Ryan Parton is a Victoria-based writer, photographer and avid adventurer.
Born in Selkirk, Manitoba in 1977, Ryan made his first trip overseas in 1996, spending six weeks backpacking through Europe. Ever since his return, he's been plagued by the travel bug. After a brief stint at the University of Manitoba he took off once again, this time for southeast Asia, before returning to Canada and settling down for a three-year stint in Montreal. There, he attended journalism school at Concordia University, and graduated with distinction in 2002.
While earning his degree, Ryan managed to make two separate bike trips to Central America, the first to Belize in 2001, and then to El Salvador a year later. While these short trips temporarily quenched his thirst for adventure, they left him with loftier ambitions and more questions about his personal capabilities.
In January, 2004, Ryan flew to Tierra del Fuego, at the southernmost extreme of the Americas, where he embarked upon his his most challenging expedition to date - a 9,000-kilometre journey by bicycle to the Caribbean Sea.
Following his South American adventure, Ryan wanted to find a way to put his love for adventurous bike tours to good work. Over several sleepless nights, he crafted an idea to form a non-profit organization called "Two Wheels, One World" which would raise money and awareness for humanitarian causes through bike touring. His first project under the new organization, currently awaiting official charity status in Canada, will be an ambitious five-month tour of sub-Saharan Africa to raise money for the United Nations International AIDS Comittee.
At home on Vancouver island, Ryan enjoys mountain biking, camping and surfing, although he can generally be convinced to try anything that will get him outside and get his adrenaline flowing.
He's written for several publications, including the Toronto Star, the Montreal Gazette and Paddler Magazine. Click here to see samples of his writing.
A byproduct of Ryan's travels and flare for journalism has been an ever-increasing love of photography, and his photos have appeared alongside several of my stories. Click here to see some of the photos from his South American trip.