Lauren Abrahamian is from Los Angeles, California. When not leading tours she is a barista, bike mechanic, and bike marketer. This will be her first year leading tours for Adventure Cycling. Her fondest bike touring memory is in 2014 when she biked through Europe with two friends. They tried to stay with locals as much as possible and “Often we would set out for the day not knowing where we would end up or where we would sleep, but these days were some of the most exciting and gave some of the best gifts.” She is excited to do more dirt-road touring adventures all over the world. Her favorite moments leading tours is seeing people overcome fears and challenges that they never thought they could. Her favorite snack is a breakfast burrito, and please do not make her choose between dogs and cats.
Happi Adams is from Durham, North Carolina. Since 2012, she has been teaching high school English and leading tours with Adventure Cycling during her summer breaks. In June 2015, she began a two-year sabbatical from teaching in order to lead longer bike trips and pursue other creative ventures before going back into education full time. Her favorite on-the-road snack is GT Dave’s Gingerade kombucha, but she also appreciates a good burger with bacon and hot sauce.
Kalyana Algrabeli is from Nevada, California. She is a yoga teacher and dream weaver when not leading bike tours. She’s been leading for Adventure Cycling for two years, and most recently led the Florida Keys self-contained, TransAm self-contained, and Death Valley van tours. Her favorite tour experience of all time was seeing the first hints of mountain topography in Colorado at the western edge of Kansas after hundreds of miles of straight and flat on the TransAm. Her dream tour is self-contained, with her dog, to multiple countries. Kalyana loves leading tours because “bicycle touring is my greatest joy in life, surpassed perhaps only by the joy of sharing it with others.” You’ll find her on the road, empowered in hot pink, munching on gooseberries, Brazil nuts, and Shot Bloks — her favorite on-tour snacks.
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.
Don Baker is from Vancouver, British Columbia. Currently retired, he will be leading his first tours for Adventure Cycling in 2018. His favorite bicycle experience was riding to Alaska with a guy named Dan. Dan did everything wrong, but they became great friends over the trip. Don loves riding because of the amazing distances that you can travel without gas, electricity, or other resources. Plus he can eat all the junk food that he wants! Candy will always be his favorite riding snack. He loves to run marathons, do Ironmans, climb mountains, and travel all over the world, but he still lives within two miles of where he was born and within 20 miles of nine of his brothers and sisters. He has been married since he was 19. His wife wanted a honeymoon in Greece, so he left his job at a grocery store, worked for the airline, and has been lucky to travel all over the world for cheap. “Best decision I ever made!”
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!
Kent Beisner is from Richmond, Indiana. When he’s not on tour, he’s an author. He has been leading tours with Adventure Cycling for eight years, and he last staffed the Great Lakes Relaxed, Cycle Washington, and Southern Ohio Relaxed tours. His favorite tour experience was riding self-contained across the United States, and his dream tour is any ride with the wind at his back each day (if only!). Kent loves leading bike tours because he loves to help people have new experiences on bicycles. “It is always great to see folks finding more about their limits, what they can accomplish, and see them discovering their world at the speed of a bicycle.” His favorite on-the-road snack is salted cashews.
Mark Brandt is from Chicago and has lived in Colorado for the past 20 years. When he’s not leading bike tours, he is an IT project manager working on initiatives like the widening of the locks on the Panama Canal. 2014 was his first year leading tours for Adventure Cycling, but he did a self-contained Southern Tier ride using Adventure Cycling maps the year prior. His favorite tour experience of all time was in Austria: “I’ve done tours in Germany, the French Pyrenees, and across Peru, but my favorite one was in Austria: unbelievable scenery, great food and beer, and steep mountain passes. There are also plenty of pastry shops to support a calorie-deprived cyclist.” His dream bike tour is through Europe from Norway to the tip of Italy, which he plans to complete self-contained in five years. Mark loves leading bike tours because, “I love interacting with people and it’s great to be around a group that is doing what they love. Bicycling brings out the best in people, and it’s always a good time to hear people’s stories at the end of a day in the saddle.” His favorite on-the-road snack is a stop at European bakeries.
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.
Gary Briere is from Sunderland, Massachusetts. When he’s not leading tours for Adventure Cycling, he actually leads his own tours! Gary manages tours and cycling events through his business, River’s Edge Cycling. They offer the Berkshires to Boston tour, an across-Massachusetts event, the weekend Riverway Ride in the Connecticut River Valley, and other cycling adventures. 2016 will be his first year leading tours for Adventure Cycling. He began bicycle touring in 1971 at the age of 16 when he and a friend rode fully-loaded from western Massachusetts to Montreal, Quebec. He is still a little astonished that their parents allowed them to undertake this adventure with no adult presence and well before the days of cell phones. “We developed strong leg muscles, a new resiliency, and an enduring love for bicycle travel.” His dream tour is the Atlantic Coast: Bar Harbor to Key Largo. He love, love, loves helping cyclists achieve something they didn't believe they could achieve. His favorite on-the-road snack is pie, preferably strawberry rhubarb. He worked for 30 years for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. For most of his career, he served as the state’s “Recreation Bureau Chief.” When he retired in 2014, he thought he’d be entering a more relaxed phase of his life. He now realizes his three-decade government career was just “training” for running River’s Edge Cycling.
Larry Brock is from Cumberland, Maryland. He has been leading for Adventure Cycling since 2006. Most recently, he led C&O Canal/GAP, Family C&O Canal/GAP, and the Blue Ridge Bliss. He has many favorite tour experiences, but one that stands out is a group of Canadians singing Oh Canada at the end of a trip on the Great Allegheny Passage. His dream bicycle tour is whichever tour he is going on next — he likes to keep riding in different places. Larry loves leading bike tours because he can share his love of cycling and help riders find their own love of the sport. His favorite on-the-road snack is pie, which he is very good at finding!
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 recently 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. Most recently he led the Eastern Canada Adventure, Selkirk Splendor, and Wild Coast Central. His favorite tour experience of all time was three weeks of cycling in southern France, which could be surpassed in 2016 with a planned solo trip across Australia from east to west. He loves leading bike tours to meet people from around the world and learn about them and their experiences.
Mitchel Bulthuis is from Baker City, Oregon. He is retired from the U.S. Forest Service and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2011. Most recently, he led Southern Tier Van, Wild Coast Central, and the Sierra Sampler. His favorite tour experience of all time was a few years ago when he toured the Loire Valley in France with his wife and two daughters. The weather was harsh, but the food, views, and culture made an impression. And it gave him time to reconnect with his teenage daughters, which was priceless. His dream tour is taking a freighter ship to Shanghai, China, and riding west, ending in Paris France two years later. He loves leading tours for Adventure Cycling, saying “I never imagined what a rewarding experience I would receive as a tour leader when I started leading tours. I really have enjoyed getting to know the other riders and their experiences. You become very close especially on longer tours or when the ride has its difficulties.” His favorite on-the-road snack is a good cup of coffee and a good pastry at a local bakery. He raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind, which is one of the most rewarding things he has ever done.
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.
Donald Bybee is from Sacramento, California. He is a retired restoration architect with the California State Parks and is currently a bike safety advocate and instructor, and a volunteer bike mechanic and the Outreach Coordinator at the Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2011. Most recently he staffed four tours, all of which were fully supported events: the Columbia Gorge, Oregon Coast Loop, the Sierra Sampler, and the Wine and Harvest. He enjoys self-supported tours on the Oregon and California Coast. He usually tours solo but loves the camaraderie of other cycling tourists on this world-class route. His dream bicycle tour is whatever is coming up next. He loves leading bike tours for the opportunity to get out and about, to camp, and to help other people from all over the U.S. and the world see the west coast. He says this about his favorite on-the-road snack: “I munch on fruit and granola bars during the day when I am touring solo. When I am staffing Adventure Cycling water stops, I try to take it to another level. If the response, when rolling up to my stop, is; ‘Oh my god, this is the best water stop food I have ever seen,’ then I have succeeded.”
Cissy Byrd is from Spartanburg, South Carolina. “After retiring from our jobs in 2012, my husband and I took off on our tandem for a loop around Florida promising to give it at least three weeks before deciding if we liked bike touring or not. Ten months and 10,000 miles later, we returned home after circling the country. We’re hooked!” She is the mother of four grown sons and retired from a career in Early Childhood Education. As the “Rear Admiral” of their tandem, she and her husband have staffed Texas Hill Country and Ragin’ Cajun. She loves being able to meet new people on these tours and hopes to inspire them to seek new adventures. Skittles and an ice-cold soft drink are her favorite refueling treats, and she entertains herself on the back of the tandem looking for road booty. “Since I don't have to watch the road, I have quite the advantage. If we need a rag to clean the bike, I will surely find one. Replacement bungee cords are plentiful. I have license plates from most of the states we’ve been through. We found a gun on the side of the road in southwest Texas ... didn't touch that one. But our biggest “find” was the 550 British pound notes that were blowing away on the side of the road in Florida! Needless to say, we rescued them all!” Her dream bicycle tour is The Next One.
Rich Byrd is from Spartanburg, South Carolina. He and his wife Cissy started leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2013. As a pair, they love to cycle and even spend their off time doing self-supported tours. They plan on touring by bicycle in every state. Most recently, they have checked off two states by staffing Texas Hill Country and Ragin’ Cajun. “I think my favorite aspect of touring is the camaraderie that develops in the small, international bands of cycling gypsies that form, break, and reform as we travel across the country.” He captains the tandem he and his wife ride across the country, and one of his favorite quotes is an African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Alex Campbell-Sobin is from Missoula, Montana, where she is a Master’s student getting a degree in education. She started leading tours in 2014, and she’s very excited to be a new leader! Her favorite bike touring experience of all time was on her cross-country tour: “We spent the first two months riding toward, and agonizing about, Teton Pass in Wyoming. We had heard how steep and hard the climb was. By the time we got to it, we were in such good shape that all we noticed about the climb was how beautiful it was.” Her dream bicycle tour is Cuba. “I love riding, and being able to pass that enthusiasm on to others is very important to me.” And her favorite on-the-road snack is a milkshake!
Scott Campbell is from Grass Valley, California. Before retiring, he was a jack of all trades, master of none. He co-led the TransAm in 2009. His favorite part of being on tour is experiencing the generosity of strangers. “It always amazes me that people will approach me and ask if I need a place to stay, a shower, or clothes washed.” He is a huge baseball fan, so his dream bicycle tour is to travel to every baseball stadium in North America and watch a game. Bicycling has been a longtime love of Scott’s — as a child, he would get on a tricycle or bicycle and be gone all day except mealtimes. His favorite on-the-road snack is any kind of pie, but especially fruit pie.
Daniel Carrion is originally from Puerto Rico and now lives in Massachusetts. When he’s not leading bike tours, he works as a landscaper. He has been leading bike tours for Adventure Cycling since the spring of 2014. Most recently, he led ACA Leadership Training, Wine and Harvest, and the Ragin’ Cajun Country tour. His favorite tour experiences of all time have been visiting Adventure Cycling in Missoula for his Leadership Training Course and crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on his bike. His dream bicycle tour is the Grand Canyon connector. He loves leading bike tours to meet people with similar interests and to make new friends. His favorite on-the-road snack is a stop at a local coffee shop to get a pastry.
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.
Donn Christensen is from the top of Wisconsin on Lake Superior. He has taken many incredible bike tours, but his favorites were in Scandinavia and New Zealand. When asked about his dream tour, Donn said, “Any new tour is a dream waiting to become reality. There are a bunch of tours up my sleeve.” He loves leading bike tours in order to share such a wonderful way to see the world with his participants. His favorite on-the-road snack is just about anything that is real food and not just a bunch of chemicals. The longer he has been on the road, the better it tastes!
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!
Casey Clark is from Reno, Nevada. He works as a bike mechanic, a bike courier, and teaches bike-based engineering classes at a local high school. He started working for Adventure Cycling in 2014. His favorite thing about touring is waking up and making coffee with friends — whether he is 10 miles out of town or a thousand miles away from home. His dream bicycle tour is any ride with some good dirt roads. Casey loves leading bike tours because he likes to ride bikes, meet other people who like to ride bikes, fix broken bikes on the side of the road, and eat whatever he wants! His favorite on-the-road snacks are gummi bears and peanut butter. But not together. Sometimes he secretly eats them together.
Scott Cone resides in Annapolis, Maryland. Currently retired, he finds himself as a full-time cyclist and volunteer. He is a new leader, and 2018 will be the first tours that he has led. He is not new to bicycle touring though. His favorite tour experience of all time was a hut-to-hut mountain bike tour in the highlands of Iceland. There was amazing scenery, challenging riding, and a great group of people to boot. His dream is to mountain bike across the Tibetan plateau. Sharing the experience of cycling and touring through interesting places while making friends and having fun is why he bike tours. His favorite on the bike snack is gummy bears. He also has an affinity for pigs — raising pigs in 4H, collecting pig figurines, and naming his touring bike, the free-range Duroc.
Sandra Corso is from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She is a full-time Wilderness Guide, Adventure Tour Guide, Bike Guide, and Outdoor Instructor, and she started leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2014. Most recently, she led two Arizona Sunsets tours. Her favorite tour experience of all time was moving from New York City to Seattle, Washington, on a bike. Before the trip, she didn’t know anything about touring — she just bought Adventure Cycling maps, a bike, and panniers, and hit the road with a close friend. Her dream tour is the Great Divide, which she will lead this summer. She loves leading bike tours because she loves to travel, explore new places, meet folks from all over the world, experience different cultures, and, most of all, for the challenge of balancing fun with professionalism. Her favorite on-the-road snacks are Clif Bars.
David Cox lives near Portland, Maine, and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 1994. He is a retired ski resort accountant. Most recently, he led the Atlantic Coast, Sierra Cascades, and Pacific Coast self-contained epic tours, though he has developed a taste for the inn-to-inn tours in Vermont and the Outer Banks. His favorite tour experience of all time was riding out to the ocean with his group after riding across the country. His dream bicycle tour is one that never ends. He loves leading bike tours for the group camaraderie, satisfaction of helping others achieve their goals, and friendships formed. His favorite on-the-road snack is chocolate milk. And he has ridden across the country in all four directions (E-W, W-E, N-S, S-N) ... twice!
Emilia Crotty is from Los Angeles, California. When she’s not leading tours, she’s a pedestrian advocate in Los Angeles working to make walking safer, more accessible, more fun, and more equitable throughout the city. She’s been leading bike tours for Adventure Cycling since summer 2015, including van-supported Pacific Coast Central. Her favorite experience was the self-contained Selkirk Splendor trip in 2014. It was extraordinary from start to finish. Blueberries being sold at roadside stands fueled her for most of that tour, and each day offered another gorgeous and quaint destination town. She had no idea what she’d signed up for, and British Columbia totally blew her away. Her dream bicycle tour is anywhere as long as she has no job to get back to, no rent due, and no end date. She loves that leading bike tours offers her an opportunity to meet exceptional people from around the world with whom she’d never normally cross paths; helping to provide them with the adventure they signed up for is an honor and a privilege! Her favorite on-the-road snack is dried fruit with yogurt-covered raisins and dark chocolate chips. Lots and lots of it! She has a ridiculous chihuahua terrier named Chewy who joins her on short bike rides around town in her backpack doggie bag. Chewy LOVES it.
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!
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!
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.
Jerry Edwards is from Oceanside, California. When he’s not leading bike tours, he works in pharmacy management. He is currently in his rookie season as a tour leader for Adventure Cycling. Most recently he has worked the Idaho Relaxed Ride and says, “I like to share my enthusiasm for cycling with others. Being a bike tour leader offers the opportunity to share my experiences as well as learn from others. This social interaction with participants makes me love leading tours.” He likes self-supported tours the best because they are true adventures to him, and his dream adventure is to partner with his longtime touring buddies to link ferry rides together for a touring exploration of the San Juan and Gulf Islands along the Pacific coast into southeast Alaska. Though he has no favorite on-the-road snack, Jerry enjoys going for a “second breakfast” complete with eggs, bacon, hash browns, pancakes, juice, and coffee.
Martha Ettel is from St. Augustine, Florida. Her hometown is Hialeah, and she graduated college in Gainesville. When she’s not on tour, she trains with Disaster Relief. She is part of a team that teaches and trains new volunteers for the Feeding Unit that makes up to 25,000 meals a day. This is her first year leading tours. She took the Leadership Training Course in Boston in September 2015, and in 2016 she staffed for Texas Hill Country, Cycle Montana, and Idaho Trails. Her favorite tour experience so far was Texas Hill Country. It was her “first.” Her dream tour is anything that has new people, new city, new landscape, new experiences, and food. She loves leading tours because she loves riding her bike at home! Then, in leading a bike tour, you add people, new places, food, sights, and you get paid? How can that not be wonderful? Her go-to road snacks are Rice Crispy treats, mini Snickers bars, and ice cream … too much to mention. She gets high from riding her bike. “I eat a lot, I laugh a lot, and I just get silly. I get the feeling people think I’m weird.” “This is my “Empty-Nest” adventure, and boy am I having a blast! Don’t tell the kids!”
Stacy Ettel is from St. Augustine, Florida. When he’s not leading bike tours, he is a public servant. This will be his first year leading with Adventure Cycling. His favorite tour experience was riding downhill into Borrego Springs, California. His dream tour is a self-contained, combined train/bicycle tour across the country. He loves leading bike tours for the entertaining conversations in the evenings after a day of riding. His favorite on-the-road snacks are any kind of dried meats, or an ice cream.
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!
Sally Fenton is from Bainbridge Island, Washington, and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2003. Most recently, she led the Southern Tier, TransAm, and North Star. Her dream bicycle tour is going anywhere with fun people! “I love the people I meet on the tours and the people we meet along the way. I love the physical exercise and being able to live in the outdoors.” Her favorite on-the-road snack is “Scroggin’,” the Australian word for trail mix that she learned on one of her trips. Being shut up indoors is torture for her. And leading tours for Adventure Cycling has been the highlight of her life.
Whitney Ford-Terry relocated to Missoula, Montana, after spending a year in the saddle touring Europe and leading a 2015 TransAm tour with Adventure Cycling. A graduate of the University of Washington’s Museology Masters program, Whitney has had the opportunity to work with a variety of nonprofits and museums such as PBS, the Hedreen Gallery, MoMA PS1, the Henry Art Gallery. When not at the office, she can be found researching and organizing projects that explore the conceptual overlap between contemporary art, public space, land use, and tourism. Her current practice utilizes self-supported bicycle touring as an immersive platform for creating conversations and collaborations that investigate our relationship to social and physical landscapes.
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!”
David Gast is from Camas, Washington. When he is not leading tours he is an engineering manager. This will be his first year leading tours for Adventure Cycling. His favorite tours he has been on have been in Europe. “The roads there are amazing and usually well suited for bicycle touring!” he said. He believes that bicycle touring is a wonderful way to experience and learn about new areas. His favorite on-the-road snack is finding tasty treats in small stores along the road.
Karen Gates is from sunny Gulfport, Florida, and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2008. Her favorite tour experience of all time was when she toured France from the north coast to the midwest coast, overlapping with the Tour de France route. Her dream bike tour is the Northern Tier. Karen has staffed many tours for Adventure Cycling, including Colorado Wildflowers and Rivers, California Spring Fling, and Burlington Vermont. She loves leading bike tours because she loves to see people fulfill their dreams. Her favorite on-the-road snack is dates with peanut butter, and she rents out her studio apartment to riders from all over the world!
Alain Gauthier is from Gatineau, Québec. Newly retired, he is doing the things that excite him the most — cycling, training, and management. They allow him to keep some form, exercise, and discover new countries and friends. He is a lonely soul who loves to share experiences in the comfort of a group. Alain is involved with local, regional, and provincial cycling organizations. This is his first year guiding tours for Adventure Cycling, after nearly 20 years of staffing cycling trips in Québec, Canada, and northern United States. With Adventure Cycling, he has participated in the Pacific Coast 2016 and TLC in 2017. In both, he loved the camaraderie and sharing of knowledge and experiences between participants. His favorite trip of all time was crossing Canada. It was 73 days of pure bliss. The first two-thirds he was a staff member for a tour with 36 people, and the last third of the trip was with his wife. His dream trip is riding south to north and bringing spring to Québec. His favorite part of leading trips is seeing a person smile because they are simply happy with what they saw or accomplished. Alain loves to eat, and his favorite snack is an energy bar, nuts, and fruit.
Glen Graham is from Binghamton, New York. He is a retired Marine Corps and emergency medical helicopter pilot. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2010. Most recently, he led Southern Tier van, TransAm van, and Pacific Coast van. His favorite tour experience of all time was riding solo through Yellowstone, where he watched a herd of roughly 200 bison crossing the road and then a river. The sounds and interactions were incredible. His dream bicycle tour is zigzagging across Europe. “I love it when someone discovers the joys that I find in bicycle travel,” he said of leading tours. His favorite on-the-road snack is chocolate milk, and he loves jumping in for a swim during a ride!
Jessica Green is from Houston, Texas. She is the manager for Bike Barn Houston at the university store. She has been riding and touring by bicycle for 20 years, and will lead her first Adventure Cycling tour in 2017. Her favorite tour experience was riding the Great Divide Route in 2014. She successfully completed 2,700 miles self-supported riding along the Continental Divide in 30 days. Her dream tour is to ride the length of New Zealand. She loves leading bike tours because she loves working with groups and helping others achieve goals they felt impossible. Her favorite on-the-road snack is Gummy Peach Rounds.
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.
Arlen Hall is from Missoula, Montana. When he’s not on tour, he organizes bike tours for Adventure Cycling and his friends. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 1998. Most recently, he rode the Cape Cod Pilgrimage, the Old Guys Tours-Oklahoma Bicycle Route 66, and a bike-n-barge tour in Holland. His favorite tour experience of all time was meeting 86-year-old Madge Nobel in the center of Canton, Mississippi, as she blared her horn, popped-out of a pickup, and exclaimed “You look like a man on a journey, you are having lunch with me.” Her stories delayed his journey by three hours and created the most amazing journey for him. Arlen’s dream bicycle tour is to travel around the United States for a year with his wife Shawn. Arlen loves the open road, meeting interesting people in small town America, and sharing his passion for cycling and pies! His favorite on-the-road snack happens to be a slice of pie with coffee. He recently checked off Oklahoma and Arkansas on his 50-state cycling quest; only three remain. His favorite color is orange, and his quest is to find the best coconut cream pie in America via bicycle!
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 songleader, 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.
John “Blue” Hannon is from Buffalo, New York. When he’s not leading bike tours, John works in the recycling business. He has been leading for Adventure Cycling since 2004. Most recently, he led the Freedom Flyer, Great Lakes, and C&O Canal/GAP. His favorite tours have been across the U.S. in 1975, the Virginia Explorer, and the Underground Railroad. One of his dream bicycle tours is the Great Divide. He leads bike tours for the people, exercise, time outdoors, new places, great sights, new friends, learning, and fun. His favorite on-the-road snack is blueberry pancakes as a mid-morning snack with coffee.
Doug Hansen is from Hawaii. When he’s not leading tours, he is a sales manager for an appliance distribution company. He has led the self-contained Southern Tier and Denali Adventure tours in the past. His dream bicycle tour is Europe with no timeline. He loves leading tours because he loves meeting new people and hearing their stories. His favorite snack on tour is raspberry Pop Tarts.
Ray Hanson is from Fort Collins, Colorado. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2007. Most recently, he led the San Juan Skyway Inn to Inn in Colorado and two Introduction to Road Touring courses in Wisconsin. Other 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 nearly 50 years. He loves leading bike tours for the satisfaction of assisting participants in meeting their goals of completing a bicycle tour. His favorite on-the-road snack is a second breakfast. He sold his car in 2012 and bikes for errands around Fort Collins, except when it is necessary to occasionally borrow his wife’s car.
Bill Hermann 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 will be one of our new guides in 2018. 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 speciality. 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!”
Larry Hodgin is from Annandale, Virginia, and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2002. Most recently, he led C&O Canal/GAP, Leadership Training Florida, and Intro to Road Touring Virginia. His favorite tour experience of all time is whatever tour he’s on! His dream bicycle tour is one with perfect weather, no flats, and ice cream at every corner. He loves leading bike tours to meet new people and share the adventure. His favorite on-the-road snacks are dark chocolate M&Ms and Nutella and crunchy peanut butter on flour tortillas. He’s a self-described “smiling curmudgeon,” who really likes being part of Adventure Cycling.
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. The self-contained Southern Tier route is high on her list to lead, 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, but gave it up to spend more time on her bike, exploring the world. She is looking forward to leading her first tour the summer of 2016, but feels like a veteran, given that she has been a participant on ten Adventure Cycling tours just in the past year and a half! Her first TransAm epic tour was a life changer. She learned how deeply satisfying it is to spend months living the rhythm of the road, and she realized how much awe-inspiring nature she has missed by living in the city. All of this led her into this new career as a tour guide. Her dream tour is to explore new territory, and she loves international travel. She’d like to spend a summer exploring Europe, then follow the summer to more exotic locales — South America and Asia for starters. It is thrilling 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.
Dave Howard is from Seattle, Washington. He is a retired from the physical therapy field. His favorite cycling tour was in Cambodia with his wife, cycling from Angkor Wat to the Gulf of Thailand. His dream tour would be cycling through Mongolia, meeting the locals, and cycling grasslands, mountains, and forests. Dave has an infectious enthusiasm for adventure and loves being out there with others, building new friendships. He’s looking forward to helping others experience the adventure! After a long ride, nothing’s better than chocolate milk.
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.
Chuck Inglefield is from Charlotte, North Carolina. When he’s not leading tours, he’s a financial planner who helps individuals and families make the financial transition into retirement. 2016 will be his first year of leading tours. He has been a participant on seven Adventure Cycling tours including Vermont Inn to Inn, Texas Hill Country, Great Lakes Relaxed, and the Florida Gulf tour (twice!). One of the most difficult but beautiful days of touring for him happened on Adventure Cycling’s Vermont Inn to Inn tour. They finished a long day with a climb to Jay Peak Resort. The climb was challenging, but the fall colors and mountain scenery couldn’t be beat. His dream tour is the Northern Tier. He loves the group dynamic of bike tours. It is fun to share these special adventures and experiences with others. Favorite on-the-road snack? A doughnut with white frosting and sprinkles. If that isn’t available, a cinnamon roll will do. His first tour (2012) was a self-designed, self-contained tour from his home in Charlotte to his father’s house in Bluffton, South Carolina, covering the 300 miles in six days. His passion was ignited for touring. He has done two tours every year since — as much as his work will permit. Funny thing is, he tends to talk to himself out loud ... especially when riding!
Kathy Jenkins grew up in Maine and now splits her time between her home in Freeport, Maine, and Memphis, Tennessee. She is a retired NCAA basketball referee and mother of four children. Kathy gave up her car in 2012 and makes her grocery runs and errands with her commuter bike and a trailer. She loves to inspire others to get on a bike and ride ... especially those who tell her, “Oh, I have a bike but it’s buried in the garage.” She has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2005. Most recently, she led the Intro to Road Touring in Florida, Vermont, and Virginia. She loves leading tours and seeing the confidence riders get when they complete a trip or learn a new trick that works for them. Her favorite tour experience of all time is traveling the Camino de Santiago in Spain with her family. Her dream bicycle tour is one that never ends. She often dreams about owning only what you can carry on a bike and taking off to travel the world. She loves being outside all day, running, reading, growing vegetables in her garden, and playing with her grandchildren.
Dylan Kentch is from Anchorage, Alaska. When not riding his bike or leading tours, he is a baker. He has been leading tours since 2017 when he helped with Texas Hill Country. His favorite bike tour experience includes having coffee fixings ready in his tent so he can drink his coffee without getting out of his sleeping bag. Dylan’s dream tour is to ride from Ireland to Japan via Sweden, Romania, and Mongolia. He loves leading tours because he gets to do what he loves the most in life with other people who enjoy doing the same. His favorite on the road snack is a double bacon cheeseburger with fries, plus another double bacon cheeseburger with fries. Dylan is also a connoisseur of instant coffee and loves bad puns.
Michael Klena is from Baltimore, Maryland. When he’s not leading tours, he works at a nonprofit that promotes child literacy. This is his first year leading tours, and he co-led a Death Valley van-supported loop. Riding the C&O Canal Towpath and Great Allegheny Passage last May with Adventure Cycling Association was his favorite tour experience of all time. It was freezing cold, actually 31 degrees, and rainy some days, sunny and beautiful other days. When they went to Husky Haven Campground it was pouring rain, after a day of pouring rain. Democratically, the group decided to stay at the campsite rather than using the indoor kitchen. “We had a huge fire, the best meal, and the rain stopped. Luz, our leader, sang with her ukulele. We told stories, laughed a lot, and it was one of the best nights of the tour. It was one of those magic times on tour, one among many!” His dream tour is the North Sea Cycle Route. As a participant and as a leader of Adventure Cycling Association, he continues to be the beneficiary of the unique experience of a group of cycling enthusiasts doing what they love doing for days on end. Also the regular things: 10 mph sightseeing, interesting human interaction, and the way lunch tastes after 50 miles. His favorite on-the-road snack? Last night’s ribeye bone and fat! He loves food so much he often orders two breakfasts and eats it all. At Spanish tapas restaurants, he sometimes orders the whole menu because he doesn’t want to miss anything good. In addition to touring, he is a daily commuter. He takes bicycle-centric trips to big cities like New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, where he rides to and from the airport or train station and all around the city on a folding bicycle. It’s a novel experience leaving LAX on a bicycle and within minutes being on the beach path to Santa Monica.
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.
Jon Kuczynski is from Durham, North Carolina. He is a partner in a civil engineering practice. This will be his first year leading tours for Adventure Cycling. His most interesting (but not necessarily favorite) tour experience was getting off the ferry in Portsmouth, Great Britain, from France and immediately having to ride on the left through a city of a million people. His dream tour is to ride solo on the TransAm. He made quite an impression on his first Adventure Cycling tour — he stopped to talk with the leader on route and immediately fell over! Jon loves touring for the new people, new places, and, sometimes, food. You’ll find him eating peanut M&Ms while on the road.
Johnny Lam is from Los Angeles, California. When he’s not leading bike tours, he is a blogger and League Certified Instructor. Johnny has led the 2015 Pacific Coast North tour and the 2015 Family Fun Colorado tour for Adventure Cycling. Almost all of the experiences he’s had on tours have been his favorite. He enjoys meeting different people who share a common interest in bicycle touring. He also gets to be out in nature or on the road for an extended amount of time and sees places he has never seen before. This makes him really happy! His dream tour would be a cross-country tour, either on the Southern Tier, Northern Tier, or TransAm route. He would love to ride every mile of those routes. 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 LA traffic, but LA isn’t a bad place to ride if you know how to navigate it. Favorite road snack? Ice cream after a ride really hits the spot!
Mike Lessard currently resides in Missoula and works as the Assistant 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 is from Atlanta, Georgia. When she isn’t on the bike, she is a software engineer. She’s been leading for Adventure Cycling since 2012. Most recently, she led the C&O Canal/GAP and the Outer Banks Inn to Inn. Among her favorite tour experiences is taking a group of pre-teens on a long weekend trip to swim with manatees in Florida. It was priceless to see the expressions on their faces and their reactions to getting in the water with these huge animals. On her dream tour, Terri would ride the backroads of a foreign country from village to village, doing some volunteer work on layover days. She loves leading bicycle tours to exchange information with people and to share her passion for cycling, the outdoors, and traveling. She hopes to inspire others to travel more and to learn about their adventures. Her favorite on-the-road snacks are GU packets and Clif Bars. She loves to do triathlons, despite not finishing at the front of the pack.
David Lynch has lived in Michigan, Iowa, Colorado, and Utah, and has been associated with Adventure Cycling since 2010. He has worked on family, van-supported, and self-contained tours, and enjoys the unique challenges and opportunities of each. Most memorably, he has led the Underground Railroad and TransAm tours. “I enjoy facilitating outdoor experiences with amazing and interesting people, all while making new friends and memories along the way.” When he is not leading tours, David’s careers have included funeral home manager and wilderness therapy field instructor. His dream trips include a leisurely paced bicycle tour to visit many of the U.S. National Parks, riding his motorcycle across the country, 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).
Kevin MacAfee is from St. Paul, Minnesota. When he’s not on tour, Kevin is a financial educator. He’s been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2008. Most recently, he led Wild Country Utah, Outer Banks Inn to Inn, and Lake Champlain Inn to Inn. His favorite tour experience of all time was seeing riders completely speechless upon seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time. His dream bicycle tour is any tour where he gets to see and interact with different cultures. He loves leading bike tours because he gets the opportunity to share the joy of traveling by bike with others, many of whom are experiencing it for the first time. Kevin’s favorite on-the-road snack is chocolate glazed donuts. On one tour, he got so involved in talking to people and enjoying the scenery that he forgot his panniers 40 miles back! Leading bicycle tours is, for Kevin, one of the highlights of life.
Susan Mackey is from Butte, Montana. When she’s not leading bike tours, she works in healthcare as a radiation oncologist. She has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2013. Her favorite tour experience of all time was a tour of New Zealand, both the North and South islands. The climate was beautiful and diverse, from black sand beaches to rainforests to deserts and mountains. Her dream bicycle tour is around the world! She loves leading bike tours to share her passion for biking with everyone and meet varied and wonderful people — there’s never a dull moment! Her favorite on-the-road snacks are her own homemade cherry almond power bars, homemade pie — especially blueberry or huckleberry — and ice cream!
Brian Managan is from Rochester, New York, and thinks the entire Finger Lakes Region is his own backyard. His first solo tour, at age 16, involved a boy scout backpack and riding an oversized British 10-speed for 1000 miles ... in the summer. Thankfully, he has learned much since then. He loves commuting, club rides, and especially road and off-road touring. With his wife Karen, he has co-hosted a tandem mountain bike rally for over 20 years. Brian’s favorite tours include a Utah Parks tour with Adventure Cycling’s Tom Radley, the Great Divide on a fatbike, and riding the Western Express and Trans-Am coast to coast on a recumbent tandem with Karen to celebrate their 10th anniversary. He keeps a titanium spork in his pocket at all times. It doesn’t bend or break when he dives into his favorite trail snack ... a frozen pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream. He loves seeing a cyclist complete a big ride and realize she either doesn’t need to be a cycling superstar to do it, or perhaps she really IS a superstar.
Mark Mansell lives in La Center, Washington, where he is a school superintendent. He is currently in his first year as a leader for Adventure Cycling and loves meeting people and helping them have a wonderful tour experience. He dreams of one day bicycling in Europe and says his favorite tour experience of all time was traveling down the Oregon coast on a sunny day with a huge tailwind. Along with a love of cycling, he is a skilled mechanic and enjoys teaching others the basics so they can have adventures of their own. On the road, he says a peanut butter roll-up is the perfect pick-me-up!
Michelle Mathieu Scott is from Naperville, Illinois. When she’s not leading bicycle tours, she’s a massage therapist and the owner of Body Balance Massage Therapy, Ltd. She has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2011. Most recently, she led the Glacier-Waterton tour, Maine Inn to Inn, and Vermont Inn to Inn. Every tour is a favorite for her because each one is unique. Her dream bicycle tour is through Italy. She loves leading bike tours because she loves the people she gets to meet. Her favorite on-the-road snack is Fig Newtons!
Lenore Mcdonald is from Marin County, just north of San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge. She has been a bike commuter, recreational/endurance century rider, local neighborhood ride organizer, cycling club rider, bike transportation advocate, and fundraiser for the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and she is excited to share her passion with bicycle travelers as a tour leader for Adventure Cycling Association. “As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing more fulfilling than turning someone on to cycling!” This will be her first year leading tours, and she’ll be staffing the Sierra Sampler tour. Lenore hopes to meet you on the road soon!
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 is from Reno, Nevada. When not leading tours he is the Director Emeritus of Housing Operations and Dining Services at the University of Nevada, Reno. He has been leading tours since 2016. He has led the Sierra Sampler and Minnesota/Wisconsin Rivers and Trails. His favorite tour experience was cycling along the Danube river from Germany through Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary. His dream is to cycle the vineyards and wineries of Southern France. He loves to help others realize their goals, especially when they’re not sure they can. Sharing stories of previous adventures is another great part of bicycle touring. His favorite on the road snack is Fig Newtons. When he isn't bicycling you can find him skiing, fly fishing, and playing with his Gordon Setter, Hallee.
Tim Meyer is from Grand Haven, Michigan. He owns and operates two bicycle stores with his son. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2009. Most recently, he led Florida Gulf Coast and the Great Lakes (three versions!). His favorite tour experience of all time was descending Hoosier Pass in a rainstorm, failing to find the campground, and spending the night somewhere off the route in the woods! His dream bicycle tour is riding anywhere with his wife in actual retirement. He loves leading bicycle tours because he loves being out on the road, away from what we usually consider comforts. His favorite on-the-road snacks are bananas and peanut M&Ms. He is a jokester and enjoys planning bicycle trips as much as participating in them. He also rode in the Bikecentennial in 1976.
Tom Middaugh is from Wilsonville, Oregon. He is a retired insurance executive “aging as gracefully as I can — when not touring, I love my guitar, my cat, and a few nonprofits that I admire.” He has staffed Idaho Family Fun and Idaho Trails Relaxed. He also rode the Route 66 tour, describing it as one of his most memorable tour experiences. “We were a very unusual sight going through the many small towns and were often treated like royalty, photographed, and even filmed for the evening news in Joplin, Missouri!” His dream tour is the TransAm. His favorite part about leading tours is the riders. He’s met so many kind and exciting people with great life stories to share, and helping them achieve their biking dreams couldn’t be more rewarding! Tom is a Life Member of Adventure Cycling and on the road he loves honey buns and chocolate milk!
Rich Miles is from Lakewood, Colorado. He is a retired software development engineer. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling for more than 10 years! He recently staffed the Colorado Family Fun and Southern Arizona Road Adventure tours. In fact, he has been involved in 21 Adventure Cycling tours either as a participant, staff, or leader. His favorite tour experience of all time was riding the TransAm with his wife, Sue Ann. Rich loves leading bicycle tours because “I love meeting riders from all over the world and sharing their love for cycling.” His favorite snack on tour is anything dark chocolate!
Sue Ann Miles is from Lakewood, Colorado. When she’s not leading a tour, she is an indoor group cycling fitness instructor and a Microsoft certified trainer. This is her 10th year leading tours for Adventure Cycling, and she recently led the Colorado Family Fun, Arizona Road Adventure, and Colorado Wildflowers and Rivers tours. Her favorite tour experience of all time was pedaling the entire TransAm self-contained with her husband. She says it was an unsurpassed lifetime experience. Her dream tour is anywhere in the great outdoors where she can share adventures with the wonderful folks she meets! And if that’s not available? She’ll take anywhere with an all-you-can-eat buffet. She loves leading tours so that she can create opportunities for folks to fall absolutely in love with the open road. Her favorite snacks on the road are bananas and espresso/dark chocolate muffins.
Amy Miller grew up in St. Louis, MIssouri, but currently lives in Brunswick, Georgia. She loves cycling, running, and hiking around the Golden Isles! She is an elementary school music teacher and started leading tours in 2016. She staffed the Minnesota-Wisconsin Rivers and Trails and the Idaho Trails Relaxed tours recently. She’s working on biking across as many different states as possible, and is approaching halfway at 22 states. She loves leading bicycle tours because “being able to confidently travel utilizing one’s own physical abilities is very empowering.” Her favorite snacks on tour are granola and honeycrisp apples!
Ruth Miller is from Eugene, Oregon. When she’s not leading bike tours for Adventure Cycling, she can be found creating and guiding a variety of activities such as fly fishing, hiking, skiing, snorkeling, and bike tours. Her first self-contained bike tour was in 1975 at the age of 15. She cycled around Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket barefoot and in cut-offs with three girlfriends. She has been hooked ever since. This past September, Ruth cycled self-contained with her wife over the Swiss Alps, down the Rhine River, and up the Mosel River, visiting five countries. She has future plans to ride the Canadian TransAm from Vancouver to Nova Scotia. She enjoys sharing her love of cycling and the outdoors with others, meeting new people, and making new friends while making lasting memories together. Nothing makes her happier than watching someone realize their goals while cycling. Her favorite tour experience was when she was leading the Crater Lake inn-to-inn tour. A woman on her first tour ever made it up to the rim of Crater Lake, jumped three feet in the air and said, “I made it, I didn’t think I could!” Her favorite on-the-road snack is any sweet, baked treat.
CJ Mitchell is from Bedford, New York. She is a jill of many trades, splitting her time between managing Hickory & Tweed Ski & Bike Shop, coaching middle school girl’s soccer and lacrosse, and Landscape Pruning at the Lady Clippers. This will be her first year leading for Adventure Cycling. Her favorite tour experience of all time is riding over an Oregon mountain pass and swooshing down to the edge of the Pacific Coast to see the most beautiful view of ocean and sea stacks. Her dream tour is End to End, John O’ Groats to Lands End, UK. Her favorite thing about leading bike tours is the new people, new places, views, exercise, eating, and fun! Her favorite on-the-road snack is a smushed peanut butter, honey, and banana sandwich.
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.
Brian Muck is from the great Pacific Northwest. When he’s not leading bike tours, he is a bicycle mechanic and Renaissance man. Recently, he led the Sierra Sampler tour for Adventure Cycling. His dream tour is an off-road extravaganza! Starting from his childhood home in Wasilla, Alaska, he’ll make his way to the Great Divide Route. Along the way, he’ll hit some of the great mountain bike trails, then ride the Great Divide south to the border. If willingness allows, he’ll head south into Mexico and Central America. He’s heard the mountain biking is great in Costa Rica! He loves leading tours because he enjoys meeting people who have a passion for travel and using bicycles to go places. He loves listening to people’s stories about their lives and travels. One of his funniest memories was a time when, due to poor planning and slowly growing hair, he had an acquaintance (who was going to cosmetology school) give him hair extensions so he could have a mullet for Halloween! His favorite on-the-road snack is peanut butter stuffed pretzels, and he speaks Czech. He lived in the Czech Republic for three years and does not often get to speak it, so if you speak Czech, he’d love to talk with you.
Tom 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 is getting paid what he’s worth and getting what he deserves.
Richard Murray lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is retired and has been leading tours for three years. He recently staffed the Minnesota-Wisconsin Rivers and Trails and Family Fun-Paul Bunyan Trail tours. His favorite tour experience was bicycling to a store to buy ice cream to supply riders in the pouring rain and returning to applause! His dream bike tour is the wineries of Alsace. His favorite on-the-road snack is (you guessed it) ICE CREAM!
Marianne Nelson is originally from the Chicago suburbs but has been living in Boise, Idaho, since 2007. When she’s not leading bike tours, she is a college professor teaching anatomy, physiology, and nutrition. She’s also a trained massage therapist (for lucky friends and family.) She’s led tours for Adventure Cycling since 2014, including Sierra Sampler, Columbia River Gorge, and Idaho Relaxed. Her favorite tour experience of all time is looking for moose on the country roads in Maine. Dream bike tour? New Zealand is at the top of her list! Also tops as a tour leader is that she loves seeing the joy on participants’ faces after they accomplish a challenging day’s ride. It also allows her to see the country on a bike! She’ll eat just about anything when she’s riding, but milkshakes are the best. “I was an avid runner when I signed up for my first bike tour in 1983 (Chicago to St. Louis). Not knowing anything about gear, I wore running shorts with the built-in liner. It only took one day of riding to fully understand the necessity of wearing cycling shorts with a chamois!” She enjoys scuba diving and hiking. When she’s not traveling, she’s reading a book about someone else’s traveling adventures!
Steven Orie is from Colorado Springs, Colorado, and is a retired Air Force officer. He has traveled and lived in Asia, Africa, Europe, and Central America, and understands the essential impact the bicycle plays in lives of people around the world. Steve believes there is no better way to immerse oneself in a culture than to arrive on a bicycle. It immediately makes you approachable and opens up communication with the locals. This is his first year leading tours, and during the off season he works as a logistics instructor in Africa and a ski instructor at Breckenridge ski resort. He has bicycle toured through Maine, Nova Scotia and Eastern Canada, the Western Express, and completed an off-road tour from Telluride to Durango. His dream tours include the Great Divide and the North Star tours. Steve’s favorite food is raisins as they go perfectly with any situation. He has a wonderfully supportive wife and son.
Paul Osika is from Eagan, Minnesota, and is a retired air traffic controller. He’s been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2011. Most recently, he led the Southern Tier, Glacier-Waterton Loop, and Death Valley Loop. His favorite tour experience of all time was the look on his wife’s face every day of the Pacific Coast route from Seattle to Santa Barbara. “That ride was difficult for her, but it was so beautiful and she was so excited to be riding along the coast. She had an ear-to-ear smile everyday.” He has two dream tour ideas, and both include riding with his wife. “First, start from home, but every day only ride in the direction with the wind, and see where it takes us. Second, plot on a map where all my contacts and FB friends live and ride to visit each one of them, spending a couple of days with each friend to reconnect.” He loves leading bike tours because, “Seeing people complete something that they’ve longed to do, or maybe thought they could never do, is very satisfying.” And his favorite on-the-road snack is a Snickers bar!
Wade Otey hails from Charlotte, North Carolina, and now lives in Alexandria, Virginia. He’s retired from a 15-year love affair playing rugby football, the greatest game ever devised, and father to American football. Also, after a long medical equipment sales career, he discovered cycling gave him the same deep, satisfying pain as those wonderful Saturdays on the rugby pitch. Wade has already notched his bucket list with a self-contained Northern Tier in 2017, on which he rated and ranked pie shops across the U.S. Enderlin, North Dakota, still holds the top spot, with the Norske Nook in Hayward, Wisconsin a close second. His dream tour remains the North Star, and he wants to be an example to users of CPAP for Sleep Apnea on how to tour in the face of such medical challenges. His favorite on road snack is a peanut butter and Nutella burrito. When not cycling you’ll find him streaming 6 Nations and World Cup Rugby Games on his Roku, along with keeping up with his “Honey Do…List”.
Richard Pace is from San Dimas, California. When he’s not leading bike tours, he is a cybersecurity program manager at a Southern California electric utility. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2013. Most recently, he led the Colorado San Juan Skyway Inn-to-Inn and supported on the Cycle Washington tour. His favorite tour experience of all time was completing his first tour from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 1974 at age 16, and completing the TransAm route in 1981. His dream bicycle tour is the Northern Tier self contained. “I love leading tours because it it allows me to share the enjoyment people get from completing a tough day’s ride and then finally completing a multi-day or multi-week or multi-month tour.” Though he can’t stand them in real life, his favorite on-the-road snacks are Fig Newtons and Bananas. He still tours on the same bicycle that he toured on when he did the TransAm in 1981!
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. A retired Electric Utility SCADA Technician, this will be his first year leading tours for Adventure Cycling. He has been a bicycle tourist since 1977 and has cycled most of the Pacific Coast, ridden the TransAm self-supported with Adventure Cycling in 2017, and spent many days bikepacking the backroads of the Southwest. His fondest memory of touring is riding the last 1,000 yards up Hoosier Pass on the TransAm Trail and knowing that he could ride up “any” mountain with a fully loaded touring bicycle. His dream tour is to ride the Andes Trail from Quito to Ushuaia in South America. He loves the camaraderie that he feels on tour and is excited to share those experiences leading tours. 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 always carries his harmonica because it is smaller than a guitar. He has only learned a couple melodies that he likes to play at slow speeds while climbing hills and he is out of breath.
Darryl Patton is from Jamestown, Ohio. He lives on a 50-acre farm approximately seven miles from the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail. Darryl is a school teacher and cross-country coach at a local high school. When he is not bicycling, he is hiking on the local trails. Darryl has been working on Adventure Cycling Association tours for four years. His favorite tour is Cycle Utah, and he loves hiking in Zion Canyon after a day spent on the bike. He loves being around great people who share the same interest in cycling and dreams of completing the TransAm route one day. On the road, he is sure to stop for some black cherry ice cream!
Jack Pettry is from Idaho Springs, Colorado. He was a pilot in Vietnam in 1970, worked at a phone company for 37 years, and is now retired. Jack took his leadership training course in 2006 and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling ever since. Most recently, he led Florida Keys, Wild Country Utah, Grand Canyon, and the TransAm. His favorite tour of all time was his 2013 TransAm ride, where he made lifelong friends. Jack’s dream bicycle tour is around the world self contained. He loves leading for Adventure Cycling because he meets people with the same passion for bicycle touring that he has. His favorite on-the-road snacks are Kind bars and IPA, and safety is the only thing he takes seriously!
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.
Ron Ponder is from Norman, Oklahoma. When he’s not leading tours, he owns a wedding chapel now that he’s mostly retired from restaurant management, for better or worse! After taking a leadership class several years ago, he was a staff member for Sierra Sampler in 2013 and will lead in 2016. His favorite tour experience was riding with a group of tour leaders on a yearly ride they do. They were on the Natchez Trace in Mississippi, and it was just one of those perfect mornings that define why they tour. His dream tour, in the States, would be the Southern Tier — it’s a major tour still on his bucket list. He loves leading tours because, “It can spread my love for biking and seeing the world at a slower pace.” He likes pretty much anything smothered in Nutella. “I don't eat it at home, but on the bike ...yeah, it’s my go-to snack.” He would like everyone to know that he is a really funny fellow. “I’m way more funnier than you think! More smarter, too! More gooder looking, also! And another thing, I’m probably the most funniest guy you’ll ever meet. Oh, are we through with that question?”
Nickel Potter resides in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he manages a couple of bike shops. He has been leading since 2015. Nickel has led Continental Divide Canada and says there is nothing better than sharing the joy and adventure of traveling by bicycle. Though he enjoys all of his tours, a few memories are more vivid than others, like exploring volcanoes on dirt roads around Nicaragua, crossing the Continental Divide at Monarch Pass on his first TransAm ride, and cycling the Pacific Northwest Coast. His favorite on-the-road snack is a PBCJ, a peanut butter, cream cheese, and jelly sandwich! What’s his touring dream? Cycling from Cairo to Cape Town, the long way.
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 Big Bend Loop Van, Portland-Crater Lake Loop, and Erie Canal-Niagara Falls Family Fun. 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 keep changing as one progresses around the lake. His dream bicycle tour is a combination bicycle tour, ferry cruise, and train trip starting in Bellevue, Washington, and taking the Alaska Marine Highway system ferry to Whittier, Alaska. He loves leading bike tours to share 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 real fruit smoothie. A root beer float is an acceptable stand-in, but only if high-quality vanilla ice cream is available. While he has heard that some bike tourists are in search of the perfect slice of pie, he is on a lifelong mission to find the perfect crab cake. He has been fortunate enough to tour the eastern shore of Virginia and Maryland and has eaten some good candidate crab cakes, but he would love to collaborate with others on this research mission!
Tom Radley (a.k.a. Ranger Tommy) is from Redmond, Washington and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 1996. Most recently, he led Outer Banks Inn to Inn, Cycle Washington and Cycle Utah. His favorite tour experience of all time was on Cycle Utah, when the group hiked in Bryce Canyon at night with a full moon. He hiked with his staff and 80 riders. It was magical and earned him the lasting nickname of Ranger Tommy. Tom’s dream bike tour includes snow covered peaks, dense evergreen forests, the Columbia River, Puget Sound, Deception Pass, Whidbey Island, Tumwater Canyon, the sunshine and orchards of Eastern Washington, and the Eastern Cascades. He love’s leading bike tours because “People who are willing to ride bikes for long distance for multiple days have a positive outlook about themselves and the world. I like hanging out with those kinds of people. Planning tours is a giant puzzle and I love solving puzzles. I love the challenge of keeping riders safe and showing them a good fun time.” His favorite on-the-road snack is whole wheat fig bars, apricots and nuts, Also, Kind bars--pomegranate, blueberry, pistachio, and blueberry pecan. He is a retired company owner and stay at home dad.
Karen Rainford is from Eagan, MN. In 2015, she joined her husband Paul as a tour leader for Adventure Cycling because, “There’s no better way to see the country and meet the people.” Her favorite tour of all time was Seattle to Santa Barbara for the variety of ocean views, great sequoia trees, and the fun and winding roads. Her dream bicycle tour is to explore France from north to south and her favorite on-the-road snack is salted nut rolls.
Damon Richards is from Indianapolis, Indiana. When he’s not leading tours, he pretends to be retired! This is his first year leading tours for Adventure Cycling. 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.
James Ross is from Mineral Bluff, Georgia. When he isn’t leading bike tours, he is a quality systems auditor. He has been leading for Adventure Cycling since 2013 and most recently led the Southern Sampler. His favorite tour experience of all time was riding the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park. His dream bike tour is the Northern Tier. He loves leading tours because the tour participants are great and the strangers you meet on the road really make the tour. He loves being on his touring bike — it just makes him smile! His favorite on-the-road snacks are oranges and trail mix with lots of dried fruit. He lives in a real log cabin in the mountains of north Georgia.
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!
Mike Sanders lives in Tucson, Arizona, by way of Goshen, Indiana. A retired instrumental music teacher, he now occasionally works in a bike shop. Mike has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2011. He has worked on Colorado Wildflowers, Colorado Family Fun, Texas Hill Country, Idaho Relaxed, Idaho Family Fun, Minnesota Trails Family Fun, and Minnesota-Wisconsin Rivers and Trails. The Grand Canyon North Rim is his favorite experience, and he dreams of someday riding across Europe. His favorite on the road snack is a Clif Bar. He has two grown children — Jeff in Austin, Texas, and Katie in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Mike also enjoys playing percussion in two community bands.
Tim Sanjule is from Charlottesville, Virginia. When he’s not on tour, he is a preserve steward for the Nature Conservancy. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling for four years. Most recently, he led Great Divide Canada, Grand Canyon Van, and the Pacific Coast Van. His favorite tour experience of all time was a solo trip of central Africa by bike. He rode to see elephants, giraffes, gorillas, chimps, and more. His dream tour is across Eurasia. His favorite on-the-road snack is a fresh coconut — right off the tree!
Lynda Saul is from Helena, Montana. Everything about human powered travel appeals to her, including backpacking, canoe camping, cross-country skiing, and especially bicycle touring. She enjoys living simply, traveling lightly, experiencing the outdoors, meeting interesting people, and slowing down to the sane speed of two wheels spinning. Lynda’s first bike tour (Boston to Bangor, Maine) was in 1976, and she first led for Adventure Cycling in 1989. She’s passionate about life and loves leading bicycle tours to expand her horizons and help others experience the joys of travel by bike. Her favorite tour was a summer-long ride from her home to Alaska and included breaks for a three-week sea kayaking trip in Haida Gwaii, backpacking in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, and encountering a bull moose while attempting to camp in the Anchorage city golf course. She’s an avid ’ologist (geo, hydro, and eco) and earns a living as Montana’s Wetland Conservation Coordinator. In 2002, Lynda ate PB&J sandwiches for 65 straight days while leading the Southern Tier. However, her favorite cycling snack is fruit pie, a la mode, of course. Lynda’s a proud life member of Adventure Cycling Association and a card-carrying left hander.
Chris Scheihing is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He works as a bike mechanic and property manager and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2014. He has led both the Northern Tier and the Western Express/TransAm. His favorite tour experience was bikepacking across Bolivia’s Altiplano. His dream tour is Alaska to Argentina along the Pan-American Highway. Chris loves being out on the open road and meeting people from all walks of life when leading bicycle tours. He has gone so far as to purchase a store’s entire inventory of his favorite on-the-road snack: Snickers!
Fletcher Schneeflock lives in Easthampton, Massachusetts, where he cares for the cows at a small dairy farm and works as a database administrator on the side. He has led tours since 2014 and has taken participants on great adventures on the Pacific Coast Van Tour, Death Valley, and Eastern Canada Adventure. His one favorite day of cycling was a solo trip from Grand Junction, Colorado, to Moab, Utah, along the Colorado River full of unbelievable scenery, rolling hills, and a great town to end the day in. He sees bicycle touring as the best way to get to know new parts of the world and engage with your surroundings. Though not in the near future, Fletcher plans on completing the Pan-American Highway that runs from Alaska to Argentina. “I’ll be doing this in about 18 years when my kids are off to college!” His favorite on-the-road snack is anything that fits in a jersey pocket, and every one of his touring bikes has a bottle cage devoted to a coffee thermos.
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.
Rich Scott is from Naperville, Illinois, and Ironwood, Michigan. In the winter, he works at a Nordic ski center in Ironwood. He is also a part-time sales rep for Tiger Eye Bike Mirrors. Rich started with Adventure Cycling in 2009 with a staff position on the Cycle Vermont tour and has been leading since. Most recently, he led Vermont Inn to Inn, Bar Harbor Inn to Inn, and the Glacier-Waterton Loop. His favorite tour experience of all time was a 10-day tour in Ireland. It had everything: beautiful scenery, friendly pubs, and good weather. His dream bicycle tour is one that puts you in touch with local people. He always remembers the people more than the scenery. Rich loves leading bike tours because he loves sharing experiences. Each tour allows him to meet great people who share a common interest. Everyone who does a tour always has a resume of really cool things they have done or places they have been, and he enjoys hearing about them. His favorite on-the-road snacks are Fig Newtons and Twizzlers, but his wife is teaching him to enjoy veggie wraps! When “streaking” was popular, he once ran naked through a Sears Department store with three other guys. But he claims to be much more tame now. He loves to cross-country ski and has skied the American Birkebeiner (North America’s largest cross-country ski race) 20 times!
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.”
Maer Seibert has been a bicycle tour leader since 2012 and feels blessed to have the chance to meet people from all over the world leading tours for Adventure Cycling. Real friends have been made, and every new year she’s excited to create more adventures. Maer’s friends say riding with Maer is always fun, exciting, and full of unexpected surprises. She admits she’s not much of a planner but prefers to hop on her bike and let the adventures, with all its wonderful opportunities, unfold naturally. Maer says, “It is an honor and a privilege to lead trips and meet the Adventure Cycling community on a bike!” When she is not riding, she is either in her art studio or in the backcountry with her best friend, Inipi Tonker Say, a red-and-white, blued-eyed husky!
Don Serina is from Denver, Colorado. He is retired and in his second year of leading tours. He has led Cycle Divide Montana, Idaho Family Fun, and Southern Arizona Road Adventure. His favorite experience on a bike has been riding the island of Hawaii alone a week after he retired. Dream tour? All of them! He loves to lead tours because he gets to be in beautiful places with good people. His go-to road snack is peanut butter and bananas. Ask him about a funny incident of getting in trouble with the Federal Protective Service for flying a remote control helicopter in a federal building!
Margie Skaggs is from Louisville, Kentucky. When she’s not on tour, she works as a self-employed massage therapist. She started leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2014. Her favorite tour experience of all time was coast to coast, which she describes as “life altering.” Her dream bicycle tour is Blue Ridge Bliss in North Carolina. “I love the mountains, water, and countryside. I would like a tour where I can do a little bit of everything as staff and go kayaking or skydiving or learn something new.” She loves leading bike tours because she enjoys people, biking, being outdoors and going to new places. Her favorite on-the-road snack is Snickers bars if she can keep them cold! A few other tidbits about Margie: “I enjoy cooking for others, hug therapy, organic gardening, kayaking, backpacking, hiking, climbing, and exploring what is over the next hill or mountain. My next goal is to take a Plant Intensive Wilderness Survival course, then explore Shamanism!”
Dale Smith is from Chicago, Illinois. When he’s not on the road, he is a massage therapist and personal trainer. He has been leading Adventure Cycling tours since 2015. His dream tour is a coast-to-coast adventure, and he loves leading bike tours because of the exercise, community, and nature. Dale loves learning, and when he’s on tour, his favorite food is a sandwich! “Please call me Smitty,” says Dale.
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.
Ronnie Smoak is from Spartanburg, South Carolina, and is a retired golf professional and real estate broker. When not working or playing golf, he does his favorite thing — touring on his bike, or as Willie Nelson would say, “Going places that I’ve never been, seeing things I may never see again, I can’t wait to get on the road again.” Ronnie and his wife, Zoe, have cycled coast to coast six times, four times on a tandem. Their first cross-country trip was with ACA, and Arlen Hall was one of the leaders, a high standard to follow. His favorite trip was cycling the Alaskan Highway with Zoe and their then-14-year-old daughter. His favorite mid-morning snack is apple fritters. Ronnie looks forward to enabling fellow cyclists to fulfill their dreams and to share their love for cycling and adventure.
Zoe Smoak is from Spartanburg, South Carolina, and 2014 was her first year leading trips for Adventure Cycling. One of her favorite tour experiences is coming into camp after a long day and taking a hot shower, then sitting around and talking with friends about the day of cycling. She has many dream bike tours, and her favorite on-the-road snack is Doritos!
Joe Sprecco is from San Diego, California. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2011. Most recently, he led two rounds of Texas Hill Country and two of the California Spring Fling. His favorite tour experience of all time was (without question) the Southern Tier. “The chance to spend two months with 15 people, living our dreams on the road, all the trials and tribulations and shared experiences, one of the defining moments of my life!” His dream bicycle tour is the TransAm. Joe loves leading bicycle tours: “The more I work and ride with ‘bicycle folks,’ the more I realize what a uniquely optimistic and fun-loving group they are. Their desire to embrace new experiences and challenges is incredibly contagious. It constantly reminds me of how lucky I am to tour as much as I do.” His favorite on-the-road snacks are Nutella-dipped bananas and Oreos. Joe is the middle child of 14, which his wife says explains most of his personality!
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.
Jane Stoltz is from St. Francis, Wisconsin, and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 1994. Most recently, she co-taught ACA’s Introduction to Road Touring in Wisconsin (June 2015.) She loves leading bike tours because it is an opportunity to bike more often and meet similarly minded people. When Jane isn’t leading a tour, she’s most likely helping to organize a future bike trip with husband John and friends. Their most bike recent tour was along the Danube River in Germany, Austria, and Slovakia. Her “dream tour” is to bike from the Pacific Ocean to the western edge of North Dakota in order to finish her cross-country bike quest. When Jane isn’t biking, she enjoys writing about her outdoor adventures for Silent Sports Magazine and also volunteers her time as a tutor in a Milwaukee public school and with adults at an English-as-a-second-language literacy center.
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.
Bruce Sturges is from Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and 2014 was his first year leading tours for Adventure Cycling. Most recently, he led Big Bend Loop and will lead Jett Ride this summer. His dream bike tour is across America. He loves leading bike tours to help people have a great time and for the adventure. His favorite on-the-road snack is beef jerky. He loves having a good time and keeping it simple!
Tom Sullivan is from Missoula, Montana. When he’s not on tour, he is a geography professor and freelance writer. He’s staffed a number of tours, and 2016 is his first leadership role. He likes leading tours because he loves meeting people who are passionate about the bicycle. His favorite experience was Venice to Amsterdam — the “Food and W(Rh)ine Route,” and especially climbing Stelvio Pass fully loaded and enjoying the best beer he has ever tasted in his life at the summit! His dream tour is living in the Alps and climbing every pass he can find, even if it takes the rest of his life. He loves to eat strawberry Pop-tarts on the road. A funny thing about him is he can’t be around people brushing their teeth — “kind of a nails-on-the-chalkboard thing for me.”
Sean Sweeney is from Michigan and now lives in Annapolis, Maryland. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2008. Most recently, he led Southern Tier, Florida Keys, and C&O Canal/GAP. His favorite tour experience of all time was the North Star trip from Missoula to Alaska: “Good hard riding, and the scenery will blow you away.” He likes the Pacific Coast route, but pretty much any tour is a dream ride for him. He loves leading bike tours because he enjoys meeting the riders and seeing them grow as they experience the tour. Meeting the locals along the way is also very special. His favorite on-the-road snack is pancakes with an egg on top!
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.
Adrianna Tippit-Martelli currently resides in Denver, Colorado. When she is not cycling, she works as a sign language interpreter. This will be her first year leading trips for Adventure Cycling Association. She does have lots of touring experience completing rides from New York City to Los Angeles, Seattle to New York City, around the Ozark Mountains, and countless weekend trips. Her favorite rides have been on the Going to the Sun Road and the Pacific Coast Highway. “The most challenging rides are also typically the most beautiful.” She is excited to share the world of bike touring with people and pass along the touring bug that she contracted a while back. Her favorite on the road snacks are avocados and beef jerky. Besides bicycle touring, she is fond of karaoke, even though she exclaims, “My singing can be equated to the sound of a dying cat.”
Jack Turner is from Lake Stevens, Washington. When he’s not leading bike tours, he is a pro team bike mechanic and caterer for Adventure Cycling supported tours. Jack has been leading bike tours for Adventure Cycling since 2009. He has led self-contained tours in New Mexico, the Sierra Cascades, and did planning and research for the new Pacific Coast North van tour. His favorite tour was the Northern Tier, west to east, and then down to Washington, DC. His dream is a self-contained tour of Scotland. He loves leading tours because he is a very supportive person and loves helping others enjoy bicycle touring. His favorite on-the-road snacks are Pay Day candy bars and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. But the funny thing about him is that when he was touring from Seattle through Yellowstone, each day he would try to find the best french toast meal for a second breakfast. He has been a member of Adventure Cycling for over 20 years. He met his wife Kathy while working as a mechanic for the fully supported tours.
Maureen Vandermay is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, and now lives in Silverthorne, Colorado. She recently retired from practicing law and had previously worked as a professor of law at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. She has been leading tours since 2015. She has staffed the C&O Canal/GAP tour and found the experience to be both exhilarating and rewarding. The tour participants, staff, and scenery all contributed to a great week. Her favorite tour experience was as a participant on what is now the Colorado Alpine Trails Relaxed tour. She and her husband Monty fell in love with the Rockies and moved there after doing the tour. Her dream tour is any tour in Alaska! Favorite road snack? Pie, and more pie. She says she would rather ride up a mountain than down one. She loves to climb! All of her bikes have names — Fireball, Fireball II, Clownie, Mr. Ed, the Green Hornet, and the Honu.
Monty Vandermay is from Washington, Oregon, Hawai’i, Nevada, and most recently Colorado. He’s a retired trial attorney and co-owner of a law firm that practiced in five states. 2016 was his first year leading tours for Adventure Cycling, but he has been a participant on tours since 2011. Monty has been on Vail Wildflowers, Great Lakes Relaxed, and C&O Canal/GAP tours. He enjoys the cycling environment of people, places, outdoors, and the adventure. Being a leader increases the time he is able to spend on a bicycle with others who enjoy this method of touring. His favorite tour experience of all time was being able to ride the Colorado Wildflower tour with his wife Maureen as she recovered from significant knee surgery. It was a very fulfilling family time. An avid sailor, Monty loves the ocean. His dream tour would be along the ocean roads of the U.S. His favorite cycling snack is a ham and cheese sandwich with Gatorade. Monty is also the current National Senior Olympic champion in the hammer throw.
Tom Varns is from Bloomington, Indiana. When he’s not cycling, he is a soil conservationist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. This is his first year leading tours for Adventure Cycling, and he’s really looking forward to it! His favorite tour ever was the 1986 TransAm tour he did with Adventure Cycling, which was at the time known as Bikecentennial. His dream tour is a self-contained tour of New Zealand. He loves leading tours because he likes meeting other people and hearing their cycling experiences as well as sharing his own. His favorite on-the-road snack is chocolate peanut butter ice cream.
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!”
Randy Walsh is from Cleburne, Texas. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2014. Most recently, he led the Pacific Coast North van-supported tour. His dream tour is to start from his home in Texas and head east on the Southern Tier route and join the Northern Tier route and complete a big circle of the United States until arriving back in Texas. Randy hopes to complete that ride upon retirement from his job as a chemist at a nuclear power plant. His favorite on-the-road snack is a carrot cake Clif Bar.
Jay Warren is from South Jersey and has been leading for Adventure Cycling since 2012. Most recently he has led Texas Hill Country, Florida Keys, and the TransAm. His dream bicycle tour is all the way around the world! Jay loves leading bike tours for the chance to help people achieve things they never thought they could. He has toured over 10,000 miles, also enjoys hiking and canoeing, and generally likes traveling by very difficult means.
Meredith Watson is from Truckee, California, and now lives in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. She is a recently retired fire captain and paramedic and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2013. Most recently, she staffed Sierra Sampler and led the Underground Railroad. Her favorite tour experience of all time was the Pacific Coast tour with Adventure Cycling in 2012: “Perfect weather, we rode a total of five hours in the rain and NO flat tires in six weeks!” Her dream bicycle tour is the east coast of Australia, from Tasmania to the Great Barrier Reef. Meredith says she loves leading bike tours because “I love hearing about small adventures and encounters of the day from participants. It never ceases to amaze me, what a small and wonderfully gracious world we inhabit.” Her favorite on-the-road snacks to carry with her are raw almonds and dried mango. And her favorite snacks to stumble upon are “local flavors made with love by someone’s grandmother!” She loves to roller skate and hula hoop, and she teaches CPR and first aid.
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!
Wally Werner is from Denver, Colorado, where he has lived for 25 years. Not long after moving to Denver, Wally realized what a beautiful place it is, and he got on his bike to get out and appreciate it. He hasn’t looked back since. When Wally isn’t tethered to his computer running his website maintenance and design business, he is doing one of two things — riding his bike or thinking about riding his bike. He has been all over the country, including most recently riding from Key West, Florida, to Homer, Alaska. But his favorite part of touring is the friendly people he meets in small towns en route. Wally has led tours for Adventure Cycling since 1998. Don’t let his calm demeanor and good humor fool you. Underneath that exterior is a cycling animal who is in continual pursuit of a great cinnamon roll.
Bob Westgate is originally from San Francisco, California, and now lives near Denver, Colorado (after intermediate stops in Minnesota and Texas). He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2010. Bob has been the event director for Minnesota-Wisconsin Rivers & Trails, Cycle Divide Montana, Family Fun Colorado, and C&O Canal/GAP. In previous years, Bob has served as the event director for Wine & Harvest and as a tour leader on Blue Ridge Bliss and Colorado Wildflowers & Rivers. 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 the U.K. One of these days he also hopes to ride the TransAm Trail with his daughter, also an Adventure Cycling leader. Bob loves leading bike tours because he enjoys meeting new folks who embrace cycle touring. 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! Bob has experience with events, as well as self-contained, inn-to-inn, and Family Fun rides.
Bronwyn Westgate was born and raised in Texas and now lives in Boulder, Colorado. When she’s not leading bike tours, she’s a student at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She began leading tours in 2014 after enjoying them growing up. Most recently, she led Family Fun Idaho and Family Fun Minnesota. Her favorite tour experience of all time was completing the C&O Canal route after a tropical storm. Her dream bicycle tour is the TransAm on a tandem with her father. She loves leading bike tours to meet new people and cycle from one location to the next. “I’ve made many friends touring and I love sharing the experience, and the ice cream is always good!” Her favorite on-the-road snacks are pretzels and M&Ms. And she loves to sing at the top of her lungs when she rides her bicycle.
Steve Whetstone is from Hollywood, Maryland. When not on tour, he does process improvement for the US Navy. He has been leading for Adventure Cycling since 2016, but has lead many small tours for his local cycling club. On tour, he loves riding on quiet roads or stopping for lunch at a little restaurant in small town America and having people ask where he’s going. “Put panniers on your bike and cyclists suddenly become a lot more approachable by the average person.” The top two dream tours on his list right now are LEJOG (Land End to John O’Groats in the UK) and the Oregon Outback. In addition to touring and riding with his “go fast” bike club, he also enjoys some randonneuring. His goals for this year include completing both a 400k and 600k brevet. His favorite on the road snack is pie, but he also looks forward to local specialities wherever he goes.
Bill White is from Asheville, North Carolina, now living in central Florida. He joined Adventure Cycling in 2014 as a tour leader and has participated in the Florida Keys and the Southern Tier. He loves meeting fellow riders and seeing the world from two wheels with like-minded people. On the road, he will munch on bananas and other healthy snacks but will travel miles off route in search of ice cream! A hopeless adventurer and traveler, he hopes to do a one-year, self-contained cycling adventure around the world. When not leading tours or touring on his own, you can usually find him traveling the U.S. on his motorcycle.
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.
Kathryn C. Wilder is from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. When she’s not leading tours, she’s a mental training coach. She led her first Adventure Cycling tour in 1989. It was a TransAm Tour from Williamsburg, Virginia, to Astoria, Oregon. Her favorite tour experience was doing independent bicycle touring in New Zealand. Her dream tour is a bicycle tour around the world. She loves to lead tours because she loves sharing her passion of bicycle touring with other people. She’ll eat blueberry pie on the road any time. It’s her favorite. She can ride a bicycle and juggle at the same time! She discovered this skill when her eight-year-old son challenged her to juggle while riding! She met her husband at a bicycle race. They have two amazing boys, two dogs, and two cats, and all join them on family adventures!
Gillian Yoerg is from Rochester, Minnesota. When she’s not on tour, she is a nurse in the MICU. She’s been leading bike tours for Adventure Cycling since 2012. Most recently she led San Juan Islands Inn to Inn, Great Lakes Inn to Inn, and the Cascadian Traverse Self Contained. Among her favorite tour experiences is the reward of a great descent after a long climb! Her dream bicycle tour is the Pan American Highway. She enjoys leading bike tours because it’s a fun challenge! It enables her to travel, meet other like-minded individuals, and gain inspiration. Her favorite on-the-road snack is fruit stand produce — fresh berries and peaches!
Isabel Zsohar is from San Antonio, Texas. She is a retired high school math teacher and still tutors math for fun. She’s been leading for Adventure Cycling since 2013. Most recently, she led two tours of Big Bend and Death Valley. Among her favorite tour experiences are gliding down Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park (Logan Pass), and riding down any pass which she has managed to cycle to the top of! On Isabel’s dream tour, there would be tailwinds, downhills, rushing mountain streams, and lakes all day long. She loves leading bike tours in order to watch others enjoy something she enjoys so much. Her favorite on-the-road snack is peanut M&M’s, and she loves camping in the rain for the sound on the roof of her tent.
Fully Supported. Beginning in Adventure Cycling’s hometown of Missoula, we’ll cross the Continental Divide more than once as we ride along many of the rivers that run through Western Montana and visit small towns, soak in few hot springs, and take in massive views under the Big Sky!
Self Contained. The world’s longest mountain bike route turned 20 last year — and you can join the party. Ride the Great Divide’s spectacular Canadian section and see why Outside magazine called it one of “The Best Backcountry Adventure Trips in America.”
Self Contained. This spring, you won’t need to worry about traffic as you ride your hybrid or mountain bike some 330 miles on hard-packed, gently graded gravel and dirt trails from the heart of the nation’s capital north to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.