Boys On Bikes: A Q&A With Traveling Twins Breaking A World Record

by Colly

Davy and Daryl ride over the Continental Divide with their dad.

Davy and Daryl ride over the Continental Divide with their dad.

What would it be like to travel about 20,000 miles on bike? These guys are finding out! Daryl and Davy Vogel are 11-year-old twin brothers biking from Alaska to the bottom of South America with their mom and dad. After 30 months of bike riding are over, they will have broken the world record of Youngest Person to Cycle the Pan-America Highway! They started in June 2008 and are now in Ecuador. They just reached the Equator a few days ago!

When I saw their website, familyonbikes.org, I thought what they’re doing is so amazing that I did a Q&A with them by email.

Q: Before this trip did you bike ride a lot?

Davy: Yes, a lot.

Daryl: No, I rode it to school a bit but not much.

Q: Tell me about the world record you’re trying to break. What is it like knowing you guys are so close to breaking it?

Davy: It’s really good. Some of it is so we can get this trip over with but I still want to get the record.

Daryl: We are trying to be the youngest to cycle the Pan-American Highway. I guess I don’t think about it much.

Q: Where do you sleep overnight and do homeschooling?

Davy: We sleep in hotels most of the time and we do math and journals occasionally.

Davy and Daryl studding in Arizona.

Davy and Daryl studying in Arizona.

Daryl: Now we usually stay in hotels but before we camped off the side of the road, in campgrounds, in people’s houses and sometimes in a hotel.

Q: When my family and I travel we have 5 suitcases and 4 carry-ons; what do you carry with you when you bike and how do you carry it?

Davy: I carry four panniers (bags that go on side of the racks), one bag that goes on the top of my rear rack, and my personal things on my handlebars. My mom has a trailer, four panniers, one big bag, the pot on her front rack, and her handlebar bag. Dad and Daryl have a trailer, four panniers, the tent on his rear rack, a handlebar bag, and Daryl keeps his things in three handlebar bags.

Daryl: We carry what we need, some light items that we like to have, and Davy and I carry some toys. We carry it in panniers and trailers (look at our pictures).

Q: What do you do when you are not biking?

Davy: Play or sleep most of the time. Sometimes we work on math or do journals.

Daryl: Lots of things–breathe, talk, do work, rest, you name it.

Q: What is your biggest motivation for when you don’t want to ride at all?

Daryl and his dad, John, in Colombia with all their bags.

Daryl and his dad, John, in Colombia with all their bags.

Davy: Walking.

Daryl: Maybe that if we don’t we will have to abandon the trip.

Q: When I am traveling with my family, our biggest fear is getting our stuff stolen. What is yours?

Davy: No idea.

Daryl: I don’t know–getting hit by a truck?

Q: What is it like having a twin brother? Do you ever get sick of him?

Davy: Yes, and a LOT.

Daryl: He likes to bully me.

Q: What do you guys think of homeschooling?

Davy: Boring.

Daryl: It’s like school but I don’t have to hear the same thing over again.

Q: What do you remember the most from your trip so far?

Davy: Probably Honduras. We traveled with another biking family with two kids and spent a lot of time at the beach there. We also visited Mom’s friends from when she was a Peace Corps Volunteer (http://familyonbikes.org/blog/?p=943)

Daryl: I don’t know.

Q: If you could pick one thing that you could do again from your trip, what would it be?

Nancy, the mom, biking through Honduras

Nancy, the mom, biking through Honduras.

Davy: I can’t answer that, it’s way too hard because everything is really neat in its own way.

Daryl: A river hike in Belize. We followed a river through the jungle and me and Davy got to float most of it. (http://familyonbikes.org/blog/?p=894)

Q: What is your least favorite part of this trip so far?

Davy: I don’t know that one either. There are good and bad parts of all of it.

Daryl: Getting stuck in the same place for a long time because of Davy. He has had problems with ingrown toenails so we have to stop and wait while he has surgery.

Q: I heard that both of you guys like to play sports. When do you play and who with?

Davy: We played a lot of soccer at home and when I get the chance I like to go pass a soccer ball with Daryl.

Daryl: In Mexico we played a lot with the kids at restaurants because they usually had a ball. Here we’re lucky to get one.

Q: When you are in the middle of nowhere and you have a flat tire or you are hurt or just something bad happens, what do you do to deal with it?

Davy: Let Dad fix the tire or switch with Daryl on the tandom.

Daryl: Either fix it, ride to somewhere with the tools to fix, or take a car to somwhere with the tools to fix it.

Q: You haven’t seen your home town Boise, Idaho, since 2006. Do you ever get homesick–and if so, what for?

Davy: No.

Daryl: Sometimes, for just about all the reasons there is.

Q: Where was the hardest place to bike through?

Davy ridding through Texas with Christmas decorations on his bike handelbars.

Davy riding through Texas with Christmas decorations on his bike handle bars.

Davy: Probably going up into the Andes. We had to climb up 7500 feet in 33 miles. That was a long, hard climb! (http://familyonbikes.org/blog/?p=1086)

Daryl: Maybe up this really long, really steep hill when it was hot. It was in Guatemala and it was a dirt road and dust was everywhere. That day was really hard! (http://familyonbikes.org/blog/?p=907)

Q: I saw in an article on your site that you have a dog named Dash; does he come along with you?

Davy: He would have but he got run over and died a few weeks before the trip.

Daryl: He died.

Q: If someone is planning to do a big bike trip like yours, what is your advice for him or her?

Davy: No idea, Mom and Dad did all the planning.

Daryl: I don’t know, you need to talk to Davy about that.

Thank you guys so much and good luck!

6 Responses to “Boys On Bikes: A Q&A With Traveling Twins Breaking A World Record”

  1. Great interview! These guys and their family are an inspiration!

  2. Colly – this is so cool! Other kids having an adventure like you and Kyle and you got to connect with them!! I think it’s great you interviewed them. Would you rather be doing what you are doing or riding a bike like they are?

    I miss you but I’m enjoying staying in touch via your family blog and “Colly’s World.” Thanks so much for the interesting stuff. What do you think of New Zealand so far?

    Love you –

    Martha

  3. Hi Colly,

    I’m a homeschooling mom from Florida who just discovered your blog via the familyonbikes blog. I just wanted to let you know that I have enjoyed reading about your adventures so far. You are a very good writer! I like how you were honest about listing the pros and cons about traveling with your family for a year. I could just imagine my kids sighing about having to talk to their families all the time too! I have 5 kids in public school (including an 11 year-old daughter) and I homeschool our youngest son who is 7. We enjoy homeschooling a lot and I envy that you are able to take this year with your family and travel all through the world. I hope you keep on enjoying yourself and blogging about your travels. I have added you to my Google reader and my son and I will follow your adventures, as long as Davy and Daryl’s, and learn a lot through your blogs. Keep up the great job!

    Nathalie from Florida

  4. Hiya Colly!
    that sound so kule how they are going 2 break the record! Wait how far r they from breaking it? Plez email me Colly i miss ya emails!

    Your bff way back home in Piedmont,
    Megan 😀

  5. wow!!! thats a long bike ride!! lol
    –julz

  6. how’d ya meet these dudes? they sound so cool!

    miss ya,
    merey : )