If you ever doubt such thing as kindness in strangers, hop on a bike.
(Jim Quinlan, The Green Saddle)
A message from Annalisa
Last summer, Erik and I biked across America on the TransAmerica Trail. I took pictures of the people I met along the way in a series called Miles of Portraits. The collection’s founding was inspired by my favorite part of bike travel – the people. Especially after the divisive U.S. presidential election of 2016, it was refreshing to experience firsthand the generosity and warmth that fills this country.
Erik and I realized that this series is the perfect vehicle to get to know a place and celebrate the ways the bicycle brings people together. We’ve biked across the contiguous United States – so we’re continuing on to Alaska! This July, we’ll be cycling 1,000 miles there and snapping more portraits; putting a face to this faraway state. I’ll focus on taking the pictures while Erik will focus on shooting a short film of these spontaneous interviews. This will be the second installment of a series we hope to take around the world.
Stretch goal added!
If we reach $8000, we're buying a drone to further document our Alaska journey. We're excited to give our short film another dimension and share footage throughout the trip!
Following the trip, we'll be producing two magazines. The first, 4,000 Miles of Portraits – America, will showcase portrait highlights from the bike trip that started it all. The second, 1,000 Miles of Portraits – Alaska, will contain photographs of the people (and creatures!) we will meet on our Alaska ride. In the grand scheme of things, these two will be the start of a series of portrait booklets from around the globe.
The following are sample magazine spreads.
8" x 8" | 32 – 60 pages
4,000 Miles of Portraits – America
Rob Demetriou | Henrico, VA
We met Rob at Willis United Methodist Church — our home for the night. He’s another TransAmer from London who is a lot of things; a nurse, a triathlete, an ironman, and an amateur bike mechanic. He’s got 10 bikes in his apartment and his girlfriend is not happy about it. He flew in from England yesterday and has already got about 130 miles down.
The Wolthuis Family | Bendavis, MO
The Wolthuis family, owners of the Ben Davis Store, has nearly blue eyes all-around. Alannah, the one in the Minnie Mouse dress was a true kid and asked me every possible question about my bike trip. James, in yellow, frequently rings up customers and has taken charge of the cyclist guest book.
Kitty Barks | Jackson, MT
Kitty Barks has come a long way. She's gone from living in her car to finding an apartment and landing a job at the post office. She married into her last name and kept it when she got divorced — because how could you not?
The Armenta Family | Roosevelt, WA
Brenda, Adriana, Brian, and Herado live just across the street from the massive Columbia River — and what a backyard it is! On this 104° day, the family was splashing around and hunting for water worms.
Jeff Link | Roosevelt, WA
It's 4 p.m. but Jeff's eating breakfast. He works 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. at a methane plant where he helps convert garbage into electricity.
Six years after my type 1 diabetes diagnosis, I finally started to seek out others with the condition. I joined a Meetup group and met Erik at a potluck on my father's roof. Right off the bat, it was clear the boy had a thirst for adventure. Two years later, we had coffee and he told me that a layoff had prompted him to let go of his apartment lease. He was planning to rent a van, drive around the country, and talk to as many diabetics as he could (an idea that later came into fruition in the form of The Diabadass Tour). Having been recently laid off myself, it got me thinking – why can't I do something like that? Like, I don't know, bike across the country again? Five months later, we grabbed our bikes and did exactly that.
I'm an endurance athlete and global traveler with type 1 diabetes striving to show that we can go anywhere and do anything. I've traveled to the border of South Sudan and Ethiopia, hiked parts of the Te Araroa trail in New Zealand, and biked 6,000 miles across and down America. My stories, tips, and adventures can be found online at diabadass.com.
Instagram | YouTube
Annalisa van den Bergh
I was born and raised in NYC by a Dutch father and a Venezuelan mother. Last year, PTSD from my mom’s passing prompted me to take advantage of my own health and cycle across America. It was the best decision I've ever made and the most cathartic way I could have honored her. The trip reignited my love for bike travel and an aversion to desk jobs. So I founded Work From Bike (WFB), a visual storytelling studio on wheels. Learn more at workfrombike.com.
Instagram | Medium
Follow @milesofportraits on Instagram!
The Alaska Route
Risks and challenges
If we don't reach our funding goal, your credit card won't be charged. If we do, the process of printing the magazines and editing the film is pretty straightforward. I'm a graphic designer and have experience printing books. Erik is a videographer and YouTuber so we feel confident about the two major parts of this project.
Biking and documenting can be a handful. We've learned that from our cross-country trip. That's why we are giving ourselves five weeks in Alaska. We'll have enough time to bike, chat with locals, basecamp in Anchorage, and document our journey.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)