Trip Purpose: to embark on a grand adventure that brings us rich experiences, connects us with other cultures, pursues a simple lifestyle, and ultimately leaves us with a greater world view.
We began our trip on motorcycles in Fort Collins, Colorado in September 2016. In December 2016, Michelle’s motorcycle broke down on the Mexico/Guatemala border, and we decided to continue traveling on bicycles. Due to the expense of the motorcycle breakdown and the logistics around crossing the Darien gap, we flew to Cartagena, Columbia to begin our bicycle tour. We biked Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru and flew back to Colorado in May 2017. From May to mid October, we traveled in our campervan through the US and Canada. We then took off on our bicycles again in mid October 2017 from Denver. We are currently biking south, hoping to get to Panama by early February.
Interested in our current whereabouts? Click here to see where our SPOT gps tracker last recorded us.
Evan is originally from upstate New York and Michelle is from the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Prior to departing on our trip, we spent the last eight+ years in Fort Collins, Colorado. Our years in Colorado were filled with backcountry skiing, mountain biking, climbing mountains, trail running, and other outdoor adventuring.
Meet Our Bicycles
Our bicycle of choice is the Surly Ogre. We ordered them through the very friendly Yawp Cyclery in Denver, Colorado. We are utilizing Relevate Designs’ Surly Framebag for fat bikes, Viscacha Seat Bag, and Handlebar Harness to hold our gear. We also have a small top tube bag that we bought at Target. We use the Jones H Bar handlebars that came stock with the ’16 Ogre. They allow for great extra storage and we both have our camera bags hanging off of our handle bars and a bag that hold our granola bars/snacks.
Click here to see our bicycle gear packing list
Meet Our Camper Van
We purchased our Sprinter van prior to leaving on our trip. We slowly converted it into a simple, but functional space for us to travel in. Click here to learn more about our van and see the post on our camper van conversion.
Meet Our Motorcycles
We both rode Suzuki DR650’s. We purchased both bikes used on craigslist. We made the following modifications to each bike:
- Installed two LED lights on each side of the headlight
- Mounted a USB charger to the handlebars
- Installed a skid plate
- Installed two side racks to hold saddlebags
- Purchased saddlebags and a Wolfman luggage bag
- Mounted back racks to carry our rear bag
- Re-built the carburetor
- Replaced the stock gas tank with a larger 5.3 gallon gas tank
- Mounted phone holders to the handlebars
- Added hand guards
- Replaced handlebars with a higher bend version
- Purchased and mounted a Cee Baileys windshield
- Replaced chain/sprockets
- Changed air filter
Motorcycle Packing List
Here is our original trip packing list. We learned a lot since we left and since spending so many months bicycle touring. If we were to do this trip again, this list would be much smaller.
Updated: November 2017