Congratulations to Mark Beaumont for finishing yet another interesting trip. He climbed Denali (mt McKinley), then cycled most of the way to Argentina, climbed Mt Aconcagua (another one of the “7summits”), and continued to Ushuaia, the most Southern point in the Americas. This had not been done before and he even raised money for charity on this well-publicized trip. Good for him.

I just read some news pages and noted several people’s critiques, already during and now also after his trip. About how his trip was sponsored, what kind of person he is, about publicity. I left a comment on one of the Bike news sites and will copy that here and expand a bit as I think it might be interesting for other BikeTravellers:

We met Mark in Guatemala and had a nice dinner together (photo here). By that time we were already more than a year on our way and now he is finished, we are still in Venezuela :)

Yes, there are more people cycling the Americas (actually many are in contact regularly for tips, help etc), but every trip is different. Different route, different motivations, different people, different journey. All the critics should maybe try it before they complain about anyone? I promise it will change your outlook on life and view of others. See http://OnTheRoad.biketravellers.com for a regular updated collection of cycling stories or open your own blog here on http://Biketravellers.com.

It is so easy to complain and judge without even meeting a person or doing anything yourself. And yes, there will also be critique from others who have actually done something themself, because they feel the need to show that their way is the only right way. I know from experience that this is true for any physical or mental endeavour, whether it is a cycling trip or climbing the 7 summits.
Just let it go, enjoy your own short life while you can and get out there, whether on a bike, walking or whatever. If you do it for yourself? Great. If you can help somebody else at the same time? Great. If you do or write anything interesting, I’ll find you on Twitter and get inspired by you and will defend you from the naysayers. And if you rase one penny for charity? Good for you. If you don’t? No worries.

Cycling in Alaska

The only thing I agree with is that James Bowthorpe did not get enough attention, but you cannot blame Mark for that, that’s a bit silly. How many complainers did Tweet/notify/ their favourite newspaper/website about James? Would take less time than bitching on a news site about somebody else.

Anyway, congratulations to Mark for doing what he did. I had the same plan 10 years ago. I did climb both mountains (twice), but did not cycle between them until now. His journey was different than mine would have been and that’s great.

Mark is a nice guy in person. You should try to meet up with him (or anybody you attack as a person) for Pizza and a beer. At least you would know a person for a bit and can judge him/her afterwards if you feel the need, but what’s the point? Leading by example is not the best way to influence people, it is the only way. (correction: Einstein’s quote was actually: Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means“)

Happy riding, cheers from Chavez country
Harry

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