Three words you’ll never hear me utter: Family Bike Trip

From the rainforest, climbing back up into the Andes.

My husband and I have a running joke ever since we met a couple that loved tandem bike riding and was trying to convert us – there are some marriages that can survive tandem biking, and then there’s us.

Oh, how fun -- blowing sand in Peru!

So it was with utter admiration and disbelief that I stumbled upon Family on Bikes .. a noble/insane endeavor by The Vogel Family — a couple with twin 12-year old boys who are spending 3 years biking 18,000 miles from Alaska to Argentina on the Pan-American highway. Now that’s togetherness!

....and rain...

The twins will become the youngest people to cycle the entire highway and the undertaking will benefit Reach the World, an awesome educational organization that interactively links 15,000 students in underfunded U.S. schools with travelers and explorers around the world who share their stories, bring global issues alive, and  expand the power of learning beyond the walls of the classroom.

...and wide open spaces....

And what could be a more powerful, eye-opening example of our global village than the trek of John 55, Nancy 49, Davy & Daryl in their trek from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina? They left Alaska on June 8, 2008 and right now the family is stuck in Potosi, Bolivia, waiting out the indigenous people’s strike against the first indigenous Bolivian president, Luis Morales… a disagreement that may mean the family will have to take a 400-mile detour through the Amazon basin. (I’m trying to imagine my reaction to that little setback.)

But look at what you see along the way!

Politics, geography, biology, history – it’s all here in a nutshell, not to mention exquisite scenery and drama – which should make for some pretty awesome Reach The World videos that the family is generating out there on the road and sharing with Reach the World classrooms. And if the Vogels weren’t already making me feel like the original Mrs. Couch Potato-head, these two former schoolteachers are home-schooling their boys along the way.

Hopefully not a portent...

The route so far...

Once I get past my envy/shock/wonder at what would provoke anyone to undertake such a pilgrimage, I’m dazzled at the idea. And I’m thrilled to donate $100 today to support Reach The World since I deeply believe that travel is the most enlightening education of all — and gives you a profound sense of your own possibilities. (Except for the possibility that I would ever climb on a tandem bike). To join me in donating to Reach The World, click here! Or you can donate directly to the Vogels by clicking here.