On July 4, 2010, Joost Notenboom and Michiel Roodenburg began an 18 month bicycle journey from Deadhorse in northern Alaska to the most southern tip of Argentina at Ushuaia. Their mission is to take one bottle of icy Alaskan water from the Beaufort Sea down to the seas around Tierra del Fuego in a symbolic effort to complete the natural water cycle and raise awareness for the global water crisis that is leaving over 1 billion people around the world without access to safe and clean drinking water.
About four months ago we (Joost and Michiel) started our bicycle trip that will take us from Alaska to Argentina. By now, we have successfully passed through Alaska, Canada, and the United States, and entered Mexico last week. So far, we have cycled about 4,000 of the total 18,000 miles and still have a long way to go until we reach the finish by Christmas next year. On average, we do 50 miles a day, which is about 6 hours of cycling. It can be pretty tough, especially when plowing through rain, crawling over mountains, and sweating under the scorching sun.
Besides the cycling, we are raising awareness for the global water crisis, which is leaving more than a billion people without access to clean drinking water. The population of second and third world countries are the ones that are most affected with this issue. However, water scarcity is, and will increasingly become, problematic in the ‘rich West’ as well. For instance, California has some major issues with their water supply and is actually importing some of their water from neighboring states.
We have had the opportunity to speak to students and kids in most of the big cities we have cycled through. That has been one of the greatest things so far. At the same time we are raising donations to fund and set up water-related projects in Central and South-America. Our first project is in San Juan la Laguna in rural Guatemala where together with other partners, we are funding a water pump that will benefit 1700 people in that area. We are planning to cycle to all the project sites we support to document the progress, the people, and how they are coping with their lack of access to clean drinking water.