August 20, 2004


Hello Everyone!

Be sure to pick up a copy of the Vancouver Sun this Saturday. We will be featured in the Travel section.

Gwendal has now made it to Bolivia and was on Santa Cruz' very own Channel 5.

The article was also picked up by the Ottawa Citizen.

Local adventurers cycle from Argentina to Inuvik
ANTIPODES EXPEDITION I Four team members are spending 18 months cycling 23,000 kilometres to contribute to educational projects -- and to have fun

Linda Bates
Vancouver Sun

August 21, 2004

Four young B.C. residents are challenging themselves to cycle from the tip of South America to the tip of North America, taking 18 months for a 23,000-km journey that would be just 18 hours by air.

Gwendal Castellan, 27, Tania Lo, 25, Damien McCombs, 24, and Ryan Parton, 27, make up The Antipodes Expedition: From Ushuaia to Inuvik by Bicycle. Castellan, a professional geographer and champion windsurfer and sailor, is cycling the entire route while the others join him for portions of the trip. Castellan is riding a custom-built convertible tandem bicycle that can carry a second rider and gear for the trip.

The cyclists, who are for the most part paying their own way, are doing it for the challenge and the adventure, of course, but they have another goal as well: to raise the awareness of teachers and students to the positive benefits of the Internet.

"We're trying to create on-line tools for teachers to use to help teach geography and life skills and creative skills in classrooms," Lo said recently in a telephone interview from her Vancouver home.

"We're working in partnership with a local company called Engine Digital, and we're creating a program called the Crank Log Challenge." As with a crank phone call, kids would create "crank" travelogues and post them on their classroom computers. "We would post a picture and some information about the region and then the kids would be able to generate their own story about the trip."

Related activities could include creative writing exercises and learning about different places and cultures. "We really wanted to strive for using adventure to stimulate education and inspiration," says Lo.

Lo, a former financial officer and personal trainer, is Castellan's partner. Castellan met Parton on-line and learned he was planning a similar trip and even leaving at the same time. In another coincidence, on a flight Parton found himself sitting next to Damien McCombs, whom Castellan had recruited a month before to join the trip. Parton was convinced to join the expedition as well.

Lo leaves Friday, Aug. 27, to join the team, whose other members have already been on the road for six months. Since beginning their trip they have experienced the winds of Patagonia, learned the tango in Buenos Aires, shared a traffic jam with the 16 million inhabitants of Sao Paulo and mourned the lives lost in a tragic supermarket fire in Acunsion, Paraguay.

On Saturday, Aug. 28, Lo will join them at a village high in the Andes and begin her cycling adventure at a 4,000-metre elevation.

To learn more and to follow the adventures of the Antipodes Expedition visit

The Vancouver Sun 2004

Posted by tania at August 20, 2004 02:03 PM