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Slow biking from Brazil to the US

2/10/2014. It was a remarkable encounter on the busy avenues of Rio de Janeiro last week.  Suddenly a group of 4 cyclists appeared in front of Rio de Janeiro’s oldest shopping mall, Rio Sul. They were heavily packed, two adults and two kids, apparently doing some serious cycling.

Rio by Bike stopped to talk to them and the cyclists turned out to be João Fonseca, all the way from Portugal, with his Swiss wife, Valérie Fonseca and their 9 and 10 year old sons. Even more amazing: they were on their way by bicycle to the United States. First they would cycle through Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Central America.

The Fonseca family just had arrived in Rio de Janeiro, slept a night in Galeão airport and cycled along the Avenida Brasil, famous for its traffic jams and car accidents, to the South Zone of Rio. ,,It was a bit hairy”, confirmed João, happy to encounter real bike lanes in the South Zone of the city.

They were on their way to Copacabana to meet a friend who had made the same journey by bike to the United States years ago. The idea was as well to bike to the water falls of Foz Iguacu.

,,Before we had the boys, the two of us made a cycle trip of 4 years through Asia (passing through countries like Vietnam, India and Sri Lanka). Now it was time to make a similar journey with the boys”, explained João. They published a book about their adventures: Pedalar Devagar (Slow Pedaling). Cycling is just the best way to get to know new places, is their experience and who wouldn’t agree with them!

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