Scot Colburn and Matt Baumeister, the
"Bike Hobos", stopped in San Felipe for a
cup of coffee and a visit to The
San Felipe Title Company, just another small-town
breathing spell for the two adverurers during their
ambitious one year, 16,000 bicycle trek from Prudhoe
Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina. North to south, these
locations are the two furthest points one can reach
After over 6,000 miles, the two men looked
cheerful and optimistic, although a few holiday hiatus
periods have put them about three months behind schedule.
But why worry? If the two cyclists managed to average
about 70 miles a day, they would be applying a mere
15,000-20,000 leg-strokes between breakfast and dinner.
Below is an article that appeared in the
Lincoln Journal Star describing the adventure. You can
visit their website HERE.
Lincoln man riding bike
from Alaska to Argentina
By MICAH MERTES / Lincoln Journal Star
Tuesday, Dec 25, 2007 - 12:24:08 am CST
A trek from the top of Alaska to the bottom of Argentina
isn’t exactly light traveling.
Especially when you’re on a bike.
But for Matt Baumeister, a 29-year-old lifelong Lincolnite,
a two-wheeled journey was the only way to go. “It
was just something I decided I had to do,” he said.
“I kind of changed my plans overnight, bought myself
a bike and started planning the trip.”
began his self-financed Pan-American Highway bike ride
in June, a 16,000-mile stretch from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska
— the farthest north you can get in North America,
on a road, anyway — to the road’s end at Ushuaia,
Argentina, the world’s southernmost city. He had
just graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln
in May with a degree in geography, a discipline that’s
proved handy in his venture.
As of now, Baumeister and his riding partner, Scot Colburn
of Boulder, Colo., have covered more than 5,000 miles,
about one-third of the total trip. He arrived back in
Lincoln right before Thanksgiving to take a few weeks
off for the holidays. And he’ll continue the ride
south after the new year, hopefully making it to Argentina
by next Christmas, he said.
“It’s been really nice being back,”
Baumeister said. “Seeing my friends and family.
But I’m ready to get back on the bike.”
Hindered by icy roads and weighed down by the unforgiving
aftereffects of ingesting ham and turkey, Baumeister hasn’t
been on a bike since he came home. Basically couch-bound,
he’s eager to burst back into mobility.
The irony of Baumeister’s cycling addiction is
that he actually did very little biking before the trip.
“Believe it or not, I hadn’t ridden a bike
more than 10 times in the last 10 years before the trip,”
he said. “And those were just jaunts with friends.
I wasn’t in great shape before I left, so I lost
about 15 pounds in the first few weeks.”
Scott and Matt
in San Felipe
But he did have quite a bit of experience in travel,
having backpacked in several countries before.
The bike ride was planned so that the pair rode through
moderate weather most of the way, avoiding the unbearable
cold of the north by passing through in the summer. And
now they’ll dodge the boiling temperatures of Central
America by traveling in the winter.
Decent weather was vital because Baumeister and Colburn
spent most of their nights outdoors, either camping or
sleeping on park benches. Of their 140-plus days on the
road, they’ve stayed in a motel only twice.
“Another thing is we meet a lot of cool people,”
he said. “And they’ll sometimes let us stay
at their homes. It’s been great just stopping in
these small towns in the middle of nowhere, hanging out
in cafes, meeting the locals. We ride into town, and we
look haggard, and we smell. And people get very interested
and sometimes very generous. We do get called crazy sometimes,
If they find a town they like, they’ll stick around
for a few days. If they need to rest, they’ll rest.
The only absolutes are point A and point B. Everything
in between is fluid and spontaneous, Baumeister said.
Originally, they were going to ride for charity, but
the arrangement didn’t gel. So now they’re
riding across 16,000 miles, 14 countries and two continents
to just, well ... ride.
“The million-dollar question,” Baumeister
said, “what everyone always asks us: ‘Why
are you doing this?’ I guess I’m just fascinated
with people and places. I absolutely love that feeling
of displacement, the feeling of being in an odd place.
And when you’re riding, you just sort of get to
meditate. Your mind shuts off, and you just roll down
the road. You think about things you normally wouldn’t.”
He said his thoughts and conversations with Colburn run
the gamut from Britney Spears’ latest hijinks to
the existence of God.
“From the most trivial things to the ultimate questions.”
So what happens when the trip’s over a year from
“I have absolutely no idea. But I’ve got
a lot of time to think about it.”
by Micah Mertes at firstname.lastname@example.org