Carly Eversole, [email protected]
Sweetwater County, Wyoming – Local residents may have seen an increase of cyclists wearing bright colors along the La Barge Highway and Interstate 80 the last few days. These cyclists are part of a tour known as the TDA Global North American Epic Tour. The tour of international participants began in Tuktoyaktuk, Canada near the Arctic Circle on July 7 and ends in Panama City, Panama December 17. The riders come from all over the globe to ride on this tour that spans 9 countries going through places like the Canadian tundra, Yellowstone National Park, The Grand Canyon, and the beaches of El Salvador. Wyo4news was able to catch up with tour members as they stopped for lunch on Highway 372 near the solar panel site Thursday, September 8.
Tour leader Carolina Ceravolo of Brazil said “they ride more or less 100 kilometers per day, today they are doing 146 kilometers (about 90 miles). There are 30 riders but 15 are doing the full tour while 15 will join for a few months or whatever they want. We have 3 trucks, one carries a lunch, one carries camp and luggage, a kitchen camp, and a small truck that is only for support carrying water, or picking up riders if they need it. There are more or less 4 tours going on around the world at the same time.” Ceravolo highlighted “A lot of cyclers do trips by themselves but they have to carry their own luggage and food, we (TDA Global) offer logistical support.”
Tour medic Christopher Thompson, who is from the United States, explained “the original tour this company ever ran was Tour d’Afriqe which went from Cairo to Capetown across Africa. They have a transcontinental tour across every continent except Antarctica.”
Many riders are retired or taking an extended vacation to test themselves on a long-distance trip. They join the tour from countries such as New Zealand, South Africa, Denmark, Switzerland the Netherlands, and many more. Riders who stopped for lunch on Thursday included David and Yvonne Milakoff of Tasmania, Isle Mccoll who is Scottish but living in Switzerland, Marjon Baas of the Netherlands, and Beat Aschwander another Swiss native. Members of this particular group joined the tour for different reasons, the Milakoffs are recent retirees and wanted to stay active after retirement “we didn’t want to stay home and get old”.
Bass explained, “I needed a break from working from home for the last 2 years due to COVID, so I took a 5-month holiday”
Mccoll answered by saying “I was looking for adventure and fun!” She continued “Aswander is a very strong rider and just enjoys riding. I try to stay behind him and stay in his draft.”
Riders joked about the need for carrying bear spray through the more northern part of the tour and the challenges that brought. They also had a curiosity about the mines they had been seeing on their trip to Southwest Wyoming and the altitude of the area, as well as the sagebrush and its uses.
The tour brought cyclers strategically through this portion of Wyoming as, “this route helps them acclimate to more desert climates as we will eventually be going through Utah, Arizona, and Baja California. Previous tours have gone through Wyoming but this is the first time we have been this route. It also allows the riders to enjoy West Yellowstone”, explained Ceravolo. From the lunch spot, riders were headed through Green River before making their way to Buckboard to camp for the evening. This leg of the journey they are currently on is section 5 called “The Great Divide” which began August 30 in Helena Montana and ends September 12 in Moab, Utah before beginning the 6th section of the tour.