Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Polish Team Plans to Bike the Length of the Amazon

A team of Polish adventurers has just set off on what promises to be a challenging and very interesting expedition to follow. Brothers Dawid Andres and Hubert Kisiński are hoping to become the first people to cycle the length of the Amazon River starting at the foot of Mount Mismi and ending in the Atlantic Ocean. Yes, you read that right. They intend to cycle that distance.

The adventurous duo has initially planned on kayaking the length of the river, but soon discovered that that might not be the best of ideas. Their lack of experience in whitewater proved too much to overcome, and the headwaters of the Amazon are quite turbulent. That gave them the idea of riding their bikes in the early stages, than switching to sea kayaks when the river slowed down and widened out. But that became prohibitively expensive, so they came up with the idea of cycling the entire way.

How is this possible you ask? After all, there are no roads to follow through the dense Amazon Rainforest. The brothers have come up with a unique design that connects the frame of their bikes to a set of pontoons that will enable them pedal their way down the river. After they have finished following the path of the river through the mountains of Peru, they'll transition to this unusual form of transportation for the remainder of the journey to the Atlantic.

It was Dawid's idea to undertake this journey, and originally he had intended to do so with his friend Marek Pielech. But Marek and his wife just welcomed a newborn baby, so he had to put off his involvement in the trip. Hubert joined his brother for the early stages of the trip, while there are plans for Marek to join them in San Francisco, Peru at a later date.

The expedition is expected to take roughly 6-8 months to complete, but really the team has no idea how long they'll be following the Amazon. The bike/boat that they're riding is quite buoyant, and is capable of reaching an average speed of 6 km/hr (3.7 mph), so while they will be functional, they won't be fast.

Another cause for concern is that the men haven't got much experience traveling in the rainforest, and until now they had never visited Brazil or Peru before. That lack of experience could come back to haunt them as the days and weeks grind on.

You can follow their progress on the expedition's official website. Currently Dawid and Hubert are riding in Peru, having just reached the Amazon headwaters back on Sept. 21. Good luck to them on this impressive undertaking.

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