Nurse Belinda from New Zealand, and her Canadian hubby Roland, a teacher, began their epic journey in July 2009, tandem cycling 30,000 km from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska all the way to Usuhuia, Argentina!
Along the way, they donated their time and hands-on service to projects the Salvation Army had running in communities along their cycling route. After a year and half of cycling, they reached their final destination and concluded their journey mid-January 2011.
Before their incredible journey began down the Pan American Highway, the couple made a stop at the Knotty Boy Lock Shop & Salon where we helped Belinda out with a new, lovely, low-maintenance set of dreadlocks, which became a kind of marker in this eventful chapter of her life.
Watch the making of Belinda's locks and learn more about the beginning of their fantastic voyage, and read all about the amazing trip in their online journal Cycling with Sally. Thanks for making us a part of your story, Belinda and Roland!
March 10, 2011 Update - Belinda and Roland's thank you letter to Knotty Boy
Dear Adrianna and the team at Knotty Boy,
This letter is to acknowledge you for your support of our tandem bicycle ride from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to Ushuaia/Lapataia, Argentina. Written from our home in New Zealand we are taking the opportunity to reflect on our experience and thank those that contributed to making this trip 100% successful. With our trip spanning 16 countries, covering almost 30,000 km and taking 539 days to complete, it would be near impossible to summarize our journey in a one-page letter. However, our volunteer work has been a very special component to our trip and so we would like to briefly share our experience in relation to The Salvation Army.
We originally had the idea to freely give of ourselves and make a difference in people's lives in a practical way. But in return we unexpectedly received so much wisdom, kindness and compassion from those that we were hoping to help! Our eyes have been opened in many different ways. We met so many passionate, committed, and servant-hearted people on this trip, which has been a real inspiration, particularly on how we view 'volunteerism' and assisting others.
In total we volunteered at 39 different sites (spending 1-3 days at each) doing a variety of hands-on jobs that hopefully helped in some small way. For example some of the work we did was: garden work, playing games with children, washing dishes, laundry, cleaning, sorting donations, wrapping/ packaging gifts, preparing and serving meals, painting and some building work. We also had the privilege of speaking to a variety of groups to share our story and bring some encouragement to staff, volunteers and clients alike.
We have been so impressed with The Salvation Army and can only say we have felt very proud to have been affiliated with this well respected organization that does so much good in this world. Now that we are back home, we look forward to volunteering at the Manukau Branch of The Salvation Army in New Zealand on the mentoring programme in a more permanent way. In addition, due to the recent earthquake that has devastated Christchurch, Belinda is going there for five days to help under The Salvation Army umbrella.
We are very proud that this was a financially self-supported trip. However, due to the kindness of people during our trip through hospitality, meals, thoughtful gifts, and generous donations from businesses (such as yourselves) we were able to make our dollar go further and enjoy our trip in a fuller way.
Thank you for your sponsorship, your enthusiasm and believing in our vision. Thank you for making Belinda into a "Knotty Girl" and providing ongoing maintenance, support and advice as this has always been a dream of hers. We consider you, your salon, your friendly, professional and skilled stylists and natural products are top notch and we will continue to be thrilled to spread the good word of your fine work whatever country we are in. We know you and Knotty Boy will continue to grow and flourish, as you have something pretty darn special there.
Once again, thank you for your contribution and helping to create an extra special experience that will never be forgotten.
Belinda and Roland Hinmueller