What is that thing?

Tallbikes are magical mode of transportation I discovered in the last few years from friends in Los Angeles bike scene.  They’re not particular to any one place though; and historically they were used as lamplighters and to promote bicycle or bicycle part manufacturers-

early tallbike

Okay… but why would you ride one these days?


Thanks to TallBikeBobby for this image from his blog.  Hope this unauthorized use of your image is rectified by the gift of beer should we ever cross paths.  People are unexpectedly friendly to tallbikes, so believe or not I feel quite safe on one.  Also, I can see over most vehicles, so I have a great birds-eye view of upcoming traffic.  Those are the logical reasons, but mostly it’s waaay more fun!

Did you build it?

Indeed, but with much help from friends. Check out this page for more in depth building details.

Why are you traveling by bicycle? Why not buses/trains/planes?

Going by human powered transport is a challenge of the mind & body; I feel much more connected to this mode compared to others.  Also I think people respond much differently to those traveling by bicycle; I feel more respected and engaged with people I meet along the journey.  People have stopped on the highway to offer me encouragement, and even some fresh guava juice!

That bike looks heavy, and you’re adding a great deal of luggage in addition- won’t it be too much to handle in the mountains? Also how much does it weigh?

It could be; so I’ve brought ratchet straps with me- If things get truly bad (weather, incline, health, whatever) I’ll be putting the beast on a truck, bus, anything that will get me out of a jam.  The bike with luggage I guesstimate is around 100lbs.

Why South America?

In the past few years during vacations I’ve traveled to Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.  I got a taste of the people, places, and culture that made me want more.  Starting the tour here in Colombia made perfect sense; I wouldn’t have to cross the Darien gap, or pay for the boat to go around it (which can be as expensive as a plane ticket from Los Angeles).

When&where you will you end?

No idea. I certainly don’t plan on this lifestyle forever, but I aim to travel until my zest for it fades.

Can I come too?



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