Cindy Alvarez is from Spring Valley, California. She is retired and spends her time cycling with her friends and her dog. Leading for Adventure Cycling starting in 2015, she staffed the Southern Arizona Road Adventure and the Columbia River Gorge tours in 2016. She has a bucket list of dream tours, with Hawaii, Selkirk Splendor, and Great Parks North at the top of the list. For Cindy, any day on tour is a dream. While pets aren’t allowed on Adventure Cycling tours, Cindy loves to take her dog on tour — last year she took him on a 500-mile self-contained tour from Seattle into Canada, across to Vancouver Island, and back through the San Juan Islands to Seattle. On the road, you’ll see her snacking on a banana or a Payday bar.
Heather Andersen believes in spending time outdoors every day, seizing the moment, and living a life of no regrets. A writer, bicycle tour leader, and certified yoga teacher, she has cycled on six continents and in all 50 U.S. states. She is most at home when exploring the world by bicycle, whether riding around the block or in foreign lands. She is the author of I Never Intended to Be Brave: A Woman’s Bicycle Journey Through Southern Africa. She first led tours for Adventure Cycling back in 1995. Tours she has led include Great Parks North, Southern Tier, Washington Cascades, San Juan Islands Ramble, Introduction to Road Touring — Wisconsin, and Utah Parks. She leads tours to share her passion for bicycle touring and for the opportunity to inspire others to follow their dreams. She dreams of cycling in Bhutan and around the world with her partner.
Gary Anderson is from Carlsbad, California, and is a retired school teacher. He’s been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2013. Most recently, he staffed Idaho Family Fun and California Spring Fling. His favorite tour experience of all time was Wild Coast Central (now Pacific Coast) in 2011: incredible route, perfect weather, and amazing companions! “Best bike ride ever ...day after day!” His dream bicycle tour is an open-ended tour of France and Spain with good friends. He loves leading bike tours because they are a great opportunity to interact with incredible people and to ride and explore. His favorite on-the-road snack is cold chocolate milk, and in his college days, he had an afro bigger than a bicycle helmet!
Don Annonio resides in western Maryland and has been leading tours since 2011. When he’s not on his bike, you’ll find him paddling, hiking, picking his banjo, or spinning poi. “I just keep finding new things to do that are interesting and light my fire.” In 2014, he led the Florida Keys III Self Contained Tour, Sierra Sampler, Blue Ridge Bliss, Ragin’ Cajun, and Texas Hill Country. Don recently backpacked southeast Asia with his daughter. He laughingly says his favorite tour is “the next one.” WhileDon says every tour has its special moments, he enjoys the musical happenings along the Blue Ridge Bliss. He enjoys sharing his passion with others and making new friends. You’re likely to find Don’s bike parked next to every bakery in every town.
Charlotte Aycrigg is a Colorado native. She became an Adventure Cycling tour leader in 2013, and the Adventure Cycling tours she’s done include Cycle Utah, Big Bend, Black Hills South Dakota, and Sierra Sampler. She has been cycling since childhood and rode in her first tour at age 16. She commuted to work on her bicycle for 20 years and volunteers as a bike mechanic. Before becoming an Adventure Cycling tour leader, Charlotte was a hiking guide on the Colorado Trail for nine years. Her favorite bicycle tour experience is each and every one of them, and her current dream bicycle tour is Cuba. Charlotte is thrilled to be working with Adventure Cycling and looks forward to leading more tours in the future. She loves to ride, meet great people, explore new places by bicycle, learn about other cyclists’ experiences, and cultivate more cyclists. Her favorite on-the-road snack is Fig Newtons.
Linda Balkenbush is from St. Petersburg, Florida. She has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2018 including Sierra Sampler and Southern Tier. Her favorite bicycle adventure was two months spent cycling through the bike-loving countries of Germany, Switzerland, and Italy. One of Linda’s dream trips is to cycle through New England in autumn. She loves to camp, garden, and volunteer when she isn’t leading tours, but you can almost always find her cycling on pavement or dirt. Linda enjoys the camaraderie that develops among a group of cyclists while on tour. Her favorite on-the-road snack is smoked almonds with dried cranberries.
Rick Bartlett is a Washington, DC, native now living in Cumberland, Maryland. He is a retired Coast Guard helicopter pilot who now flies medevac for Maryland State Police. He’s been leading Adventure Cycling tours since 2012, when he staffed the Blue Ridge Bliss and Mid-Atlantic Countryside tours. His favorite tour experience was riding the Blue Ridge Bliss as a participant and climbing Mt. Mitchell. He loves leading tours for many reasons. “Food, friends, exercise, scenery, food, serving others, teamwork, food, camping, regional history, learning from others’ life experiences, food!” he said. What food, might you ask? Clif bars, bananas, and a cold Monster energy drink help Rick get over that last mountain of the day. Rick has been cycling since sixth grade — as captain of his school patrol, he rode his bike to check on all the crossing guards!
Kelly Borgers hails from Thornbury, Ontario. When she’s not riding her bike, she’s a photographer and painter, and to stay in shape during the Canadian winters, she also loves to Nordic ski. 2019 is her first year leading tours with Adventure Cycling on the Washington Cascades and the Cabot Trail Nova Scotia tours. Her favorite touring experience was cycling (and eating) her way up the Atlantic coastline through Portugal, Spain, and France. She has photographed the Boreal forest from Alaska to Finland, and many of her exhibitions have an environmental focus to raise awareness on protecting the forests that are in our own backyards. Her favorite snack is chocolate in any form, and she has earned the nickname The Mountain Goat by her kids because she loves to climb mountains on her bike.
Steve Bredthauer is from Vancouver, Washington. He’s a retired water resources engineer and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2015 when he led Introduction to Road Touring – Oregon. He likes leading tours because he enjoys swapping stories with the other riders, making new friends, and biking new areas of the country. His favorite tour experience was riding the North Star tour from Montana to Alaska in 2014. He had previously lived in Alaska for 19 years, so this felt like a homecoming. His dream tour is biking the European Atlantic coast from northern Norway to southern Spain and Portugal on the EuroVelo 1 route. His favorite snack is chocolate milk — it’s another good reason to bike! When he’s not biking, he’s a compulsive reader — mysteries, history, and science fiction. He’s also enjoyed canoe trips and sea kayaking trips in Alaska and Canada.
Alan Brown splits his year between Santa Rosa Beach, Florida and Silverthorne, Colorado. He has led the Florida Gulf Coast, the Natchez Trace, and the Ragin’ Cajun tours and is excited for more. He has two favorite tour experiences: the first was cross country in 1975 on a $165 bike and no cell phone. The second? Adventure Cycling’s Great Parks North. “Diving deep into the Canadian Rockies was stunning, at times remote, but always an adventure.” His dream tour is to see Alaska. Alan’s favorite on-the-road snack is hard-boiled eggs — especially after they’ve been rolling around in the handlebar bag for a few miles in yesterday’s sandwich bag.
Art Brown is from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and retired from the Royal Canadian Air Force after 38+ years of service. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 1996 and led or worked every type of tour Adventure Cycling offers. His favorite tour experience of all time was the four months he spent in 2016 riding solo across Australia. He loves leading bike tours because they lead to interactions with people from different walks of life and countries and they provide the opportunity for him to not only pass on his knowledge but also learn new things. He also loves anything chocolate.
Sarah Burch hails from Seattle, Washington. Described as down-to-earth and grounded-airy-fairy, Sarah spent the last couple of years simplifying her life, shedding the things that bogged her down from living to her fullest potential. In 2012, she “semi-retired” from the corporate world in order to appease her sense of wanderlust and focus her energies on her passions. She enjoys adventuring, laughing, blogging, practicing yoga, volunteering with animals, traveling, finding shapes in the clouds, housesitting, and exploring the out-of-doors. Other passions include voluntary simplicity, financial independence, happiness maximization, and sucking the marrow out of life. Oh … and bicycle touring, of course. She has been on a slew of solo and group tours ranging from overnight to multiple months in length. Riding Shirley (her Surly LHT) and fueled by candy corn, she thrives on the simple joys of touring. A few times a year, you can find Sarah teaching a class on bicycle touring in the Seattle area. Sarah looks forward to leading tours with Adventure Cycling, sharing her enthusiasm and love for touring with other cyclists.
Carolyn Campbell is from Ann Arbor, Michigan, but is currently living in New Orleans. Off the bike, you can find her romping around in the forest with 20 4-year-olds in tow since she works as an early childhood educator with a focus on outdoor education. Her first year leading tours with Adventure Cycling was 2018 on the Colorado High-Country Classic and Death Valley tours. Her most memorable touring experience is cruising through narrow canyons down the winding, one-way, freshly-paved Artist’s Drive in Death Valley National Park — a dream! Carolyn’s dream bike tour is to circumnavigate all the Great Lakes, and her favorite on-the-road snack is jerky and chocolate-covered cherries, but she also considers herself a baked-goods monster. She loves leading tours because “it’s a dream to be able to share stories, support each other, and discover new places on two wheels.”
Joyce Casey is from Portland, Oregon, where she has lived for 25 years. She has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2008, most recently on the San Juan Islands Inn to Inn tour. She has had many singular moments on a bike, but she especially remembers the feeling of riding up and up and up the mountains on the Cascadian Traverse and the amazing feeling of exhilaration and the rush of self-confidence that washed over her as she stood at the top of the hill. Joyce has led a number of Introduction to Bicycle Touring trips and loves when participants realize they really can do it. Her favorite thing is to share her love for bicycle adventuring with other participants. All of her bikes have fenders, all of her gear is color-matched and sorted with rigor, and she’d rather you didn’t know that her handlebar bag is filled with pretzel M&Ms.
Alice Charkes has been living in Brattleboro, Vermont, for the past 30 years and has been a cycle tourist about that long. She took the Leadership Training Course in 1994 after having done trips ranging from three days to three months in the U.S. and Europe. Starting in 1995, she has been working for Adventure Cycling and has led Teton Yellowstone, Sound to Sea, Glacier Waterton, the TransAm, Adirondacks, Finger Lakes, and Cape Cod Pilgrimage trips. She has been instructing Leadership Training since 1998. In addition, she has done 15 consecutive self-contained family trips with her daughter, mostly in New England but also on the C&O and Erie Canal, in Nova Scotia, and in Michigan. In 2015, the two of them cycled End-to-End in England and Scotland. Outside of year-round bike commuting and bike/ped advocacy in southern Vermont, Alice is an elementary school French teacher, an avid knitter, and a budding classical violinist.
Sam Ciraulo is from Troy, New York, better known as “The Home of Uncle Sam.” He is a retired architect and professional photographer, and he will be staffing two Adventure Cycling tours this year. His best tour experience was in 2010, on a self-supported 390-mile tour designed to call attention to health care services for US veterans. As they approached the town of Marcellus, NY, a motorcade escorted them through the center of town to the front steps of the Ralph Share American Legion Post, where they were greeted by the mayor and some post members and enjoyed homemade cookies, pies, and pastries. After sharing snacks and stories with the members of the post, the motorcade accompanied them out of town all the way to that night’s lodging, 13 miles away. Sam’s dream tour is the TransAm, self-contained, with no schedule and no deadlines! He loves bike tours because of the camaraderie, relaxed pace, simplicity and honesty of bicycle touring. Whether pedaling through remote mountain passes in Alaska or over Rail trails along the Erie Canal there is a special “magic” that happens on tour. On the road, you can find Sam munching on his favorite touring snack--a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich!
Lida Clouser is from Brno, Czech Republic, but currently resides in McCall, Idaho, where she works at the public library. She began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2019 with Death Valley and, as a participant, her favorite group tour has been Tetons-Yellowstone. One of her favorite touring experiences was crossing the suspension bridges over the emerald rivers of Slovenia on a bicycle, and she dreams of riding the Idaho Hot Springs Route. Lida loves bicycle touring because “there is no better way to travel, it’s just the right pace to see the sights and be able to stop often to chat with the locals.” She also loves uphills — the longer the hill, the wider her smile gets. Her favorite touring snack is fresh fruit.
Ryan Conaughty is from Rochester, NY. He began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2019 with two epics: the Northern Tier and the Pacific Coast. He has completed the TransAm and Northern Tier (both solo), as well as hiked the Camino de Santiago. When not leading bicycle tours, you can find him coaching his local US Masters swim team, reading voraciously, or watching old monster movies. His favorite tour experience was in Glacier National Park, where he spent an entire day sitting on a dock in Apgar, staring into the mountains and the next day, climbing Going-to-the-Sun Road. Bicycle travel and tourism, for him, is the single most important act of freedom a person can give themselves and the best way to inspire others. It also provided him with his favorite mantra: "Keep Going". His favorite on the road snack is Cheddar Chex-Mix, a bottle of Pedialyte, and local chocolate milk.
Kate Cunningham is from Seattle, Washington. She does high-tech startups when she’s not leading tours. She has been leading tours since 1980, her first tour being the TransAmerica Trail tour for Bikecentennial. That tour left Portland just days after the Mount St. Helens eruption! Recent tours she has led include the Leadership Training Course, Glacier Waterton tour, and Tetons-Yellowstone tour. Her favorite tour experience of all time was riding the Southern Tier on a tandem with her 13-year-old daughter. Her daughter entertained her with Dave Barry’s story about John Smith, which just cracked her up every time she heard it! Her dream tour is to cycle across Ireland. She loves leading tours because she has more fun than she previously thought was humanly possible! Her favorite on-the-road snack is almond butter and bananas.
Sue Davendonis is originally from Wisconsin and currently resides in Highland, Illinois. After retiring from the Air Force, she now runs marathons herself and half marathons with her daughter, and she backpacks and travels to visit family and friends all over the country. She’s been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2010, including Death Valley, Colorado Classic High Country, and Cycle Washington. She loves to share bike riding with like-minded people who are looking for adventure, especially watching those who are new to touring discover that they can do it and it is fun. Her favorite tour experience, where she made lifelong friends, was her cross-country ride in 2001 on a tandem with her 13-year-old son. “I was taller than him when we started and by the end, seven weeks later, he was taller than me!” Her favorite road snack is ice cream, of course, chocolate, since it is a food group, right? Her dream tour is whatever is next!
Nancy Denniston is from Boise, Idaho. When she’s not leading bike tours, she refurbishes used bicycles and takes long-distance rides. She began leading bike tours with Adventure Cycling in 2018 with Cycle Divide Montana and her favorite tour, Montana Big Sky Country. Nancy enjoys sharing the adventure of cycling and seeing others challenge themselves, while sharing her deep compassion for those facing adversity. Her dream tour is to cycle around Hokkaido, Japan, and continue sharing her silly side of dancing on picnic tables. On the road, her favorite go-to snack is peanuts, raisins, and bananas!
Erin Detwiler is from Madison, Wisconsin. When she’s not leading tours, she’s an architectural designer and swim coach. This is her first year leading Adventure Cycling tours. Her favorite tour experience combined her passion for cycling with her passion for architecture. “C&O Canal and Allegheny Passage walking through the Paw Paw tunnel gave me a lot of perspective on the engineering and work,” she said. Her dream tour is a self-contained cross-country tour. She loves leading tours to experience the twists and turns that a tour brings with new and interesting people! On the road, you’ll find Erin munching on peanut M&Ms.
Tony Docal is from Atlanta, Georgia. When he’s not leading bike tours, he’s developing/managing/administering engineering education programs for NASA and other organizations. Tony has been leading bike tours for Adventure Cycling since 2014. He recently led the Underground Railroad, Great Parks North, and Natchez Trace tours. His dream bike tour, which he is still planning, is Nordkapp, Norway, to Sagres, Portugal. His favorite on-the-road snack is jelly beans!
Cathy Donaldson grew up in Australia, and now hails from Seattle. She is an ESL teacher at a community college, and this is her second year leading tours with Adventure Cycling. Her favorite tour experience was in 2010. After being laid off from her dead-end job, she celebrated by taking her bike to France for six weeks, touring Brittany and Normandy as a totally clueless, well-over-the-age-of-30 solo woman cyclist. Her dream tour is to be able to climb every hill in any country on her fully loaded bike and not topple over. She loves leading bike tours because she loves hanging out with other people who “get” bikes, and discovering so many beautiful places at bike speed. Her favorite on-the-road snack is a Dove ice cream bar, and she leaves us with a quote she once heard: “If you stand on your possessions, you can see for miles; if you carry your possessions, they will crush you.”
Greg Edwards is from Fincastle, Virginia, and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2008. Most recently, he led Sierra Sampler, Washington Cascades, and Blue Ridge Bliss. When he’s not on the road, he works for Gander Mountain and designs and leads various outdoor adventures for Roanoke City Parks & Recreation. His favorite tour experience of all time was the spectacular beauty of the Washington Cascades tour. His dream bicycle tour is to ride from the U.S. border through Canada and into Alaska. He loves leading bicycle tours because he loves exploring this amazing country by bicycle. “I know there are others that share this passion. I have a unique opportunity to make their dreams come true. It gives me great pleasure to be a part of creating cherished, life-long memories for all the interesting people I meet on tours,” he said. His favorite on-the-road snack is peanut butter. He comes across as serious at first, but not for long: he’s been known to show up on tour in a hula skirt and coconut bra, or an Abe Lincoln costume, or dressed as a cowboy! In addition to cycling, he enjoys mountaineering, kayaking, cross country skiing, running, hunting, and fishing.
Ken Exum currently lives in Galesburg, Illinois, but is actually from all over. He’s a retired Navy officer, former high school teacher, and former photojournalist who now works in newspaper management. Ken has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2014. In 2015, he is co-leading the Southern Tier (Van) II tour and in 2014 he was privileged to co-lead the TransAm (Van) tour. Although Ken’s all-time favorite touring experience was a solo self-contained trip from San Diego to San Francisco in the early ’80s, he doesn’t think he has ever had a trip that he didn’t thoroughly enjoy. At this point, his dream tour would be to ride self-contained from somewhere (anywhere) in the midwest to Anchorage, Alaska. Ken loves seeing how much fun the tour participants are having, and he loves to help them have that much fun. Ken likes to eat peanuts mixed with granola and dried cherries while he’s riding. And fig or cherry Newtons! He also enjoys riding in sub-zero Midwestern winter weather, especially when there’s snow, almost as much as he enjoys riding in the summer. Almost!
Mark Gabrenya is from Lexington, Massachusetts, and when he is not leading tours he is a freelance graphic designer. He has been leading tours since 2017 and most recently helped out on the Idaho Family Fun Trip. His favorite touring experience is arriving at the Kananaskis Wilderness Hostel after a long climb in Alberta with “bike-stopping” wind gusts. Luckily a group of Canadians shared dinner with him when he realized all he had was plain pasta. His dream bike tour would be the Northern Tier to the Lewis & Clark route. He loves leading bike tours to share unique adventures with interesting people. His favorite on the road snack is Fig Newtons, but he would be happy with anything he can eat out of his handlebar bag. “Seeing the landscape at 10 mph and being able to stop and admire the view anytime you want. You can’t do that in a car!”
Joe Garcia is fortunate to have spent his whole life in Southern California and currently lives in San Diego. Since he retired in 2017, he has been able to spend more time cycling, hiking, and working with mosaic tiles. Joe began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2018 with the Route 66 Santa Fe to Flagstaff and the Southern Arizona Road Adventure tours. So far, his favorite bicycle tour was the Baja Peninsula with his wife, and he dreams about riding both the Underground Railroad and the stretch of Great Britain from Land’s End to John O’Groats. His favorite things about bike travel are the people and the day to day unpredictability of the road. His favorite riding snacks are Clif Bars and cold lemonade.
David Gast is from Camas, Washington. He recently retired from his career as a working engineer and manager of engineering teams. He began leading for Adventure Cycling with the Sierra Sampler tour in 2018 and looks forward to leading a couple of tours each year. When he’s not on the road, David volunteers as a mechanic at various bicycle benefit rides each year and also volunteers as a climbing steward on Mount St. Helens. He’s toured in the Pyrenees, Alps, and Dolomites, and Croatia where he learned not to drink the espresso down to the very last sludgy bit. His favorite touring memories are from the 12 northwest bicycle tours he took with his kids on a tandem. His favorite on-the-road snack is almond butter on homemade whole wheat bread. After living and riding in Barcelona, Spain, he enjoys making paella and is still in search of the perfect socarrat.
Jessica Green hails from Houston, Texas, where she runs an Airbnb business. When she’s not helping guests or out riding, she enjoys playing video games and Elder Scrolls Online. Jessica began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2020 with the Big Bend van and Southern Tier self-contained tours. Her favorite tour experience was in 2014 when she rode from Banff, Alberta, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico, along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. “It was 30 days of some of the most beautiful landscapes I have ever seen. The time alone to enjoy the remote areas of the U.S. was one of my best experiences.” Before leading tours, she worked in bicycle retail for 10 years and spent 20 years as an avid mountain and road bike racer. She’s also a fairly good mechanic and is great at helping others learn how to do basic maintenance. She loves meeting people who are passionate about bicycle travel and enjoys seeing them experience the world from the seat of a bicycle. Her favorite on-the-road snack is bacon!
Jared Griffin is from Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is currently between careers when he isn’t leading bike tours. He spent 21 years as a swim coach and an assistant aquatics director. As he is not independently wealthy, nor even dependently wealthy, he is currently looking for his next career. “It is hard to narrow down my favorite touring experience of all time, as touring itself is a great experience. 60 miles on the Erie Canal towpath in the rain, no problem. The Kancamagus Pass on a picture-perfect Sunday morning in July with about 100 other cyclists, sign me up. However, my favorite was when I was taken in by two road angels, Mike and Steve, in Milton, Ohio. They put me up for the night, took me out to dinner, into town for supplies and, of course, Graeter's for ice cream. Naturally, they refused any compensation or contribution on my part, but I continue to pay it forward.” His dream bicycle tour is one where he doesn’t get hit by a car ... seriously, it’s happened twice. Honestly, a solo cross-country trip is in his future. He loves leading bike tours as it’s sharing a common interest with strangers who become friends. What’s not to love? He loves sharing his knowledge with new riders and learning from others. His favorite on-the-road snack is chocolate milk or ice cream, preferably Häagen-Dazs. He is a bicycle commuter in Minnesota and the coldest temperature he has ridden in is -35 degree wind chill for an eight-mile commute. A funny thing about him is that the high school swimmers he coached still think his occupation is a hearse driver. It might have something to do with the fact that he showed up to practice in a hearse ... twice.
Yvonne Gsteiger was born in Switzerland and lives in Tallahassee, Florida. When she’s not leading bike tours, she is an attorney focusing most of her 28-year career on water law and Everglades restoration. She began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in the summer of 2015. She’s led Family Fun — Idaho, Idaho Relaxed, and Sierra Sampler. “It’s been a long-standing dream to become a tour leader that I’ve finally had time to realize now that the kids are older.” Her favorite tour experience was not her longest, but it was her most meaningful. She took two six-day camping bike trips on a tandem with her daughter when she was 12 and 14 years old. She feels there is no “dream” bike tour. She just loves being outdoors, cycling during the day, camping in a tent at night, spending time with friends, and playing music. She loves listening to and sharing adventures and stories with participants. Each person has a unique life story. Being a peanut butter lover, a good standby is always a PB&J sandwich. She owns one worm farm, two dogs, three cats, and four chickens — all in downtown Tallahassee! She played collegiate tennis before spending 10 years as a competitive triathlete. Later it was bike racing, teaching spin classes, long-distance touring, and camping. Her next big family trip will be a second bike tour through Denmark to commemorate the 40th anniversary of completing her first tour through Denmark on a three-speed homemade bike. She plays hammer dulcimer and penny whistle in an Irish band.
Lynn Hamilton is from San Luis Obispo, CA. She works as an agribusiness professor at California Polytechnic State University during her time away from leading bike tours. Since 1997, Lynn has been leading tours all over the U.S. Most recently she led New Mexico Enchanted Lands, Portland-Crater Lake, and Black Hills Inn to Inn. Her favorite tour experience was riding “blind” through the glaciers of Norway. “Without the benefit of great cycling maps, I had no idea how far I would have to climb or how many tunnels awaited me on the descents!” Her dream bike tour is to ride around coastal Australia and Tasmania. She loves leading bike tours because she gets to share her love of the open road with others. On the road, she likes to munch on M&M’s and guzzle ice-cold root beer. As a former 4-H song leader, don’t be surprised when she leads her participants through a rendition of “The Bear Song” or “Do Your Ears Hang Low!”
Kelly Hannegan is from Folsom, California, where she is the owner of a construction company. Most recently, she led the Idaho Relaxed, California Spring Fling, and Texas Hill Country tours. Her favorite tour experience of all time was a self-contained trip on Cape Cod. Her dream tour is across America. She leads bike tours because she loves the people and the joy cycling brings them. Her favorite on-the-road snack is peanut butter Balance bars. She loves country music and silly bike jokes. And her favorite cycling partners are her college-aged daughters, Kirby and Brook.
Ray Hanson is from Fort Collins, Colorado. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2007. Favorite tour-leading assignments include the Southern Tier and Teton Tides, both self-contained, and the Teton-Yellowstone and the Wild Coast van-supported tours. His favorite tour experience of all time was dropping down into his hometown of Kane, Pennsylvania, after two months on the Northern Tier and feeling a rush of childhood memories after an absence of over 45 years. He loves leading bike tours for the satisfaction of seeing participant's confidence grow during the progression of the tour and their smiling faces after a tough climb or long day in the saddle. His favorite on-the-road snack is a juicy pear. He sold his car in 2012 and bicycles around Fort Collins and beyond for fitness and errands.
Bill Herrmann is from Alamosa, Colorado. When he’s not leading tours, he is an assistant professor of accounting at Adams State University. He’s led bike tours for Adventure Cycling since 1976, including Cycle Montana, Black Hills, Idaho Relaxed, and Cycle Utah. His favorite riding experience was riding across Kansas on the TransAmerica Trail and realizing, “I can do this!” His dream tour is 70 degrees, tailwind, and low traffic. Meeting the participants and running into the unexpected beautiful moments is why he loves leading tours. They all have such interesting life stories. Favorite on-the-road snack? Pie, cherry or peach. He’s fond of Australian country music.
Louis Hernandez was born and raised in New York City and spent much of his life working as a guidance counselor and special education teacher. He utilized self-contained bicycle touring as a therapeutic and educational tool with inner-city, at-risk youth for over 30 years, and his favorite tour experience was the first time he led adjudicated inner-city youth on a self-contained tour of Massachusetts and Cape Cod. He still works as an adjunct assistant professor and Outward Bound facilitator. Louis proposed, researched, and will lead the Adventure Cycling Puerto Rico tour. Previously he led tours for Adventure Cycling in Colorado and New England. He dreams of riding through Europe and loves almond butter and fruit jam sandwiches as his favorite on-the-road snack. Why does he love leading tours? It feeds his soul to watch other’s experiences on a bicycle.
Beth Ann Hinnant resides in Staunton, Virginia. A retired computer programmer, she has staffed our Ragin' Cajun, Southern Charm, and Texas Hill Country tours and is about to co-lead the Atlantic Coast van tour. Her favorite tour so far was riding the Southern Tier Route self-contained. Meeting incredible people and exploring small-town America made the trip for Beth Ann. Europe is at the top of her list for a bike tour dream. She is extremely excited to interact with like-minded people and share knowledge she has gained with her many years of touring. Her favorite snack includes Fritos, nuts, and anything chocolate. Her sense of humor shines through, with sarcasm and deadpan humor being a specialty. Beth Ann-isms are created on a regular basis, and she likes people to know “Biking is my life, and I love to tour and will ride just about anywhere!”
Tamra Hirano splits her time between homes in Bonney Lake, Washington, and Marana, Arizona. When she’s not on her bicycle, she enjoys golf and other forms of travel. She began staffing fully supported tours for Adventure Cycling in 2018 and co-leading van tours in 2020. Tamra’s favorite tour so far was Route 66: “It was my very first bike tour, and the friendships I made on that tour continue today. It also sparked my interest in leading tours and working the large tour events.” She loves leading tours because she enjoys watching the faces of newer folks who might be scared and intimidated at the beginning of a trip become more and more confident as the day goes by and when they roll into camp in the evening. Tamra has a nine-year-old grandson who recently went on his second Adventure Cycling tour — she’s hoping to instill in him a love of bicycling that will last him a lifetime. Her favorite on-the-road snacks are Oreos and Ruffles potato chips.
Delinda Hood is from Vero Beach, Florida. A retired professional photographer, she now says her iPhone is her favorite camera. Delinda has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2016 including Route 66, C&O Gap Tour, and the Minnesota Paul Bunyan Family Fun Ride. Her self-contained Southern Tier has been her favorite tour to date, but the ultimate tour would be one without a deadline and just going where the wind takes her. She loves being with people who have the same love of being outdoors and discovering the backroads of America at the speed of a bicycle. Clementines are her favorite cycling snack, and when she isn’t riding a bike, Geocaching is a big hobby. She hopes to find one in every state — only 10 states to go!
Christi Horton is from Portland, Oregon. She used to be an international credit analyst in New York but gave it up to spend more time on her bike and exploring the world. She has been leading tours with Adventure Cycling since 2016, including tours down the West Coast, in Southern Utah, and in Idaho and Canada (the Selkirk Loop). She has crossed the country twice by bike — on the TransAm Route and the Southern Tier. She finds it deeply satisfying to spend months living the rhythm of the road, and she is constantly awed by the beauty and variety of the landscapes she crosses through. Her dream tour would be to spend a few months cycling around Europe. For her, it is a big thrill to watch people achieve their dreams, whether that means rising to the physical and mental challenges of a cycling tour, crossing off a big bucket-list item, or just seeing a new part of the world. Favorite road snack? She subscribes to the ride-to-eat theory, which means she takes full advantage of the calorie burn to indulge in whatever strikes her fancy. She’s one of those rare people who doesn’t like coffee ... tea, please!
Cammie Howard is from Boulder, Colorado, and began leading for Adventure Cycling in 2010. Most recently, she led Colorado San Juan Inn to Inn, Wine and Harvest, Idaho Relaxed, and Colorado Wildflowers. Her favorite tour experience of all time was the TransAm. “The TransAm let me see America in a way that was unique and breathtaking. Small towns, good company, and daily wonders both natural and cultural. It is an experience that I will never forget.” Her two dream tours are the Great Divide from top to bottom and a tour of Europe. She loves leading bike tours for the time spent with participants and helping them have positive experiences. Her favorite on-the-road snack is a peanut butter, banana, honey, and dark chocolate sandwich! She has a way with words. She mixes metaphors and has said things like, “Whatever floats your bubble.” She can be quite witty. She has a picture of herself on a bike at age two, and has lived on a bike her entire life.
Jerry Hughes is from Reno, Nevada, and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2010. He is a retired educator and now volunteers for several agencies. Jerry has led the Pacific Coast North, Central, and South; Pueblos to Peaks; Big Bend Loop; and Florida Keys. His favorite tour experiences include many laughs and dancing to his “Adventure Cycling playlist” with participants. His dream bicycle tour is the North Sea Bike Route, which starts in Germany and goes through Scandinavia. “I love exploring new places by bicycle and meeting extremely fun and interesting people,” Hughes said of leading. His favorite on-the-road snack is a chocolate chip Clif Bar. He commuted to work by bicycle for many years, and now that he’s retired — he rides to the golf course! And he has ridden the entire Pacific Coast Bicycle Route twice.
Cynthia Johnson is originally from Texas but now lives in Washington, DC. She began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2019 as a co-leader on New Mexico Enchanted Lands and as staff on Idaho Family Fun. Her favorite touring memory is reaching the top of Red Meadow Pass on a beautiful summer day while on the Intro to Dirt Touring - Montana tour. Her dream tour is somewhere off-road in the mountains or near the sea. CJ loves leading tours because she enjoys meeting new people and sharing life at bike speed. As for her favorite touring snack — “whatever’s in my jersey pocket!”
Holly Johnson hails from Bedford, New Hampshire. When not leading tours, she enjoys mountain biking and hiking with her husband, gardening, cooking, reading, and learning new things — a consummate student. She’s also taking on all of New Hampshire’s 48 4Ks and happens to be a certified hypnotist. Her first year leading tours with Adventure Cycling is 2019 with the Big Bend and Epic Great Divide van tours. Holly’s favorite touring memory was on a five-week multisport Wilderness Adventure in New Zealand with her husband where “one of my fondest memories was the incredible bike ride into Milford Sound … absolutely breathtaking!” When she was younger, she raced mountain bikes and was the Novice Female Champion for her age group ... in her first year of racing! Her favorite touring snack is BoBo Bars, especially the coconut ones, and she’s a firm believer that an avocado a day keeps the doctor away.
Malcolm Juring is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he fixes bikes, reads maps, and brews beer. He began leading tours with Adventure Cycling in 2021 with the Epic Great Divide Van tour. The 2020 Leader Training Course reinforced Malcolm’s love for the community that holds cyclists and all travelers together. His favorite touring experience was catching a strong tailwind that carried him almost 200 miles from Portland, Oregon, up the Columbia River Gorge on a cross-country trip. His dream bicycle tour is to ride the coast of Norway to Nordkapp. No stranger to the Arctic, he was once attacked by a flock of Arctic Terns while riding his bike. His favorite on-the-road snack is gas station donuts and coffee!
Denny Koontz currently lives in Tacoma, Washington. She is an emergency veterinarian at a 24-hour specialty/referral practice. This will be her first year leading tours for Adventure Cycling, but she has been a part of many tours in the past. Her favorite place to ride is the Blue Ridge Parkway. “There’s something magical about biking in the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia.” Someday she would like to tour Chile and Patagonia, although a one- to two-year “world tour” is not out of the question. She loves to be out on the road, meeting new people, and enjoying the moments that you can only find when traveling by bicycle. Her favorite on the road snacks are clementine oranges, Rice Crispy treats, and candied orange slices. She thinks all downhills must be earned and is a complete bike travel junkie, usually not going longer then six to eight weeks without going somewhere!
Danna Korak currently resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2013, she retired from the U.S. Postal Service, and after 34 years of service she is enjoying the freedom to pack up her bicycle and travel spontaneously. She also enjoys organizing club rides and bike overnights for the Central Indiana Bicycle Association (CIBA) along with other random self-guided tours. She began touring self-contained with Adventure Cycling in 2013 and completed the Leadership Training Course and Intro to Road Touring as part of her retirement plan. In 2015, she had the pleasure of helping staff the Great Lakes Relaxed. Every tour is a new adventure that consists of chance encounters with different people. She loves the pace of bicycle touring. “The scenery changes before you, and yet, as the world passes by, you become part of the scenery leaving a lasting impression on someone’s mind.” Her dream bicycle tour is an open-ended tour across the U.S. with time to spend a week or more exploring each state. She loves sharing the adventure of bicycle touring and the excitement of discovering the next, whatever that might be. It is a privilege to be a part of the support system that inspires and empowers people to pursue their dreams or goals. When it comes to eating on the road, she prefers finding a local café or market. For her that is part of the adventure, but, just in case, she usually throws a Clif Bar in her pocket. She also enjoys brewing beer, kite making, and sailing.
Ankur Kumar is originally from wild and wonderful West Virginia but currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2017, having never ridden longer than 30 miles before, Ankur planned a trip along the C&O Canal for himself and five friends. “The cycling was great, but really, the camaraderie sold me.” He loves bike touring so much that his life-long goal is to explore the whole world by bicycle. 2020 is Ankur’s first year leading for Adventure Cycling, and he’s “stoked” to get to know his crew. Surprisingly enough, outside of being an outdoor enthusiast, Ankur’s day-to-day life involves lots of computers and coding. Ankur runs a small custom software shop based in Pittsburgh.
Johnny Lam is from Los Angeles, California. When he’s not leading bike tours, he is an entrepreneur and League Certified Instructor. Johnny has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2015, and his favorites so far are Bicycle Route 66, Vermont Inn to Inn, Colorado Classic Hill Country, and half of the TransAm. He absolutely loves exploring a location he’s never been before or rediscovering a familiar place from a different perspective. It’s the anticipation of being somewhere that’s on his bucket list and then actually getting there that makes him extremely elated. His dream is to ride in Southeast Asia to explore Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and to travel to where he was born in Vietnam. If you’re ever in Los Angeles, look him up! He is pretty familiar with getting around there by bike and can show you a good time. Many people are initially intimidated to ride in L.A. traffic, but L.A. isn’t a bad place to ride if you know how to navigate it. Favorite road snack? “I scream for ice cream!”
Mike Lessard currently resides in Missoula and works as the Director of the Tours Department. Born and raised in the great state of Maine, Mike spent his childhood outdoors hiking and camping with his family, which gave him a passion for being with people outside. For six years, he worked with a youth adventure program called Apogee Adventures where he led a variety of hiking and biking tours for high school students. Most notably, he journeyed across the country with a group of kids on a self-contained Charleston to San Diego ride — two years in a row! His favorite ride of all time? The Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park during bikes-only season. When not on a bike, Mike is climbing a mountain or hanging out at the local ice cream shop.
Emily Loberg is from Salem, Oregon. Her favorite tour experience of all time is when she was riding from Oregon to Maine in the summer of 2016, she spent three nights in Glacier National Parking camping with a “group” of 11 other touring cyclists she had met on the road. “We were traveling in groups of one to three and all came together spontaneously.” During their time in the park, they shared hiking, swimming, and evening concerts with folks who had brought instruments on their tour. They all woke up at 4 a.m. to bike Going to the Sun Road over Logan Pass and then camped together in Saint Mary and went out for pizza in town. After Glacier, they all went their separate ways, but for those couple of days they were a magical bicycle touring family. Emily’s dream tour is bicycling around the world. She considers bicycle touring as her favorite lifestyle and she loves traveling and meeting new places and people, and loves introducing people to bicycle touring and learning from folks who have experienced the road for years. Her favorite on-the-road snack is a butterscotch milkshake!
Joe Loviska is from Missoula, Montana. When he’s not on tour, he works for a recumbent manufacturing company called Lightfoot Cycles and substitute teaches. Joe has been leading for Adventure Cycling since 2007. He began as a mechanic on event tours and worked into leadership roles starting in 2010. Most recently, he led Big Bend Loop, the Underground Railroad, and the Southern Tier. One of his all-time favorite tour experiences was leading the Southern Tier in 2012 because of the group involved. “Everyone was so committed to each other, making sure that everyone was successful while having a great time crossing the country. It was amazing to see!” His dream bicycle tour is riding the spine of the continents, from Alaska to Argentina, incorporating the Great Divide Route through North America. He loves leading bike tours for the singular opportunity to see this incredible country in an intimate light — the small towns, the unmatched scenery, and the interesting people full of their culture — all while experiencing it among a group of strangers who have come together for a common goal and want to help each other succeed. He has many favorite on-the-road snacks, including Corn Nuts, Fritos, Snickers, dried fruit, carrot cake, celery sticks, fried chicken, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches — especially those. He likes to play the jaw harp on the road, preferably while coasting down a slight incline, riding no handed. He also likes to eat his PB&J in that position. And he believes that riding across the country should be a mandatory part of every high school curriculum!
Doug Lukach is from Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a semi-retired business unit manager. His favorite tour experience of all time was in May 2011 when he was on the Intro to Road Touring course in Oregon. He immediately used his newfound knowledge to ride from Eugene, Oregon, to Milwaukee,Wisconsin! His dream tour would be through all 50 states. “I love any tour that pushes my limits and takes me out of my comfort zone,” he said. Doug loves bike touring because of all the wonderful people you meet and seeing people overcome challenges and accomplish things they previously thought were not possible. While touring he never wants to be without peanut butter and/or something with peanut butter in it!
Terri Lyde hails from Atlanta, GA. By day, she’s a software developer with sprinkles of triathlons, hiking, and kayaking in her spare time. She’s been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2013 and her two favorites, so far, have been Death Valley and Colorado Wildflowers. Terri’s all time favorite tour experience was riding into the entrance of Death Valley National Park and sleeping underneath the stars there. “The views were incredible — I had never seen stars like that!” Her dream bicycle tour would be going from town to town in foreign country — perhaps the Netherlands or Vietnam. She loves leading tours since she can share her passion of cycling, traveling, seeing new places, meeting new people, and having great experiences with others. Her favorite on the road snack is Oreos. “There are so many great flavors now. Red Velvet is my favorite!” And you might not guess it, but one day she wants to play electric guitar in a rock band.
David Lynch is currently living in Richmond, Virginia, but his heart (and former home) is in the mountains of Colorado and the canyons of Utah. David has been affiliated with Adventure Cycling since 2010 and in that time has worked on family, van-supported, inn-to-inn, instructional, and self-contained tours. "I enjoy the unique challenges and opportunities of each type of tour, but the teaching and fully loaded tours are what I gravitate toward." Some of his most memorable trips have included the Underground Railroad, C&O Canal/GAP, and TransAm. "Each route tells a story that is rich and complex. The same can be said for the stories of our participants and I love that bicycling allows us to learn about and fully experience each other's stories. I continue to meet amazing and interesting people, and make new memories along the way.” A former funeral director, David is now pursuing clinical social work with a particular interest in adventure-based therapy. His dream trips include a leisurely paced bicycle tour of most of the U.S. National Parks, and kayaking down the entire length of the Mississippi River. He also continues his quest for the best strawberry rhubarb pie in North America (current pick: Cooky’s Cafe, Golden City, Missouri).
Adrian Martin hails from Finger, Tennessee. He has ridden to all four corners of this country, and his favorite memory is waking up at dawn in Glacier National Park and riding over Logan Pass on Going-to-the-Sun Road with the sun rising behind him. His dream bicycle tour is to ride around Europe, stopping to visit all the castles on the way. Adrian began leading with Adventure Cycling in 2019, and most of all he enjoys sharing his passion for touring with other riders. His favorite on-the-road snacks are Pop Tarts. He’s certainly come a long way since his first bicycle: “It had a coaster brake, which I didn’t know how to use, so I would just jump off and hit the ground running!”
Meg McGuire is from Oakland, California, and is currently a graduate student working on dual masters degrees — Arts in Social Change and Divinity. On the bike, Meg joined the inaugural TransAm U30 tour as a participant in 2016, and after getting to Oregon, continued south to the Bay area where she currently lives. She has also helped lead the California Wine Country Relaxed tour. Her dream tour is riding the Baja Divide, and she has a favorite on-the-road snack of oatmeal with a variety of toppings so that it never gets old. Growing up with stories from her dad about riding with Bikecentennial in 1981, she knew it was something she would do, too!
Richard Mead is from Greenville, South Carolina, and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2014. He is retired and a part-time ski instructor when most people think it’s too cold to bike. Most recently, he was a staff member on Ragin’ Cajun and Minnesota-Wisconsin Rivers and Trails. His favorite tour experience of all time was 10 days in the French Alps riding with friends on some of the classic climbs of the professional tours — Alpe d’Huez, Col de L’Izoard, Col du Galibier. Despite the work, the rewards and scenery were spectacular. His dream bicycle tour? A tailwind, 65-75 degrees, and no rain! He loves leading bike tours to see riders of all abilities smiling. His favorite on-the-road snacks are bananas and Golden Oreos. And he skis more days each year living in South Carolina than he ever did growing up in Wyoming or living in upstate New York and New England.
Megan Meo is from Los Angeles, California. When she’s not leading tours, you can find her baking pastries, turning flour, sugar, and butter into sweet treats. Her favorite tour experience is when she rode up part of the eastern coast of Australia solo. “Being on my own pushed me to make friends with almost everyone I encountered and taught me I can accomplish anything I put my mind to!” Her current dream tour is cycling around Cuba. Quiet roads, rich history, small towns, and beaches put this destination high on her list. Above all, Megan loves leading because she loves sharing her favorite form of travel. Not to mention her interests spending hours reading maps, figuring out routes, and finding excuses to explore new parts of the country! She loves trail mix (with peanut M&Ms), tortillas filled with peanut butter, banana, and honey, and she tries to turn every bicycle tour into a tour of ice cream shops.
Russ Meyer hails from Reno, Nevada. Since retiring from the University of Nevada, Reno, Russ can be found cycling (of course!), skiing, fly fishing, birding, or playing with his Gordon Setter, Hallee. He has been leading tours with Adventure Cycling since 2016, including the Big Bend, Sierra Sampler, Black Hills, Minnesota-Wisconsin Rivers & Trails tours, and he has concluded that being a tour leader is the best retirement gig ever! His favorite tour experience was cycling with his wife and six of their friends along the Danube River from Germany through Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary, and it’s his dream to cycle the vineyards and wineries of southern France. He loves meeting new people and helping others realize their goals, especially when they’re not sure they can at the start. His favorite on the road snack is Fig Newtons, and a fun fact about Russ is that he's managed to break the same toe twice by not paying attention.
Tom Middaugh is a retired insurance executive from Wilsonville, Oregon. He’s been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2016, and so far his favorite have been the TransAm, Washington Cascades, Idaho Trails Relaxed, and Idaho Family Fun. His absolute favorite tour experience happened in 2016 at the end of the Bicycle Route 66 tour — pulling into Chicago, self-contained, and being greeted with the huge free Blues Festival in the park. His favorite part about leading tours is being able to share life-altering experiences and help others find beautiful, defining moments. Tom is a proud Life Member of Adventure Cycling, and on the road he loves Powerade and anything salty. He’s also a complete pushover for cats!
Sue Moessinger is from Cumberland, Maryland. After 36 years of working as a reading specialist in an elementary school, Sue retired and started leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2012. Most recently, she has been a leader on Texas Hill Country, Ragin’ Cajun, and C&O Canal/GAP Wine and Harvest. Her favorite part of bicycle touring is reconnecting, sometimes intentionally and sometimes not, with fellow cyclists she has met over the years. She loves leading tours because it allows her to share a piece of her life with the many wonderful cyclists she meets. “I love having a good time. We have so many responsibilities on a daily basis. When touring on a bike, it is easy for me to let the details of my life behind and just laugh and smile.” She hopes one day to just leave her front doorstep with her bike and ride wherever her wheels may take her!
Matt Moritz currently resides in Providence, Rhode Island, and is on a quest to bring more bicycle tours to southern New England. He began leading tours and staffing events in 2011 with a very rainy Cycle Vermont. Since then, he’s had much better weather for several editions of the Oregon Coast Loop, Great Lakes Loop, and Cape Cod Pilgrimage. When he’s not on a bike, Matt is a local advocate for better cycling conditions, a certified instructor, commutes year round, and works for a large software company.
Todd Murdock is from Cullowhee, North Carolina. When he isn’t leading bike tours, he is the director of project discovery for Western Carolina University. He has been leading cycling tours with youth for 20 years, including tours across the country on the Lewis & Clark Trail and parts of the TransAm. He is a newbie to Adventure Cycling in 2018. His favorite tour is usually the one he is on. His fondest memory is making the last turn toward the beach in Astoria, Oregon, with a group of high school students that he’d led along the Lewis & Clark Trail. Their excitement and sense of accomplishment was the greatest reward for any leader. His dream trip is to ride around the world. He loves touring because of the smiles, the challenge, the laughter, the struggle, the food, the storms, the wind at his back … he could go on. His favorite on the road snacks include cookies, pie, ice cream, fudge, peanut butter, honey, watermelon, grapes, chocolate bars, bananas, M&Ms … again he could go on. Finally, his two biggest fears are getting paid what he’s worth and getting what he deserves.
Dan O’Neill lives in Tempe, Arizona. He began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2019 with the Death Valley and TransAm Express Westward tours. His favorite bicycle tours include riding with his wife, Jenny, across the U.S. on their Co-Motion tandem — they rode west to east on Bicycle Route 66 from Santa Monica to Chicago, then the Northern Tier below Chicago to Bar Harbor, and ended with a 300-mile loop inside Ontario to visit friends in London. Dan’s emphasis on life since being retired has been to lead an active outdoor lifestyle while traveling, enjoying music, and taking care of his home. The great outdoors and simplicity of bicycle travel, along with the teamwork that comes so naturally to participants, are some of his favorite parts of touring. His favorite touring snacks are peanuts with cold Gatorade or cold Body Armour.
David Patterson is from Phoenix, Arizona. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2009. Lately, he has been busy on Cycle Montana-Missoula, Cycle Montana-Big Sky Country, Southern Arizona Road Adventure, Texas Hill Country, and Idaho Relaxed. His favorite experiences on a bike were completing the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route and riding through Yosemite on a self-contained Sierra Cascade ride. Traveling is what drew him to bike touring. “I love leading tours because of the new and exciting places I get to see and the people I get to enjoy the experience with.” While on the road, his favorite snack is anything that someone else prepares!
Dennis Patterson is from Mesa, Arizona. Dennis has been a bicycle tourist since 1977 and has ridden the TransAm Bicycle Route self-supported with Adventure Cycling in 2017, and most recently led the Pacific Coast. He also spends many days bikepacking the backroads of the Southwest. His fondest memories of touring are all of the wonderful people that he has met on the road and those that host cyclists. His dream tour is to ride the Andes Trail from Quito to Ushuaia in South America. He loves the camaraderie that happens on bicycle tours and is excited to share those experiences with others. Plain granola bars and Clif Bars keep him going on the road, but his favorite snack is a chocolate shake at the end of the day. Dennis carries a harmonica in his handlebar bag to play while riding or taking a break in the shade.
Marty Pelton lives on the central California coast in Watsonville. When he’s not on his bike, you can find him playing tennis. He began staffing tours for Adventure Cycling in 2019 with Cycle Washington. His favorite all-time tour experience was riding along the Rhine River from Cologne, Germany, to Basel, Switzerland, and one day he would love to do the TransAm and Northern Tier. Marty enjoys leading tours because he gets to meet new, active-minded people. Almost any type of fruit fulfills his touring snack cravings.
Helen Pilling has lots of enthusiasm for bicycling, ice cream, licorice, and life. Helen has been a guide for years leading trips not only on bikes, but also on dog sleds, skis, canoes, and hiking boots. Her favorite rides (and hikes) are ones where she ends up at water that she can jump into. Her entrepreneurialism keeps her exceptionally busy playing music, creating cases for musical instruments, building bicycle trails, making her special handcrafted licorice, fighting for clean water, and keeping a positive attitude. Living simply, traveling light, and being outside are daily goals. She hopes to always be learning new things, going to new places, and meeting new friends. A cabin in the woods, off the grid, is her home base is NW Montana.
Steve Powell is from Ithaca, New York, in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of New York State. When he isn’t leading bike tours, he works for a university and designs and builds scientific and engineering instruments for space-based and ground-based research projects. Steve has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2009. Most recently, he led the Hawaii Big Island and California Gold Rush to the Bay tours. His favorite tour experience of all time was riding the 33-mile loop around the caldera rim of Crater Lake, Oregon. It was wickedly hilly, with spectacular views of deep-blue Crater Lake that kept changing as one progressed around the lake. His dream bicycle tour is to ride around three Hawaiian islands, Maui, Lanai, and Molokai, and to use a ferry and charter boat to combine those rides into an integrated bike tour. Steve loves leading bike tours and sharing the feeling of freedom with friends and tour participants every morning, having just loaded everything onto their bikes and setting out in the cool, crisp morning air with the open road lying ahead. He has been known to deviate many miles from the established bike tour route for a root beer float or for shave ice when in Hawaii.
Jeff Powers is from Seattle, Washington. When he’s not leading tours, he oversees 290 volunteer Ride Leaders of the Cascade Bicycle Club in Seattle — they host over 2,000(!) free daily bike rides each year in the Puget Sound region. One of his favorite Adventure Cycling tours was Texas Hill Country in 2018 which was “more like Texas Rain Festival. We had a great time making the best of the overly-soggy conditions.” In 2017, he completed a 4300-mile solo cross-country trip from Seattle to NYCity where he was able to explore the essence of middle America, visit friends and family, and visit 5 National Parks. Back when Jeff commanded submarines as a U. S. Naval officer, he used to bring his bicycle and stationary trainer onboard — when the officer of the deck thought he wasn't getting enough of a workout, he would order an up angle on the ship, thus creating a hill climb for the captain. While touring, Jeff’s favorite snack is a tuna donut. “Don't judge!”
Brian Raines is a marketing consultant from Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. His is also an accidental bike/ped advocate in Maryland, serving on the boards of Bike Maryland and the Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic Commission. He also chairs the Southern MD Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Advisory Committee and the Calvert County Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. Brian began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2018, and so far his favorite is the Grand Canyon tour. He enjoys riding anywhere there is more gravel than cars and more dirt than tarmac. One bucket list ride for him is the Kokopelli Trail in Colorado. His favorite on-the-road snacks are gummy bears and, of course, ice cream.
Tom Reitter is a retired software engineer currently living in Richland, Washington. He began leading tours for Adventure Cycling with the 2017 Black Hills tour. His favorite tour memory is the one where he met his now-partner, Kelly — the Great Parks North tour. A month later, Tom headed out on the Southern Tier, which gave him plenty of time to think about what’s important in life. After returning home to Maryland, he decided to retire and move to Richland to be with Kelly where they now spend their time exploring the backroads of the northwest. His favorite part of bicycle touring is the people you meet. From every walk of life, through the common love of touring, you instantly have a rich and bountiful network of friends. His ideal road snack is peanut butter.
Damon Richards is from Indianapolis, Indiana, and runs Bike Indianapolis, the bicycle advocacy group for central Indiana. He began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2017, and his favorite tour experience ever is when he rode solo across the United States in 2014. While that was his dream tour, next on the list is to ride the Pacific Coast Highway from Canada to Mexico. He loves leading bike tours because “touring has given me remarkable insights about myself and the world I live in. I want to share the opportunity for similar insights with others.” His favorite snack on tour is Clif Bars in multiple flavors with a Snickers thrown in once in a while.
Joe Riemensnider was born in Minnesota but relocated to Missoula, Montana, in 2010. When he’s not leading tours or managing a local bike shop, Joe is working on his degree in Recreation Management. He began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2018 with the Erie Canal Family Fun tour. One of his all-time favorite tour moments was the first time he rode his fully loaded bike onto a ferry to the San Juan Islands. He loves being able to combine touring with public transportation and he loves taking ferries places — being on the open water always has a feeling of adventure. Since that first ferry ride, he has planned many of his tours around Amtrak and boat transportation. His dream is to ride the Great Himalaya Trail that traverses Nepal. Joe’s favorite on-the-road snacks are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and any kind of cheese (but not combined). One day, he hopes to tour with his dogs in the trailer, but training them has been a slow process since one of them is suddenly nowhere to be found even at the sight of trailer.
Scott Ruff lives in Fort Collins, CO. Having recently retired from a full time career in software development, he’s currently working just enough to fund his outdoor lifestyle and personal travels. He began leading for Adventure Cycling in 2020 with the Arkansas High Country tour and so far his trip has been the Great Divide Route Colorado Alpine tour from Steamboat Springs to Salida, CO. His favorite tour experience of all time was cycling the Carretera Austral through Patagonia with another tour leader whom he met through ACA. “The scenery was amazing, and we enjoyed getting to know both locals and other travelers from around the world. It was also great to experience two summers in a single year!” Although Scott’s ridden many sections of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, he'd love to do the whole epic route in a single push. He loves leading tours since he finds so much joy in the simplicity and beauty of bicycle touring, and he wants to help others have this type of experience as well. There are two snacks that he always carries with him on the road: Fritos and Peanut M&Ms, but whenever he encounters restaurants along a route, he pretty much has to stop in for a bite to eat.
Donna R. is from North Carolina. She is an EMT who spent 10 years without a motorized vehicle and traveled to work, for fun, and around the country by bicycle. A favorite bicycle experience of hers was the Adventure Cycling Leadership Training Course. She began leading tours with Adventure Cycling in 2021 starting with her dream tour, the Southern Tier. As a tour leader, Donna wants to support others as they find their own groove out on the road. Fellow cyclists will not have trouble finding her on the road as her biking outfits exude her motto of “safety is sexy.” Her favorite on-the-road food is peanut butter, preferably enjoyed with a spoon straight out of the container while standing on the side of the road and waving to vehicles.
Frosene Sacco is from Everett, Washington. She is a sales specialist at REI Seattle, and this is her first year leading bicycle tours. Her favorite tour experience of all time (she says there are so many!) was in the summer of 2015 riding the TransAm solo. After getting over yet another pass in Colorado, a huge downpour had her taking shelter under a tree. A lady drove by in her SUV, rolled down her window, and said, “Would you like to come and sit inside until it stops?” Kindness happens when you least expect it! Her dream cycle tour is to go cross country with her husband, then continue onto Europe and beyond for a few years! Her favorite on-the-road snacks are chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches, bananas, Snickers bars, chocolate milk, chocolate milkshakes … there’s a theme there!
Tammy Schurr is from Las Cruces, New Mexico. When she’s not researching, planning, or leading tours, she substitute teaches high school English, social studies, and history. She’s been leading tours since 2004 and has been an event director since 2005. She’s led all of the supported Family Fun tours. She has been the event director for the Southern Arizona Road Adventure, the Idaho Trails Family Fun, and the Paul Bunyan Trail Family Fun. She also leads van-supported and self-contained tours. She loves the freedom she feels riding her bicycles and sharing that experience with others, especially with families! Her favorite tour leading experiences are the ones where she witnesses families enjoying bicycle travel and forming lifetime bonds with other kids and families. She dreams of self-contained touring, period! She’d love to tour in Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and Canada, to name but a few! Two things make her happy while touring — a cup of hot black tea in the morning and a Snickers bar along the route! She refers to her bicycles by the names she’s given them.
Allison Seger grew up in Omaha, Nebraska. When she’s not touring, she is an educator at the tribal school on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. Her favorite tour experience was her first big solo tour, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Starting in Canada and finishing at the border of Mexico was the most impactful tour experience of her life. She also has fond memories of riding on the back of her dad’s tandem when she was young and riding and camping in small towns across the state of Nebraska each summer. Her dream tour is the recently completed Baja Divide — she can’t wait to practice her Spanish and see thousands of miles of Mexico from her bicycle! She loves sharing the experience of bike touring with others and is convinced that there’s nothing like it. As for her favorite on-the-road snack? “Have you ever tried those squeezable baby-foods? Sounds gross, but they're delicious, and they keep really well in my pack! Also, peanut M&Ms.”
Todd Smith is from York, Pennsylvania. He is an entrepreneur who works as a consultant to other entrepreneurs and early stage business owners. He also works on his own startups, real estate brokerage, and investing. This is his first year leading tour for ACA, but he has been planning small group tours for 20 years. When he was at business school at UCLA, he rode a modified TransAM from Yorktown, VA to Los Angeles. This was the trip that got his love of bike touring going. He is a fan of cleantech and ebikes and his dream tour is to ride Alaska to Chile with a solar powered ebike. He loves sharing his love of cycle touring with others and see the same the same excitement in them that he has. His favorite on the bike snack is Chocolate GU, “... a little boost of energy can be perfect to get you to the finish line.” He has an eclectic sport fanaticism enjoying the Jacksonville Jaguars, Baltimore Orioles, Philadelphia 76ers, and Philadelphia Flyers.
Elle Steele is from Sacramento, California. When she’s not leading tours, she is a League Cycling Instructor and works with students and adults to help them learn to ride their bikes safely for transportation and fun. During her first year leading tours for Adventure Cycling, she led the Paul Bunyan Family Fun tour in Minnesota. She loves leading tours because she loves meeting new people and watching their personal journey evolve while touring. Her favorite experience was taking her 10-month-old son on a 600-mile bike tour around Oregon. “Seeing his resilience and joy for being on the bike long hours each day at such an early age made me realize that we'd be a biking family for life.” Her dream tour is to tour the world with her two boys for a year of road-schooling. Favorite road snack? Anything with chocolate. She doesn’t own a car, so instead they have a shed full of bikes. Her favorite bike is a Bike Friday family tandem with a Burley Piccolo trail-a-bike attached to it. She calls it their Crazier Train. She also helps organize family bike rides with Sacramento Kidical Mass and runs a blog about being a bike-centric, car-free family: tinyhelmetsbigbikes.com.
Pete Strause is from Beaverton, Oregon. He is a retired engineering manager for Freightliner and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2007. Most recently, he led the Florida Keys, Columbia River Gorge, Alaskan Golden Circle, and the Oregon Coast Loop tours. He has also been an advisor on a Leadership Training Course. His favorite tour experience of all time was riding along the path up to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in DC to complete a 48-day cross-country tour: an emotional experience! His dream bicycle tour is, “Anywhere in Alaska. I love cycling in this state because the scenery is so grand. I guess this is why I like leading the Denali Adventure.” He loves leading bike tours because, “I think that there is no better time than going on bike trips. Being able to share this with people who also feel the same is so much fun. Everyone is in such a great frame of mind. It is the perfect retirement job.” His favorite on-the-road snack is the classic PB&J sandwich. He thinks red bikes are faster, which might be why almost all of his bikes are red! But he is not a fast rider so being the “turtle” of the group (riding sweep) fits him well.
Phillip Thompson grew up in Austin, Texas, but now lives in San Francisco, California. He is an office manager at a legal drafting startup, and this is his first year leading tours for Adventure Cycling. His favorite tour experience of all time was a long Labor Day weekend trip biking between Klamath Falls and Eugene Amtrak stations. The tour included a snowstorm at Crater Lake, camping at a hot spring, chicken-fried steak for breakfast, and brewery tastings in Eugene (sounds like my kind of tour!) His dream tour is to ride the Northern Tier, including the Upper Peninsula. He likes to lead tours because bike touring with a group brings out everyone’s kindness and generosity. If you see Philip out riding and being chased by a dog, don’t be surprised if you hear him bark back! His favorite tour snack is applying peanut butter to anything edible.
Alice Tiernan moved to Boise, Idaho, after living in Juneau, Alaska, for 33 years. The warm sun, great cycling environment, and road trip opportunities brought her to Boise. Her passion for touring was born in 1996 when she completed her first bike tour, Cycle Montana, with Adventure Cycling Association. She has been doing multiple tours annually ever since. Her desire to encourage others to travel by bike led her to go through leadership training in 2013, and since then she has been leading van-supported and self-contained tours. “You instantly have a connection with others when you are with a group of cyclists,” she said. “Touring is such a positive experience. The incredible generosity of complete strangers renews your faith in humanity.” She has lots of favorite on-the-road snacks. She never tires of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the road, but an extra special treat, since she is a chocoholic, is a Nutella and peanut butter sandwich on cinnamon raisin bread.
Sid Voss is from Eden Prairie, Minnesota. When he isn’t on tour, he is a school district administrator. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2010. Most recently, he led the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, Great Divide Canada and the Great Lakes. His favorite tour is always the last one he took, but he really has two favorites: the Great Divide and the Denali Highway in Alaska. He is planning two dream bicycle tours: Sea to Sea in England, and Saigon to Hanoi. He loves leading bike tours for the personal experience of the road/trail/bike/ride and, more importantly, the shared experiences and connections of the group as the riders come together at the end each day — supporting each other to grow and meet challenges. His favorite on-the-road snack is a stop at the local bakery.
Barb Wade lives in northern Michigan where she is enjoying retirement after a long career in the forest products industry. She started leading Adventure Cycling tours in 2012 and, since then, has led Leelanau Peninsula, Underground Railroad, and Southern Tier. Her favorite touring experience was stumbling into the start of the Race Across America while on a self-supported tour of the Pacific Coast. “It was great meeting some of the racers and finding out that they thought we were as crazy as we thought they were!” Though she dreams of riding from Cairo to Cape Town, she has her sights set on a Trans-Canada ride. “Bicycle touring is addictive because it gives you a chance to experience the kindness in people that you meet along the way. Being on a bike opens you up to all of the experiences that are happening around you rather than just driving by them. It is the best way to see the world. Leading tours enables me to indulge in my other passion — photography. Bicyclists are incredible photo subjects because they all love to have their pictures taken while riding their bikes. Their smiles are fantastic!”
John Waugaman is from Cumberland, Maryland. When he’s not leading bike tours, John is an environmental coordinator. He’s been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2007. Most recently, he led the Freedom Flyer, the Blue Ridge Bliss, and the C&O/Great Allegheny Passage. About his favorite tour experiences of all time, John says, “Some of my favorite memories on trips seem to be when I see the real joy in riders when they realize that they CAN make the hills or the all-day rides.” His dream bicycle tour is a slow, self-contained trip through Europe. He loves leading bike tours because they combine great cycling and great people. He is constantly surprised by the fascinating folks he meets on trips. He has many favorite on-the-road snacks including iced coffee, ice cream, fruit salad, pie, chocolate, salty snacks, gorp, cookies, pastries, cold drinks, and more!
Bob Westgate is originally from San Francisco, California, and now lives near Honolulu, Hawaii (after intermediate stops in Minnesota, Texas, and Colorado). He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2010. Bob has most recently been the event director for Cycle Divide Montana and C&O Canal/GAP. In previous years, Bob has served as the event director for Wine & Harvest, Minnesota-Wisconsin Rivers & Trails, Colorado Wildflowers & Rivers, and as a tours leader on Blue Ridge Bliss. He has also served as an advisor for Leadership Training Courses in Minnesota and Texas. He has too many incredible tour experiences to choose a favorite — each one adds to the list! His dream tour is a one-week, point-to-point tour through an area as different from Colorado as possible — perhaps in Quebec, or a ride in New Zealand. One of these days, he hopes to ride the TransAm Trail with his daughter, also an Adventure Cycling leader. Bob loves leading bike tours because he enjoys meeting folks who embrace bicycle touring and experiencing new areas. He especially enjoys sharing tips and tricks and helping make cycling dreams come true. His favorite on-the-road snack is a Snickers bar, and he is working on being funnier by listening to the Comedy Channel and attending improv classes! Bob has experience with events, as well as self-contained, inn-to-inn, and Family Fun rides.
Julie White is from Black Mountain, North Carolina. When she is not on the bike, she volunteers with many bicycling and greenway organizations and works weekly building houses with Habitat for Humanity. She has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2011. Most recently, she led Outer Banks Inn to Inn and helped lead a Family Fun Tour on the Great Allegheny Passage. She has also been an advisor at several Leadership Training Courses. Her favorite tour experience of all time was participating in the Adventure Cycling Great Divide Tour. It was a great tour loaded with beautiful scenery, great small western towns, challenges, and wonderful people. More recently, she and her husband spent six weeks touring the South Island of New Zealand. That was another wonderful cycling experience in a magical place. She loves leading bike tours because she wants to help others discover the joys of cycle touring. “The people I meet on Adventure Cycling tours are wonderful. There is nothing quite like the simple daily rhythm of a bike tour.” Her favorite on-the-road snack is some kind of GORP, especially with nuts and M&Ms.
Johnathan Wilmot is from Utica, New York. When not leading bike tours, he works in a restaurant and spends as much time hiking and running in the mountains as possible. In addition to his love of bike touring and commuting, Jon’s been a runner for well over a decade now and has completed multiple marathons, ultra-marathons, and countless other self-inflicted hours running trails and too many roads to count. The 2019 Erie Canal Family Fun tour was his first time leading for Adventure Cycling — it was an amazingly special tour for him because he grew up along the canal and had toured the whole trail in the past. Jon’s favorite touring memory is the time he was given a ride through the cold rain in the mountains of Idaho which serendipitously led to whitewater rafting the following day because of it. Extra tidbits: he’s a pretty good juggler and his favorite touring snacks are chocolate milk and pizza.
Katherine Wysocki resides in western New York. After 30 years as a first-grade teacher, she looks forward to retiring in June. She began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2018 with the Idaho Trails Relaxed and Idaho Family Fun tours and staffing the Black Hills fully supported tour the following year. Her favorite touring experience was her solo self-contained tour of Nova Scotia. “It was a dream tour. I rode each day with no real plan — I simply followed the ocean around the province. Each afternoon I stopped to sample the local chowder and enjoy an Alexander Keiths (Nova Scotia beer). The people I met along the way had incredible stories and kindness to share.” Kathy loves leading tours because of the joy she feels when people in the group return at day’s end with smiles, stories, and feelings of accomplishment. “Motivating and helping people achieve their goals is what drives me … it might be why I chose teaching as a profession.” Her favorite touring snack is a good ol’ peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Van Supported. Some of the best spring and fall gravel riding in the U.S. can be found outside southern Arizona's small, eclectic town of Patagonia, and we'll hit the dirt on this long-weekend gravel adventure.
Fully Supported. If you’ve been led to believe the Lone Star State is pancake flat, this weeklong bike tour through the rolling Texas Hill Country will prove otherwise. Plus, you’ll love the dazzling displays of spring wildflowers and Texas barbecue.
Van Supported. Pedal past sand dunes, hot springs, canyons, rock formations, and an incredible variety of plant and animal life as we explore the maze of wildly eroded and colorful badlands that are Death Valley.