Lonely Planet Writer

This woman is about to cycle 6000 miles from Colombia to Cape Horn on a bamboo bicycle

A British woman is about to embark on an incredible journey that will see her cycling 6000 miles from Colombia to Cape Horn on a bicycle that she made herself out of bamboo and hemp.

The Life Cycle
Kate Rawles will travel 6000 miles from Colombia to Cape Horn on an eco-friendly bamboo bike. Image by Lizzie Gilson
The bamboo bike is called, "Woody" and was made from bamboo grown in Cornwall.
The bamboo bike is called, “Woody” and was made from bamboo grown in Cornwall. Image by The Life Cycle

The project is called, “The Life Cycle” and sees former university lecturer Kate Rawles travelling from Cartagena in Colombia over the spine of the Andes and passing through Costa Rica, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina and Brazil in an effort to raise awareness for biodiversity loss and inspire positive environmental action. The journey will see Kate battling extreme temperatures, strong winds and day-long climbs through high-altitude passes, all on a carbon-friendly bamboo bike called Woody that she built along with help from The Bamboo Bicycle Club in London. The bamboo used comes from the Eden Project in Cornwall, while the joints are made from Yorkshire hemp soaked in an eco-resin called Super Sap.

The journey is to raise awareness for biodiversity loss and will allow Kate to study different cultures and systems.
The journey is to raise awareness for biodiversity loss and will allow Kate to study different cultures and systems. Image by The Life Cycle

Having crossed the Atlantic Ocean on a cargo ship for Colombia this week, the cycle is due to begin in January 2017 and is expected to take a year to complete. “There will be many obvious obstacles to do with cycling long distances, but I think the biggest challenges for me this time will be cultural. My Spanish is currently very poor. Obviously I hope to change that, but it will take a while – I’m not a great linguist by any stretch of the imagination – and so engaging with people and trying to understand more about the human societies I’m travelling through will be my biggest challenge I think,” Kate told Lonely Planet Travel News. Throughout the journey, she will be aiming to study groups of solution-focused people, places and projects linked to conservationism, as well as learning more about rainforest protection and eco-friendly legislation in different countries.

 

The idea came from a previous trip of Kate’s called, “The Carbon Cycle,” which saw her travelling from Texas to Alaska through the Rockies in an effort to explore the impacts of climate change. Upon returning, she used the pictures and information from that trip to aid her in creating multi-media presentations on climate change that would be engaging, exciting and unique, as well as turning her adventure into a book.

Kate will be blogging about her journey from Colombia to Cape Horn. To keep up to date with her adventure, visit her website.