Our Favourite Moments: 2022 North American Epic
Sarah Fonger was one of the Content Creators on the 2022 North American Epic. She looks back at some of the rider’s and staff’s favourite memories.
And just like that our 5 1/2 month journey across North America is complete. We have travelled over 13, 000 km and across 9 different countries. We’ve biked through the Arctic, the Rocky Mountains, Mexico, down central America and all the way to Panama City. We’ve made it through harsh winds, hot weather and rainy days. We’ve had both amazing times and tough days. We’ve suffered, we’ve laughed, we’ve smiled and we’ve cried. Before the end of the tour staff passed around sheets of paper that asked riders different questions about their experience. The questions were related to favourite memories, challenges overcome, why they came on tour and what they will miss most when they are back home. Here are some of their answers.
What was your favourite moment(s) on tour?
Judi Treloar (Tuktoyaktuk to Panama City) – Meeting and having photos at a Coke stop with one of Mexico’s female Olympic cyclists.
Marloes Verwijst (Mexico City to Panama City) – Playing a prank on the staff.
Jan Donkers (Mexico City to Panama City) – Randomly spotting wildlife on the side of the road in Costa Rica and roadside encounters with locals!
Inge Ruijs (Tuktoyaktuk to Panama City) – Seeing my first bear. Seeing such a beautiful animal coming out of the woods. Luckily he was more afraid of me.
Tom Perlmutter (Tuktoyaktuk to Panama City) – Stepping into the Arctic Ocean.
What was the funniest moment on tour for you?
Isla McColl (Tuktoyaktuk to Panama City ) – One of my fellow riders, Matt, told me how he didn’t sleep the first night that we camped in Tuktoyaktuk (on concrete next to howling dogs) because he had put his bear spray in his bear box so he didn’t dare leave his tent to pee! He spent the night sitting upright on his bed listening to the howling dogs.
Inge Ruijs (Tuktoyaktuk to Panama City) – The night the gazebos blew away in the storm and we all ran after them. It was funny and scary at the same time. I still see one of the staff, Sime, running after them with his long strides.
David Grassham (Tuktoyaktuk to Panama City) – After waiting to see a bear for so long, thinking that our first sighting was a dog until close up.
When were you most proud of yourself for overcoming a challenge?
Tom Perlmutter (Tuktoyaktuk to Panama City) – I had a bad fall on the Dempster Highway. My handlebar was skewed. I had a massive hematoma on my right thigh. My shoulder ached like crazy. A horde of mosquitoes were enveloping me – and I laughed, really laughed – got alcohol swabs, cleaned myself the best I could, straightened the handlebar, got back on the bike and rode the 20 km to camp that night – I was thrilled!
Grace Zhang (Yuma to Panama City) – I was bitten by a dog in Mexico. After that, I was afraid of riding alone on the road. After a couple of weeks, I was okay to ride alone.
Klaus Jensen (Tuktoyaktuk to Panama City) – When I stood in the Gatwick Airport and found out that my flight was leaving from Heathrow.
What was surprising to you about North America and the countries we have visited?
Cat Hardee (Tuktoyaktuk to Panama City) – I was amazed at how diverse and huge Mexico is!
Beth Butcher – Medic – (Puerto Vallarta to Panama City) – Mexico was really amazing for me – Every day was a fiesta. I don’t think I’ve ever been somewhere with so much culture! Flamenco on the streets of Guanajuata, street performers in Puerto Vallarta, Korean music, mariachi, Zapateca street parade in Oaxaca. All amazing!
Linda Du (Mexico City to Panama City) – El Salvador was not even on my radar and then it turned out to be incredible!
Inge Ruijs (Tuktoyaktuk to Panama City) – How beautiful nature was in Canada and the US and all of the differences between the countries in Central America.
David Grassham (Tuktoyaktuk to Panama City) – Mainland Mexico being nothing like I expected; cooler, less desert and more developed. Guanajuato in particular. A town that I had never heard of was so colourful.
What will you miss the most when you’re back home?
Jan Donkers (Mexico City To Panama City) – Being outside all day everyday in the perpetual sunshine.
Grace Zhang (Yuma to Panama City) – I’ll miss the friends that I made.
Michael Treloar (Tuktoyaktuk to Panama City) – Not being able to sample the diverse food and different beers available.
Philippe Chimounia – Tour Leader trainee – The amazing food, Isla’s “good morning my dear,” and great conversation with inspiring souls.
North American Epic
Cycling from the Arctic Ocean to Panama City will take you through 9 countries and countless variations in landscape, culture, language, cuisine and...