Team Of Cyclists Completes 12,000-Mile Ride From Argentina To Vermont

Nov 13, 2017

Three cyclists will reach Vermont this week, ending a 12,000-mile ride that began in Ushuaia, Argentina almost a year ago.

Cameron Russell, Noah McCarter and Eli Bennett set out on an expedition in January 2017 that took them on a bicycle ride up the west coast of South America, through Central America and now, home to Vermont. They called the journey “Mundo Pequeño,” a Spanish term meaning “small world,” which emphasizes their mission to find what connects humanity across cultures and borders.

See their route on the Mundo Pequeño website

Vermont Edition spoke to the trio in April when they were in Valparaíso, Chile, about a quarter of the way into their journey. They are now nearing the Massachusetts-Vermont border so we spoke with Russell to hear what it feels like to be nearly home.

Russell, Bennett, and McCarter ride across the Guatemala-Mexico border as part of their 12,000 mile journey up the Americas.
Credit Courtesy / Mundo Pequeño

Two things have been pulling Russell through this journey: his love of biking and the drive to find what ties humanity together across borders.

“Regardless of where we’ve been, people are wanting to be good to others and that’s what we felt was the pervasive message from the people we’ve come across.”

Being with the same two people every day, Russell admits, did occasionally cause arguments, but they eased the tensions by splitting up and taking week-long solo trips.

“We’ve done what we needed to do to take care of ourselves and each other as a group.”

Eli Bennett's odometer displays 10,000 miles as the group approaches Selma, Alabama.
Credit Cameron Russell / Mundo Pequeño

Although Russell is looking forward to seeing his family and resting, he thinks it could be challenging to transition out of their intensely active daily routine.

“Not being able to or not needing to be on the move every day — I think there may be some let down in that transition. I’ll be figuring out how to slow down and not have the restlessness of getting up, packing our bags and hitting the road again.”

Russell, McCarter, and Bennett are inviting friends, family and supporters to join them for their final the ride on Sunday, Nov. 19 from Burlington’s Waterfront Park up to the Canadian border crossing at Highgate Springs.

Eli Bennett rides along a winding mountain road in Cañon del Pato, Peru.
Credit Cameron Russell / Mundo Pequeño