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‘Planet Asks for Pedalling': Cycling Through Latin America

Using your bike as a means of transportation is an idea that has started to take off, particularly in big cities, as described in the interview with the organizers of the Salvador Critical Mass [pt] (also known as “Bicicletada”), in the state of Bahia. Yet, the benefits of riding a bike are not limited to their environmentally friendly role, to practising a sport or to leading a healthier lifestyle. With a bicycle we can deliver books to homeless people in São Paulo or use it as a bike-taxi in Mozambique.

Roberto Ambrósio Filho (Beto) from Brazil had another idea:

Nascido em Araraquara-SP, sempre pra lá e pra cá com sua bicicleta e sua máquina fotográfica. Apaixonado pelo ser humano, suas culturas e olhares, chegou a hora de unir tudo isso em uma viagem só, literalmente, só. Com muita fé em Deus, Beto está em busca de algo que ultrapasse os limites de sua resistência física e psicológica, voltando 2,5 anos depois, valorizando mais ainda a água que bebe e o olhar que recebe!

Born in Araraquara-SP, always on the move with his bicycle and his camera. In love with humans, their cultures and perceptions, the time has come to unite all of this in a single trip. With faith in God, Beto is in search of something that will surpass the limits of his own physical and psychological resistance, only returning 2.5 years later when he will appreciate even more the water he drinks and the attention he gets!

The project is called Planeta pede pedal (Planet asks for Pedalling) and can be followed on Facebook, Twitter and on the website:

consiste em uma volta à América Latina de bicicleta que terá 17 países como cenário de histórias e fotografias. Em 2,5 anos de viagem, a busca por novas culturas, cheiros, paisagens e sabores darão força às pernas responsáveis pelo giro das duas rodas, livre de qualquer tipo de preconceito, a fim de mergulhar na tradição latino-americana, sem medo e sem rótulo.

It consists in crossing Latin America by bike, riding through 17 countries that will compose the scenery of stories and photographs. During these 2.5 years of journey, the contact with new cultures, smells, scenery and tastes will give strength to the legs responsible for guiding the two wheels, free of any prejudice and with the sole objective of exploring the traditions across Latin America, without fears or labels.

It was only after covering almost 1500 Km in a bicycle trip with a friend that lasted two months, that Beto started planning this new adventure. He explains [pt] why this trip, leaving from Salvador, Bahia, on 7 January 2011 until Fortaleza, inspired him:

Nesses dois meses de pedalada, pude entender o que significa viajar de bicicleta, entendi a grandiosidade dessa ideia. Percebi que viajar assim, sem pressa, te dá a liberdade de conhecer a fundo a cultura dos lugares, a simplicidade das pessoas. Pessoas que sempre ficam curiosas pra saber sua historia, de onde está vindo, pra onde está indo, quanto tempo de viagem, quantos quilômetros já percorreu, entre outras exclamações tão simples e engraçadas, que no fim de tudo, sempre terminam no que a gente sempre espera: um convite pra ficar.

During these two months riding, I was able to understand what it means to travel by bike, I understood the immensity of the idea. I understood that travelling like this, without being in a rush, gives you the freedom to get to know deeply cultures, the simplicity of people. People that always are curious to know your story, from where you are coming from, how long you've travelled, how many kilometres you've crossed, among other simple and funny thoughts that always end up with an invitation to stay.

Photo from Beto's Trip in Brasil.

Photo from Beto's Trip in Brasil. Published on Vestígio de Aventura's facebook page. Uses with permission

Beto talks about [pt] how he met other people who shared with him the trip, such as Evandro and Lidiano, a couple who is also riding across the Americas:

O Evandro já havia pedalado por quase toda a costa do Brasil, anos antes, quando saiu de São Paulo e foi sozinho até Belém. Pense no tanto de histórias que tivemos o privilégio de ouvir. Essa era a sua segunda grande viagem, dessa vez com a Lidiane, sua esposa, formada em Gestão Ambiental e guerreira por ter topado partir para o mundo com Evandro. Os dois se conheceram em São Paulo e iniciaram um lindo projeto chamado “Pé no Pedal e Lixo no Lixo”, que consiste em um teatro de fantoches que eles carregam na garupa e levam até as escolas das cidades por onde passam. O teatro tem como tema a educação ambiental, que é apresentado para crianças de todas as idades, que apoiam a viagem com uma contribuição de 2 reais.

Evandro had already ridden across most of the Brazilian cost years before when he went alone from São Paulo to Belém. Imagine the amount of stories that we had the privilege to hear. This was his second largest trip, this time with Lidiane, his wife, who graduate from Environmental Management and now had the courage to explore the world with Evandro. Both of them met in São Paulo and began an amazing project called “Pé no Pedal e Lixo no Lixo” which is a mobile puppet theater that they carry on their bikes and perform at the schools of the cities they ride through. The theater's major theme is environmental education, which is presented to children of all ages, who support their trip with a contribution of 2 reais.

We'd like to share below some pictures of Beto's trip through Brazil. At the moment he is in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, and he has already completed 2000 km on the road.

Route Map.

Boa pedalada!!! Route Map. Published on Vestígio de Aventura's page on Facebook. Used with Permission

departure ceremony on 2 de Dec 2012

Beto's Family during his departure ceremony on 2 de Dec 2012. Published on Vestígio de Aventura's page on Facebook. Used with Permission.

Picture of Beto's trip in Brazil.

Picture of Beto's trip in Brazil. Published on Vestígio de Aventura's page on Facebook. Used with Permission.

Picture of Beto's trip in Brazil.

Photo from Beto's trip in Brazil. Published on Vestígio de Aventura's page on Facebook. Used with Permission.

Picture of Beto's trip in Brazil.

Photo from Beto's trip in Brazil. Published on Vestígio de Aventura's page on Facebook. Used with Permission.

Picture of Beto's trip in Brazil.

Photo from Beto's trip in Brazil. Published on Vestígio de Aventura's page on Facebook. Used with Permission.

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