From left, David, Nathan and Isaiah Berg pose with their bikes at the home of their aunt and uncle, Nancy and Matt Wojnowski. The three brothers are riding from Anchorage to Argentina to raise money for Habitat for Humanity.
STAR PHOTO by mike nesper
Three brothers from North Dakota recently set off on a 20,000-mile bike trip from Anchorage to the southern tip of Argentina but not before pausing at a relative's Eagle River home before the journey.
David, Nathan and Isaiah Berg began their 10-month journey last week after staying with their aunt and uncle, Nancy and Matt Wojnowski, for a couple days. The brothers hope to raise $60,000 to sponsor the building of a family home through Habitat for Humanity.
It was during a fundraising trip from New Hampshire to Vancouver, B.C., with Habitat partner Bike & Build that Isaiah, 22, "fell in love with the organization."
"They give houses to people who really need them," he said of Habitat. "It's the model in my mind for what charity really is.
"It's something we all believe in," Isaiah added.
With Isaiah recently graduating from Dartmouth College and David, 19, from high school, the timing worked out so all three could share the experience together.
"We're very close," David said. "It's a huge plus to be able to do it with my two brothers."
Growing up on a farm in Starkweather, ND, the three were always working together, Isaiah said.
"I think we're closer than most families," he said.
The brothers plan to log 75 miles a day, stopping along the way to assist with Habitat projects.
The trip will be made even more of a challenge as each rider will be carrying all they need for the trip.
"We're completely self-supported," David said. "Everything we need will be on our bikes."
Isaiah started planning the 20,000-mile trek in winter 2009. Nathan, 24, and David committed a year ago and have been training since.
When others first heard of the trip, they couldn't believe what the brothers had planned.
"Most people think we're absolutely crazy, absolutely nuts," Isaiah said. "They're supportive, but in a disbelieving kind of way."
But their skepticism is warranted, Nathan said.
"It's understandable," he said. "Not many people hear of a trip of this scale."
The brothers said their parents, Jim and Elizabeth, instilled in them a strong sense of serving their community.
"They've always been so supportive," Isaiah said.
Isaiah, David and Nathan's trip will be documented via the brothers' blog, www.boundsouth.org. Donations can also be made through the site.
David said he's looking forward to the journey itself.
"It will be rugged, it will be challenging, but very exciting," he said.
Meeting unique personalities on the road tops Nathan's list.
"I'm really looking forward to the interaction with people along the way," he said.
Nathan said he's also eager to promote Habitat and the mindset of giving and serving.
For Isaiah, unanticipated adventure has him excited and scared.
"I'm excited for the unknown unknowns," he said. "There will be so much unexpected stuff we can't even fathom."
Contact Mike Nesper at 694-2727 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article published in The Alaska Star on Wednesday, August 17, 2011.