A Two-Wheeled Journey from Alaska to Argentina to Fight Diabetes
On July 26, 2005, Brooks Allen & Gregg Bleakney embarked on a 19,500 mile bicycle journey from Prudhoe Bay (the most northern road accessible point in Alaska) to Tierra del Fuego, the southern most tip of Argentina. Their goal is to raise $50,001 to help fight Diabetes. You can donate today.
Why We Ride
We began bicycle touring for the sense of adventure. Slowly, we realized that our efforts could help others. We also noticed that other charity rides spent considerable sums on maintenance and promotion, something we thought we could avoid. The result is Ribbon Of Road and our inaugural ride of the Pan American route.

We'll ride to gain an intimate glimpse into the heart and sole of the Americas that can only be achieved on a self-powered journey. We'll ride for the thrill of having each day be an adventure of its own. We'll ride to take the risk of a road less traveled. We'll ride to raise money for the American Diabetes Association and to help spread awareness of how global and how devastating diabetes really is. And in doing this, we'll see a dream become real.

Why This Route
We chose the Pan American route because of the physical and mental challenge of peddling a bicycle 19,500 miles on a continuous road network that traverses Arctic tundra, urban megalopolises, tropical rain forests, 15,000 foot mountain passes and endless stretches arid desert. Compared to a person fighting Diabetes, it's a cakewalk, but for us it represents a daunting task and a way to help others in need.

Brooks Vaughan Allen
San Francisco, California
Marketing Manager, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
Saint Ignatius College Prep (class of '94)
University of Oregon (class of '98)

Past Rides:
San Francisco, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Seattle, WA - San Francisco, CA
Nashua, NH - Forestport, NY
Kalispell, MT - Jackson Hole, WY

"My first experience traveling via bike was the AIDS Ride, biking 570 miles from San Francisco to LA with 1700 other riders. To be honest, its main appeal was the physical challenge, but it grew to be so much more. The camaraderie amongst the riders and the desire to make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS combined with the stunning California coastline was intoxicating. I was hooked.

After the AIDS Ride was over I found myself at the finish line, exhausted and overcome with emotion. I had done something that I had never envisioned myself doing. I made it to LA and I was proud, but at the same time I found myself wishing that the final destination were further down the road. I wanted to wake up the next morning and get on my bike, not a plane. The ride was inspiring, well organized and above all, it showed me that you could take the same route a hundred times, but by bike you could see something completely different.

As I looked forward to another ride, reports began to surface that the company that put on the AIDS Ride had allocated a very large portion of rider pledges for operating and marketing expenses. The news was discouraging and my sight turned towards coming up with a ride on my own where I could choose my own charity and control exactly where all the pledges I collected went.

I began to plan a ride from Seattle to San Francisco to benefit the American Diabetes Association, a cause that hit a lot closer to home. My mom developed diabetes through her pregnancy with me and had just lost her fight with the disease four months before her 60th birthday. This ride would be twice as long as the AIDS Ride, would be more demanding and would be completely self-supported. We'd carry all our own gear on our bikes - a challenge that I was looking forward to.

It was through that ride that I made some strong connections with the ADA through my fundraising. And, as a result, I ended up joining the committee for the Napa Tour de Cure, an annual biking event that they put on. It was also through that ride, that Gregg and I again got to enjoy the daily experiences of bike touring. And once again, we finished that route already looking forward to the next.

In four years I have raised over $10,000 for AIDS services and over $18,000 for the American Diabetes Association through my rides. Just the thought of how much more we could do through the RibbonOfRoad is inspiring enough."

Gregg Bleakney
Seattle, Washington
Western Region Sales Manager, AccessVia Software
Bambridge Island High (class of '93)
University of Oregon (class of '97)

Past Rides:
Seattle, WA - San Francisco, CA
Prudhoe Bay, AK - Valdez, AK
Kalispell, MT - Jackson Hole, WY
Terrible Two & SIR Brevet

Personal Blog: gbleakney.blogspot.com
Photography Portfolio Site: GreggBleakney.com

"I can remember first dreaming of embarking on an extended journey through exotic and distant lands after reading JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit at an early age. This dream further solidified after years of learning about the explorations of scientists like Jacque Cousteau, Jack Wattley and Captain James Cook. As a child, I promised myself that I would embrace my dream in some form before settling into a long-term career or relationship. This promise also included a clause that disallowed a completely selfish pursuit of adventure, and that in some way, shape, or form its execution would benefit the greater good of society.

The idea for a specific itinerary and method of travel for Ribbon Of Road originated during my 1000-mile bicycle trip down the West coast of the US in 2002. By the conclusion of the trip, I had grown addicted to the rhythm of the pavement and wanted to continue on until I reached the end of the world. A few months after this experience, I moved to Seattle WA to start preparing for a cycling expedition along the Pan American highway. I also chatted about the idea with Brooks, and, being my only friend to truly understand the reason behind a journey of this magnitude, we decided to tackle this experience as a team."