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1: To Santiago
2: To La Paz
3: To Panama City
4: To Phoenix
12/12: Central America
5: To Whitehorse
6: To Deadhorse
Thanks for following our bicycle journey from one end of the earth to the other. Send us a question below and see what questions other kids are asking.
Can you think of something you'd like to ask us? We'll answer your question as soon as we can. We're on the road riding, so it may be a couple of days before we post an answer to your question below.
Samantha (May 2013 from Issaquah, WA): When it rains or snows do you stop or keep going?
Usually we try not to ride if the weather is going to be bad. In addition to being uncomfortable (wet, cold), the clouds make the sky dark and everything looks grey. Without the colors and shadows, it is harder for us to see. Tauru has ridden off the side of the road by accident because he couldn't tell the difference between the road and the dirt. But sometimes, we don't have a choice.
Here Christi pushes the bike because the snow and wind make it too difficult to ride.
Erica (May 2013 from Issaquah, WA): Have you been liking your trip so far?
This trip has been nothing short of amazing! We have been loving it. We've met so many incredible people, heard stories we could not have imagined, visited places we never knew existed and have just been having so much fun.
Connor (Apr 2013 from Issaquah, WA): Are you going on another trip after this? What will your next trip be?
Because we have been on the road for so long, we are looking forward to spending time in one location for a bit. But there will always be another trip - to someplace, one day. We both have dreams: Tauru would like to ski across Greenland and maybe Antarctica. That means we need to first learn how to ski.
Colin and Nicole (Apr 2013 from Issaquah, WA): How is it possible to ride bikes for a very long distance?
With any big task, the best thing to do is to break it down into smaller goals. We don't think about the whole trip at one time because it's too much to think about. We look at the next big city we want to get to and just focus on that. Then, we break that down into day-by-day goals. As long as you get up every day, get on the bike and head in the right direction, eventually you will get there. Also, we keep it fun. We take long breaks, spend time in places we like and, if we can, we eat good food to keep us happy.
Finn, Colin, Nathan, Alli, Connor, Gwyneth and Karen (Apr 2013 from Issaquah, WA): What animals did you see and how many?
We get asked this question a lot. In addition to the penguins, guanacos and condors we saw in the south (scroll down to the bottom to see photos of them), we also saw some not-so-adorable wildlife. For example:
These army ants came to exterminate our room in Panama. Don't get in their way! These guys march in a straight line (hundreds of them!) and eat all of the insects in their path. They eat everything from moths to geckos to scorpions. They work together as a team to tackle prey that is much larger than they are.
We have surely passed a lot more wildlife than that, but limited vision means we don't always see it. One morning we woke up to coyote prints all around our tent. Heading north, we will most likely run into a lot of caribou, moose and bears - watch out!
Karen and Gwyneth (Apr 2013 from Issaquah, WA): How many schools have you been to?
Too many to count. We visit all kinds of schools: sometimes we talk at special schools for blind students who have their lessons translated to Braille. Other times we visited places for grown-ups who have lost their vision and need to learn how to get around without sight. We've also visited regular public high schools, sometimes talking with blind students who attend normal classes and sometime talking to students who can see just fine.
Here we are visiting blind students in Argentina who want to hear about our adventure on the bicycle.
Elizabeth (Apr 2013 from Issaquah, WA): Where did you get the idea to go so far on a bike?
We have always loved adventures. Before this trip, we did a lot of rock climbing and mountain climbing. We also love traveling. While we were traveling in Asia with backpacks and bus/train tickets, we met other travelers who rode bicycles. We were curious and bought out own tandem bike:
We took it to California and rode from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean.
It was a lot of fun, so we decided to head in the other direction across the Americas: instead of west to east, we'd travel south to north.
Finn (Apr 2013 from Issaquah, WA): Why do you want to go to Alaska’s tip?
We had the idea that we would start in the most southern city connected by road and finish in the most northern city connected by road. Doing this means we will cover the whole two American continents.
Brendan and Elise (Apr 2013 from Issaquah, WA): Have you ever wanted to give up? What keeps you going?
Sometimes the going gets tough. Luckily, when one of us is feeling low, the other is able to help push through. There was a time in Chile when we were stuck in our tent for 4 days straight because of the rain. This was after many, many other delays.
Christi was starting to think it was all hopeless, but Tauru pushed on and eventually Christi was having fun again.
In Death Valley, Tauru got very sick from the sun and the heat. He couldn’t eat or drink anything and had no energy. Christi asked him to just balance on his seat and guide the handlebars while she pedaled extra hard. When we got to a place where Tauru could finally get a cold soda and a bag of chips, he was feeling better again.
Alyssa (Apr 2013 from Issaquah, WA): Where and how do you take breaks?
We find places along the side of the road. In South America, there were many bus stops that had large benches and shade from the sun which made great places to rest. Sometimes, we just sit right next to the road; but that is not our favorite thing to do.
Matthew, Samantha, Colin, Gwyneth Emily and Alli (Apr 2013 from Issaquah, WA): How many months or years and miles will your journey take you?
We flew to Argentina in December 2011 and started riding our bike on January 19, 2012. We've been on the road for more than 15 months, and we have another 3 months to get to Alaska. We want to be at the northern tip by the end of July, but then we have to figure out how we will get back down. By the time we are done, we will have covered nearly 17,000 miles.
Gwyneth (Apr 2013 from Issaquah, WA): How many people did you meet?
We have met far too many people to count! When people see our big white bike with the trailer, they often want to talk to us about it. We also have to ask lots of people for help: which way to the next town, where is the store, may I camp here? Sometimes, people will invite us to their homes for a meal or to stay the night. There are so many great people in this world!
Wynne and Aryana (Apr 2013 from Issaquah, WA): Did you ride bikes when you were kids? Tauru used to love to ride bikes as a kid. He grew up in California and would ride his bike to the beach every Saturday after spending Fridays cleaning and tuning his bike. Christi never learned how to ride a bike as a kid. She rode a scooter sometimes. Now, at the young age of 32, she is learning how to ride a single bike and hopes to get a cruiser one day.
Elizabeth (Apr 2013 from Issaquah, WA): What's the most amazing thing that you have ever seen?
That is a difficult question to answer because we have seen so many amazing things! One favorite is Machu Picchu in Peru.
It was a city built by the Incas in 1450 with homes, farmland and technology using the sun. The Incas were forced to leave the whole establishment during the Spanish Conquest 100 years after it was built.
Trent (Apr 2013 from Issaquah, WA): How do you two make such a good team?
Spending a lot of time with someone (on the bike, in the tent) really helps you to get to know each other. This is really helpful because when we find ourselves in difficult situations, communication is our best friend. We learn how to tell the other person what we need and we stay aware of what the other person is feeling. Communication, patience and compassion are the most important things to help us not get into fights and to keep going through tough times.
Elise (Apr 2013 from Issaquah, WA): What will happen when you guys are totally blind?
Christi may or may not ever be totally blind. Tauru's vision is gradually getting worse and worse. If we are totally blind, we will learn Braille to read, use a white can and a guide dog to help us travel and learn other skills or methods for doing things. Soon, Tauru will no longer be able to steer a bike, but hopefully we will be finished with this trip before that happens. When he can't ride a bike, he will learn something else that he can do: cross-country skiing, writing, hiking, camping - it's no use being sad about what we can't do. We will find new hobbies or new ways of doing the things we love, like traveling.
Gwyneth (Apr 2013 from Issaquah, WA): What do you like most about your journey and how old are you?
Tauru just turned 43 and Christi is 32. Our favorite part about the journey is meeting all the people along the way. Everyone has something to share and a story to tell. While they are all so different, it is also neat to think how much we all have in common.
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