life in Toronto.

6) Where do you sleep? 

For the most part we camp.  We try to find free places when we can, but we occasionally stay at a government run campground.  We also make use of Warm Showers, which is a hospitality network for touring cyclists.  In fact some of our best memories of the trip have been the wonderful people that we have met through Warm Showers.  In central and South America we can often find hotels in the $10-15 range making it affordable to get a room now and then.  We have also slept in fire stations, police stations, abandoned houses, and under bridges !

7)  Do you ever get bored? 

We sometimes get bored if we are biking through long flat sections with not a whole lot to look at.  During these times we tend to pay far too much attention to muscles that are aching or noises that we imagine our bicycles are making. Luckily we have not had too many boring stretches thus far.  As for the the time spent not biking, well, there is rarely enough of it to start getting bored.  The evening routine of cooking and setting up camp usually takes up all of the evening and we are thrilled to jump into our tent and sleep in prepartion for doing it all again the next day!

8) How are the bikes holding up and what are you riding ?

We are both riding Jamis Aurora's, we are really happy with them.... But have replaced quite a lot of the components.

We will try to keep this updated as we go....

Glenn's Bike:
- Back wheel (Mavic A319) and cassette replaced
- New tires (Schwalbe Marathon Plus)
- New Crank, with all three cogs
- chain replaced x2
- New Brake pads x2

Ali's Bike
- New Brake Pads x2
- New Tires 
- New wheels 
- New chain
- New cassette 
- New front dérailleur 
- New crank

Basically most of the bike.... You can see where our money is going :)


Have another question ? This is a work in progress, so feel free to shoot us an email and we will answer your question too !  aburke.msw@gmail.com or glennrivison@gmail.com

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