Interview 032: Arie Hoogerbrugge | The Long Way Down … To Argentina + Tips on Winter Cycling

Eight years after doing his first bike tour, Arie is now back in the saddle, having embarked on what will eventually become a 3 year, 55000km journey across Canada and all the way down to the bottom of Argentina. 

In 2011, Arie decided to hitchhike across Canada, searching for excitement, a chance to see more of his country, and to have random encounters with people along the way. After having some difficulties and eventually being stuck taking busses between the cities, Arie came upon the idea of buying a bike. With no prior bike touring experience, Arie cycled up through Alberta into the Northwest Territories, the Yukon Territory, Alaska, and then down into British Colombia, all the while weaving his way into and out of places so few people go. At some point during his 14 week (less a day) 6500km adventure, he was loving life and told himself that it would be really amazing to go all the way from the top of Canada to the bottom of S. America. 

Probably not realizing it at the time, but Arie had just set himself up for the ultimate adventure. Better late than never, it took Arie 8+ years before he could set off, but sometimes that’s the way life goes. Sometimes when circumstances change, you just need to find the missing passion and push forward into unchartered territory, whatever that may be.

For Arie, from the day he decided to get a new bike and make the trip happen, everything just seemed to fall into place. Considering he was working as a long-haul trucker, criss-crossing N. America while driving 80 hours a week, even he is amazed that he managed to pull this off, especially considering it all happened about 7 weeks faster than he expected.

In Arie’s experience preparing for this adventure, he found solace in knowing that Mountain Equipment Coop (MEC) a Canadian outdoor equipment producer and distributor always had his back and not only helped him put everything together while he was working and away on the road, but have also provided a level of customer service that has helped him out on numerous occasions throughout the 6 months he has been on the road.

While Arie’s initial dream was to cycle from the top of Canada to the bottom of Argentina, he thought that by cycling all the way across Canada and starting in St. John’s, Newfoundland, he would take on the ultimate challenge: having to cycle through and survive Canadian winter on a bike. Little did he know that cycling through the Maritimes would be such an amazing experience that he would extend his time there by adding on an extra 1300km, allowing himself the chance to meet all kinds of wonderful people and experience the hospitality that Maritimer’s are known for. After passing through the province of Quebec and entering Ontario, the Covid-19 virus was beginning to spread more and more, and ultimately Arie decided to stop in Kingston and wait out the virus while staying with family. 

With nearly 6 months done and 2.5 years to go, Arie’s adventure has just begun. All he needs now is for provincial borders to open up more and to get back on the road. 

Cheers Arie and Keep on pedalling.

Chris

Follow Arie on his adventures at:

Show Notes

~ 01m 05s     Intro to Episode, who is Arie Huggerbrugge
~ 04m 30s     How he ended up owning property in Belize
~ 11m 00s     Previous bike touring experience
~ 17m 15s     Bike and gear
~ 35m 12s     What’s the “magic” of the tour?
~ 52m 10s     All about winter riding, gear, and the experiences
~ 62m 45s     Winter cooking
~ 65m 30s     Route across Canada
~ 73m 40s     Getting sponsorships
~ 85m 45s     YouTubers, Bloggers, Podcasters he follows
~ 90m 00s     Cool piece of kit
~ 91m 00s     Where to find out more about Arie
~ 95m           Next time on Bike Tour Adventures…Ian Finlay

About the Author
Traveller. Cyclist. Expat. Over 15 years experience living abroad in six different countries. I've travelled to over 40+ countries and met countless travellers, cyclists, and other expats. As a passionate cyclist I've had opportunities to bike tour in some truly amazing places. While definitely not an expert at bike touring, I'm passionate about sharing bike touring stories and helping others learn hacks, tricks, and techniques to improve their touring experience. I look forward to you joining me on this journey of learning about and becoming a better bike tourist.