Cyclists on 3 year trek around the globe Arrive in NZ
French Cyclists on 3 year trek around the
Arrive in New Zealand for next challenge
Trio has cycled 32,000 km
from tip of Antarctica to Arctic Circle
Highlights include Amazon, Andes mountains, Sahara Desert
(Phoenix, Ariz.) Morgan Monchaud (27), Siphay Vera (24) and Brian Mathé (24) left their engineering and business management degrees behind for an ambitious challenge: to explore the entire globe by bicycle.
Inspired by his father's trek to Antarctica over 30 years ago, Morgan determined he would someday find a way to journey to the same remote locales as his dad. His infectious enthusiasm led to enlisting his long-time friends Siphay and Brain to accompany him on an incredible physical and mental challenge: to circle the entire globe by bicycle in a span of just 3 years. The team, named Solidream, began their journey around the world in 2010 and has now pedaled over 32,000 km from the tip of Antarctica through the entire South, Central and North American continents. They are now two-thirds of the way through their 50,000 km trek.
Traveling on a budget of just $10 a day, the team relies on the kindness of strangers for shelter, and has inspired thousands with their extraordinary stamina, charm and resilience.
The trio's adventure has already taken them from the thick mud and jungles of the Amazon, the grueling elevations and snowy peaks of the Andes mountains, the dry, desolation of the Sahara, Atacama and Death Valley deserts to the frigid polar regions of the Arctic.
Now arriving in Auckland New Zealand on August 18th, the group will begin the Asia-Pacific leg of their global adventure including traversing the north island of New Zealand. After conquering New Zealand, they will then pedal over 4000 km through the continent of Australia from its southern to northern coasts. Following the South Pacific portion of their journey, Solidream will then pedal through South East Asia, through Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos and then push on through China, with hopes to cross into Tibet. The last leg of their journey will take them through Central Asia via Kirghizstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Finally, the team will ride through Georgia to Turkey with their return to their French homeland in August of 2013.
Photographing and video taping their travels, the group has become accomplished documentarians. Their stunning short film "490 Days of Adventures and Challenges Around the World" was featured this past spring at a film festival in the U.S. and their collection of video shorts can be viewed on You Tube and Vimeo with detailed photos also posted on their Facebook page. They have amassed thousands of Facebook followers and over 100 hosts so far - people from around the globe who have heard their story and welcomed into their homes. The photo gallery is featured on facebook in their "Solidhosts" album.
Upon embarking on their adventure, none of the men were skilled in cycling or particularly trained for survival. But they quickly learned how to repair broken cycle parts, and built their strength and skills day by day. Now, in addition to their cycling prowess, the trio are now accomplished hikers, sailors, surfers with a taste for extreme. All three agree their journey through the Amazon in August 2011 has been the most difficult so far, with oppressive heat, extreme humidity, broken equipment, mud and no means of communication. But their energy and spirit of adventure is infectious and they look forward experiencing the new vistas and peoples that remain to be discovered on the rest of their journey. "We know that life is meant to be lived and the world is meant to be explored. We want to show the world that it doesn't take a lot of money or special skills. Just a desire to take that first step and not to be afraid."
The team can be followed via Twitter, on Facebook as well as their website www.solidream.net.