A transcontinental bike ride. Two continents. 13 countries. 14,580 km. 300 days. One young man’s journey alone for hope.
Update: After enjoying this engaging interview with Adrian Marziliano, don’t miss his follow-up guest feature 6 Lessons Learned Cycling Solo through Latin America!
I recently connected through social media with Adrian Marziliano who, like another young man I met earlier this year, has embarked on an epic journey. I was drawn to Adrian’s story, not just because of its scale, but because he was starting his ride in Chile, one of the Latin American countries where I lived in my youth, and a country of unparalleled beauty where I long to return.
I soon learned that Adrian’s travels were not just a quest for adventure or to set a world record.
This transcontinental bike ride would be a journey of remembrance and hope . . . .
Table of Contents
Howard: Please start off by telling us a bit about yourself.
Adrian: My name is Adrian Marziliano and I am a 29-year-old Canadian. I was born in Toronto, but I actually grew up in the Central Valley of California and lived there until I was 16. I graduated from Ryerson University in Toronto with a Bachelor’s Degree of Commerce. I am also a private pilot with a Canadian Private Pilot’s Licence. I am very active and love playing ice hockey as well as mountain biking. I also love travelling and discovering new hidden treasures around the world, especially when it comes to food. I have always considered myself very fortunate to grow up with adventurous parents, who took my sister and me travelling whenever they could. Thanks to them, I sometimes find it hard to stay in one place for very long.
Howard: And right now you are on the road, is that correct? Where are you going?
Adrian: That is correct. I am currently in Lima, Peru, on a solo bicycle trip that began in Santiago, Chile, on November 9, 2016. My plan is to ride to my hometown, Toronto, to raise money and awareness for palliative care cancer patients.
Howard: A bicycle trip from Chile to Canada. Epic! How long does a transcontinental bike ride like that take?
Adrian: According to my route, it is about 14,580 kilometres. I figure since my goal is to ride about 50 km per day, I will try to complete it in 300 days.
Howard: 300 days! That must not give you much time to stop and hang out. Will you be taking any breaks?
Adrian: I will take a few breaks as I go. The idea is to try to follow my schedule and my route, and to work in some breaks by pedalling a bit further on some days to rest during others. It has already worked out for me so far, as I am slightly ahead of schedule and have taken more breaks than I originally planned. Besides, this trip is less about relaxation and more about trying to spread awareness. For this reason, I hope to continually be on the move to maintain the interest of my followers.
Howard: Tell us more about your route. Where are you going exactly? Which countries will you visit along the way?
Adrian: Right now I am following the Pan-American Highway through Chile to arrive at the Peruvian border. I will ride on along the coast until I get to Ecuador. I then plan to pass through the Andes Mountains into Colombia and ride until the city of Cartagena. A boat will take me to Panamá, where I will continue to follow the Pan-American Highway up to Mexico. I will then cross over to the Gulf of Mexico and ride along the coast until Texas. My route will take me through Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. I will then pass into Canada via Niagara Falls and ride into Toronto.
Howard: Wow, that will make for quite an adventure! Can you tell us more about why you’re doing this?
Adrian: Yes, of course. I am riding to honour my late mother who lost her battle to colon cancer in 2010. I was there holding her hand when she passed, and ever since that day, I’ve felt the desire to do something in her name to help support cancer patients. Since her passing, two uncles, an aunt, and two close family friends have also passed away from cancer. I’ve watched my very large, Italian family get smaller and smaller and decided I had to do something.
What better way to gain attention and support than to ride halfway around the word?
Howard: So tell us, how do you plan to use biking to help spread awareness for cancer patients?
Adrian: I believe the two biggest and hottest things on social media right now are travel and food. Many people are stuck at home or at work wishing they were on an adventure. I’m saying, “Come on my adventure and support cancer patients who truly need your help.” I’ve had this romantic idea for some time now that you could use travel to help support a cause and to spread awareness for that cause.
Got to spend the afternoon with some of the awesome members of @cicletadarosa and bike to #LaPortada in Antofagasta. . #RideHomeForRosemary #RideHome . #tbt #epic #bike #ride #adventure #beatcancer #makeadifference #cancer #fundraiser #instabike #travelgram #instatravel #bicycle #cycling #cycletouring #biketour #bikeride #follow #followme #solotravel #travel #traveltheworld #globetrotter #travelto #antofagasta #chile #southamerica @gtbicycles @gt_bicycles_chile @thule
Adrian: My goal is to capture the public’s attention with photos of adventure and new foods I discover along the way in order to bring about the consciousness of something more serious. Just as you can find adventure in every corner of the globe, you can now also find someone who has been touched by cancer.
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That time you weren’t paying attention to your Spanish and ordered a dish as soon as you heard ‘picante,’ realizing later she said ‘picante de guatita.’ . Guata (‘wata’) = stomach in Chilean Spanish It was still really good though! 👌🏼 . The dish: stomach lining, potato and onion in a spicy butter sauce with rice and cilantro . Follow my bike ride to support cancer patients and see what else I accidentally (or purposely) order! . #RideHomeForRosemary #RideHome . #surprise #food #epic #bike #ride #adventure #beatcancer #makeadifference #cancer #fundraiser #instabike #travelgram #instatravel #bicycle #cycling #cycletouring #biketour #bikeride #follow #followme #solotravel #travel #traveltheworld #globetrotter #travelto #tarapaca #chile #southamerica
Howard: Sounds clever enough. Is there an organization or group helping you with your cause?
Adrian: I am working with the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation in Toronto. The cancer hospital that is connected to this foundation administered my mother’s treatments and also contracted the palliative care workers that came to our house to help with her care. This project is not only my way of saying thank you to them, but also to help other patients who, like my mom, wake up every day to fight cancer. I am very happy to have the support of the Princess Margaret Foundation. To me, this partnership is very personal.
Howard: That is great that you have their help! For readers who may not know, what exactly is palliative care?
Adrian: Palliative care is about being there for cancer patients when they need it the most; a person to to talk to, help maintaining a positive outlook on their lives, a new warm blanket or some fresh flowers, a ride to and from their treatments, a home-cooked meal for them and their family, or even a simple hug.
Howard: Those are great suggestions for ways we all can lend a hand to survivors in their struggle. Are there other ways we can support your cause?
Adrian: Please, please visit and like my Facebook page: @RideHomeForRosemary. I will be uploading photos, videos, and information from my trip using that page. Leave your mark with some kinds words, by rating my page, or even by posting a photo of yourself with the #RideHome hashtag to show your support.
If you are feeling generous, visit my donation page, RideHome4Rosemary, to make a donation for my cause. The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation is registered as a charitable foundation in both Canada and the United States, so residents from both countries can receive a tax receipt for donations over $15 CAD. All money donated will go directly to the foundation to improve and further develop palliative care programs.
Also, please don’t forget to share my story and my ride with friends, family, and social media contacts by using the hashtags #RideHome and #RideHomeForRosemary. The success of my trip depends on word getting out, so please share as much as you can!
Howard: Is there anything else you would like people to take away from your cause?
Adrian: Absolutely! I would like this ride to not only help my cause and the foundation I am working with, but to motivate others to make a difference in their own ways, as well. It is most important to me that we join together to fight this disease and support patients in any way we can.
Many of these things can be done without donating money. If you don’t have much to spare, donate some extra time to a foundation or to someone you know with cancer. Create your own fundraiser to help a local foundation or support group. Every little bit can make a difference. I believe that anything is possible. I have never travelled anywhere by bike before, and yet here I am trying for almost 15,000 km for my first attempt.
If I can do this, anyone can make a difference.
#RideHomeForRosemary Promo Video
— Adrian Marziliano (@AdrianMarzil) October 15, 2016
Read more about Adrian’s epic ride in his follow-up guest feature 6 Lessons Learned Cycling Solo through Latin America.
If you would like to follow Adrian’s journey in real time, you can connect with him daily at TrackMyTour: #RideHomeForRosemary.
We Would Love to Hear From You
We value dialogue with our readers, and Adrian will be joining us in the discussion by responding to your comments and questions below. Would you ever consider doing an epic trip, such as a transcontinental bike ride, for a worthy cause? We would love to hear your thoughts on Adrian’s journey, and we appreciate you sharing this story on all your social channels!
If you enjoy learning about epic journeys and the intriguing people who take them, check out our interview with Nathan Kolk, a young man who took A 10,000 Mile Road Trip around the USA!
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Hashtags: #RideHome #RideHomeForRosemary