Parallels 2024: Your Rides

As Parallels 2024 comes to a close, we’ve had a chance to look through some of the amazing adventures the community has embarked on over the northern hemispheres Summer Solstice weekend. We’ve highlighted rides from two different corners of the world that encapsulate what Parallels is all about. 

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Rider sitting on the floor with bike

 

Jaime Napoles – Riding Solo 

Zacatecas City to Buenavista

Based in Mexico City, Jaime Napoles is the founder of Mexico’s first and leading ultra-distance race – Le Tour de Frankie. No stranger to the trials and tribulations of the ultra-distance world, we followed his multi-surface journey through western Mexico, starting in El Bajío.

Parallels is not only a distance challenge, but a challenge of route-planning to try and maximise your straight-line distance. That being said, there’s only so much planning that can prepare you for unpredictable and extreme weather – something which Jaime battled during the infancy of his adventure, fighting against ‘‘cyclonic conditions’’ that added an ‘‘exhilarating twist’’ to his Parallels.

 

After a long stretch of the gritty hard shoulder of a busy highway, tranquillity began to set in around the 200km mark. As night descended Jaime was ‘‘greeted by clear skies, lively towns, and moonlit paths’’ and an ‘’awe-inspiring sunrise’ as the morning crept in over Jalisco the next day. During Jaime’s journey, he was welcomed with open arms by the locals, that being said, this could have been due to being mistaken for a fellow pilgrim headed to the Shrine of the Holy Child of Atocha, a famous site near the city of Fresnillo. Nevertheless, free food never goes amiss when your diet has been predominately shaped by salty boiled potatoes and not much else.

Jaime managed to clock 562km in 23 hours and 40 minutes. This was the longest ride we’ve seen in this year’s Parallels challenge, highlighting some of the best riding spots in Mexico. A true 24-hour challenge, with an off-road element adding to a sense of adventure.

 

Yudi Andhika – Riding With A Crowd

Bandung to Yogyakarta

Indonesia has a growing and passionate ultra-distance race scene, with the long-running Bentang Jawa being the focal point for this exciting scene. Living just below the equator in a tropical climate in Indonesia, Yudi is blessed with the same amount of sunlight throughout the year with minimal seasonal variation, 12 hours in the sun and 12 in the dark. As a result, ‘the summer Solstice passes by year by year without much fanfare, however, this year’s solstice coincided with the Strawberry Moon, a major lunar standstill that only takes place every 18.6 years.

At sundown in Ciamis, as we hit the 130 km mark, the large orangish-pink moon rose in the sky. For the next 10 hours it served as a celestial companion during our night ride.

-Yudi Andhika - Parallels 2024 Rider

Having chosen Yogyakarta as the endpoint of the route, Yudi and his friends would dive through dense traffic on the national roads connecting three provinces: West Java, East Java, and the Special Region of Yogyakarta. We loved the sense of community from this ride and how Parallels ultimately brought them to a place that felt like returning home, seeing familiar faces and their favourite local foods.

With a population of around 152 million, there was no shortage of resupplies. 24/7 convenience stores, instant noodles, hot tea and sweets were on every turn. Yudi and his friends, Citra and Riky carried analogue cameras on their route, documenting their ride through the mountains, coastlines and tarmac roads. A fantastic Parallels effort clocking just under 400km with 2000m elevation gain.