Kevin Hansen, 30, wears the same riding jacket he had on when he and his brother Trevor, 33, first set out on their great adventure.
A year-and-a-half plus dozens of countries later, the jacket is severely tattered but still cuts the wind and beats back the rain. And Kevin says he is attached to it after everything they’ve been through.
Even if the brotherly relationship is just slightly strained at this point, they have survived what most pairs never could: a world tour by bicycle. The brothers took a rare break in Terrace on their final leg in mid August at their grandmother Elise Hugi’s house in Thornhill.
“We don’t like to sit around much. It was pretty much just go go go,” said Kevin.
When they departed their home city Victoria in April 2012, their motivations were simple: get out, see other countries, push themselves physically every day, and share their experience on their blog.
They started in Victoria and went all the way to Cape Spear, Newfoundland, then flew to London and rolled through Europe, cruised the Middle East and the Stans, sped through Central Asia, then jetted from Singapore to Australia, touring New Zealand before zipping over to Central America and topping it all off in the United States where they plied the craggy corridors of the Rockies all the way up to the Northwest of B.C.
The wisdom and messages the bright-eyed brothers have brought back just might make others see the world with renewed compassion and awe. Kevin, who takes care of social details like interviews (Trevor does GPS and tire changes—160 flat tires, to be precise), said the big eye-opener was how accessible various countries were.
“Iran and the U.S. were the friendliest places,” said Kevin. “The world is not as bad a place as sometimes it’s made out to be I would say. Especially Iran, they’re the most hospitable place in the world.”
They did accidentally bike a little too close to Iran’s infamous nuclear project near Tehran though. Officials took their cameras, but handed them back in half an hour. “It was all legit. Everything was fine, and they even gave us a juice box,” said Kevin.
Hotels and restaurants were a luxury and they spent most nights camping. While they found the bad manners in China tiresome, that huge eastern country compensated with cheap, tasty food. And South America might have had the worst roads, but it was in the U.S. that they got the most flat tires, partly because they found there was more debris on the shoulders.