Random Traveller #87 with Nancy of Family on Bikes

by Poi on April 8, 2013

5 Flares 5 Flares ×

Welcome to round 87 of ‘Meet a Random Traveller’. The series dedicated to bring attention to fantastic people all around the world doing their thing.

Random Traveller #87 

Who are you?

I’m Nancy Sathre-Vogel, otherwise known as Mom to Family on Bikes. I am a 21-year schoolteacher, who has now chosen to leave the classroom for other pursuits. At this point, I am working on developing my writing and my bead art. Together with my husband and twin teenage sons, I live in Boise, Idaho for now.

family on Bikes group picture in the Andes

Family on their bikes!

Whats the Deal?

Our website started in 2007 as a way to document our bicycle journey from Alaska to Argentina. We spent nearly three years on the road, pedaling 17,300 miles through fifteen countries. Ours was a world-record attempt, and my blog was our way to documenting the journey for Guinness World Records.

We finished our journey in March, 2011, and I’ve since morphed our blog into a source of encouragement and inspiration for others wanting to chase their own dreams.

We also sell our books on our site. I’ve got a few books already. One is about a year-long bike tour in Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Bangladesh. Another is about bike touring together as a family around the USA and Mexico. My newest book  is called Changing Gears: A Family Odyssey to the End of the World. you can have a look at the preview here. It chronicles our adventures on the road from Alaska to Argentina.

family on bikes in the snow

Biking in the snow

Have all the family always been keen cyclists or is it something that had to be developed overtime?

John and I have been into cycling for many, many years. In fact, we met when we were both planning to take a year off from teaching to cycle around India. Two months before school was out for the year, we heard about each other and decided to travel together. I flew to Pakistan with a man I didn’t even know, spent the next year biking through some of the most difficult conditions known to mankind, and we got married upon our return to the USA.

How do you schedule rest days?

We discovered pretty quickly that we needed to take enough rest days – if we didn’t Mother Nature made sure we did by one of us getting sick. It was much nicer to take rest days on our own terms, because that way we could enjoy them. If she did it, we were sick in bed and nobody enjoyed it at all.

We didn’t schedule them, per se. When we managed to find a good place to stay, we stayed an extra day or seven. If we were staying a yucky place, we moved on.

Has there ever been a time when someone refused to get back on their bike?

No. Never. There were quite a few times when someone just wanted an extra day off for whatever reason, so we tried to honor that. Unless there was a strong reason why we needed to move, we took another day off until we were all ready.

In Argentina

Why would you recommend cycling over land as opposed to more traditional travel?

There are so many reasons! You are outside in nature, you’ll get to know small villages, you meet more people, it’s a physical challenge… I’ve written a post about why I prefer bike touring over travel in buses here

What’s next?

At this point, we are planning to stay here in Idaho during the school years because our sons are taking a few classes. They are still homeschooled, but are taking advanced math and science classes through our local school system. We recently inherited a small cottage on the Connecticut shore, so are planning to spend summers there. Of course, this could all change in a heartbeat, but that’s the plan at this point.


A big thanks to Nancy for taking part, great to have you. Be sure to check them out here:

Fancy being Random Traveller 88? Contact us!


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Daynne@TravelnLass April 9, 2013 at 9:54 am

“…otherwise known as Mom to Family on Bikes. I am a 21-year schoolteacher,…”

Um, I’m familiar with the many adventures of the FoB, but… I dare say we have a significant typo there. I mean – with two teenage sons – uh, shouldn’t that be couple decades older???


Kirsty April 9, 2013 at 4:44 pm

I thought the same the first time I read it, but I think it is meant to be teaching for 21 years…


budget jan April 9, 2013 at 6:25 pm

I am familiar with Nancy’s blog and the family’s amazing adventures. I think their achievements are truly amazing. Thanks for the interesting interview.


Andi of My Beautiful Adventures April 9, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Some of the most inspiring people in this world!


George July 4, 2013 at 2:02 pm

I want to live this life so badly


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge