2015 In Pictures: A Year of Highs and Lows From Patgonia to Oregon

A bike packed full of food, some mountains, and a boy equals one happy girl! Torres del Paines, 2015.

A bike packed full of food, some mountains, and a boy equals one happy girl! Torres del Paines, 2015.

This last year will be remembered by Kevin and I as a year of high highs – from cycling through Patagonia with friends to pushing our bikes up and down rough roads in the Andes – but also, one of incredibly low lows – like when ending our trip early became a reality and I cried for nights on end. 2015 was the year of South America, and all of the wonderful adventures it held, but also, 2015 was the year we began to adjust our thinking from what’s most fun in the moment, to how to accomplish long term goals. It’s been a divided year; a year in which we spent the first six months living in a tent, and the latter half living in an apartment. A year where we had complete freedom for part, and jobs, appointements, and commitments for the rest. A year where we lived in nature, and then a year where we were stuck indoors. This last year has also been the year we lived near family, the year Kevin and I solidified our relationship both on and off the bike, and the year we began to figure out where we want to be in the future. It’s been a year of transitions, and it hasn’t always been pretty, but looking back, it’s also been a hell of a lot of fun.

We began 2015 in Turkey, before quickly making our way down to Ushuaia where we began the South American part of our trip. We spent six months cycling from Ushuaia to Peru, before taking a last minute flight back home where we surprised our families, and started a (temporary) life for ourselves in Astoria, OR. So here it is, our year of adventures from cycling the Andes to canoeing in our own backyard.

2016 will also be a year of adjustment for us; we will be moving again (and are both very excited about this), and with that, we will both be changing jobs as well (plus, I will be going back to school). We are both excited by what this near year will bring, and anxious to start planning our next adventure (spoiler alert, we are in the beginning phases of planning our next three month bike trip). But until then, we are both commited to making more microadventures happen in our attempt to explore our beautiful state. Here is to what 2015 gave us, and to the new year to come.

The Power of Commuting by Bike

“Riding bicycles will not only benefit the individual doing it, but the world at large.” -Udo E. Simonis

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Cycling to work everyday is the best part of my day. It’s thirty minutes where I can’t be doing anything else; where I’m in my own head with the wind in my hair. It’s more than just a cheap way to get to work, it’s a way of life which connects you with amazing people who are interested in the outdoors, responsible living, and an active lifestyle. I commute by bike because I enjoy it. It’s refreshing to begin and end your day on the bicycle, alone on a river path, or zig-zagging through stopped cars. I commute by bike because it does not pollute the air. Because it does not clog up the streets. Because it does not harm our planet. I commute by bike because those thirty minutes twice a day act as an antidepressant. Or cheap therapy. Or just simply time to reflect on your day, year, or whole life. I bike to work everyday because it’s an inexpensive and effective form of transportation and because it encourages a healthier lifestyle. I cycle to work every single day because no matter what the weather looks like, there is no other way I would rather arrive.

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