We are a family of four from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, bike-exploring Western Europe, Colombia, Cuba, and the Western United States and Canada for a year.  We started August 1, 2015 and finish July 26, 2016.  Our kids, Anna Sierra and Jasper, are 12 and 9 respectively. You can learn about Jasper here and Anna Sierra here.

Derek is a high school teacher of outdoor education and a guidance counselor, who also taught Canadian geography and history for 12 years.  He has a passion for bicycling, and road bikes, tours, mountain bikes, and commutes to work by bike.  Also, he runs the mountain bike club at the high school where he works and also volunteers at a local community bike shop, Re-Cycles Community Bike Shop.

Kathleen has worked as a writer, editor, English professor, and currently works as an advocate and planner for sustainable transportation — she recently worked planning Ottawa’s Bike to Work Month in 2015, and will return to that job after our trip.   She is passionate about all things bike, but especially commuting and using the bike for daily transportation.  She doesn’t have her driver’s license, and doesn’t want it!

15 thoughts on “About Us

  1. We miss you already! (and misplaced your address already). We need to know where to send Jasper’s Legos! We can send them ahead to a post office along the way if you prefer. Thank you for blessing our home and family with your stay. We all wish your home and ours were not so far apart. I think you all are natural, kindred spirit magnets. What luck for us you lunched at our library…


  2. What fun meeting you all at Roche Harbor! Just noticed the Heffernan name. Any relation to John Heffernan, deceased, who was born in SF and lived in Tacoma for many years? My wife worked for him selling men’s clothing in Seattle for several years. We bought our first house on Vashon Island from him. The story of your trip is so great. The ferry I mentioned from Vancouver Island to the mainland is from Comox to Powell River, which is less than a day’s ride from Lund (the northern terminus of 101 which goes all the way to Tierra Del Fuego), where you can rent Kayaks for an easy trip into Desolation Sound. Safe camping on many islands, one of the best is on the island at Isabel Cove, Lancelot Inlet, an easy half-day paddle from the kayak launch across the peninsula from Lund. Whereever you go, bon voyage!


    1. Steve, we loved meeting you too and hearing about your Mount St. Helen’s adventure! We’ll have to check with the family about that Heffernan connection! All the best and we’d vote for you if we could! Kathleen


    1. Awesome! We loved meeting you guys too. We can’t believe you cycled all the way from Lake Louise to Jasper in one day and arrived with such big smiles and cheerful spirits. You were right – the scenery was so beautiful we were looking everywhere and the kilometres and the passes just slipped away! Our email is kathleenmargaretwilker AT gmail DOT com. All the best! K,D, A & J


  3. Hi to this incredible family of Derek, Kathleen, Anna and Jasper. It was so nice meeting you yesterday and enjoying a good hike along with your friends Ralph and Linda. We have a lot in common as we are a father and daughter team cycling the world like you. It was fun learning about your great adventure and to see how well behaved and educated Anna and Jasper are. But more importantly how happy you are as a family riding your bikes. Best wishes on your ride home and we hope to see you when we ride east to Ottawa. Fair winds and happy trails to you. Take care, Mike and Jocelyn


  4. Hi there, heard you were in Banff yesterday – would love to come meet you to do a feature with Global News – today if possible. Please give me a shout as soon as you get this! 403 604 8729 thanks and happy trails!


  5. Hello from South Dakota! We met you guys at Glacier (we were the newlyweds). Awesome blog – love reading of your adventures. What a wonderful family experience! Hope all is well.

    Tom and Carly


  6. Hey Derek, Kathleen, Anna Sierra, and Jasper! I’m glad you made it back home. I hope you are adapting well to (and enjoying) life off the road – it is so much different, isn’t it? It was great to cross paths with you all down in So Cal. It’s amazing how you connect with people while traveling (especially other cyclists!). I hope that we can meet again sometime! Maybe I’ll do a little bike trip up to Ottawa; it’s not so far from Utica!


    1. Hey Cameron! We thought of you often as we were riding along and wondered how everything was going for you. It was so lovely to meet you! We are all adapting well to life at home. I started back at work on August 2 and we’re all reconnecting with family and friends here at home. You are always welcome to visit here in Ottawa. That would be awesome!! Xo Kathleen, Derek, Anna Sierra and Jasper


  7. Hey there, I’m about to bike Cuba with my toddlers and would really like to ask you a few questions and pick your brain, but can’t find your email anywhere on this site. Could you contact me so you can be my guru for a short bit? It would be extremely appreciated.


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