In preparing for this trek we’ve heard from some people who have cycled across Canada, and many people who wish they could. Our 15,000-km route is a massive, daunting undertaking; and it’s also an inspiring call to action for others to get outside, to push their boundaries and keep exploring.
We chose to travel by bicycle primarily to give ourselves a good pace and a more intimate immersion in the land around us. Asad has a few long-distance bike tours under his belt; I’m experienced in backcountry backpacking. For us, cycling 100 km each day for half a year was a readily accepted challenge. For many people, it’s unimaginable.
That matters to me. Too often adventure footage creates a sense of distance between phone-screen social media feed and the actual adventure. When an adventure seems distant or unimaginable, it has an effect of disempowerment.
So I want people to be able to imagine the 15,000-km route, because I want people to believe adventure lives in them as much as it does in us. With belief comes confidence, with confidence comes risks, and with risks comes extraordinary experiences.
I think there’s a tendency to see well-composed adventure-based photography and think: Well that person knew exactly what they were doing, and I don’t. It’s a sort of admiration that inadvertently creates inaccessibility to that kind of experience. I believe that it is accessible, and I hope I’ve helped you believe that, too.An article I wrote in the fall, Spirit of Adventure
Our partnership with Keep Exploring is a way to do that. KE is a young company from the US dedicated to helping people find adventure in the everyday. Anti-routine, pro-encouragement, they’ve built a culture of authenticity and inspiration where everyone belongs and is called to love the wild spaces around them.
That’s part of our call to action with this expedition. Not everyone’s adventure spans 15,000 km, but everyone could do with a reminder to keep exploring. So we’re carrying the red KE flag with us, dragging it through highway wind, dropping it off the edges of cliffs and wrapping it around campfires. As it is a source of inspiration for others, it will be a daily reminder for us to lean in, rest well and ride hard.
To keep exploring.