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In 2008, Ben Cunningham and five friends set out to cycle the Pan-American Highway, believed to be the longest continuous road in the world. With a taste for adventure, Ben shares his inspiring story of crossing two continents on a bicycle.
Ben Cunningham, from County Kildare, became interested in adventure sports and expeditions in his teens, but before he set out to cycle from Alaska to Argentina he had never owned a bicycle and had little to no cycling experience.
From June 2008 to March 2009, Ben cycled the Pan-American Highway, over 20,000 kilometres from Deadhorse, Alaska’s most northerly point, to Ushuaia in Argentina, the most southerly city in the world. The Pan-American Highway is believed to be the world’s longest continuous land route, passing through fourteen countries across two continents. He was 22 years old when he braved the vast mosquito-ridden bear country of Alaska and Canada and the densely populated cities of Los Angeles and Lima, the rough sleeping, torrential rain, and extreme heat.
Since completing that trip, Ben has cycled in France, Spain, Ireland and Norway, amassing over 40,000 kilometres of experience on some of the world’s toughest and most enjoyable routes. He has also written a book about his biggest achievement, The Longest Road: An Irish Pan-American Cycling Adventure.
In the summer of 2015 Ben once again challenged himself to a significant ride: a cycle along the Wild Atlantic Way, following the west coast of Ireland from Derry to Kinsale. At 2,600 kilometres in length, the Wild Atlantic Way is one of the longest defined coastal routes in the world.
Ben is now a barrister as well as a writer, speaker and adventure enthusiast, sharing his inspirational tale of adventure and endurance.
Ben talks about the Pan-American Highway and his epic journey. His speaking style allows the key messages learned on the trip to flow naturally. He focuses on the value of teamwork, leadership, and the importance of humour and organisation in completing a task as big as the Pan-American Highway journey. Ben’s speaking engagements have been described as captivating, entertaining and above all valuable.