My name is James Benson-King or for this challenge ‘The Biking Viking’. I am cycling to raise awareness and funds for Cardiac Risk in the Young in memory of Alex Hubbard. I started my journey in August 2022 at the most northernly point in the Americas you can reach by road. Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. The journey will end at the most southernly point in Ushuaia, Argentina. The journey itself will be over 30,000km and I will travel through over 15 countries. I am currently writing an update over halfway through my journey in Ecuador to share some stories and pictures with the community before I finish!
Firstly, I suffered with a heart condition when I was a child. Fortunately, for myself, after two operations, one unsuccessful aged eight and one successful at 16, I was given the all clear. I also lost a university friend to an undiagnosed heart problem. This was when I found out about CRY and decided that I wanted to raise awareness and money for them. I have now completed a few challenges to raise money for CRY but I wanted this one to be my biggest one yet!
There has been so many experiences and adventures along the way that it is hard to write then all down. The one thing that has been a common theme along the way though is the support from people along the way. The whole journey has been filled with people happily helping me from gifting me fruit and water in some of the remotest places in the world to offering me a place to stay within minutes of meeting me. Something about travelling long distances by bike brings people in. I’m not sure why but maybe it’s because they can see how open to the elements you truly are. If it’s raining you keep riding, if it’s windy you keep riding and if the road goes up you start climbing! That’s why when people do offer to help it means so much!
A common question people ask is ‘Have you had any trouble with people along the way?’ or ‘Has your bike broken down yet?’. There has been some situations where maybe the place I was in was a bit dangerous. There has also been some bike troubles along the way. My favourite being when my left crank handle snapped off so I had to ride with one leg for 900km. I could have stopped and waited for a replacement part to be shipped but I’m stubborn and I wanted to keep moving! All these experiences have formed the journey though. Whenever the days do get tough though I remember what I’m doing it for.
This was just a quick write up of the challenge so far. I still have around 12,000km left to cycle to reach the finish line which I hope to finish by February 2024. After which I will do a full write up of the whole challenge!
I am raising funds via Gofundme. If you would like to donate I have put the link below! If you would like to follow the journey you can find me on Instagram and Youtube @_thebikingviking_
Thankyou for reading!
James Benson-King (or The Biking Viking)