Fundraising $1.00/mile for United Spinal Association

Posting 1 photo a day to Instagram at

And I went on ABC7 in Los Angeles to talk about it!


Comments: 123 • Responses: 37  • Date: 

badgramajama9 karma

how are you planning to traverse the Darien Gap?

ridewithian5 karma

By zipline! That's a thing, right?

chatshowhost24 karma

There are no major roads on the Darien, just some rural roads, mainly along the coasts. The area is controlled by FARC guerilla and other narco trafficking groups and should be avoided. Seriously dude, you are no help to charity if you are kidnapped. My recommendation would be to cycle to Porto Bello in Panama (on the Caribbean Coast) and get a catarmaran or yacht to Cartagena in Colombia (they leave every week full of backpackers!). In Colombia avoid the Pacific coast. From Cartagena head north to Santa Marta then take the highway south to Bogota. From there head to Cali and make the border crossing with Ecuador at Ipiales. Ecuador is pretty safe on the main roads, so is Peru, although watch out on some of the mountain roads, some huge drops with no safety barriers. Stay safe dude and good luck.

EDIT: Emphasised dangers of the Darien.

ridewithian7 karma

I really appreciate your thorough reply. When my uncle did the gap 30 years ago he loaded all his gear into a backpack and then hiked it/hired dugout canoes for the rivers. Check out the photo!

The rough plan is to follow his route. But I'll keep my eyes open as I head South in Panama. If things are feeling too dicey I'll go around. Your post is very helpful and I'll keep it in mind as an option.

PorkRollQueen5 karma

Why aren't you going with a partner? Even if it isn't someone you know personally, I'm sure there's at least one cycling enthusiast who would go with you. It would be much safer.

ridewithian1 karma

I have plans to meet up with people in Central America. I agree with your sentiment but I do like the idea of forging my own path/being completely independent. So I'm hoping to get the best of both. Thanks for the question!

findwildair3 karma

What bike/specific gear have you chosen for your ride? I'm planning to ride through Patagonia beginning in February, but I have often though of going the full distance from Alaska to Argentina. Just completed about 600 miles on Australia's east coast and loved it, ready for more!

ridewithian2 karma

Just bought a Novara Randonee bike from REI - it's a solid adventure bike you can load with front and back racks/pannier bags (waterproof) with plenty room for clothes and gear. 2 person tent with room to keep all my gear safe inside at night. Good luck to you!

ridewithian1 karma

Novara Randonee from REI - great adventure touring bike with panniers front and back with plenty of room for gear. Roomy 2 person tent to keep my gear safer inside when I camp.

oxfordcircumstances3 karma

What's your route?

ridewithian6 karma

Pasted at the bottom of this page!

-_Chris_-3 karma

I'm sorry to hear about your best friend :(. When do you think you'll finish? Good luck!!!

ridewithian4 karma

Thank you.

Shooting for June of 2017 give or take about a month!

KubrickIsMyCopilot3 karma

How does one go about preparing such a massive undertaking? What are the logistics involved?

ridewithian12 karma

Lots of logistics! I've been working on the ride full time for about 2 months now.

Vaccines for Central/South America


Learning Spanish

Packing for different seasons and climates

Getting all the requisite gear together

Fully loaded training rides

And just trying to figure out how to not die.

Thanks, good question!

KubrickIsMyCopilot1 karma

Are you taking the Baja route to avoid cartels, or some other reason?

ridewithian2 karma

I have heard that it's a little safer. But really I've always wanted to explore Baja.

Corohr3 karma

Do you have someone driving a car behind you with supplies and bike parts?

ridewithian3 karma

Nope, riding completely self-supported. Nice question!

gillybean373 karma

Besides researching safe paths, what other security measures are you going to be taking?

ridewithian5 karma

Well I was going back and forth on bringing a gun for a while. But in the end decided against it.

So travel insurance, travel only by day, call ahead when possible, and just be aware of surroundings. I'll have a tactical knife and bear mace too. Thanks for the question!

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VLHolt1 karma

Are you riding as someone recovering from a spinal cord injury or on behalf of someone who has the injury? Good luck to you.

ridewithian1 karma

On behalf of one of my best friends, Natalie Fung. She has been my biggest inspiration!

banditx192 karma

Wow.... Just wow.... are you going to post pictures and share your journey on reddit? Please do.

ridewithian2 karma

Definitely! Follow my instagram and youtube channel to see it all firsthand

gotts1142 karma

How much baby powder are you carrying with you? Or are you going to be buying as you go along on the journey?

ridewithian6 karma

Trying to get sponsored by Gold Bond - and have them ship to me as I ride. Thanks for the question!

ridewithian1 karma

No I had not heard of him. What a tragedy.

Hoping the outcome of my ride is different.

andreinotes2 karma

Correct me if I wrong: you haven't done a single mile of the ride yet, but claiming that you "riding from Alaska to Argentina"?

ridewithian1 karma

This is a challenging and interesting goal that really motivates me. The biggest challenge was making the commitment to take the time and make the effort to just do it - no giving up.

blake28942 karma

How are you planning to bypass the Darien gap?

Mr_Stan1 karma

¿Puedes hablar español?

ridewithian1 karma

¡Un poquito!

steamedpotatopies1 karma

What's your middle name and have you ever played Chinese Checkers?

ridewithian2 karma

Michael. Yes, Chinese Checkers are the bomb!

koalas_arent_bears1 karma

Riding for Spinal Cord Injury awareness, will you be wearing a helmet to protect your melon while riding?

ridewithian3 karma


YesImChill1 karma

Besides the current one, what is the farthest you've ever cycled and how long did you prep for it?

ridewithian2 karma

I rode 550 miles in one week back in '06. No real training but I was in relatively good shape at the time.

The toughest thing I've found is getting comfortable bicycling with 40lbs of gear - it's a totally different feel!

YesImChill1 karma

That's extremely impressive, do you think cycling has made you more fit than any other exercise?

ridewithian2 karma

I think I enjoy it more than most other types of exercise. And enjoying it is the easiest way to become fit. So just get outside and do whatever you like - swimming, hiking, rock climbing, etc.

Thanks for the questions!

dork-vader11 karma

How long have you been preparing for this ride? Good luck!

ridewithian1 karma

About 2 months now - but I probably could have used a bit more time. Getting out of Prudhoe bay before winter sets in is the constraint right now. Thanks!

luckymanstan1 karma

Do you have a detailed nutrition plan for energy or are you just winging it?

ridewithian3 karma

Just winging it! Planning is a big turn off for me so I haven't really thought past fairbanks in terms of food.

Gaddafo1 karma

Any tips for a beginner cyclist? Ever looked at the rad wagon?

ridewithian3 karma

I did consider taking an electric bike for this trip! But in the end decided against it. I think an Ebike is an excellent idea if you're just getting into cycling because they're a good solution to almost all of the problems traditional bikes have (too uncomfortable/hot, it's dangerous, the distance is daunting, too tiring)

LatvianGiant1 karma

Not sure if you answered this already and I'm too lazy (unlike you) to check, what is your reason for doing this? and how long are you expecting the ride to take you?

ridewithian3 karma

My grandma told me a story about one of her friends who worked his whole life 9-5 for 40 years, retired at age 58, then died a year later.

My friend was sitting in the back of a taxi at 2am when she was blindsided by a drunk driver in a suburban. Now she can't walk.

So don't wait! Just do whatever makes you happy now because you might not be able to later. Whole trip should take about a year

Couchpototo1 karma

Why are you taking a ferry instead of riding through the Yukon?

ridewithian1 karma

Seems like an interesting opportunity! I'd like to rent a kayak and explore the islands a bit with the time I'm saving.

SimplySimpleU1 karma

Why did you decide to do this trek for raising awareness?

ridewithian4 karma

My uncle rode the same trip 30 years ago! He's told me all about his trip so I've always wanted to give it a shot. And SCI awareness doesn't get much coverage. Thanks for the question!

MetaMythical1 karma

What kind of bike seat will you be using? I go for a ride on mine for an hour and I everything goes numb; can't imagine a cross country trip on it.

ridewithian1 karma

Yeah that's always the sorest area for me too, I'm hoping after a few weeks I'll get used to it. But as a general rule:

Softer/plush is better for short rides (less than 20 miles)

Harder is better for long rides (more than 20 miles)

Maybe you can try a softer saddle and see if it helps!

engagetangos1 karma

Have you thought about flying instead?

ridewithian2 karma

No but I am pretty good at photoshop. Maybe if I put myself into enough landscapes...

cjmcmahon1271 karma

Do you know what terrain/road will be like through Machu Picchu? I imagine that would be the toughest portion of the trip.

ridewithian1 karma

Machu Picchu is not along the route but a potential side trip.

AeternumFlame1 karma

  1. Is this your first "big" trip?

  2. Are you riding alone or with someone?

  3. What (or who) motivated you to do something like this?

Thanks for doing this!

ridewithian2 karma

1) It is my first big trip. Longest I've done prior has only been 1 week.

2) Alone until CA - and then I have people who are going to ride with me!

3) Natalie is my main motivation (you can check out the video up above for the story)

Great questions, thanks.

babesuruncle1 karma

How much money have you saved up for this trip? What will your primary expenses be?

ridewithian1 karma

I itemized my budget and it came out to around 8K. And that's with a LOT of camping. And only a few nights a month in hostels. I figure the biggest expenses will be visas at the border, food in North America, and the flights at the beginning/end. Thanks for the question!

attracted_to_rocks1 karma

What do you anticipate the biggest challenge to be?

ridewithian5 karma

Despite all the fearful news reports of narcos etc. the biggest danger is going to be a motorist. Especially South of the border on the Panamericana highway.

I'll look into tertiary roads if its ever feeling too dicey.

Thanks for the question!

Curly_lynx1 karma

Bicycle specs?

ridewithian1 karma

Novara Randonee xxl

BR29251 karma

How long (roughly) will it take?

ridewithian12 karma

Probably at least like 3-4 days!

But I'm setting aside about 10-11 months.

Aerectbannana0 karma

Do you support Trump?

ridewithian1 karma

Nope, I'm a Bernie guy but plan on holding my nose and voting for Pantsuit Nixon.