Bicycling to South America, or Just Down the Street

From the Start Your Week with Steve Newsletter of Steve Henderson Fine Art:

Steve Says:

Where is the day’s road taking us? Blue Ribbon, original watercolor by Steve Henderson

“I have bicycled to and through South America three times. The longest trip, taken in my 20s, started in Alaska, ended in Argentina, then continued as Ted (my biking buddy) and I headed back up to Buenos Aires, flew to Florida, then returned to Oregon the long way, heading north to Maine then turning west. It took two-and-a-half years.

“You learn a lot about yourself, the quality of bicycle tires, and Spanish grammar in a trip of this length. Although my Spanish is rusty, the life lessons are in full application, because what I learned on these trips set up the foundation for who I became as an adult:

  • “No matter how hard you want to, you will not accomplish the entire trip on one day. Or two. Or a month.
  • “No matter how slow you go, as long as you keep going, you will eventually make it to your destination.
  • “No matter how many hills you have climbed (and one of our hills was Ticlio Pass, 15,807 feet in the Peruvian Andes), someone is sure to tell you that this next hill, the one outside their town, is too difficult to tackle.
  • “You may have a specific destination on mind for that evening, or the end of that week, when someone spontaneously asks you to stay. The destination will still be there. Focus on people.
  • “And most importantly: do not talk about what you wish you could have done, and regret not doing it your entire life. If you have a dream, seek a way to fulfill it.

“Life. Every day of it is a journey.”

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