One bike, one dog, seven continents and no rush


A former Peterborough man and his dog plan to cycle across all seven continents in hopes of seeing the world and to spread positivity and inspiration.

John Freeman, a Peterborough native, is planning to cycle with his dog to tip of Argentina within the next year-and-a-half after leaving his home in Canmore, Alta.

Freeman is taking his animal companion Mira, a border collie-healer cross, with him as he bikes through the continents of the world.

Starting in October, Freeman has averaged about 80 kilometres per day and hopes to take his time to meet with people and take in the culture and sights of the changing scenery.

Travelling through the world on a bike with a dog and meeting new people and overcoming hurdles such as language is an interesting aspect of the journey, he said.

“This has that aspect to it, I’m in Mexico and, there’s a language I need to learn,” Freeman said.

“We don’t speak Spanish generally in Canada and the different cultures and the logistics of going to one remote area through towns and into others.”

Freeman added people have been receptive to him while on his journey inviting him to enjoy a meal with them and enjoy their company before heading back out onto the road.

He credits their receptiveness of him to the fact he has a dog, he said, people tend to trust someone who has a dog.

“We were climbing a large mountainous region from Mazatlán to Durango on a narrow mountain road,” Freeman said.

“When a man with a little puppy starts waving at us, we go to say hello and his family treats us to a breakfast of fresh made corn tortillas, quesadillas, beans and a meat soup.”

The great thing about meeting people on his journey is hearing about their lives and connecting with them, he said.

“Yesterday, I stopped at a little grocery store to get a drink and some water and snacks, most people are riding their motorcycles,” Freeman said.

“People come over and they want to know what’s going on and Mira really loves people, so they’re taking selfies and introducing themselves.”

In hotter climates because of physical exertion he carries at least 50 per cent more water than normal to make sure he and Mira stay hydrated.

He figures he’s almost to the halfway mark in distance on his trip through the North American continent.

“It’s amazing how much the terrain has changed and it’s off the coastline to mountain roads and into pine forests,” Freeman said.

“We’ve crossed over another ridge and it’s just scrub desert and cattle pasture, pretty much open plains.”

The second leg of the Americas tour will begin in Columbia, he said, where he is still planning on how to get across the Darien Gap (where there is a large watershed, forest and mountains, with no roads built due to environmental concerns) either by flying or taking a ferry.

His goal is to take his time and explore as he makes his way to the tip of Argentina.

“The experience is not just about rushing through and checking boxes like I went to this town, and I saw the ancient Mayan ruins or something like that,” Freeman said.

“It’s about meeting people and those slow experiences, that slow travel, and avoid rainy seasons if possible.

Hoping to arrive at the tip of Argentina by the end of 2023, Freeman plans to come back to Canada at that point to train for the Antarctica leg of his journey.

He plans to leave Mira with friends in Montana as he does not wish to risk her health, but he will meet up with her once he starts his Australian leg of his journey.

mbarker@peterboroughdaily.com





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