And by "back," we mean "to the Northwest Territories."
Starting from northernmost point in Canada and heading south to the southernmost point in Argentina is undoubtedly cool. For Vancouver, Canada, native Ron Bedard, though, it just wasn’t cool enough. You see, he wanted to do something a bit different from the usual pan-Americas moto adventure trip—so, he did. He started in 2017, and if all goes well, should finally arrive home some time in 2021.
What’s he riding? Right now, he’s on a Honda Africa Twin with a sidecar. Upon starting out in 2017, Bedard rode a Ural, thinking it would be plenty hardy and pretty easy to repair as needed. Unfortunately, a whole bunch of mechanical bad luck made it seem like that choice was doomed from the start.
First, a drivetrain bolt snapped, about three kilometers (less than two miles) into the trip. After repairing that and then putting up with a bunch more breakdowns, Bedard ended up scrapping the Ural somewhere around Death Valley, California, when it got stuck in reverse and couldn’t recover. According to the Prince George Citizen, he literally watched the Ural get cubed in a crusher. Then he moved on to a Honda Africa Twin, and it’s been pretty smooth sailing bike-wise ever since.
Gallery: Ron Bedard's Honda Africa Twin Panamerican Journey
How about the trip, you’re wondering? First of all, Bedard decided that Ushuaia, Argentina just wasn’t far enough south for him. Watch enough moto travelers on their epic journeys, and you’ll see that many people will ride down to Ushuaia and then call it a day. Not Bedard, though. He took a look and found Estancia Moat, which is about 85 kilometers (almost 53 miles) south of Ushuaia City—down a gravel road. Naturally, Bedard decided he couldn’t settle for anything less than going as far south as he could, so he did.
Bedard then changed his plans significantly once he completed his planned journey south. You see, he’d originally planned to board a plane in Buenos Aires and fly back home. Once he got there, he thought, why not ride all the way back home? The 55-year-old retired helicopter pilot redrew his flight plan and got back on the road.
Then came the COVID-19 pandemic. At certain points in his journey—especially once he got back into Canada—he’s had to quarantine for 14-day periods before pressing on any further. It’s a solo journey that’s lasted around three and a half years, but he’s mostly enjoyed himself. Bedard’s wife (who doesn’t ride) has flown down to meet him and spend a little time together at a few points along the way, and he says they text and talk every single day.
Bedard’s been taking photos and video along the way, and has plans to make a documentary once he gets back home—with some serious professional editing help. If you want to see absolute buckets of photos from his journey, check out his Facebook page for more.