If you ever doubt such a thing as
kindness in strangers, hop on a bike. 

(Jim Quinlan)

On my bike trip across the United States in 2008, I discovered bicycle touring is the best way to see the world. I have a long list of reasons but towards the top are the people: the mother and daughter in Michigan who let us sleep in their treehouse, the couple who found us in 105° heat and decided to haul back a Costco pack of frozen ice pops, the campground owners in Montana who upon finding out that it was our leader’s birthday brought us a makeshift watermelon “cake” with a flower in it. These are the people you are much less likely to meet in practically any other form of transportation because bicycling takes you through the backroads.

In the summer of 2017, I took on the feat again, following the iconic TransAmerica Trail from Virginia to Seattle. Inspired by the fond memories from my 2008 trip, I set out to photograph the people I met along the way. Their portraits and stories illustrate the kindness that exists across America. In the aftermath of the U.S. 2016 presidential election, it was reassuring to experience firsthand the generosity and warmth that fills this country.

I'm happy to report that those 4,000 miles were just the beginning.

In the summer of 2018, my friend Erik Douds and I launched a successful Kickstarter and continued the series into Alaska where we rode 1,000 miles. Head to Erik’s YouTube channel to watch the film and pick up a magazine of portraits here.

This series has become the perfect vehicle to get to know a place and celebrate the ways the bicycle brings people together. We hope you’ll follow along as we take it around the world!

180º of Impact
Adventure Cycling
Far Ride Magazine
Pearl Izumi
The Bravest Life
The Daily Beast
The Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center
The Pedalshift Project
The Sprocket Podcast
The Washington Post's The Lily

Annalisa van den Bergh is a graphic designer and visual journalist.
Read her story and view her work at workfrombike.com.

Erik Douds is an endurance athlete and global traveler with type 1 diabetes.
He's striving to show that diabetics can go anywhere and do anything.