Posts filed under 'Charity'

Recent Developments

In the last couple of months I have been giving several talks and presentations. I received very positive and useful feedback, which allowed me to further refine my materials. I have put together a page with more information about the digital audio-visual media materials as well as the presentation here:

Digital Media and Inspirational Presentations

If you’re interested to hire me for a presentation, feel free to contact me by sending email to

My recumbent finally has a proud new owner: Sean Beresford from California bought this Seiran (manufacturer: and is now the third rider of this particular bike. Each of the previous two owners rode it from Alaska to Patagonia. So it’s up to Sean to perhaps complete the hat-trick! That would make this bike the first recumbent to ride the Panamerican Highway not just twice but three times!

I am continuing with the book project. I had written several chapters and obtained feedback from a few editors. That feedback made me change my approach a bit and I rewrote quite a few chapters. Each time after the presentations I got additional feedback and felt a renewed sense of wonder and excitement about this journey. It is now time to wrap it up and complete the book. Look out for some announcements here in the near future.

Add comment August 16th, 2011

Presentations in California

Later this April I will be conducting 3 presentations at REI stores in California as follows:

  • Tue, Apr-19: Santa Monica
  • Wed, Apr-20: San Francisco
  • Thu, Apr-21: MountainView
  • Presentations will be from 7-8pm, followed by some Q&A.

    The presentations are advertised on the REI websites as follows:

    In May 2009, independent traveler Thomas Laussermair set off on an adventure of a lifetime-to pedal the length of the Panamerican Highway (Alaska to Patagonia) and climb the highest mountain of every country along the way. Tonight, Thomas will give a digital presentation of some of the most exhilarating segments of his 14-month journey. Join Thomas as he ropes up for glacier travel on Canada’s wild and remote Mount Logan (19,551 feet), braves the high heat of Baja California, cycles across the stunning Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia, and makes an unguided climb of Argentina’s Aconcagua (22,841 feet). Thomas will show you what it takes to plan an adventure of this magnitude, and discuss what he learned along the way. For more information, visit

    For directions to the stores and to reserve your seat, please go to

    Looking forward to seeing you there!

    May 1st, update: The 3 presentations went well and the content was very well received. Polly Bolling, Bay Area REI Outreach Specialist and Event Coordinator had this to say after the presentations: (highlights added)

    Hi Thomas:

    My belated thanks for all you did to put on a fantastic show at each of our stores! Will and Martin were wowed by your program. The customer evals from SF are exceptional. Im still waiting for those from Mountain View, and have no doubt they are similar. … very informational and inspiring???, fascinating stories, lively presentation???, and stunning adventure!??? are a few of the many superlatives. …

    I wish I could have seen your show, and hope we can interest you in coming again when your book is out. Id love to schedule you in Berkeley, Saratoga and one of our other Bay Area stores.



    Add comment April 2nd, 2011

    Living in Emergency: Stories from Doctors Without Borders

    In this one day event on December 14 Doctors Without Borders shares insight from the frontlines about dealing with medical emergencies by broadcasting a special documentary in select theaters across the US.

    2 comments December 9th, 2009

    Mama Espinoza

    Today I only had a short half-day ride of 60km. I started at 8am near San Quintin and was finished by 11am. It was a cool and easy ride in the morning, except perhaps the last 10km, where a 300m high mesa needed to be crossed. Hot on the uphill, fairly steep near the top, then a military checkpoint – not sure why in the middle of nowhere they would have a checkpoint – and then a steep and fast descent. But this post is not about the bike…

    Famous Mama Espinoza Restaurant in El Rosario

    Once in El Rosario I stop at Mama Espinoza’s place. Every travel guide will tell you that it is here that the Lobster Burrito was invented, that this was the first checkpoint of the Baja 1000 off-road race (from Ensenada to La Paz) ever since it started back in 1969, that many famous politicians and movie stars like Steve McQueen stopped here and signed the guest book – so it’s a place with some history. I had also heard about Do?a Anita Grosso de Espinoza from the missionary Peggy (where I stayed two nights ago). Apparently Mama Espinoza was also very active in charitable causes, which is why I wanted to relay my project to her and hear her own stories.

    The folks running her restaurant now arranged for a meeting with Mama Espinoza in her living room, which was most pleasant as she speaks English fluently.

    With Mama Espinoza in her living room

    She was pleased to see a project for a charitable cause and wished me good luck on my journey. As for her own charitable work, she recounted the following story (which I reprint here from a copy of an article in the Baja Times, August 1/15, 2006):

    One day in November of 1961 a small plane was caught in a dust storm and forced to land on an airstrip near the town. One of the passengers on board was ill and in need of medical attention but the local hospitals had been shut down. It was Anita’s ability to speak English that got her involved with the group and she and her husband helped them find shelter, medicine and fuel for their plane. The group thanked them for their help and promised to return at Christmas time. True to their word, nine planes came back to El Rosario loaded with medicines, food and presents for the townspeople.
    One of the people who returned was a man named Dr. Dale Hoyt. He noticed that many people in the town were in need of medical attention and Anita and Heraclio’s place became a temporary doctor’s office while he saw anyone that wanted to come in. Dr. Hoyt made several return visits and soon other doctors began to follow suit. They earned the name “The Flying Samaritans” for their work. Throughout their time bringing free medical aid to the people of El Rosario, it was Anita who cooked for them and gave them a place to stay in her home.

    According to her own words Mama Espinoza was born in 1907, which makes her 102 years old – a living legend indeed. The article states that she had a total of fifteen (!) children, some of them still living in El Rosario, others having left the Baja and “spread out into the world”.

    Mama Espinoza passed word that I could set up my tent on her property. She thanked me for my charitable initiative and wished me good luck and safe travels. “Vaya con dios!”

    Painting of Mama Espinoza

    P.S.: In the restaurant is a portrait painting of Mama Espinoza which is featured here. A good portion of the proceeds from buying this print go to “The Flying Samaritans”.

    Add comment September 28th, 2009

    Fund-raising brochure

    I was told that bringing some brochure or business cards as giveaway would be a good thing, especially with officials in South America. A brochure hand-out about the project would convey instant credibility if not some air of authority (?) – but in any event always serve as conversation starter 🙂

    Preview of Panamerican Peaks brochure

    This is a draft of this brochure. (Click on the image to download the pdf format.) The final piece will be in English (front) and Spanish (backside) before this is going to print.

    Any feedback is always welcome.

    1 comment April 23rd, 2009

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