Keith embarks on South American adventure

Keith RufflesFormer Sheffield journalism student Keith Ruffles is taking a break from his career to attempt an epic bike ride around South America.

Keith, 28, who graduated with a Postgraduate Diploma in Broadcast Journalism in 2009, sets off in December 2012 for a 25,000km expedition that takes in the entire continent.

Keith is already hard at training taking his bike up the steep slopes of the Yorkshire Dales, close to his home, at weekends in preparation for the tough climbs he will encounter the Andes, along with the challenges of the Amazon forest and the Atacama desert.

Asked why he was undertaking the journey he replied: “I want to travel to a far-away place and experience first-hand landscapes and cultures that I’ve only ever seen in books, to escape the drudgery of everyday life and achieve an ambition through sheer determination.

Skills

“I want to inspire others and - a bit like Mallory’s contemplation of Everest - I want to do it simply ‘because it’s there’. I estimate that it’ll take around a year but potentially it could take longer. No matter; this is a journey of self-discovery to be savoured and enjoyed.”

Keith says the skills he gained on the course have proved useful in planning his journey: “From marketing the journey to potential sponsors to producing booklets, it’s knowing how the media works and the promotional potential it offers that studying journalism at Sheffield has really proved invaluable.”