Hopping across the US-Mexico border on a Greyhound bus is merely a hiccough when your bike trip measures 8132 miles through Alaska, the US, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama.
Alex Godfrey and Andrew Finlay began an epic cycling journey on the Arctic shore in Deadhorse, Alaska on August 2nd. They won't stop until they reach Panama City in March 2010. They're on a mission: to seek out people in diverse environments and uncover their successful methods of sustainable living.
Godfrey, who was born in England in 1983 and raised in France, and Finlay (known as "Fin") who grew up in the UK and has a handful of years on Alex, are no ordinary trekkers. Alex is a master of biodiversity conservation, and Fin is an environmental advisor and manager. They are recording their journey in film, in photo and on a blog as they lay the foundation for the upcoming "Going South" documentary [Trailer HERE]. It will chronicle their discoveries as well as those of their counterpart duo who are currently biking through South America. The two teams combined will traverse the hemisphere longitudinally, from Arctic Sea to Antarctic Sea.
The two altered their planned border crossing when border officials and other locals warned them about the violence in North Mexico. Godfrey quips: "...two 'Gringos' on bicycles with plenty of easily sold gear would be like hanging the proverbial carrot in front of the 'Bandito's' noses."
They adapted their plan with solid problem-solving skills, making arrangements with Greyhound bus to bus through northern state of Chihuahua to its capital. This meant dismantling their bikes--not intended to be easily disassembled--and crating them for transport.
Good fortune led them to biking enthusiast West Cosgrove. He heads Project Puente, a nonprofit organization specializing in introducing visitors to the inner dynamics and social issues of the El Paso-Juarez border. Godfrey assessed Cosgrove's assistance with gratitude: "[West] gave us an objective overview of the current situation and made the whole passage as stress free as possible."
The duo arrived safely in Chihuahua ahead of schedule.
The website "Going South--cycling through the Americas" follows both biking pairs on the epic journey. Ecologically sustainable project samples they are investigating are explained on the site in six categories. Projects include everything from ACAI berry production to fully biodegradable diapers.