10 Years ago, give or take a week, I cycled into the wet snow-covered environs of Ushuaia, Argentina’s southerly most city, and the end point for the majority on a North-South pilgrimage of the Americas. Beneath me was ‘Achilles’ the tandem, given his name over 18,000 miles earlier when his heavily laden bulk saw to it that my right achilles tendon tore slightly under the strain. Behind me was my Chilean good friend Alonso, the last of over 270 companions that all joined me for a portion of my journey, some for 5 minutes and others for months.
12 years ago, cycling south from Deadhorse’ and a tundra dimpled with squat, sooty drilling rigs to the north, I was equipped with my tandem and trailer, everything I needed to survive (including 8 days of food and some fishing line), a well loved Sony PD150 and most importantly, a foolish idea.
Nearly 13 years ago, with the help of Ed Stobart, a TV producer in London I came up with the hair brained idea of cycling a tandem bicycle from Alaska to Argentina and picking up random strangers to help me pedal on the way. Armed with my camera, I’d make a documentary about it and thereby reinvent myself as a filmmaker. Yeah. sure I would….
Well, there’s nothing like a bit of naivety to keep you moving forward. 2 years and 2 months after I left those Alaskan oil fields I had not only had the adventure of a lifetime with a myriad newfound friends, but I’d also filled up enough mini-DV tapes to make a half decent TV documentary with the help of Ginger Television entitled ‘Take A Seat’. That, thanks to Humfrey Hunter and Iain Macgregor, was shortly followed by a book of the same name.
Now, in 2018, I live on the other side of the world. I run a production company telling stories about the outdoors and how it changes people. I live and work with my wife Nadia who I met on the Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia on that bicycle journey. In short, my entire life morphed into something else because of that one adventure. I will never stop being grateful for the support that allowed me to have the courage to start pedaling, and the army of people that shared the journey with me and very positively helped plot the course of my life from there on out.