How did the idea of the expedition came up?
It all begins back in Christmas 2016. Actually a little bit earlier … I was in Spain doing a working season in Ibiza. Already with a ticket to Australia in my hand and with the fixed idea of crossing the country with a motorhome as soon as I could.
Still in Spain, one day I forget my wallet on the beach, losing so, all my documents, including my driver’s license. While organizing everything to fly to Australia I made every effort to be able to process a duplicate license but every attempt was in vain. It had to be in person and in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The idea of the motorhome faded. I knew clearly that I was not going to sit for an exam to get a new license in Australia and that this, was a sign that life was giving me. I had to think in a B plan.
That same Christmas I receive as a gift from my sister a book called “Australia sobre ruedas” ( Australia on Wheels ), written by Ivan Faure. A Spaniard who tells his experience traveling by bike from Perth to Sydney.
I had already made a first bike tour experience back in 2015, traveling almost 400 kilometers along the coast of Uruguay. This ended up giving sense to all and made me arrive Australia with the new idea of wanting to cross the country by bike.
Australia always caught my eye. As a kid and as many of my age for sure, influenced by the NatGeo. Later on, I was attracted by the idea of knowing what it meant to live in a country where things supposedly worked. At least that was the perception I had from close friends personal past experiences. I ended living 9 months working in Sydney and I had the opportunity to corroborate this.
At first, the idea was to travel from Perth to Sydney. Then the route lengthened and reached Cairns until it ended up being the whole country. This was because while doing my research, I realized that there were more and more places I wanted to visit and because people started to join, which gave me, even more, confidence for going for the big adventure. First it was Aleix, whom I met while working. We both did food delivery by bike back then and met in these strange life encounters doing a drop to the same person at the same time from different restaurants. Then Franco, my brother, who was always a bike addict. We talked a lot to catch up and in many opportunities, he told me he was not having a good time in Argentina. He just wanted to ride his bike around the world. Obviously, I convinced him to go for it together. And finally Maxo, who one day surprised me with a Skype call and said he loved the idea and wanted to join to help document the trip.
Another reason why is that I consider Australia to be still little explored. Infinite roads and landscapes that call for a constant state of reflection and to finding yourself.
The historical fact is also a reason. Australia as such is barely 116 years old. Before the colonization, it was inhabited for more than 40 thousand years by the Aborigines that today live in a really adverse scenario. I experienced this throughout our first bike tour experience in the Northern Territory. Learning and get to know more about their history and culture is something that also drives me to cycle around the country.
On the other hand, the Australians are very friendly towards tourism. On the road, one is constantly meeting travelers willing to help. In our first experience in the Outback, where we pedaled under extreme temperatures and had little access to water, this was something that attracted our attention. Cars stopped, even without receiving any signal from us, to ask if we were well or needed something. Being this our first long-distance bike touring experience, this is not minor fact.
Franco always repeated me: _ “we have to start somewhere” and I agree, so I like to rephrase the question … Why not Australia?
What are you looking for with the project? What is your role?
Many things. I will start with the personal ones … I contemplate it as a spiritual retreat, a journey to learn from life and its simplicity. Make me stronger by overcoming the adversities that will appear every day. Learn to live happy with the minimum and indispensable and reach that connection to the world that while working in an office I can’t get to.
As for the project itself, I see it as the gathering of everything I like. I spent my childhood in the mountains. Our holidays were always hiking, camping and adventure. This made me have that adventurous spirit always present: the desire to travel and explore the world.
On the other hand, I formed myself in communication, that is what I am passionate about. Thinking of ideas and creative pieces is what I like to do.
That is why for me it is not just a trip, it’s a project. A desire to adopt a lifestyle to achieve the ultimate will that is to travel the world.
With Bikings I seek to live the way I like, doing what I know how to do and I am passionate about.
My role is everything that involves the communication of the trip. From design, text writing, social media, creating new communications during the journey and talking with the brands involved.
What kind of preparation do you carry out?
I arrived Australia in 2016 knowing already what I was wanting to do. So the first thing I did was finding a job that would allow me to make money and train at the same time. I worked for 8 months doing bike deliveries. Basically, I spent more time cycling than walking or doing anything else. In my last month and before returning to Argentina we did with Aleix a pilot trip in the Australian Outback, the Northern Territory.
After a quick visit to Argentina, I flew with my bike to Costa Rica. I lived there about 6 months where I did a work experience in a digital advertising agency. Changing my routine from cycling every day to doing so only in the days that didn’t rain (the rainy season lasts 8 months in San José and it is a daily fact, with no exceptions ) and I left the office, made it quite more difficult but I always kept on training whenever I could. Being there, I had the opportunity to travel to Cuba for 10 days and do another bike-touring experience of almost 500 km around the island.
Today, settled again in Argentina, I cycle almost every day to keep up with training. I think the most important issue towards the endurance of the expedition is to be mentally healthy and have the ideas clear. It will be very important to start cycling consciously and be patient towards the body: listen and respect it.
What sacrifices does such a project imply?
Like any new project, there are many stages. Today we find ourselves sharing this interview but there was a big work behind it until we got here. From the planned route, communicating daily with brands, the website and social media account design, copies, etc. Many months of hard work and effort. Being 4 involved, all effort is double. Besides, we spent plenty of time each of us living in different parts of the world. Arranging video calls and meetings was always difficult.
As for the expedition, I personally don’t contemplate it as a sacrifice. I only dream of being in Perth and feel the freedom when making the first km on the road. I don’t feel like I’m leaving something behind. On the contrary, I feel that I am going towards something: something new and full of magic.
What would be a successful trip?
You can plan and predict plenty of things but in an adventure of these characteristics, there will always be new challenges and situations where you will have to learn from scratch and in that same moment to be able to overcome them. I figure success as being well with myself, the group and always being faithful to the conviction of doing this because it is at this moment what I want and makes me happy. If at one point I feel the opposite, it will be time to rethink things.
Do you have fears towards the project? Which ones?
My fears today are logistic issues more than anything. All things we solve in the day to day. But personally and towards the trip, I would say I don’t feel any kind of fear. Well maybe yes, fear of snakes.
What will be the key to complete the trip?
Being well-prepared physically is really important but I think the main issue is the head. We are going to be at nature’s mercy and its random changes every day and we must be very strong to prevent falling mentally when facing the adversities.
Many months of getting up every day and give our maximum. Physically and mentally. A day to day that can sometimes be routinary, facing quite monotonous landscapes in very long stretches.
The team union and support will be key. We need to be on the same page at all time. If someone falls, do everything we can to get him back to positivity again. I would say that the human spirit and unity of the group will be the most important thing.
What expectations do you have towards the group?
The best ones. I value each one of the members of the project: as individuals and as professionals. It is not easy to find 4 friends that yearn with the same desire to face a challenge of these characteristics together. That means a lot and is beautiful. All three have their own personal light and incredible human values and I feel that next to them I will learn a lot.
What do your peers think about the decision?
For sure many think we are crazy. What makes me happy is that when sharing the project with others, they tend to get even more excited than us and many want to join. I have plenty friends I made in Australia and friends from Argentina that tell me they will join in a certain stage. That would awesome and a dream.
What is the future of Bikings?
We need to make the first step first, that is to live the adventure. Everything else is just fantasy, which I have obviously, but today I try to focus more on reality and in the near future. In giving the best of me towards the group and do everything as I can to make this project possible.