Arie Hoogerbrugge (12/29/2019)
Thortek Outdoors is proud to sponsor Arie Hoogerbrugge as he begins his next great journey across Canada and through the Americas. This time he is going big with a 55,000 km journey through 24 countries. In this interview, Arie shares about his passion for cycling and his desire to help the environment.
How did you get started?
In 2011 I did a 6,500 km bike ride through northern and western Canada. It was the most amazing experience of my life. As with many people that go on a long bike tour I was hooked and the dream for a Canadian Arctic to the bottom of Argentina ride was born. Over the years biking across Canada was incorporated into the route.
The start date for this ride kept getting pushed back for personal reasons and then the window opened. It was now or never and that set me up for a Canadian crossing during the winter. So I went for it.
What are your main adventure sports?
Cycling, hiking and camping
Tell us about some of the greatest adventures that you’ve been on. What stands out for you? Where have you gone? What have you done? What are you proud of?
The earliest greatest adventures was spending time and living in the jungles of Belize on the Belize River. Eventually buying a home and now owning 40 acres of jungle surrounding my house. My first trip was in 1997 and have gone back and forth many many times over the years.
The second (category of) adventure would be my 6,500 km bike ride through western and northern Canada in 2011.
The third (category of) adventure would be my last career leading up to this current bike ride. I was a long haul truck driver. In 6 1/2 years I drove 1.2 million kilometers criss crossing North America. That’s 30 times around the planet (at the equator). I have been to all the Lower 48 states, all the major cities in America and from Vancouver Island to Sydney Nova Scotia in Canada.
And lastly my current adventure of planning and now starting my 55,000 km bike ride across Canada and to the bottom Argentina
Have you always enjoyed the outdoors? What brings you outside?
I have always enjoyed the outdoors. Typically I find myself too busy with work until I burn out or need a break and then the outdoors is required therapy.
Tell me about a challenge you’ve had while travelling and something you did to solve it.
I find you simply adapt to the challenges. You have no choice. For example I don’t like the cold at all. But I am crossing Canada by bicycle during the winter. So far I seem to be adapting. There is no warm indoors that I can count on. So I have no choice. At the time of writing this the coldest temperatures that I am experiencing is -5 degrees Celsius. I may have a different attitude when the temperatures fall to -10 degrees. I have no idea.
What’s your favorite meal to have while on your adventures?
I find eating a real pain and takes a lot of time. During this current adventure I try to avoid cooking at all cost because it is too cold to be standing around cooking. Currently enjoying fish and chips in most restaurants in Atlantic Canada.
What are your three favorite/most useful items to take with you on your journeys?
Well on a bike tour that would be your bike, your tent and your sleeping bag. But I love to take photos and enjoy having my laptop.
What are you doing now?
I arrived in St John’s Newfoundland November 11, 2019 and am heading west in attempt to pedal westbound across Canada and up the Dempster Highway in the Northwest Territories to the Arctic Ocean and then south to Vancouver and then zig zag my way to the bottom of Argentina. 55,000 km’s over the next 3 years.
What are you planning next?
I am planning how to incorporate my other passion of trees and reforestation into this bike ride.
I have created a legacy project to plant or have planted 1 million trees before I die. Truthfully I hope by the time I reach 1 million trees planted getting to a billion trees planted won’t be as hard.
How can people reach you?
Please share an inspirational quote which has been meaningful for you in life.
GOD MADE ME FOR A PURPOSE. GOD MADE ME FAST. I FEEL HIS PLEASURE WHEN I RUN. TO GIVE IT UP WOULD BE TO HOLD HIM IN CONTEMPTERIC LIDDELL, CHARIOTS OF FIRE
I am not fast by any means. But to feel God’s pleasure when you live out of your gifting has to be one of the most amazing experiences and feelings a human can have.
Since first posting this interview, news of Arie Hoogerbrugge’s momentous journey has been spreading and CBC has published an article by Kevin Yarr titled: “Why this man is lingering over his winter bike ride through Atlantic Canada.” Way to go Arie, keep up the good work!