(Buenos Aires, Argentina) Moments before passing the handlebars and watching that neon yellow fade down the sidewalk, snake-like below so many busy feet, Bob & Surly made me promise I’d shed no tears, not then, not now. And definitely not months later when I’d upload their photos to announce to the world they had decided to pedal the long way home—from Ushuaia, Argentina to Alaska, U.S.A—whereas I’d board a plane and wake up wiping our adventure clean like sleep from my eyes.
Months later, my eyes are dry; a promise is a promise. But I miss those sarcastic metal bastards. We’ve been through too much to goodbye and walk (pedal) away without glancing back over our memories’ shoulder. Ten thousand kilometers and two years are just long enough to realize who your true friends really are.
As I now sadly and reluctantly pull up the past, Bob and Surly are gearing up for another adventure. They’ve joined forces with Argentine couple Javier and Gigi, two bicycle enthusiasts with whom they’ll retrace the Andean spine all the way to its glacial beginnings in the flat Alaskan tundra.
During a Buenos Aires Critical Mass event, Surly spotted the couple in the sea of bikes, flashed a carsalesman smile, then immediately sold himself for top dollar after convincing them to quit their jobs to pedal the Americas. By noon the following day, Surly had also duped the couple into paying cold cash for Team MB&S’s hard-to-find, barely-used camp and cook gear, packaging himself into an all-or-nothing sale he dubbed, “The Triple Threat.” In an unconscionable act of Surlyness, he left me in the dark about these gyspy dealings, and Bob only realized he was committed to another 25,000 kilometers as his confused stare was led away from my moist eyes, pulled like a puppy from a bitch’s tit. Yeah, it was heart-wrenching.
Bob and Surly are gone, once again carrying starry-eyed travelers across mystery-filled lands. Though I’ll forever remember our southerly ride, there is no point in looking back. My eyes are dry, full of stars, and there is still plenty of mystery left to unravel.