Every summer we enjoy the parade of bicycle travelers who drop by our office here in Missoula, Montana. These cyclists come from all over the world. Their variety of style, equipment, route, and purpose is endless.
In 1982, Greg Siple began recording our visitors on film and asking them to tell their stories, creating Adventure Cycling's National Bicycle Touring Portrait Collection. The Open Road Gallery features selections from this collection in Adventure Cyclist magazine and here on our website.
Dolly Hirata visited our office back in 1983. She was one of a group of four recumbent riders, the first recumbents on tour to come our way. The California to Colorado tour was for Dolly the culmination of a five-year effort to regain her health.
We decided to dig a photo of our old friend Brent Garrett out of the archives, who in 1983, at the age of 23, led a 68-day, 3200-mile North Star tour from Missoula, to Anchorage, Alaska for Adventure Cycling (Bikecentennial, back then). He rode his newfangled Stumpjumper Sport. It was one of the first mountain bikes we saw to be used for touring.
Ah, the early ‘80’s. Those were the days -- when America was a simpler place; a kinder, gentler place. Actually, we don't remember anything about the ‘80’s. But the photo you see above, of one Mark Wheeler Jr., was taken in 1982, when Wheeler was a fresh-faced 27-year-old lad, striking out on his bicycle from his then hometown of Binghamton, New York, for Vancouver, British Columbia.
When Valerie Coulter established her Missoula bicycle courier service, exCARgo, she thought big, and wanted to be equipped to carry loads of up to a quarter ton. So she commissioned the construction of this trike. It’s big feature is the 4’ x 3’ x 3’ insulated, waterproof cargo box. That’s 36 cubic feet of space.
Chad Rainey, a software engineer from Georgetown, Texas, was a member of Adventure Cycling’s 2008 TransAmerica Expedition group. A glance at his portrait leaves no doubt that by the time the group hit Missoula from their start in the east, Chad was in great shape. Nonetheless he wasn’t focused on the athletic aspects of bicycle touring.
Lavern Hochstetler works in construction out of Nappanee, Indiana, but likes to vacation on his Bike Friday folding bicycle. When he visited us in the summer of 2008 he was riding the spine of the Rocky Mountains from Jasper, Alberta, Canada, to Durango, Colorado. This was his seventh tour.
Tjoan Liang, a forty-eight-year-old cabinet-maker from The Netherlands, undertook an ambitious ride from Atlanta, Georgia, to Yorktown, Virginia and then to Astoria, Oregon, onward to San Francisco, California. This tour in 2008 was his second crossing of the United States. He did another long ride here in 1981-83.
John Notestine, an English teacher from Wasilla, Alaska, set out from his home with his dog, Squirrel, in tow and headed to Colorado.
Sixteen-year-old Kai Koester was on his way across the country in 2008 when he and his eleven companions stopped in for a visit. Kai was the youngest of this high energy group and one of four that chose to ride a fixed gear.