What we do
BIOcycling America is a project of the Italian “Happy Family”, from Revine Lago, a small village beneath the Dolomites 70km North-east from Venice. We are daddy Sébastien Bellet Grava, mother Alberta Spinazzè and daughters Anna and Angela of 9 and 11 year’s old. We have been cycling across South America as a team from Ushuaia, the tip of Patagonia, to Bogotà in Colombia, slowly heading northwards. Everything started from a dream and the will power to make our lives extraordinary, living a great outdoor adventure together and “building bridges and seeding values” along the way. Initially we planned to reach Cartagena after 20 months. This was the maximum time that Seba got for his non-paid leave permission from work. But then when we reached the sacred Lake Titicaca in Perú living in the Uros Islands. On this special peace of earth, we all took the decision to move on, making the BIOcycling project our new lifestyle. California, here we come!
We have been on the road for more than 3 years. In this time we did 21.000km, of which 16.000km by bike, crossing the Andes 13 times and visiting about a hundred sustainable realities of organic farming, fair trade producers, indigenous communities and schools. We got in contact with people who are inspiring others, learning together and trying to make a difference towards environmental awareness.
The mission is to motivate and share the positive energy of our experience, talking about the hidden stories and invisible people working hard behind the products we eat and use. As Gandhi said: “Be the changes you want to see in the world!”
Who we are
We met each other as dreamers. Dreaming of discovering the beauty of cultural and environmental biodiversity on the one hand and being responsible parents at the same time. Sebastien spent his childhood in South Africa, passing tough family issues. He has always enjoyed adventure travelling and sports, working as a mountainbike guide in Iceland, Italy and Transilvania. In Italy, he worked for NaturaSí, the country’s biggest organic and biodynamic producer and distributer. NaturaSí sponsored the first part of our project.
Alberta was graduated in International Development Cooperation at the University of Padua. She was running a fair-trade shop and has always been interested in social awareness, especially towards South America. For this reason, we ended up here, although she has never travelled on a bicycle before!
HAPPY FAMILY is not a fact, but an enormous challenge. Having to keep the balance between all of us, it’s not an easy game but definitely worth it. Love is our power! We consider ourselves travellers on bicycles rather than tourists or cyclists! The hardest and most wonderful part is not cycling but sticking together 24/7 for so long. Adapting like chameleons to different lifestyles, dealing simultaneously with contacts, our daughters’ on-the-road education, spaces and rhythms that change continuously. But we like it, and all this keeps us very vital and curious! We rented out our apartment to pay part of the traveling fees, worked along the way but most of all we travel simply. We live with the locals who open their hearts and houses to us. Sometimes we sell postcards, bracelets, earrings and “Happy Jams” we make together.
School of Life
WORLDSCHOOLING, that is how we call our way of educating our daughters. Officially we have a permission by the Ministry of Education and Director of the school of Italy. A project that is collaborating with the kids in Italy sharing curious info concerning the places and cultures we visit, made all this possible. Angela and Anna have recently passed an academic exam, evaluating their general knowledge and educational level. It gave all of us great satisfaction. Beside learning to talk and read perfectly in Spanish, the richness of their education results from the daily multi-cultural exchange. We define it as “School of Life”.
We recently came back to Bogotà for Xmas with the family after 3 years. Our bike set-up is changing. So, we left Alby’s trailer at home, enabling Angela to start cycling alone on her mom’s bike. We will take care of her, letting her ride only in safe sections until she feels confident. By the end of 2019, we will search a bike only for her and get rid of Anna’s tricycle in order to finally balance our gear more equally.
Now we are in Zipaquirá on the Oriental Cordillera after spending a couple of weeks visiting some permaculture projects and alternative schools. The girls have participated a few days in class, while the parents were busy doing workshops.
The plan is to reach Cartagena by the end of May and find a way to move to Panama, hopefully by sailing boat. We are looking forward to opening another chapter of our project through Central America.
We will keep you updated and take you with us BIOcycling America!
Discover more about the Happy Family BIOcycling on FB and Instagram too.
GPS: Click here on our SPOT GPS LINK to see always where we are 🙂
Fotos by Alberta Spinazzè