The girl aiming to be the youngest to journey the world by bike

Angelena Iglesia
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(CNN) — Born right into a household of motorcyclists, Bridget McCutchen was capable of witness firsthand the fun that driving a motorcycle may deliver from a really early age.

The 22-year-old, who grew up in Northern Wisconsin, received her first bike when she was round 19 and shortly started heading off on journeys to the likes of Baltimore and New York.

However the notion of driving all over the world hadn’t ever occurred to her till her older brother identified that she was nonetheless younger sufficient to beat the file for the youngest individual to circumnavigate the globe on a bike.

McCutchen, whose longest street journey had been from Wisconsin to Washington, says she dismissed the concept at first, nevertheless it stored coming again into her thoughts.

“After some time, I used to be like, ‘why not?’ The one cause I did not suppose I used to be going to do it was as a result of I used to be fearful of it,” she tells CNN Journey. “I used to be telling myself, ‘no.’ After which I made a decision to inform myself, ‘Sure.’ So right here we’re.”

File problem

Bridget McCutchen is trying to beat the record for the youngest person to circumnavigate the globe on a motorcycle.

Bridget McCutchen is making an attempt to beat the file for the youngest individual to circumnavigate the globe on a bike.

Courtesy Bridget McCutchen

McCutchen spent round a 12 months planning her route, in search of recommendation from Henry Crew, who was 23 when he accomplished a circumnavigation of the world by bike in 2019, and others who’d beforehand tried the problem. Kane Avellano, who achieved this feat a day earlier than his twenty fourth birthday in 2017, is at present listed because the file holder on the Guinness World Information web site.

With a view to grow to be the brand new file holder, McCutchen is required to stick to an inventory of specs, together with utilizing the identical bike for all the journey and avoiding staying in a single location for over two weeks.

McCutchen can even must trip overland throughout the Equator no less than as soon as, whereas the journey should be a minimal of 24,900 miles (40,075 kilometers) in an effort to qualify.

After saving as a lot cash as she may, McCutchen set off in August, spending her first few weeks “bouncing across the States,” earlier than heading over to Baja and crossing over to mainland Mexico by ferry.

She’s touring with a driving companion, Kiva, who she met a couple of months in the past, throughout this part of the journey, and says they typically trigger a stir after they arrive in a brand new place and pull off their helmets.

“A variety of the time individuals are very stunned,” she says. “Like they count on males to be driving these bikes.”

Via trying to beat this specific file, McCutchen, who has been chronicling her travels on her Instagram account, bike.will.journey, hopes to “symbolize the brand new technology of riders,” stressing that there is a big distinction between seeing the world whereas touring by automobile versus on a bike.

“In a automobile, you are in a bubble transferring via the world,” she says. “However on a bike, you might be subjected to all the things, for higher or worse. Sights, smells, sounds. All the pieces issues to you extra.

“You’re uncovered to all the things, and it is a lot extra partaking. It is extra intimate.”

Sophisticated passage

McCutcheon is currently riding from Mexico to South America as part of the first leg of her trip.

McCutcheon is at present driving from Mexico to South America as a part of the primary leg of her journey.

Courtesy Bridget McCutchen

McCutchen, who has simply left Mexico Metropolis, plans to slowly make her solution to South America, touring via Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay earlier than flying to Europe.

“That is the place there’s much less of a plan,” she explains. “As a result of I’ve to seek out someplace to ship my bike to by way of boat, which goes to take round two months.”

As soon as each McCutchen and her bike have reached Europe, ideally by way of Spain, McCutchen hopes to journey via the UK, Eire, and over to Turkey, which straddles Europe and Asia, and “arising subsequent to the Caspian Sea.”

At this stage, she has a restricted variety of route choices for going additional into Asia, every of which include fairly main challenges.

McCutchen had initially deliberate to enter Russia, however this will not be doable because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

“The scenario could be very difficult,” she says. “I nonetheless consider Russia to be my best choice.”

As soon as, or if, she’s capable of efficiently full the Asia leg of her journey, McCutchen goals to have her bike shipped again to Mexico, the place she’ll trip again to the US.

In the intervening time, she’s centered on making it via the primary leg, and was thrilled to be in Mexico for Día de los Muertos, often known as Day of the Lifeless, which extends over the primary two days of November.

In fact, touring by bike on unfamiliar roads, comes with its hazards, and McCutchen has discovered it robust to navigate some off street sections of the nation at instances.

She’s fallen from her bike onto the sand on a couple of events and has had some “shut calls with vans round blind corners.”

“Essentially the most tough factor up to now has been mountain passes,” she says. “As a result of we have been avoiding the toll roads.”

McCutchen says she’s needed to study to decelerate and revel in her environment moderately than dashing from place to put.

Dialog starter

McCutchen with biker group the Los Renecidos in Mexican village Bernal.

McCutchen with biker group the Los Renecidos in Mexican village Bernal.

Courtesy Bridget McCutchen

“Sometimes, after I was on a bike journey, I used to be going someplace and did not have a variety of time,” she explains. “And now I’ve a ton of time.”

McCutchen has opted to dump a few of her gear alongside the best way in an effort to maintain issues as manageable as doable, and is at present carrying two pairs of trousers, two shirts, a tiny air compressor, an additional gas bottle, a tenting range, a tent, a sleeping bag, digicam gear and a laptop computer.

“A few of it may be heavy, nevertheless it’s actually simply tremendous fundamental stuff,” she says.

Though she had saved some cash earlier than starting the journey, she rapidly realized that it might not be practically sufficient to cowl all of her bills.

She’s been capable of elevate funds by promoting stickers she designed herself, and has a GoFundMe, which her followers can donate in direction of.

“At first I used to be like, ‘how am I going to pay for it?'” she admits. “As a result of not having the ability to keep anyplace for greater than two weeks sort of limits my skill to work on the street.”

McCutchen is vastly grateful to those that’ve supplied their assist and/or donated to her fund, acknowledging that the generosity of others has been “just about the principle cause I have been in a position to do that.”

She’s been notably having fun with interacting with locals whereas on the street, explaining that the bike, a Kawasaki Versys X 300, has proved to be an awesome dialog starter.

“Individuals suppose bikes are cool, and so they come as much as discuss to you,” she says. “It is like a bridge to extra individuals. You grow to be extra accessible.”

Overcoming obstacles

McCutchen, who comes from a family of motorcyclists, got her first bike when she was 19.

McCutchen, who comes from a household of motorcyclists, received her first bike when she was 19.

Courtesy Bridget McCutchen

Whereas she was cautious of the hazards she may doubtlessly face whereas driving a motorcycle in unfamiliar international locations earlier than starting the journey, McCutchen says her experiences up to now have helped to place her thoughts comfortable.

“You hear a variety of stuff about how the world could be very harmful, and you must keep the place you are protected,” she says.

“A part of that’s true. There is not any getting round that I am placing my life in danger by doing this. However there’s additionally a lot of the world that could be very form and superb. And I believe that far outweighs the very scary bits.”

Though the journey has gone comparatively easily up to now, McCutchen is not taking something with no consideration, and says she’s nicely conscious that her problem try could possibly be thwarted for causes past her management.

“I am positively a bit apprehensive about not having the ability to proceed due to one thing occurring,” she admits. “Just like the bike breaking, or issues on this planet getting worse.”

In fact, if she is profitable in breaking this specific file, the chances are high that somebody even youthful will come alongside and set a brand new file in the future.

Nonetheless, McCutchen is not nervous about this in any respect. In actual fact, she says she’ll gladly assist anybody who’s eager to take action, even when it signifies that they beat her to it.

“I wish to get different individuals to do issues like this,” she says. “Possibly not essentially to this ability, as a result of not all people has the time.

“But when somebody got here to me now and was like, ‘I wish to break this file,’ and so they broke it earlier than me. That will be fantastic.”

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