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Seattle man to complete around the world bike trip in Labrador

Bixel heading out from Labrador City, heading for the coast of Labrador
Bixel heading out from Labrador City, heading for the coast of Labrador

These days most people have a bucket list, or dream, or plan to do something that will challenge them in every way. For Dravis Bixel, who now lives in Seattle Washington, his was, to say the least, more ambitious than any of us could ever imagine.
Bixel works as a bike courier and has done lots of cycling trips all over the world. But to the surprise of many he was cycling through Labrador City and Wabush recently, a sight not usually seen in October, or very often for that matter.
“I planned to cycle around the world. It’s been done before, but I wanted to expand on other journeys,” Bixel told the Aurora. 
The journey was planned through 23 countries, and covered about thirty thousand kilometers. However, for Bixel, the journey is far more than covering the miles.
”It’s about connecting with people of different religions , languages , ethnicities , and discovering that people all over the world have so much in common,” he explained .
The trip started in January 2016 in Cabo de Roca, Portugal, chosen because it is the western most point on the European continent. The end, the most easterly point in Labrador. 
Bixel told the Aurora “this is a trip about continent to continent, I understand there is a more easterly point on the island but including islands can make it difficult.”
From there, it continued all the way to Russia. 
(Note: Dravis has a good blog that hopefully will be updated with the most recent part of his journey at www.theendsoftheearth.org. There are photos and writings of this amazing journey at this site.)
After Russia, Dravis decided that crossing the ice to Alaska (if it was passable) was far too dangerous, so he picked up the trip in Alaska and headed for Labrador. Onward, at times on the Iditarod trail, on a journey that got him as far as Winnipeg, when he got a call that his father had passed away. 
He returned to Seattle, working through his loss. 
Bixel told the Aurora “my father followed my travels closely and encouraged me. He was a person who inspired me to believe I could do whatever I wanted to do.”
The current leg of this biker’s trip resumed in September in Winnipeg. He rolled through Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec arriving in Labrador October 19th, and is now headed towards the coast of Labrador to complete his round the world journey. Bixel told the Aurora he’s going to Cape St. Charles, and that will complete the journey.
From there he expect to head to Blanc Sablon, to get the boat and he may actually get a ride to Port Aux Basques before he heads to Maine, where he will meet his mother.
Bixel, reflecting on his journey, told the Aurora the scary moments usually dealt with traffic, he was almost wiped out by a huge truck in France. 
“There have been animals, none that were dangerous, lots of long rides alone, weather, breaking equipment that always managed to get fixed one way or another.”
Not even the bits of snow that fell as he made his way up the highway to Labrador could deter him. On the positive side Bixel says meeting people was amazing/
”There were always offers of help, people invited me to stay with them and there was lots of food, shared meals. I was amazed at how many people in Iran offered me food,” he told the Aurora.
If you’re wondering, he usually carries enough goods for five days the saddlebags on his bike hold his tent, clothes and other essentials. Most days on paved roads, he will cycle 150 kilometers, 100 on dirt roads. He estimates he’s ridden around 30,000 km so far.
Bixel has financed the trip from savings; he has had donations of equipment, and the generosity of people along the way. Friends and family offered to help but he declined, asking that anybody considering helping out donate money to the international organization Doctors Without Borders. He is using the trip to help raise awareness and money for the organization. 
For Dravis Bixel this trip will complete a lifelong dream and reading his blog will give you an idea of just how much of a journey this is. 
What’s next? 
He told the Aurora he’s contemplating a trip that will take him from Alaska to the tip of South America but hasn’t started the planning yet.
“And I have to update my blog,” he laughed.
As people say, Bixel has enough stories to fill a book. Now there’s a thought.
 

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