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Biking the Americas: Two Dogs and Their Owners Ride from Canada to Argentina

While Brexit may have left many UK residents stunned and unsure of the future, for Luba and Tom the historic vote spurred them into action, pushing them to finally make a plan to quit their jobs and embrace a life on the road.

Luba, a pediatrician, and Tom, who was training in surgery, had spent years working insane physician schedules, often only seeing each other a couple times a week and rarely enjoying days off together despite living under one roof. They were both on the road to burnout, and when new healthcare reform and the Brexit vote changed the professional climate even more, they knew it was now or never.

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Luba and Tom loved to bike and had taken many trips in the past, but this adventure was going to be a whole new level of bike touring. What started as a plan to pedal around Europe for a summer and then fly to South America to continue the trip soon morphed into a wild vision to bike continuously from Canada to Argentina. With their dogs and without any real training.

Fast-forward to today. The couple and their beloved pups, Phoebe and Lolo, are now in Colombia, having successfully biked more than 17,500km of their nearly 30,000km planned route. They set out from Vancouver and took what they call “the scenic route” to travel down through the United States, Mexico, and Central America.

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While Luba and Tom said that those first few weeks of traveling solely by self-powered bike, pulling a heavy dog trailer and all their supplies, was an intense sort of bootcamp, Phoebe (a seven-year-old hound mix) and Lolo (a four-year-old terrier mix) settled right in. The two rescue pups -- who Luba and Tom found on Facebook and adopted from their home country of Slovakia -- love life on the road, riding in the trailer when roads are rough or busy, running alongside with a bungee leash when on dirt, sleeping next to their humans in tents every night, and enjoying plenty of space to explore, swim, and play along the way.

Luba and Tom have had their own share of adventure on this journey as well, taking their time to see landmarks like Little Wild Horse Canyon in Utah, paddling beautiful bodies of water including Lake Tahoe, hiking iconic mountains like Acatenango in Guatemala where they watched the Volcán de Fuego volcano erupt, and even spontaneously deciding to get married as a ploy to lure friends and family down for a visit while spending the rainy season housesitting in Mexico.

But it isn’t all fun and games. Not only do Luba, Tom, Phoebe, and Lolo have to brave the elements and carry all their own gear -- including the Rex Specs both dogs wear on the road -- through all kinds of weather conditions, they spent much of their time in Canada and the U.S. battling with tourist RVs on the highways and contending with buses on more rural roads in Central and South America.

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Being trained physicians, Luba and Tom have a leg up when medical issues arise like torn pads on the dogs’ paws or when Lolo got into a nest of baby ticks, but they say the hardest part of the trip is dealing with the paperwork it takes to cross borders with the dogs. In fact, the crew bypassed Panama altogether and flew over the country because the bureaucracy was so overwhelming.

Luckily the good outweighs the challenges, and Luba and Tom are in no hurry to end the journey. The couple raves that the best part of this trip is getting to share it with Phoebe and Lolo, who burst with joy every day, greet them with excited kisses each morning, and run headfirst into any adventure.

The group likely has another year left to reach their final destination at the tip of Argentina, and from there, they haven’t decided yet. All they know is that they don’t want to return to a life that they’ll eventually want to escape again. Instead, they hope their future finds that perfect balance of work and adventure, and of course, to do it all alongside their favorite travel buddies Phoebe and Lolo.

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1 comment

  • What a wonderful experience. I’m jealous!

    Diane

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Gear For your Dog

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Lens Guide

Lens

UV Rating

VLT*

Durability

Recommended Use

Red Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB Rays.

Allows 20% of light to pass. Very similar to sunglasses.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke.

Giddy up! The Red Mirror lens is great for most dogs and is very similar to the smoke lens with a bit more style.

Clear

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 92% of light to pass

Impact Resistant. Offers best visibility when scratched.

For Everything except protection from brightness. Great for working, hunting or adventure dogs. Blocks UV is impact resistant and often is preferred by dogs. Great training lens, and when it gets scratched the scratches are not as visible to the dog as with other lens options.

Blue Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 15% of light to pass. Slightly darker than smoke and red mirror.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke

DM's are rolling in! The Blue Mirror lens adds a touch of flare and is one of our darker lenses for dogs who have sensitivity to light. Perfect for use in sunny areas and for those who love that blue mirror look.

Silver Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 13% of light to pass. Our darkest lens.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke.

STYLE! Add some flavor to the daily grind with our darkest lens, allowing only 13% of visual light to pass through, making it the best option if your dog has light sensitivity.

Smoke

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 20% of light to pass. Very similar to sunglasses.

Impact Resistant. Offers excellent visibility when scratched.

For everything! Overall the most versatile lens. Great for dogs that are rough on their equipment as it continues to offer good visibility when scratched.F

Green Mirror

Blocks 99% of UVA and UVB

Allows 15% of light to pass. Slightly darker than smoke and red mirror.

Impact Resistant. Mirrored lenses show more scratches than clear or smoke.

The Green Mirror lens adds a touch of flare and is one of our darker lenses for dogs that need some reprieve from the suns brightness.

*VLT = Visual Light Transmission

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Rex Specs

measure your dog in two steps

  1. muzzle circumference

    Measure the circumference of your dog's muzzle where you expect the goggle to land on their nose - usually around the back of their mouth.

  2. head circumference

    Measure the head circumference where you expect the goggle to land on the forehead - typically an inch or so behind the eyes.

Watch Sizing Video
Goggle Size Head Circumference Muzzle Circumference
X-Small Less than 10.5 in Less than 6 in SHOP X-Small
Small 10.5 in - 12 in 6 in - 8 in SHOP Small
Medium 12 in - 14 in 8 in - 9in SHOP Medium
Large 14 in - 17.5 in 9 in - 11.5 in SHOP Large
X-Large Greater than 17.5 in Greater than 11.5 in SHOP X-Large
Small Wide* 12 in - 15 in 6 in - 9 in SHOP Small Wide

*Designed for dogs with a wide, flat face i.e. Boston Terriers
If your dog is between sizes, select the larger size: This will insure the most functional fit and optimal field of view.

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Ear Pro Fit Graphic

EAR PRO SIZE GUIDE

Measure the circumference of your dog's head at it's largest point (just in front of the ears and under the chin).

SIZE

HEAD MEASUREMENT

2 13" - 15" SHOP Size 2
3 15" - 17.5" SHOP Size 3
4 17.5" - 21" SHOP Size 4
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CRUX & TRAILHEAD COLLAR SIZE GUIDE

Measure around the dog's neck as loose or tight as you would like the collar to fit.

SIZE

NECK MEASUREMENT

1 12"-14" SHOP Size 1
2 14"-16.5" SHOP Size 2
3 16.5"-19.5" SHOP Size 3
4 19.5"-24" SHOP Size 4

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