One morning after 13 years of nonstop bicycling around the world, 33-year-old Gustavo Rivara woke up with a realization that has changed his life.
The native South American, who has been extensively traveling Central America, South America, Cuba and the United States on a beat-up old one-speed bicycle, awoke one day from a dream in which he was sailing alone in a sailboat with a painted sail.
Not one to disregard such powerful feelings, Rivara saw it as a sign and came to Marina del Rey to procure a boat, outfit it, and sail it to Colombia, where he plans to embark on yet another adventure along some of the rivers in rural areas of that country.
“Maybe I need a change,” Rivara said of the dream in his Argentinean accent. “I need a home — 13 years with no home. I thought maybe the best thing would be a boat — why not?”
Skeptics might say that the fact that Rivara knows nothing about boats answers the “why not?” question. He has never owned one and doesn’t know how to sail or navigate.
But these details are not swaying Rivara from this mission and he is used to such doubting, for that is what everyone did when he set out on a clunky old bike to travel the world with no money and only some small saddlebags hanging over his rear tire.
Thirteen years later he is a confident, experienced adventurer who sees this challenge no differently than he saw his last.
“I will learn,” he said of the impending voyage. “I’ll find someone to teach me the basics and I feel that I will figure it out. When I started my [cycling] trip, people told me I was crazy.”
When he was 20 years old, Rivara left his native Argentina and set out on the road in search of adventure and the unknown. He wasn’t sure how he would find it, but knew that by some means he would begin a life of nonstop travel.
“Although I thought about doing it by foot, or in an old truck, I never thought of riding a bicycle. I was lucky to find these wings that allow me to reach the world’s most remote locations in a natural and healthy way.”
Rivara arrived in Marina del Rey very recently and already many folks around the boating community know who this “guy on the bike” is.
He is making his presence known and seeking the counsel of everyone and anyone offering advice about such an undertaking.
He is listening to everyone, then distilling the information as he decides on what kind of boat to purchase with his very limited resources.
His plan is to purchase the boat this week, outfit it throughout the month and set sail on September 15th for the shores of Colombia.
Many people from the local boating constituency have been generous and helpful in assisting this adventurer in his pursuits. Matt Shultz of Lifesail and Schultz Surveyors was assisting Rivara in finding a boat that was sturdy and properly equipped for the trek and West Marine offered him a substantial discount based on his unique situation.
Once at sea, Rivara doesn’t anticipate stopping much along the way. He is looking to use the voyage as a means to write a book about his cycling travels and other adventures.
He is nervous about this new responsibility. For over a decade, the young wanderer has had no home. He has had no bills, commitments or obligations of any kind.
“All my life, I ride a bicycle,” Rivara said smiling. “Bicycle is free everywhere, but a boat is different. You need to pay to dock it and register it.
“I haven’t had any responsibility in my life. I cross the border on my bicycle with only my passport and I don’t have to pay anything to anybody. That’s why the bicycle is the best.”
Rivara will keep his beloved bike with him through his journey, aboard what will probably end up being a boat between 29 and 34 feet. He needs to buy the vessel on a shoestring budget and outfit it with the pertinent necessities and he hopes that fellow boaters/travelers might be able to donate or sell some of the equipment he needs at a fair price.
After leaving the shores of Marina del Rey, Rivara will take the next six to nine months traveling to the next continent down in pursuit of more experiences. Why? Because he woke up one morning and knew that he was going to — that’s why.
To read more about Gustavo’s travels thus far or help with equipment, etc., go to www.fugaz .ciudad.com.ar or e-mail fugaz_ firstname.lastname@example.org.