My husband, Ville, and I, Kristen, completed a bicycle journey lasting 20 months and over 18,215 miles before returning to Bend, Oregon, the place we started from. We flew with bikes up to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska (the northernmost point of the Americas with a road) June 25, 2016 and rode into Bahia Lapataia, Argentina (the very end of the road) Feb. 17, 2018. We had everything from close encounters with bears, dog attacks, a bought with dengue fever, and more wild adventures! We biked from 300 ft up to over 16,000 ft crossing the Andes 6 times in Peru alone. And we are back! Ready to share our stories and harrowing tales with you. Please join us this Saturday, (tomorrow) Sept. 29th at The Deschutes Public Library (downtown Bend) at 1pm for an hour-long presentation with pics/stories/film and Q&A. Free admission, donations gladly accepted. Please help us to get the word out and bring friends. See you there!
Finally, an update! Sorry guys, both Ville and I have been a bit busy. Not necessarily with fun things, but the transition back to real life. And we have been going down kicking and screaming.
First, we have finally finished our beloved house remodel! It took far longer than we would have liked and with a lot of love and help from friends and family. Lots of late nights, and working through weekends, up on ladders painting and repainting, but it's finished. And we have it on the market and are really hoping to find a great buyer, who will love and cherish it as much as we do. It's a fantastic house, in the best neighborhood walking distance to everything, and for those that know us, know we went all out. Planning to have a potluck soon with all our pals to celebrate!
I made this fun little before/after slideshow to see just how far we have come, enjoy!
Second, we are both now back working. I worked as a real estate broker a few years and as a teacher for many years before that, before pulling the plug on work and heading off on our 2 year bicycle jaunt. Somewhere in Southern Argentina, I was able to update my real estate license so as soon as we came back to Bend I was able to begin working right away. Thanks to my long history in Bend, born and raised, with a giant social network that's far reaching, I have been able to remain busy helping to sell and helping those looking to buy. A giant THANK YOU to all of you that have sent me referrals, contacted me for work and allowed me to be a part of your housing adventure!
Ville just started last week at Market of Choice in Bend. He is a jack-of-all trades there. Having injured his already bad knee helping a friend frame houses for a week after his return from Finland, we both realized how important a job with health insurance is. Thanks to him, we both now have health insurance. It's not his forever job, but will get us by for the moment.
As for our promised Book, I'm sorry to say we are really trying to tread water while our house sells and I haven't had much time to break back into it. This makes me really sad and I am trying to remain driven to finish, but until our house sells, it just has to be on the back burner. However, we did just order a new computer that will allow me to organize and finish the book a lot easier than a little Chromebook. And Ville is beginning work on a documentary of the ride! It's been in his plans most of the journey, he will now have the time to compile all the video footage we shot along the way. So stay tuned...
For those of you in Bend, Ville's second segment, The Right Side Of Normal, was selected for the Bend Bike Film Festival. The festival will be tomorrow, Friday Sept. 7th at 6pm at the Tower Theater. Last year, Ville's first segment of the film also made the film festival, but we were unfortunately already back on bikes heading south through Columbia and my parents went in our place. So we are pumped to be able to attend this year. So come one, come all, and celebrate how cool bikes are with us!
K.G. & Ville
In Helsinki, Finland still writing the Book
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” - Hunter S. Thompson