You bring out the best in us.
Pam and Nate
Vahana, our current bike+train+bus adventure. India–>Nepal–>Bhutan
Vāhana (वाहन, skt. that which carries, that which pulls). In Hindu iconography, positive aspects of the vehicle are often emblematic of the deity that it carries. We liked this name for obvious reasons. ~1,300+ miles from New Delhi, East to West over 35 days. These will be what we call adventure miles. Those that can not be predetermined until we get there. To see updates, presuming they get posted from the road, please visit melloajello.com/vahana.
Microadventure (service mark Alastair Humphreys)
Not So Average Saturday Night. We were getting a little stir crazy and burned out on the daily grind followed by weekends of wedding planning. We needed some quiet time away from… Well, everything.
We rode our bikes 250 miles to Belize from Cancun in December 2011. It was Nateon’s 1st time bike touring in Mexico since Spinning Southward, and he got to share his love of the culture. This is also the most challenging ride we’ve had together, 50 miles through a jungle that was apparently the home to jaguars, some parts in pitch black with only our puny headlamps to guide us. Snakes, scorpions and lots of mosquitoes. Of course, this was also our most rewarding ride so far, getting through the jungle, crossing the border and rivers with bikes in tow. Nateon showed me a lot of patience, we experienced much kindness and enjoyed learning about another culture together.
In August 2011 we each visited Europe for the very first time. It was a brief visit, but we managed to enjoy some of the countryside, seeing many fishermen and piazzas as we rode our bikes from Milan to Genova. This is the same trip where we experienced extreme kindness from an older woman, Anna, who brought us espresso as we cooked breakfast on the side of the road! The crowning achievement of this trip was cycling west over Aveto Natural Regional Park, we rode uphill for a full day, climbing from sea level to over 4500 feet through some very beautiful Italian countryside. We loved Italy and their cycling culture, kind people and, of course, the food. Next, to Sicily, to see where those Ajellos come from…
Mount St. Helena
elevation 4,432 feet
This might be where we really fell in love. Mount St. Helena was our first bike tour together the day after Thanksgiving 2008. Nateon set up Pam’s carbon fiber Specialized bike with a trailer (to not put too much weight on the rear axel) to haul some gear and we pedaled for ~12 hours the first day through some serious mountains that separate Sonoma and Lake county. When we (finally) reached the top of Helena, we were wiped out, it was nearing dark, and almost out of water–and we learned, the downhill portion of the path was gravel. I jack-knifed for hours getting down from the mountain, but couldn’t stop laughing — I was really just so happy to be out there. This trip taught us we could keep our sense of humor in tact even in stressful situations.
The first tour after my knee surgery was from Massachusetts to Vermont. This was an opportunity for Nateon to see my home in some very New England conditions . . . it was nearing the end of October. We set out into the chilly air, feeling alive and enjoying the beauty of New England in Fall. Finding places to sleep was a little challenging, but we managed, as we passed old industrial towns, quaint churches, beautiful streams and dense forests. We wound down the ride in Vermont and a Nor Easter (Nateon had never heard of one of these = BIG snowstorm) set in. A few days later we returned to the comfort of our cozy San Francisco apartment with a new appreciation for the temperate climate in which we live.
Park City is where we first met in January 2007. Pam was working in an Ice Lounge for The North Face at the Sundance Film Festival and Nateon visited only a few months after returning from Spinning Southward –his 10,000 mile bike tour. Along with our friends Allison, Paul and Ben, we enjoyed skiing and snowboarding, music and film–realizing our similar interests and close kinship.
The Summer of 2008 was when we got to know each other. We spent many weekends camping in Santa Cruz and enjoying meals at Charlie Hong Kong, Nateon’s Aunt and Uncle’s delicious restaurant along with cousin Zach, friends Paul, Ben and Miguel. One visit we decided to ride down from San Francisco for the adventure, which made arriving even better and solidified our bike-bond. These wonderful summer days were pretty magical..the days felt especially long with some mornings jumping into the Pacific, evenings of music by the campfire and imaginative, wonderful friends.
I remember my first visit to Santa Rosa as Nateon and drove back from a weekend in Tahoe and I dropped him home. We chatted for an hour and he kindly made tea to keep me caffeinated for the drive back to San Francisco. I was mesmerized by his father Don’s whimsical art throughout the house and happy to meet their 18-year old cat Marcelus. Months later, when Nateon had borrowed my car, I rode my bike from San Francisco towards Santa Rosa hoping to impress him. While I left late in the day and only made it about 38 miles to Petaluma…he intercepted me in the dark while I waited by the cows and took me to a local party where he explained I had ridden in by bike (and appeared impressed).
Point Bonita is located at the entrance to the San Francisco Bay next to the Golden Gate Bridge, and was the last manned lighthouse on the California coast. When I first moved to San Francisco I rode across the bridge, over Hawk hill, and over to Point Bonita, and thought it was one of the hardest things I’d ever done. Nowadays we can do the loop in a couple hours and enjoy seeing the pristine natural landscape so close to our front door. (And of course the views of the iconic bridge and the city is always inspiring)
Bike Related Projects
No Results Found
The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.
Bike Blog Posts
What is it like to live every day on a bicycle for 16,000 miles?“Spinning Southward” is a documentary film following three bicyclists who traveled from the far northern shores of Prudhoe Bay, Alaska through 13 countries to Ushuaia, Argentina in support of the National...
Expedition Documentary Technology, Then and Now – Part 1: “Spinning Southward Profiles – Los Tecnicos”
When I joined Spinning Southward and started the 10,000 mile ride south with my camera and laptop, I thought my problems would be finding clean water and fighting off banditos, not trying to figure out where to fix technology in Latin America. Yet that was pretty...
This Thursday, November 8th, the Lafayette Library and Learning Center will feature Spinning Southward at the Art & Science Discovery Center located at 3491 Mt. Diablo Boulevard, Lafayette, CA 94549. The screening will begin 6:30 p.m., followed by a brief Q&A...
We definitely were not the first, or the last, to ride our bikes from Alaska to Argentina. We weren't the fastest . . . like Emmanuel Gentinetta, who still has the world record for the fasted solo bike tour for the famed 16,000 miles of Pan-American highway. He...
With this new trailer I am pleased to continue the launch of the Spinning Southward Film DVD released over the summer. After nearly 6 years of editing, awareness events and preparation, the Spinning Southward adventure is available in feature length format on DVD at...
http://gearjunkie.com/worlds-best-bike-touring Spinning Southward and other long distance bike tours featured on GearJunkie.com
In honor of National Brain Tumor Awareness Month and National Bike to Work Month, I am pleased to announce the official launch of the Spinning Southward Film DVD. After nearly 6 years of editing, awareness events and preparation, the Spinning Southward adventure is...
Not too long ago Pamela and myself were getting a little stir crazy and burned out on the daily grind followed by weekends of wedding planning. We needed some quiet time away from... Well, everything. It was already Saturday, and Saturday night was fast approaching. ...
Photos by Pamela Bennett Exhibit at the Sonoma County Museum
Spinning Southward has been awarded the Silver Palm Award from the Mexico International Film Festival, and invited down to Rosarito, Mexico, to accept the award. We are honored that they felt our film deserved such an award, especially coming from a country that we...
UPDATE: The screening was a great success, thanks to everyone who showed up and shared in the film, as well as donated to the NBTS. Was great to relive it yet again and hear all the great stories from other epic bike touring adventures. What: Spinning Southward...
The fundraising page for the Spinning Southward Documentary is up: http://www.braintumorcommunity.org/goto/spinningsouthwarddoc This site allows you to donate directly to the NBTS on behalf of the Documentary, as well as see the funds raised so far.
UPDATE: Thanks to the National Brain Tumor Society for helping us put together the San Jose screening, it was a great event and wonderful to finally see the finished product of all our hard work on Spinning Southward! For More Photos of the Event Click here Above...
Spinning Southward added to the IMDB. Go vote for it so we can get a better ranking! IMDB page here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1704267/
It was my honor this year to receive "The Community Leader Award for Awareness." I got to fly to Washington DC and stay at a beautiful hotel, and I got to see what was really going on in the brain tumor community. You can see the article on the National Brain Tumor...
...It has been 3 years now since all parted ways in Ushuaia. John left and sped home to New York and a long neglected and amazingly patient girlfriend. He took up work where he is today, at Malaria No More. Nate hitched a ride to Chile to make good on a promise he...
Here's the second trailer for the Spinning Southward Documentary, a special version focused on our mothers and released on mothers day.
The upcoming Spinning Southward Santa Rosa Screening was featured in the local Santa Rosa paper. Thanks Bob Padecky! You can read it here: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article/20090408/NEWS/904089875