Family on Bikes – An Uphill Battle?

Family on Bikes – An Uphill Battle?
July 27, 2011 Guest

An inspiring journey deserving of recognition!

A Guinness Record was set by an amazing family – Let’s support their fight as they seek to receive the recognition they deserve.

At the heart, the family travel community is just that,  a community. As a community, we support each others’ journey, offer advice and support, whenever needed. That is the nature of community. That is the nature of our global  family. And that is the nature & purpose of today’s Guest Post.

Miro & I are  privileged to be connected to many inspirational families online. One particular family spent the last three years following their dream.  This amazing family of  four, (Mom, Dad and twelve-year-old twin boys Davy & Daryl) have bicycled from Alaska to Argentina. Quite an accomplishment, right??!!  When they reached the southernmost tip of South America, Davy and Daryl became the new Guinness World Record holders as the youngest people to cycle the Pan-American Highway! Or, so that’s what they thought.

We hope you enjoy this guest post, written by Kimberly Travaglino of Fulltime Families Magazine in support of and their current struggle to gain recognition for their amazing accomplishment.

I dare you, Guinness!

written by Kimberly Travaglino

Admit it! You held your breath ‘til you turned blue in the face… You ran around your block 172 times, until your legs felt like jell-o and you could run no more. You dreamed of kissing that hunky guy for two weeks straight.

You did this because someone else in the world was the current Guinness Book World Record Holder and if you could just beat them, even by a millisecond, your name would be forever upheld among the ranks of global record holders.Now think back to your 10-year-old self. What if you really had a shot at Guinness stardom? What if your parents were crazy enough to take a three year sabbatical, and cycle with you from Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina? Would you hop on your bike and ride off into the sunset? You bet you would!

And that’s just what Davy and Daryl Vogel (the twin sons of Nancy and John Vogel from Boise, ID) did on June 8, 2008.

During their 2 and a ½ year journey, my family transitioned from a middle class American family, to a fulltime rv living family. We drove thousands of miles, while the Vogel’s biked.We toured 14 states, while the Vogel’s biked. Many of those driving miles were spent discussing the Vogel’s odyssey and comparing it to our adventure… While we thought we were really roughing it in our 35ft fifth wheel, when we checked our facebook, we saw how the Vogel’s were roughing it… Getting dental work done in South America, chasing down would be bike thieves’ only weeks from their finish date.

All of Facebook was abuzz as they closed in on the “end of the world” and I remember posting to Nancy how melancholy I was feeling as they neared their final mile. Her family’s journey had been such an inspiration to our family – even though I have yet to meet them in person – I felt I knew them – and was secretly hoping they would just keep going!

Now there is a new chapter in this epic saga. Before their launch, Nancy contacted the Guinness Book of World Records and was told if the boys completed the trek they would be international record holders.

Remember, these were 10 year old boys (when they started – they are now 13).Guinness is a BIG DEAL to a 10 year old boy! Think of the clout the title holds in middle school! You know if you have been an international record holder, no one would have noticed your braces or that bad perm!

But somewhere during the journey, Guinness changed the rules and is denying Davy and Daryl their record. The reason is way beyond a half wit like me – maybe this mumbo jumbo makes sense to you:

“Unfortunately, we at Guinness World Records, have decided to rest this record, meaning we have decided to no longer recognize the category as a record, due to the fact that the record would reach an age where a person would no longer be able to break it or attempt (i.e. a two-year old attempting to do it) and as it would become limited under these terms, we choose to to no longer recognize it as a category.”

Aren’t all their records “limited” in some way or another?

Although it goes without saying that the achievement of these brave boys is no less amazing just because GWR refuses to recognize it – the fact remains, that with every mile they peddled, they pictured themselves in that book. I have no doubt, uphill, downhill, in sunny weather and against pelting rain, they found the strength to peddle a little further and a little faster because there would we a Guinness certificate in their future.

Shame on your Guinness for letting these boys (your target market) down. While they endured years of cycling – you sat in your cushy offices, resting and resurrecting records at will. I dare you to stand by your word and honor these young men as you had promised to do in 2008. And I double dog dare you to hold your breath for 18 min 33 seconds – and see how you feel when we send you a denial letter.

Family on Bikes

Just the Facts, Ma’am:

provided by Nancy  from

Spring 2008 – received guidelines from Guinness World Records outlining exactly what we needed to do

June 2008 – we left from Prudhoe Bay. The boys were 10

March 2009 – wrote to ask question of GWR about rules. They had since changed the rules, but stated they would abide by the guidelines they had originally given us.

March 2011 – we reached Ushuaia, Argentina after nearly three years on the road. We cycled 17,300 miles through fifteen countries. The boys were 13.

June 2011 – we submitted the documentation to GWR exactly as they had outlined in the guidelines from 2008

July 25 – received an email stating they had denied our claim: “Unfortunately, we at Guinness World Records, have decided to rest this record, meaning we have decided to no longer recognize the category as a record, due to the fact that the record would reach an age where a person would no longer be able to break it or attempt (i.e. a two-year old attempting to do it) and as it would become limited under these terms, we choose to to no longer recognize it as a category.”

July 26 – received an email from records management from Guinness World Records stating: “the primary reason for which we could not accept your effort is because our Records Management Team has taken the position, since 2009, to not monitor unsuitable records achieved or submitted by people younger than 16, unless the record is sanctioned by an internationally recognized organization or federation. This aligns such categories with the decisions taken by organizations such as the International Gymnastics Federations to only allow competitors older than 16 or the World Sailing Speed Record Council to only allow those aged 18 and older to participate in solo voyages.”

What can you do?

Send an email to Guinness Book of World Records on behalf of Family Vogel on Bikes! Record Adjudications – or tweet your support using this hash tag #GuinnessBook & #FamilyonBikes or write a blog post on your blog and share it with your family and friends.


Fulltime Families Camping Company

Kimberly Travaglino is the editor of Fulltime Families Magazine, the official monthly publication of Fulltime Families Camping Company . A company that supports families fulltime RV Adventures or aspirations.



Posts in Support

And more posts in support of Family on Bikes keep popping up. Be sure to also visit these posts:

The Edventure Project

The Fearful Adventurer

Vagabond Family

At Home in the World

Teach the Future

Finally, sign the petition in support of Family Vogel here!



  1. Traveling Ted 13 years ago

    What a shame. That is unfair of them to change the rules in the middle of a journey. I am going to send an email.

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