20,000 Miles on Two Wheels


Marley Gandee, Associate Editor-in-Chief

For many people, their farthest bike journey is the commute to work or a couple of miles for fun. In August of 2021, now 21-year-old, Liam Gardner set off on a journey, riding his bike from Alaska to Argentina. After 527 days, 20,000 miles, and 14 countries, he finally arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina. Right after Liam’s graduation, he started preparing for his trip, leaving him with around a month. This would seem stressful and daunting to many, but for Liam, this was the goal of his trip. He wanted to prove to himself that he could finish what he had set out to do, and because of his adventurous spirit, he chose the longest trip he could, without any training. It had been his first time on a bike in seven months.

Over his journey, he overcame many challenges. His trip was well underfunded, and he was living off of only $430 a month. Instead of staying in hotels, he slept in tents throughout the entire trip. He was robbed at least five times, and crashed on his bike, hitting his head. This unfortunate event left him in the hospital for a month, with nearly 40 stitches, and required him to have plastic surgery to fix his ear. He arrived in Mexico speaking almost no Spanish and struggled with high temperatures. He even left for his journey without the permission of his father, and only told him where he was after he left. His trip was totally self-funded and self-inspired.

Along his journey, he inspired more than just himself. On his Instagram account, @liamtheimpaler, the comment sections are filled with people who were moved by his journey. Some who had met him, and some who were total strangers. His “fans” commented that they are hoping to meet him after the inspiration that they were given from his journey.

Liam had been on bike trips before, one of which was from Long Beach to San Francisco, California, where he met his current girlfriend. Originally, when they met they were just friends, but during his trip, their relationship blossomed. His journey has been over since January of 2023, but he has since embarked on yet another journey: hiking home from Argentina with his girlfriend.