Montana Bicycle Celebration Speakers

Adventure Cycling Association is pleased to announce the speakers and performers during the Montana Bicycle Celebration Reception on Friday, July 15 from 4:30 – 7 p.m. at the UC Ballroom and the Dinner on Saturday, July 16, 5:30 – 9:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Downtown.

Friday, July 15, 4:30 – 7 p.m.
UC Ballroom, University of Montana

Co-Founders Greg & June Siple and Dan & Lys Burden

Please join us in welcoming special guests Greg and June Siple and Dan and Lys Burden, co-founders of Bikecentennial.

From left to right, co-founders Lys Burden, Dan Burden, Greg Siple, and June Siple
gather at the 25th-anniversary celebration of Bikecentennial. Photo by Mark Gorseth.

Dan Burden

Dan has focused his entire career on helping the world get back on its feet. By inspiring residents, policy makers, planners, and designers to change their built environments to accommodate people — not just cars — Dan has helped more than 3,500 communities take steps to become more walkable and livable. Dan illustrates the benefits of sometimes-simple and oft-difficult changes and provides a road map for people to create cities, neighborhoods, and streets that are more healthy and connected.

Lys Burden

For the past four decades, Lys has focused her efforts and accomplishments in environmental education, preservation of natural environments, trails, hosteling, bicycle programming, and local food economies. She has supported her advocacy efforts by working odd jobs, school bus driving, office management, editing, writing, farmers marketing, and managing small nonprofit organizations.

Greg Siple

Greg cofounded Bikecentennial in 1973 while on Hemistour, a bike trip from Alaska to Argentina. Greg has held many positions over the past 40 years, most notably as Art Director for the organization. During that time, he has played a key role as the organization’s historian, and he also photographs many of the cyclists who visit the headquarters each year. Greg commutes to work every day by bicycle and is proud of the fact that he started bicycle commuting in 1957 when he entered the seventh grade.

June Siple

June Siple grew up in Ohio, has lived in Missoula for 41 years, has been married to Greg Siple for 46 years, and has one son, Zane. She graduated from UM in 1997 with a B.A. in journalism, print emphasis. With two other women she ran the first bike/walk week in Missoula in 1981 called “Non-Polluter Commuter Week,” and in 1983 was the state networker among four cyclists who got the first legislation passed in Montana to benefit cyclists — Montana Code that still stands today. As an urban bicycling and environmental activist, she did not own a car for 28 years. She coined the term “Bikecentennial” in 1973  and is one of four cofounders, as well as a former staff member, former board member, and the first woman to bicycle from Alaska to Argentina during the Hemistour Expedition, 1972–1975.

Ben Sollee

Known for a 360-degree approach to his art, Kentucky-born cellist and composer Ben Sollee educates as much as he entertains through his innovative style as a cellist, conveying genre-bending songwriting through electrifying performances and nontraditional album presentation. Over the six years following the release of his debut record, Learning to Bend, Sollee and his rugged cello, Kay, told an unconventional story. Seeking a deeper connection to communities on the road, Ben packed his touring life onto his bicycle in 2009. Since then he has ridden over 4,000 miles! Through the innovative facets of his artistic portfolio, Sollee teaches his audience that the modern artist has no boundaries.

Laura Crawford and Russ Roca

In 2009 Russ Roca and Laura Crawford sold everything they owned and spent three years traveling by bicycle. What stood out most were the people they met, the small towns they visited, and the ways in which bicycle travel can spur economic development. Now based out of Portland, Oregon, Russ and Laura are using their experiences to improve bike travel by working with communities and tourism agencies to help develop and market cycling destinations.


Saturday, July 16, 5:30 - 9 p.m. Holiday Inn Downtown

Erick Cedeño, The Bicycle Nomad

Erick Cedeño is not from here — nor is he from there. Born and raised in Panama, he spent his formative years in Miami, Florida. Adventure was always close at hand, and Erick felt no limits — real or imagined. He began to look for challenges, both physical and mental, that would take him far and wide. Traveling the Pacific Coast Highway from Vancouver, BC, to Tijuana, Mexico, was the spark that unleashed The Bicycle Nomad. Soon thereafter he traveled the Atlantic Coast from St. Augustine, Florida, to New York City. The Underground Railroad trip of 2013 was borne of curiosity and a nod to history. Erick then sought out off-road adventure on the Great Allegheny Passage from Pittsburgh to Washington, DC. Using Adventure Cycling’s maps and resources was instrumental in the success of these journeys. His vision of this country captured the attention of people worldwide. He sees possibilities where there were few.  

Lael Wilcox

Lael Wilcox travels the world by bicycle and also competes in endurance races. On June 22, she became the first American to win the Trans Am Bike Race. She finished in the second fastest time in race history and broke the women’s record by nearly three days with a time of 18 days and 10 minutes, averaging 235 miles each day. In 2015 she competed in the Tour Divide and set a new women’s record on the route. Follow Lael at and @laelwilcox on Instagram.


Nicholas Carman

Nicholas Carman chooses to travel by bicycle for more than half the year, working during the remaining months to save money. For the past eight years, he has traveled over 75,000 miles in over 25 countries, increasingly on unpaved tracks and trails. Follow Nicholas at



Willie Weir

Willie Weir left a career as a stage actor to explore the world by bike. He has been a columnist and contributing writer for Adventure Cyclist magazine for 18 years. He is the author of Travels with Willie and Spokesongs and is known to public radio listeners for his commentaries aired on KUOW in Seattle, Washington, where he lives with his amazing travel companion, Kat.

Mark Baker

Mark Baker was inspired to write Till the Highway Turns to Sea after riding the Southern Tier (2,810 miles) in 61 days 2013. The bike journey and writing his first original song inspired Mark to make a debut record of 14 songs called And I Ride. Mark lives in Sun City, Arizona, with his wife, Peggy, and looks forward to riding his bike to Missoula to be part of the Montana Bicycle Celebration.