Reilly Ambassador Phoebe Heveron is embarking on an epic bike adventure from the southernmost tip of Argentina all the way up the west coast to Alaska. She will be sending weekly updates back to Reilly HQ but I managed a quick catch up the day before she left.
Tell me about the trip
We fly to Patagonia and then cycle from the south of Argentina north to Alaska. We need to get to Alaska in summer so if we don’t make it this June we might extend till next June, I don’t know. I have just finished my training as a doctor so I have to decide how long I can be away before it is detrimental to my career.
When we arrive in Ushuaia, the southernmost city, we have two nights in a hotel and I’m going to get sorted with my tracker and kit. We have planned the first section then we will plan as we go along. With Covid things might change and we have to be aware there are some dodgy bits of Central America. The UK Government website says be cautious, but we will just talk to people as we get nearer.
Today everything is very stressful due to the logistics of packing up my house in UK and saying goodbye to everyone but soon it will just be cycling every day.
When I travelled round the world with my mum, we had a deadline as I was starting back at uni in UK so there was pressure to go on but now we don’t have a time limit. We are bikepacking the whole way but I know it can be exhausting moving every day and putting the tent up so we may have 1 or 2 days off a week. We will stop or stay in a hostel, use their kettle or even go to cinema….
How have you prepared for the trip?
Well, Reilly have sorted out my bike.
(Reilly mechanics took her Gradient and added Strada All Season wheelset with SP Dynamo hub & Conti Terra Speed tyres, Cinq Plug5 Plus USB port, Exposure Lights dynamo lightset, mechanical Shimano Ultegra upgrade, Surly NICE front & rear racks, steel adventure fork and titanium seatpost!)
I didn’t realise how wet Patagonia is going to be and it will be cold although it is summer so I have taken lots of layers. As we go north it will get warmer and I may send stuff home. I’m taking a tent rather than a bivvy. I’m going with my boyfriend and a friend and they are taking their surfboards. We are all surfers and they want to surf in Chile and Central America.
I have also been learning Spanish. I bought a text book and I have been doing Dualingo.
Don’t they speak Welsh in Patagonia?
Yes and I know a bit of Welsh so that’s good.
Are you worried about getting ill?
Not really but I suppose that’s because I’m a doctor, I have packed a full first aid kit with strong insect repellent and we have these jazzy nets that attach to our helmets.
I am a bit worried about altitude sickness when we get to the Andes and rabies. If you get bitten by a dog with rabies you need an antidote really quickly.
What are you most excited about?
It’s such a great way of life, you get up ride your bike, see places, go to sleep and you eat loads!
Follow Phoebe, Tim and Christian on Insta @kooks.on.bikes
Track at https://maps.findmespot.com/s/KTDC