Amazing Young People On Cycling Adventures

On Monday, April 25th, 2011, Bicycle Touring Pro is going to give out it’s second round of travel scholarships to one or two of the amazing young individuals listed below.

In case you don’t know, the Bicycle Touring Pro travel scholarship was created to help young, first time bicycle travelers get the funds they need to finance (or partially finance) their travels and/or purchase the gear they need for their bike touring expeditions.

As someone who started bicycle touring at the age of 17 with very little money in my bank account, I know how just a few dollars put in the right hands can go a very long ways. And that’s what the Bicycle Touring Pro travel scholarship is all about!

That said, the following is a short list of the individuals who applied for this year’s travel scholarship. One or two of these people will be selected as the recipient(s) of this year’s travel scholarship on April 25th.

If you would like to make a donation to this year’s scholarship fund, just click here and donate any amount you see fit. Anything you can give would be greatly appreciated.

And now, without further ado, here are the applicants for the 2011 Bicycle Touring Pro travel scholarship:

Arvin (25) from Mumbai is going to cycle all the way around India! He’ll start in Delhi and travel through Rajasthan and Gujarat to Mumbai. From there he will go down the western coast, up the eastern side, then through the top of the plains, into the Himalayas and back down to Delhi. Approximately 13,000 km in total. In order to promote his travels across India, Arvin has been contacting local media in India and trying to drum up some press about his travels.

Max Andrus is a 27-year-old from Saratoga Springs, Utah who plans to ride his bike around the eastern half of the United States. He’ll start his tour in Manchester, New Hampshire. Then he’ll travel to Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington DC, and then head west through Virginia , Kentucky, and Illinois before finishing in St Louis, Missouri. Max is taking this trip because he wants to meet other people from the United States and to learn more about himself. “This will be a journey to find out what I want out of life”, Max explained. “I’m going to use this trip to make a decision about how I want to make a difference in the world – whether it be by defending the country or by some other means.”

Hap Cameron (29) and Mandy Todd (31) from are embarking on a 3-4 month bicycle touring adventure in Africa. The couple will be flying into Cape Town and cycling north through Namibia, across Botswana and Zimbabwe, and up into Zambia where they will then work for the Bicycling Empowerment Network to turn a sea container into a bicycle workshop for a rural community there. The couple has already raised over $9000 for the project  thus far.

Joseph Mogaji (19)  intends to cycle with his close friend James from Romania to London in 40 days. The route involves passing through: Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany and France. To raise funds for his tour, Joseph has gotten himself a part-time job (in between his University studies) and he plans to raise even more money on his travels, which he plans to donate to the Hope and Homes charity, which works to give orphaned children a second chance at a family.

Umit Orhan Bozyilan (19) from Turkey is about to set off on a long bicycle touring adventure from his home in Instanbul and travel all the way to Delhi, India. Umit got the idea for a bike tour after seeing a traveling cyclist pass by his University classroom window one day. After seeing the lone cyclist pass by his window that day, Umit immediately ran home and began planning his long-distance cycling adventure.

Risa Sibbitt (31) from Missoula, Montana has never been on a bike tour longer than seven days, yet she has plans of cycling from Cuzco, Peru towards La Paz, Bolivia, down through the Salt flats of Bolivia, then towards Torres del Paine Argentina and finishing in Buenos Aires. When asked about the motivation behind her travels, Risa said, “I went to school, got an environmental degree and I spent the whole part of my 20’s living frugally. Then I went back to school and became an emergency room nurse.  I’ve lived enough to say, ‘I know that I’ve always wanted to do this.’ NOW is the time.  So I’m off!

Simon Lindley is a 27-year-old from the UK with plans for circumnavigating Europe on his bicycle. Yearning for a slowed-down lifestyle, one of the places Simon plans to visit on his travels in the country of Slovakia – where his grandmother was born and spent the first few years of her life. “I feel I am at a stage in my life where I need to understand some fundamentals about myself and my family history,” Simon declared.

Claire Bangser and Brandon Hill (23) are going to cycle from Vancouver, BC, to San Francisco, CA on a somewhat squiggly path in order to visit some friends and view some amazingly beautiful places along the way. The couple are hoping to use their journey as a means of developing a “replicable self-facilitated curriculum around environmental interdependence and ecosystem change.” What exactly does that means? Basically, they hope to create a course that cyclists could carry with them in their pockets (or panniers) in order to pull a deeper educational experience from their travels. Pretty cool right?!

Davide Bronzini (28) from Santa Maria di Sala, Italy is planning a cycle trip from Venice to Norway is 50 short days. Having worked since the age of 15, Davide is looking to use the trip as a means of being on his own for a while, taking lots of pictures, and simply experiencing life.


Ally Prout (24) wants to ride her bike everywhere! In fact, she has no end date for her tour. “I hope to ride my bike with my best friend and partner in love, James Witchell, and travel far, wide, and deep into all 7 continents. We want to meet people, learn more about ourselves, and successfully build a balanced life.” Ally admits to having all the ambition in the world, but needs some financial assistance in order to get her dreams out of the garage.

Gary Foxley (23) has big plans after graduating from University. He wants to ride his bike along the classic John O Grants to Lands End route in England. Gary sees this trip by bike as a chance for him to realize that he is capable of so much more. “I cycled when I was in primary school and I remember the pride I got for passing my silver cycling certificate. If I can do something like this that will help to inspire others, then I think I will have that same feeling of pride once again.”

Graham Parker Ansell (24) and Rae Anna Hample (20) have always had an extreme distaste for motorized transport and a preference for fresh air and self-sufficiency. That’s why they are planning a bicycle tour starting in Upstate New York and crossing through the Great Lakes, across Canada to Vancouver, down the west coast to Los Angeles, and home to Albuquerque, New Mexico. Plus, they’re going to be teaching yoga classes and visiting farms along the way! This will be the couple’s first major pedal powered expedition. “A dream several years in the making!”

Rene Held (34) from Melbourne, Australia plans to bicycle the circumference of the American continent in an adventure he is calling “Avenida Panamericana”. Rene’s journey is intended to raise awareness of environmental change, cultural diversity and socioeconomic differences between North and South America. His trip will start at the end of October 2011 and take approximately 2 years to complete. During this time, Rene will film and distribute documentary videos, produced collaboratively with local artists and students, about the countries he is visiting.

Kerstin Martin (22) is part of a team of three young women who are going to cycle across America in order to connect with younger girls and inspire them to get outside and involved with fresh, local food. Kerstin and her riding partners have teamed up with the Girl Scouts in order to achieve this goal. What started as a simple question, “Is it possible to bike across the United States?” is soon to become a reality!

Sarah Mullins (28) has plans of riding her bicycle from Thailand all the way to England in time for the 2012 Olympics. Along the way, Sarah will be traveling through Mongolia, Asia, parts of the silk road, Turkey, Eastern Europe, and several Scandinavian countries before finally finishing her tour in England. Sarah is working to create a website for her tour. She also hopes to use the tour as a means of promoting a green clean world in tune to the 2012 Olympics.

18-year-old Jake Barrett Hupp is planning a trip with his father and brother to the country of Nepal. They plan to trek to the Everest Base Camp and and do a whole lot of traveling throughout Nepal itself. Jake plans to travel on $25 USD or less per day and do volunteer work on farms during his travels.

Canadian Karen Stefanyk (28) plans on cycling from Alberta, Canada to Mexico, across Mexico to Cuba, Cuba to Honduras, across to the west coast and back up to Rio, Rio to Cape town, Cape Town to Morocco, Morocco to Italy, Western Europe, India, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Asia, Australia, and ending in New Zealand. Whew! Did you get all that? When asked about her travel plans, Karen said, “My husband and I are doing this tour for many reasons, which include, self-exploration, travel, to break away from the norm, etc. But honestly, it’s for really one thing. To live simply and appreciate ones’ surroundings in every moment.”

Balakrishna J. (21) from India has plans to take a short 300 km bike tour with his father through his home country. Though English isn’t his first language, he managed to tell me that he plans to cycle with flexible travel plans. He and his father will let the wind blow them in whatever direction… and that just a few dollars is all they need in order to get the gear they need to make their trip come true.

Matthew Holloway (22) and his friend, Carl, are planning to take off on their bikes and ride as far as they possibly can. Apparently, Carl convinced Matthew to go on a 10-week bike tour in Europe a short while back and it was on this trip that Matthew fell in love with bicycle touring. Since that time, the two friends have been making plans to cycle around the world and document their travels on their website at

Mason Gravley (20) is going to spend the summer of 2011 cycling with two friends on a bicycle journey from Fairbanks, Alaska to Orlando, Florida. The trip will consist of 4,700 miles and take approximately 100 days. Like many young bicycle travelers, Mason and his friends plan to do this trip on the cheap. They’ve budgeted about $2,000 for the entire journey (including airfare)… and they even have plans of collecting donations along the way in order to raise money for a Gospel House they want to help build in Uganda.

Simon Whitehead (32) from the UK is currently cycling from Quito, Ecuador, to Ushuaia, Chile. He’s already been run off the road and robbed, but he’s still out there and doesn’t plan to stop until he gets to Chile. Simon’s mom had breast cancer and a close friend of his was recently diagnosed, so Simon is using his bike trip as a means of raising money for the Worcester based charity, Worcestershire Breast Unit Campaign. His goal is to raise 10,000 pounds. You can follow his adventures at:

Nation Harris (20) plans to stick to his home country and then cycle around the world. He’ll travel via bike from Nottingham to the Peak District. From there, he’ll head down south to Land’s End, then follow the coast to Dover and Calais. From Calais he’ll cycle to Amsterdam, Spain, and then continue from there for as long as he can. When asked about the motivation behind his tour, Nation told me “It would give me the chance to take a path that I have dreambt about for several years, to travel the world and meet our brothers and sisters who live on this planet with me. I wish to see the great things this world offers. I also believe that it would build me greatly as a person.”

Finally, Keara Brennan (26) wants to ride her bike from Delhi (India) to Donegal (Ireland). Along the way, she’ll pass through Pakistan (political situation allowing), Iran, Turkey, and Europe. “I’ve tried backpacking, long wilderness sea kayak expeditions and weekend cycle tours and am so excited by this chance to do something a little longer. I think long distance cycle touring is going to provide the perfect opportunity to interact on an equal footing with local communities and cultures as well as enjoy the natural beauty of the diverse regions I’m travelling through.”

So there you have it! This year’s applicants for the 2011 Bicycle Touring Pro travel scholarship.

If you would like to make a donation to the scholarship fund, just click here and enter the amount you wish to contribute. No amount is too small.

And be sure to visit on April 25th, 2011 in order to find out which of the aforementioned young cyclists is the recipient of this year’s travel scholarship!


5 thoughts on “Amazing Young People On Cycling Adventures

  1. Rick Putnam says:

    I have just recently barely survived a computer-pay nightmare that more resembled a drive-thru colonoscopy. I’d like to donate, but I’d prefer to send an old-fashioned check by snail mail. Do you have some sort of mailing address?

    • Bicycle Touring Pro says:

      Hi Rick,

      If you want to send in a donation via standard air mail, you can mail a check to the following address:

      Bicycle Touring Pro
      PO Box 982216
      Park City, UT 84098

      Thanks so much!

  2. Megan says:

    Hey Darren!
    Great blog! I’m doing a story on young Indian cycling enthusiasts with a focus on cycling tourists. Two applicants to your 2011 Bicycle Touring Pro travel scholarship fit the bill perfectly. I’d appreciate if you could please connect me with them so I could get their thoughts and ideas.

    Thank you very much 🙂

    – Megan

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