Pedalling The Americas For The Perfect Meal

Perhaps the greatest irony of the invention of the humble bicycle in 1885, is that as a machine invented for speeding life up, one of its greatest virtues today, in a age of motorways, combustion and a need for speed, is it comparatively slow and tranquil pace, that enabled its rider to observe the particularity of the people, places and flavors of the land it caries them through. Take into account that when in the saddle food is also your fuel, the bicycle has to be the definitive mode of transport for anyone setting out on a gourmet adventure.

In May 2005 I pedaled out from New York City embarking on a 15,000 mile, two and a half year pedal-powered gastronomic search of the Americas. Unfit and under-prepared, I turned my back on a London career in advertising, said goodbye to my girlfriend and packed up my panniers. My mission. To ride a bicycle to Rio de Janeiro in search of the Americas perfect meal.

Quickly having to adapt to life on the road, long days in saddle and short nights in my tent, I slowly but surely I followed a bizarre quest of unearthing the culinary highs and lows of the Americas. Becoming a slave to the hectic agenda of eating, breakfast lunch and dinner were my only significant appointments, as I kept the wheels turning on my way to my destination in Brazil.

Pedalling on my stomach and surviving on my wits, my trusty bicycle carried me from the culinary ‘Mecca’ of New York City across the great expanse of the American Midwest and into the wilds of the Canadian Rockies. It took me through the deserts of Mexico and into Central America towards the coffee covered mountains of Colombia. Together we crossed the snow-covered passes of the Andes before descending into the mosquito infested waters of the Amazon, entering Brazil and heading south along the coast all the way to Rio.

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  • Cycling in Colombia – Gallery

    After six nights at sea I longed to escape the claustrophobic conditions off our boat and as the orange glow of Cartagena rose from the horizon a feverish excitement overwhelmed the weary crew. We had arrived in South America and Cartagena, a splendi...

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  • Cycling In Central America – Gallery

    Cycle touring is a way of travel is perfectly suited to small back roads away from the noise and confusion of major thoroughfares but I was fast learning that in Central America the cyclist has no choice but hug the dirty, busy highways that these co...

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  • Cycling In Mexico – Gallery

    Stepping out onto the street in search of breakfast, bicycles weave in all directions through the traffic; women stride purposefully by me with baskets of colorful produce; thick, choking smoke bellows from the grill of the nearby taco stands and a y...

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  • Brazilian Recipes

    With its indigenous, African, Europeans and Japanese influences Brazilian food is incredibly varied. From the Amazon inspired dishes in the north to the Angolan treats in Bahia and all that delicious fish here are my favorite Brazilian recipes found ...

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  • Colombian Recipes

    For five happy months on my pedal powered food quest through the Americas, I took to the back roads and kitchen of Colombia. Not know for its cuisine,  the food here was a revelation. Hearty and hard working – just like its people it was full of v...

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  • Central American Recipes

    From Guatemala to Panama via El Salvador, Honduras and Costa Rica. My bicycle tour of Central America was not an easy one. The roads were tough to ride, the heat was unforgiving and at times the standard of living of others left me upset. But at thre...

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  • Mexican Recipes

    Spending six happy months traversing Mexico, from its arid deserts in the North to its verdant tropical jungles in the south, through grand colonial cities and colourful indigenous communities, from the saddle of my bicycle I was able to enjoy a true...

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