LEGENDS OF UTA
Welcome to the new LEGENDS OF UTA page. We think it right that attention should be brought to those who have been instrumental in getting our expedition up off the ground, those who have been incredibly kind to us on our journey, and those whose stories we couldn't help but admire.
First some thanks are in order...
Massive positive karma to Johnny Vaugan Fowler who incredibly kindly lent his beloved Shirly (the Surly Long Haul Trucker) to Guthrie and to Oxford Cycles for servicing said trusty steed.
Even more kudos, if that's possible has to go to Martin at TAVISTOCK CYCLES. Paula, Maria, and Guinevere the Ridgebacks all came from this lovely little shop tucked away off Tavistock Highstreet in Devon. Martin is not only incredibly knowledgable and helped us no-end with our technical preparations, but has been an absolute star in organising and building six new wheels to replace our tired, bruised...and actually broken...current models.
Similarly, we'd like to thank all those who supported our crazy idea with help, advice, patience and all the rest of it - you know who you are!!!
A particularly special mention must go to John and Mitzi Bell, whose unbelievably kind, and in the end rather extended, hospitality in Santiago made an incredibly trying and nervous time tackling some huge technical problems so much easier!
It isn't often that one experiences genuine and un-called-for kindness straight out of the blue. The vast majority of South American people from Argentina to Peru have been lovely, and kind, and interested, but it was in fact Canadian Todd who made the lasting impression. He emerged from the booth behind us in an hotel in Punta Arenas, Chile, lured out by English-speaking voices. He sat with us and our new friend Brian-from-Boulder-Colorado and we mutually quizzed each other about our presence in such a random cityin Southern Chile. After a massive recovery lunch and a cerveza or two had been finished, Todd said his farewells and melted away to pay his bill and leave the restaurant. On asking for our own bill the waitress was dumb-founded. It turns outs Todd and had footed the entire bill without a word. Canadians really are just too nice aren't they...but it was an incredibly welcome gesture for us in new and foreign surroundings!
Though we've been cycling fairly single-mindedly, we have come across some pretty mad people, a few of whom it would be crazy not to share!
The first lunatic we met was an Englishman called Martin Hutchinson - he has been walking for 8 years! Yes, 8 years - from Mexico to Ushuaia. One can ony wonder at any attempt to fit back into English life after that! - this is the only article we've managed to find on this human hiking machine from Southampton!
We seem to be at the head of the Northward-heading pack so meetings with other cyclists has been minimal, however, we have met some truly amazing adventurous spirits. Watari, from Tokyo, has cycled 73,000kms around the world and still has a year and a half to get back to Tokyo. His quads hang over his kneecaps...and just in case 73,000kms doesn't seem impressive, do have a look at Raphael from Poland's website (http://www.rafalkitowski.pl/). He has cycles over 90,000kms all around the world after deciding a decade ago that he wouldn't spend another minute in an Ikea factory. He makes his living by busking where he can, and photographic exhibitions in his native Poland - and he went straight back to Africa as soon as he'd recovered from a life-threatening broken back and facial recstruction after being hit by an African truck driver!
We thought we were crazy but being in a four it seems has allowed us to keep some of our sanity, when we compare ourselves to some of life's meandering souls...on bicycles.
We will be alerting you to any media coverage of Upping The Andes on here.
BBC Spotlight have covered our progress and preperations for the trip ahead. Check out their facebook page to watch it. We will post it on here ASAP!
Local News Coverage links.
Great Yarmouth Mercury