In the Summer of 1992, Fernando rode his bike across the US, from, San Francisco to DC. He was part of a bigger group call Bike Aid, made up of mostly college students raising money for worthy causes. The ride was about 3600 miles, stopping at different parts of the US to participate in different projects, such as Habitat for Humanity, and other lesser-known, more local endeavors. At the end of this trip, he knew he wanted to do more bike touring.
Once the bug was in place, there was only one thing to do—go on a longer trip! One day while looking at a map of the world, a question came to mind. Would it be possible to cycle from Fairbanks Alaska to Ushuaia Argentina? These were the days before the internet, so finding such an answer wasn’t as easily obtainable as today. But, planning and researching started in earnest, and in June of 1994, the journey south started from Fairbanks Alaska. The plan was to ride for about 18 months and arrive in the most southern city in the world, Ushuaia Argentina, sometime in December of 1995.
Unlike Bike Aid, this was a completely self-supported and planned trip. There would be no one providing a route or arranging a local church to host and feed you. This was wild camping, carry all of your stuff, (and then some) and rely on almost no one else—it was complete freedom! The trip provided just about every kind of weather, bone-chilling cold in high altitude desserts, sleepless nights in humid jungles, and everything in between. There were encounters with wild animals, and sometimes, wild people. The roads were mostly paved and packed dirt, but sometimes just footpaths and dried-up rivers. There was one constant thought at the start of each day when pedaling started, “where will camp be at the end of the day?”
And so, in December of 1995, the end was reached. With that chapter closed, it was time for a new adventure, one that could at least pay a little bit! In the Spring of 1996, Fernando got a job as a bicycle tour guide for a company called Backroads. That’s where another life-changing event took place, Sarah had already been working for Backroads since 1994, and so in August of, the two met in Spain and they embarked on a journey together.
In 1997, Fernando and Sarah rode their bikes from the Yucatan peninsula, back to Tucson, NM. This was more of a “get to know each other” trip. The trip is sometimes referred to as their second date! But at the end of this trip, it was known by both that life together laid ahead on one joint road. After leading trips in many parts of the US and the world, they decided to settle down and start a more conventional existence in the year 2000. And now, they want to share this type of adventure and experience with their two daughters, Anna and Isabel.