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FAQ

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Where and When

Where are you going?

  • The plan is to cycle through America, from the North of Alaska to the South of Tierra del Fuego, Argentina. Note that America is not the same as the USA. We want to see America and the USA is one country on these two continents.

Straight down?

  • Well, straight down is impossible, you would hit water already in Alaska, but even in a straight line is not possible. The fastest route would be more or less straight to Panama, fly or sail to Colombia, then down the west coast of South America, over the PanAmericana.

So how far is that, 16.000km, about 10,000 miles?

  • It might be if you could go straight down. We think we will have cycled at least double that distance (about 35000km) as we want to visit every country on the mainland, so including all the small countries on Central America and all the larger countries in South America.

How much do you cycle every day?

  • Usually between 50 & 100km, depending on the wind, road surface, health, bike problems, interesting places and people.
  • We will not cycle every day, we will take longer rests in interesting places, so our average will likely be around 50km/day or even less.

How long will this trip take?

  • We think about 2.5 years, give or take a few months.

Why 2.5 years, why not 2 or 3 years?

  • We have to start in Alaskan summer, so July (June is considered Spring, August Fall, the rest is winter in Alaska). As the Southern hemisphere has reversed seasons and we want to arrive in summer as well, we need either 1.5, 2.5 or 3.5 years. 1.5 is too fast, 3.5 a bit slow…

Who & what

Who are you?

Argentina & The Netherlands? So where did you meet?

  • In Tibet. She was cycling from Malaysia to India, I was climbing Mt Everest. We got engaged two years later on the summit of Kilimanjaro, 3 weeks before the start of this cycle trip.

Tibet? Kilimanjaro? Eh, ok. So you like travelling. Where else have you cycled before?

  • has made one very long trip: first around New Zealand, then from Malaysia to India, passing Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, China, Tibet & Nepal on the way. Then she cycled for a month in Turkey and has also cycled in France.
  • Together we cycled in Italy for a month.
  • I () was raised in the Netherlands, so was practically born and raised on bicycles. Previously I have not made any very long cycle trips, but have done some shorter touring of 2-3 weeks per trip (Belgium – Normandy – Jersey -England; Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland – Scotland; Amsterdam – Zermatt on a tandem).

What bicycles do you use?

  • We ride on the perfect travel bike: Dutch made to order Travel master, aluminium frame, 26″ wheels. Tubus racks and Ortlieb bags see for more details the pages.

Website:

How does this website work?

  • well you found the , so you seem to have some idea already. On the homepage you see 4 tabs with a photo and shortcuts to the last 4 posts.
  • You can check older trip reports in may ways: check archives, trip reports, search for words, browse by categories (the second/lower top menu) or use the tags system, which is a bit more detailed than the categories.
  • You can contact us through the contact form and we love feedback on our posts, so please leave some comments when you read the posts. You will be asked to verify that you are a human being (and not a spam robot) by typing some random code. Though this might be difficult and annoying, it saves us hours of time and helps to control spam.

Will you write reports every day?

  • We will try but already know that it will not be possible as we will be too tired, to grumpy, too out of battery power, or too far away from any internet connection. So likely we will write in batches, whenever we have a few hours or day off and post them when needed.

So do I need to check every day to see if you updated something?

  • No, you can make it much easier to follow us: either add our RSS feed to your feed reader, so you get a notice when a new feed is available
  • If you have no idea what RSS is, just subscribe to our mailinglist and get a maximum of one email every day new updates are posted. You can do this on every page, see the box at the right side, near the top of the page or just click here.

Why does http://WorldOnABike.com change to http://worldonabike.com ?

  • World On A Bike .com is just easier to remember and to tell people. It automatically forwards to the real website which is located at harry.biketravellers.com. On http://BikeTravellers.com everybody that cycles can open a free weblog (yourname.biketravellers.com), try it yourself, many others have already done so.

Where are Ivana’s reports?

What are those ‘Google Ads’ I see on many pages?

  • These are small advertisements, supplied by Google. We do not choose them, the content is based on the content of the page, so a page about Alaska will give you ads about Alaska tours or land. It might show things we do not support, like drilling for oil in Alaska.
  • Every time somebody clicks on them, we get a few cents, which helps to pay for our website costs. So if you are interested in the ads, please check tem out as you are helping us.
  • Do not just click a lot of ads just to help us, as Google might ban our account if some people repeatedly click our ads from the same computer/IP address. So only check the ones that are interesting to you.

How & costs & support

How can you afford such a trip?

  • We spend much less than you think, we saved some money the past years and might make some more on the way.

So, how much will you spend?

  • North America will be the most expensive: until we reach Mexico, we will spend about $15 per day (together). This means less than $3000 in the first 6 months.
  • Then from Mexico down it will probable be less than half of that.
  • In total should be less than $10,000 together for the entire trip.

That is less than my parents spent on a luxury 2-week safari trip last year! How come you can live so cheap?

  • We do not need much. We have our tent, so we do not need to pay for hotels. We camp out in the wild or at people’s lawn’s, so do not pay for expensive campsites. We will stay in cheap hostels in cities -in central America, you can get these for a few dollars-, but will also do a lot of Couchsurfing/Hospitality clubbing/ WarmShowering: staying with people for free, in return we will host them later.
  • We cook ourselves, so all we need is some pasta, some veggies and some candy bars to get us through the day. We drink water we get from people or take it from streams and purify it with our Steripen. We recharge our batteries using our SolarSupra solar panel. We never buy bottled water, that is a waste of money and plastic.
  • We do not have an expensive taste and have no space for souvenirs on our bikes, so all we take home are pictures and memories.
  • Our supplied us with most of our gear, so we had little costs up front.

It is still a lot of money, don’t you have any other costs as well?

  • We do not have kids, we do not have a car and have no debts, we never bought and will not buy anything we cannot afford. We have a house, but that is rented out so almost pays for itself.
  • So things we need to pay are: food & drinks. Sometimes camping fees (mostly we camp in the wild or on people’s lawns); Internet connections along the way, spare parts for our bikes; replacements for clothes we wore out; park fees; visa fees; entry fees for places we want to visit etc.
  • It is hard to plan exactly how much we will spend, but we want to see things along the way and will buy some dinners or breakfasts along the way when we are too tired or lazy to cook or think we deserved it after cycling another 1000km or a tough day. Basically we are on a tight budget, but will not let this stop us from enjoying the places we visit.

Is there any way we can support your trip?

  • Yes! Many ways, first of all you can sign up for our newsletter or RSS feed. Forward them to others that might enjoy reading travel stories, stories about people and culture, cycling, environmental issues, America.
  • Leave comments on the posts. We love to read them, they keep us going. Small notes from friends and strangers are huge boosts for our confidence and can help us through rough and difficult times.
  • Just think of this website as a free interactive travel magazine subscription. If you enjoy reading our stories and seeing our photos, you can thank us by donating some money using the form on the right side of every post and page, using PayPal or credit card. Every small amount is welcome, just think what you would spend on a magazine or book.
  • Check out the Google ads if there is something interesting for you (do not click them all just to help, see notes above).
  • Link to our websites or specific reports or photos from your own website or blog. Add us to Stumble Upon, ReddIt, Digg etc. get the word out that it is possible to travel by bicycle!
  • Invite us to speak in your town. We can give presentations about our trips, about climbing the 7 summits, cycling Asia, Bike Travelling or a photo presentation of the culture and nature of the 7 continents . We can charge admission fees or just ask for donations. We love to tell about our trips and spread knowledge about cycling and the environment.
  • Buy something from our shops, see the links above. We get a small percentage of every item sold and you promote cycling!
  • Invite us for dinner or to stay at your place or recommend addresses to sleep (friends, family) or even just places to pitch our tent
  • Start cycling yourself!

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Comments

7 Responses to “FAQ”
  1. alheli marin says:

    heeey Harry!!

    I just wanted to say, I hope you’re having fun and I also read on Ivana’s page you made the Pico de Orizaba Summit, congratulations!

    My best regards!!! And until next time!

  2. Mimi says:

    I m glad I came across your site..
    Very impressive!
    wish you all the best … and much success and love through your trip..

  3. Hello there

    I checked out your guys site World on a Bike

    I think our visitors at Bicycle Trader will find your site helpful

    I added a link for you guys here localbiketrader.com/links/bicycle_touring.htm

    Also if you guys want to link back it will really help out the service we are providing

    cheers
    Jeremiah
    localbiketrader.com

  4. taj says:

    Hope youi guys are doing good, I love to read your site, i have question you dont mind to answer. I like to know that how tall you are, the reason i am asking is because i am 5-10 tall male and like to know weather Santos 19 inch frame will be OK for me, you have selected a smiler frame. Whats your advise on selecting the right size bike, I don’t live in Europe and most of the good bike like Santos comes from Europe, I have only option to import them. By the Way Surly long haul trucker 54cm size fits me. Please advise

    • Avatar of Harry Harry says:

      Hi Taj, thanks for your message. I am 6ft exactly and Ivana is 5’8”, and we both use the 19″ frame. I could have used a larger frame as well, but it was convenient to have the same size in case Ivana would ever need to go on my bike for whatever reason. I made up with having extra spacers beneath the handle bars as well as higher saddle.

      You should be fine with the 19″ Travelmaster as you are in between us length-wise. Every producer has its own length/sizes, so you can not really compare sizes with the Surly, the Santos has a very different geometry (especially made for travelling long distances with luggage). The main difference is the position: the Surly has the racing posture (down), which is great against the wind, the Santos makes you sit upright, which is better for longer trips and comfort (and for seeing things like scenery and traffic :)

      You can always visit your local bikeshop and have them measure you on a measuring bike (if they have it), or at least your main measurements. You can send that to Santos and they will check and advice as well.

      You will love the Santos Travelmaster. Get the strongest rims they offer, with the ceramic layer, they seem to be indestructable. We use the hydraulic brakes (never a problem), and have used only 1.5 set of brake pads in 26,000km. The rims literally look like new (unlike many worn out surly rims we have seen on our way!) and we broke a total of 1 spoke between us.

      By the way, if you need a BikeTravellers blog, let me know and I will set you up.
      Cheers, Harry

  5. Kim Nguyen says:

    Hi Ivana and Harry,

    I would have contacted you through your contact page but it says comments have been closed. I am writing to ask if you both would be interested in supporting the 350.org climate action event on Sept 24 this year. I am writing to many different sustainable eco-adventurers asking them the same question with the hope we can together help promote the event and action to protect our planet.

    You don’t have to do anything, just send some photos of yourselves to us, maybe some bio info (or we can get that from your website) and be available for an email interview, or perhaps to speak to media if you have time. We’ll put your info on the Moving Planet website to show you are supporting the event.

    If you are interested, or you’d like more details please email me at rideplanetearth@gmail.com.

    All the best and good luck with your continuing adventures.

    Kim Nguyen

  6. Heidi says:

    Hello Harry & Ivana,

    I came across your site accidentally when browsing to find info for a bike I’m going to attempt to refurbish.

    You both have done some impressive travelling which I admire but can only share the Mt. Killi part which I climbed last April but only with the wonderful help of my porters & guides…amazing but underpaid ppl.

    Despite the wandering of my email I do have some Q’s for you both. I apologize in advance if any of my Q’s are too personal as I’m just a very curious person who’s really intriqued/admires people such as yourselves who love to travel/cycle enjoying the outdoor adventures combined with a frugal sense of lifestyle not just because of needing to more wanting to. Makes me think that maybe I could do a trip like this.

    Harry:

    1) What inspired you to want to climb the big 7, & which summit was the hardest mentally/physically for you to reach?
    2) What made you decide to do a cycling trip of this length?
    3) Have you had any difficulties in your travels as a single male or did you travel with others?
    4) Of your travels/climbing/cycling which have you found the most enjoyable/rewarding?
    5) Do you have any suggestions/helpful hints for anyone considering travelling/cycling alone?

    Ivana:

    1) As a female cycling through those countries did you ever feel frightened to be doing that alone or did you go with a group?
    2) What was the most difficult thing about doing the trip?
    3) What would you suggest to anyone deciding to do cycling trip to make it easier or less stressful?
    4) What made you decide to do the trip by cycling country to country instead of by plane?
    5) Do you have any suggestions/helpful hints for anyone considering travelling/cycling alone?

    Ivana & Harry:

    1) What have you both learned about travelling with someone else that may be helpful to anyone considering doing a trip like this?
    2) At what ages did you both start travelling & how old were you both when you met up & started travelling together. The reason I ask this is because at 41 I’m realizing that I don’t have the same recovery time/energy I once did, & would like your opinions as to whether you think someone could do a trip such as this at my age:)
    3) Have most ppl been supportive of your cycling trip?
    4) Do either of you feel you have lost out on life not being a part of the work a day world?

    I look forward to seeing more pic’s and blog updates.

    Thank you and happy cycling,
    Heidi the happy Canuck from Alberta

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