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Oct 28

10,000 KM PARTY!

Me and my buddy Brandon at the 10,000 km mark of the Tour de Zack y Tony. Near Tecpan, Guatemala

After 10 months and 23 days, five countries, 62 blog posts and more flat tires than I care to recall, Tony and I found ourselves in the highlands of Guatemala when it finally happened.  We slowed the bike down to a crawl and watched with childish delight as our trusty odometer finally ticked over from 9,999.9 to that gloriously round number of 10,000.  The Tour de Zack y Tony had just hit 10,000 km.

 

It was a day that we had once thought would never come, a badge of honour we had once thought we would never wear, but there we were, on the side of the Inter American highway, getting ready to pop the cork on a bottle of Champagne as we inducted ourselves into that exclusive and coveted club of elite touring cyclists.

10,000 km is a number so big, a distance so vast, that it is nigh impossible for people to conceptualize it.  According to my sister it is only 9939 km from Guam to San Diego, CA, USA.  From Brighton, UK a 10,260 km drive will get you to Beijing, China.  From Melbourne, Australia you would have to drive to Cairns the longest way around via Perth, Broome, and the Northern Territory, and then you would still only have 9564 km to show for it.  Cape Town, South Africa to Libya: 9993 km; Vancouver, BC, Canada to Halifax, NS, Canada: only 6052 km.  That 10 min walk to the shop?  You’d have to do that twice a day every day for over 27 years.  

 

In short:  It’s kind of a big deal.

 

 

The very second the odometer ticked over to 10,000 km, Tony and I pulled over to the side of the highway and dug out the bottle of Champagne that we had procured from Xela a few days earlier.  (Ok, ok, it was sparkling wine from Chile, but as long as it bubbled and contained alcohol we weren´t going to complain.)  Before I popped the cork though I was joined by a friendly and charming boy named Brandon, who would be my +1 for this special occasion.  As I sat there explaining to Brandon why I was so happy, and why he couldn’t have any of the champagne, I marveled at all the decisions, all the indecisions, and incredibly long series of events that had conspired to bring me to this exact spot on this exact day, so that I could “share” a bottle of wine with this exact boy.

 

“Seems like just yesterday you rode away from my house,” my sister told me, and I had to agree.  In many ways it does not feel like I have been on the bike for nearly a year, but I only have to think back and reminisce about my journey, step by step, stage by stage, to appreciate the full extent of how far we have come.  I thought back to that first night on the road just north of San Diego, camping with Ruben in an empty field behind a Mexican restaurant because we had been kicked out of a campground in South Carlsbad.  I didn’t have a clue back then what I was in for, I had had no idea what to expect.

 

I guess we really have come a long ways…

 

PS:  Tony and I haven’t made it this far on our own.  I would like to take this moment to redirect everyone’s attention to THE THANK YOU LIST and to thank once again everyone who has helped us along our way so far from the Golden Gate in San Francisco to here in the Highlands of Guatemala.  Also we would like to make a shout out to all of our BIKE BUDDIES we have met on this trip along with all the other wonderful people and travelers that we have been lucky enough to meet along the way.

 

Arriving fashionably late to the 10,000 km party, these boy couldn´t quite believe that the happy, energetic white guy in front of them had just finished riding a bicycle 10,000 km

Sun setting behind a volcano at the end of our 10,000 km day.

 

1 comment

  1. Andy Morton

    Congratulations, Zack. Here’s to the next 10,000 and everything in between.

    Andy

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