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.
Mike Addison lives in San Diego, California. 2019 is his first year leading tours for Adventure Cycling — one through Death Valley, and the other on the TransAm Westward Express from Virginia to Oregon. Mike’s first experience touring was in 2013 when he rode cross-country from San Francisco to New York City as part of a documentary movie. It was such an amazing experience that the following summer he rode from Vancouver, Canada, to Tijuana, Mexico! Since then he’s also cycled the Great Parks North route, witnessing some of the most amazing scenery within the Canadian Rockies. When Mike isn’t riding his bike, he works as a voice-over artist, a tennis umpire, and also an independent retailer at a local tennis shop. Hiking, cycling, international travel, and tennis are Mike’s main passions. His most epic adventure was when he spent time in 36 countries from 2009–2011, hiking and cycling the globe. Oh yeah, Mike’s favorite on-the-road snack is anything and everything.
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.
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.
Kelly Borgers hails from Thornbury, Ontario. When she’s not riding her bike, she’s a photographer and painter, and to stay in shape during the Canadian winters, she also loves to Nordic ski. 2019 is her first year leading tours with Adventure Cycling on the Washington Cascades and the Cabot Trail Nova Scotia tours. Her favorite touring experience was cycling (and eating) her way up the Atlantic coastline through Portugal, Spain, and France. She has photographed the Boreal forest from Alaska to Finland, and many of her exhibitions have an environmental focus to raise awareness on protecting the forests that are in our own backyards. Her favorite snack is chocolate in any form, and she has earned the nickname The Mountain Goat by her kids because she loves to climb mountains on her bike.
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.
Alan Brown splits his year between Santa Rosa Beach, Florida and Silverthorne, Colorado. He has led the Florida Gulf Coast, the Natchez Trace, and the Ragin’ Cajun tours and is excited for more. He has two favorite tour experiences: the first was cross country in 1975 on a $165 bike and no cell phone. The second? Adventure Cycling’s Great Parks North. “Diving deep into the Canadian Rockies was stunning, at times remote, but always an adventure.” His dream tour is to see Alaska. Alan’s favorite on-the-road snack is hard-boiled eggs — especially after they’ve been rolling around in the handlebar bag for a few miles in yesterday’s sandwich bag.
Art Brown is from Winnipeg, Manitoba, and retired from the Royal Canadian Air Force after 38+ years of service. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 1996 and led or worked every type of tour Adventure Cycling offers. His favorite tour experience of all time was the four months he spent in 2016 riding solo across Australia. He loves leading bike tours because they lead to interactions with people from different walks of life and countries and they provide the opportunity for him to not only pass on his knowledge but also learn new things. He also loves anything chocolate.
Sarah Burch hails from Seattle, Washington. Described as down-to-earth and grounded-airy-fairy, Sarah spent the last couple of years simplifying her life, shedding the things that bogged her down from living to her fullest potential. In 2012, she “semi-retired” from the corporate world in order to appease her sense of wanderlust and focus her energies on her passions. She enjoys adventuring, laughing, blogging, practicing yoga, volunteering with animals, traveling, finding shapes in the clouds, housesitting, and exploring the out-of-doors. Other passions include voluntary simplicity, financial independence, happiness maximization, and sucking the marrow out of life. Oh … and bicycle touring, of course. She has been on a slew of solo and group tours ranging from overnight to multiple months in length. Riding Shirley (her Surly LHT) and fueled by candy corn, she thrives on the simple joys of touring. A few times a year, you can find Sarah teaching a class on bicycle touring in the Seattle area. Sarah looks forward to leading tours with Adventure Cycling, sharing her enthusiasm and love for touring with other cyclists.
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.”
Carolyn Campbell is from Ann Arbor, Michigan, but is currently living in New Orleans. Off the bike, you can find her romping around in the forest with 20 4-year-olds in tow since she works as an early childhood educator with a focus on outdoor education. Her first year leading tours with Adventure Cycling was 2018 on the Colorado High-Country Classic and Death Valley tours. Her most memorable touring experience is cruising through narrow canyons down the winding, one-way, freshly-paved Artist’s Drive in Death Valley National Park — a dream! Carolyn’s dream bike tour is to circumnavigate all the Great Lakes, and her favorite on-the-road snack is jerky and chocolate-covered cherries, but she also considers herself a baked-goods monster. She loves leading tours because “it’s a dream to be able to share stories, support each other, and discover new places on two wheels.”
Joyce Casey is from Portland, Oregon, where she has lived for 25 years. She has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2008, most recently on the San Juan Islands Inn to Inn tour. She has had many singular moments on a bike, but she especially remembers the feeling of riding up and up and up the mountains on the Cascadian Traverse and the amazing feeling of exhilaration and the rush of self-confidence that washed over her as she stood at the top of the hill. Joyce has led a number of Introduction to Bicycle Touring trips and loves when participants realize they really can do it. Her favorite thing is to share her love for bicycle adventuring with other participants. All of her bikes have fenders, all of her gear is color-matched and sorted with rigor, and she’d rather you didn’t know that her handlebar bag is filled with pretzel M&Ms.
Alice Charkes has been living in Brattleboro, Vermont, for the past 30 years and has been a cycle tourist about that long. She took the Leadership Training Course in 1994 after having done trips ranging from three days to three months in the U.S. and Europe. Starting in 1995, she has been working for Adventure Cycling and has led Teton Yellowstone, Sound to Sea, Glacier Waterton, the TransAm, Adirondacks, Finger Lakes, and Cape Cod Pilgrimage trips. She has been instructing Leadership Training since 1998. In addition, she has done 15 consecutive self-contained family trips with her daughter, mostly in New England but also on the C&O and Erie Canal, in Nova Scotia, and in Michigan. In 2015, the two of them cycled End-to-End in England and Scotland. Outside of year-round bike commuting and bike/ped advocacy in southern Vermont, Alice is an elementary school French teacher, an avid knitter, and a budding classical violinist.
Sam Ciraulo is from Troy, New York, better known as “The Home of Uncle Sam.” He is a retired architect and professional photographer, and he will be staffing two Adventure Cycling tours this year. His best tour experience was in 2010, on a self supported 390 mile tour designed to call attention to health care services for US veterans. As they approached the town of Marcellus, NY, a motorcade escorted them through the center of town to the front steps of the Ralph Share American Legion Post, where they were greeted by the mayor and some post members and enjoyed homemade cookies, pies, and pastries. After sharing snacks and stories with the members of the post, the motorcade accompanied them out of town all the way to that night’s lodging, 13 miles away. Sam’s dream tour is the TransAm, self contained, with no schedule and no deadlines! He loves bike tours because of the camaraderie, relaxed pace, simplicity and honesty of bicycle touring. Whether pedaling through remote mountain passes in Alaska or over Rail trails along the Erie Canal there is a special “magic” that happens on tour. On the road, you can find Sam munching on his favorite touring snack--a peanut butter and nutella sandwich!
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!
Sara Dykman is from Kansas City, Kansas. She began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2018, and when she’s not out riding, she alternates between seasonal amphibian work, outdoor education, and writing. She enjoys leading tours because she loves introducing people to the world of potential — once you know you can bike 100 miles, your only limit is your imagination. Her favorite tour experiences are when she finds an animal she wasn’t expecting. She’s seen white ravens, huge snapping turtles, flamingos, colorful frogs, sloths, bears ... she remembers the animals even when all the miles start to blend together. Her favorite riding snack is dried mango. Fun fact: she likes to collect things on the side of the road, which has led to a metal spoon collection (probably about 80 spoons in total) and a collection of found fabric that she has turned into two quilts.
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.
Ken Exum currently lives in Galesburg, Illinois, but is actually from all over. He’s a retired Navy officer, former high school teacher, and former photojournalist who now works in newspaper management. Ken has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2014. In 2015, he is co-leading the Southern Tier (Van) II tour and in 2014 he was privileged to co-lead the TransAm (Van) tour. Although Ken’s all-time favorite touring experience was a solo self-contained trip from San Diego to San Francisco in the early ’80s, he doesn’t think he has ever had a trip that he didn’t thoroughly enjoy. At this point, his dream tour would be to ride self-contained from somewhere (anywhere) in the midwest to Anchorage, Alaska. Ken loves seeing how much fun the tour participants are having, and he loves to help them have that much fun. Ken likes to eat peanuts mixed with granola and dried cherries while he’s riding. And fig or cherry Newtons! He also enjoys riding in sub-zero midwestern winter weather, especially when there’s snow, almost as much as he enjoys riding in the summer. Almost!
Mark Gabrenya is from Lexington, Massachusetts, and when he is not leading tours he is a freelance graphic designer. He has been leading tours since 2017, and most recently helped out on the Idaho Family Fun Trip. His favorite touring experience is arriving at the Kananaskis Wilderness Hostel after a long climb in Alberta with “bike-stopping” wind gusts. Luckily a group of Canadians shared dinner with him when he realized all he had was plain pasta. His dream bike tour would be the Northern Tier to the Lewis & Clark route. He loves leading bike tours to share unique adventures with interesting people. His favorite on the road snack is Fig Newtons, but he would be happy with anything he can eat out of his handlebar bag. “Seeing the landscape at 10 mph and being able to stop and admire the view anytime you want. You can’t do that in a car!”
Joe Garcia is fortunate to have spent his whole life in Southern California and currently lives in San Diego. Since he retired in 2017, he has been able to spend more time cycling, hiking, and working with mosaic tiles. Joe began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2018 with the Route 66 Santa Fe to Flagstaff and the Southern Arizona Road Adventure tours. So far, his favorite bicycle tour was the Baja Peninsula with his wife, and he dreams about riding both the Underground Railroad and the stretch of Great Britain from Land’s End to John O’Groats. His favorite things about bike travel are the people and the day to day unpredictability of the road. His favorite riding snacks are Clif Bars and cold lemonade.
David Gast is from Camas, Washington. He recently retired from his career as a working engineer and manager of engineering teams. He began leading for Adventure Cycling with the Sierra Sampler tour in 2018 and looks forward to leading a couple of tours each year. When he’s not on the road, David volunteers as a mechanic at various bicycle benefit rides each year and also volunteers as a climbing steward on Mount St. Helens. He’s toured in the Pyrenees, Alps, and Dolomites, and Croatia where he learned not to drink the espresso down to the very last sludgy bit. His favorite touring memories are from the 12 northwest bicycle tours he took with his kids on a tandem. His favorite on-the-road snack is almond butter on homemade whole wheat bread. After living and riding in Barcelona, Spain, he enjoys making paella and is still in search of the perfect socarrat.
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 leading 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 LTC 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!
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.
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.
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 has staffed our Ragin' Cajun, Southern Charm, and Texas Hill Country tours and is about to co-lead the Atlantic Coast van tour. Her favorite tour so far was riding the Southern Tier Route self-contained. Meeting incredible people and exploring small-town America made the trip for Beth Ann. Europe is at the top of her list for a bike tour dream. She is extremely excited to interact with like-minded people and share knowledge she has gained with her many years of touring. Her favorite snack includes Fritos, nuts, and anything chocolate. Her sense of humor shines through, with sarcasm and deadpan humor being a 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!”
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.
Holly Johnson hails from Bedford, New Hampshire. When not leading tours, she enjoys mountain biking and hiking with her husband, gardening, cooking, reading, and learning new things — a consummate student. She’s also taking on all of New Hampshire’s 48 4Ks and happens to be a certified hypnotist. Her first year leading tours with Adventure Cycling is 2019 with the Big Bend and Epic Great Divide van tours. Holly’s favorite touring memory was on a five-week multisport Wilderness Adventure in New Zealand with her husband where “one of my fondest memories was the incredible bike ride into Milford Sound … absolutely breathtaking!” When she was younger, she raced mountain bikes and was the Novice Female Champion for her age group ... in her first year of racing! Her favorite touring snack is BoBo Bars, especially the coconut ones, and she’s a firm believer that an avocado a day keeps the doctor away.
Sue Juedes hails from Wisconsin. When she is not leading tours, she makes sure to have daily adventures, whether it’s single track riding or trail running. Her passion for yoga keeps her balanced between the outdoor adventures — she is even working on a yoga certification to be able to teach. Her favorite touring experience has been riding with new friends on the Upstate New York Adirondacks tour: “I simply love the freedom to ride at my own pace and/or join a small group of tour mates for a chat as we roll along the pavement and stop for coffee, photo ops, and surprises. ACA tours have given me opportunities to develop deep connections with people. It's like having a second family on the road to share rides, meals, adventures, and swimming holes.” She loves a great cookie with every possible goody baked in and is known to be a disco dancing machine.
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.
Paul Kingsbury hails from Elmira, New York, where he owns a local bike shop. He began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2016 and so far his favorites have been Big Bend Mid-Atlantic Countryside, and Southern Charm. Paul’s favorite tour memory involves riding tired and hungry along a sandy Mexican ismuth toward an area that he thought might have been deserted due to a hurricane. After a long day, however, he rolled into a tiny fishing village with the best cheeseburgers in the world and a cooler of cold beer — proof that things always work out. On the road, he enjoys snacking on PB&J or Egg McMuffins. Paul’s dream tour is one without any time constraints since he’d rather be out traveling on his bike than just about anything.
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.
Drew Knox is from Wilmington, Delaware, where he has access to a terrific web of rural roads that extend through Chester and Lancaster counties. Drew began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2019 on the Death Valley van tour. His favorite tour experience was a solo tour in Tasmania where he met many friendly locals and travelers, but he’s also enjoyed touring in Montana and Washington because the landscapes are so different from the East Coast. His dream tour has sunny skies and tailwinds, frequent coffee shops, smooth roads, few cars, and something he’s never seen before. He’s also working on the third generation of cyclists in his family: “So far all three grandchildren are crazy about riding!
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 an entrepreneur and League Certified Instructor. Johnny has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2015, and his favorites so far are Bicycle Route 66, Vermont Inn to Inn, Colorado Classic Hill Country, and half of the TransAm. He absolutely loves exploring a location he’s never been before or rediscovering a familiar place from a different perspective. It’s the anticipation of being somewhere that’s on his bucket list and then actually getting there that makes him extremely elated. His dream is to ride in Southeast Asia to explore Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and to travel to where he was born in Vietnam. If you’re ever in Los Angeles, look him up! He is pretty familiar with getting around there by bike and can show you a good time. Many people are initially intimidated to ride in L.A. traffic, but L.A. isn’t a bad place to ride if you know how to navigate it. Favorite road snack? “I scream for ice cream!”
Mike Lessard currently resides in Missoula and works as the 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).
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!
Adrian Martin hails from Finger, Tennessee. He has ridden to all four corners of this country, and his favorite memory is waking up at dawn in Glacier National Park and riding over Logan Pass on Going-to-the-Sun Road with the sun rising behind him. His dream bicycle tour is to ride around Europe, stopping to visit all the castles on the way. Adrian began leading with Adventure Cycling in 2019, and most of all he enjoys sharing his passion for touring with other riders. His favorite on-the-road snacks are Pop Tarts. He’s certainly come a long way since his first bicycle: “It had a coaster brake, which I didn’t know how to use, so I would just jump off and hit the ground running!”
Michelle Mathieu Scott is from Naperville, Illinois. When she’s not leading bicycle tours, she can be found travelling, cycling, and cross-country skiing. She has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2011, and her favorites have been the Glacier-Waterton and Blue Ridge Parkway trips. However, every tour is a favorite for her because each one is unique and she loves the new friends she gets to make along the way. Her favorite on-the-road snack is Fig Newtons, and she’s also the Hearts Champion of the World … in her household anyway.
Meg McGuire is from Oakland, California, and is currently a graduate student working on dual masters degrees — Arts in Social Change and Divinity. On the bike, Meg joined the inaugural TransAm U30 tour as a participant in 2016, and after getting to Oregon, continued south to the Bay area where she currently lives. She has also helped lead the California Wine Country Relaxed tour. Her dream tour is riding the Baja Divide, and she has a favorite on-the-road snack of oatmeal with a variety of toppings so that it never gets old. Growing up with stories from her dad about riding with Bikecentennial in 1981, she knew it was something she would do, too!
Richard Mead is from Greenville, South Carolina, and has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2014. He is retired and a part-time ski instructor when most people think it’s too cold to bike. Most recently, he was a staff member on Ragin’ Cajun and Minnesota-Wisconsin Rivers and Trails. His favorite tour experience of all time was 10 days in the French Alps riding with friends on some of the classic climbs of the professional tours — Alpe d’Huez, Col de L’Izoard, Col du Galibier. Despite the work, the rewards and scenery were spectacular. His dream bicycle tour? A tailwind, 65-75 degrees, and no rain! He loves leading bike tours to see riders of all abilities smiling. His favorite on-the-road snacks are bananas and Golden Oreos. And he skis more days each year living in South Carolina than he ever did growing up in Wyoming or living in upstate New York and New England.
Megan Meo is from Los Angeles, California. When she’s not leading tours, you can find her baking pastries, turning flour, sugar, and butter into sweet treats. Her favorite tour experience is when she rode up part of the eastern coast of Australia solo. “Being on my own pushed me to make friends with almost everyone I encountered and taught me I can accomplish anything I put my mind to!” Her current dream tour is cycling around Cuba. Quiet roads, rich history, small towns, and beaches put this destination high on her list. Above all, Megan loves leading because she loves sharing her favorite form of travel. Not to mention her interests spending hours reading maps, figuring out routes, and finding excuses to explore new parts of the country! She loves trail mix (with peanut M&Ms), tortillas filled with peanut butter, banana, and honey, and she tries to turn every bicycle tour into a tour of ice cream shops.
Russ Meyer hails from Reno, Nevada. Since retiring from the University of Nevada, Reno, Russ can be found cycling (of course!), skiing, fly fishing, birding, or playing with his Gordon Setter, Hallee. He has been leading tours with Adventure Cycling since 2016, including the Big Bend, Sierra Sampler, Black Hills, Minnesota-Wisconsin Rivers & Trails tours. His favorite tour experience was cycling with his wife and six of their friends along the Danube River from Germany through Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary, and it’s his dream to cycle the vineyards and wineries of southern France (which he will achieve in 2019!). He loves meeting new people and helping others realize their goals, especially when they’re not sure they can at the start. His favorite on the road snack is Fig Newtons.
Tom Middaugh is a retired insurance executive from Wilsonville, Oregon. He’s been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2016, and so far his favorite have been the TransAm, Washington Cascades, Idaho Trails Relaxed, and Idaho Family Fun. His absolute favorite tour experience happened in 2016 at the end of the Bicycle Route 66 tour — pulling into Chicago, self-contained, and being greeted with the huge free Blues Festival in the park. His favorite part about leading tours is being able to share life-altering experiences and help others find beautiful, defining moments. Tom is a proud Life Member of Adventure Cycling, and on the road he loves Powerade and anything salty. He’s also a complete pushover for cats!
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!
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.
Todd Murdock is from Cullowhee, North Carolina. When he isn’t leading bike tours, he is the director of project discovery for Western Carolina University. He has been leading cycling tours with youth for 20 years, including tours across the country on the Lewis & Clark Trail and parts of the TransAm. He is a newbie to Adventure Cycling in 2018. His favorite tour is usually the one he is on. His fondest memory is making the last turn toward the beach in Astoria, Oregon, with a group of high school students that he’d led along the Lewis & Clark Trail. Their excitement and sense of accomplishment was the greatest reward for any leader. His dream trip is to ride around the world. He loves touring because of the smiles, the challenge, the laughter, the struggle, the food, the storms, the wind at his back … he could go on. His favorite on the road snacks include cookies, pie, ice cream, fudge, peanut butter, honey, watermelon, grapes, chocolate bars, bananas, M&Ms … again he could go on. Finally his two biggest fears is getting paid what he’s worth and getting what he deserves.
Dan O’Neill lives in Tempe, Arizona. He began leading for Adventure Cycling in 2019 with the Death Valley and TransAm Express Westward tours. His favorite bicycle tours include riding with his wife, Jenny, across the U.S. on their Co-Motion tandem — they rode west to east on Bicycle Route 66 from Santa Monica to Chicago, then the Northern Tier below Chicago to Bar Harbor, and ended with a 300-mile loop inside Ontario to visit friends in London. In the next few years, Dan and Jenny hope to do a four- to six-month tour of South America from Cartagena to Patagonia. Dan loves the simplicity of bicycle travel and helping experience the wonders of turning little circles into big ones, the great outdoors, and the meeting folks along the way. His favorite touring snacks are peanuts with cold Gatorade or cold Starbucks Frappuccino — convenience store cycling, he calls it!
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.
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”.
David Patterson is from Phoenix, Arizona. He has been leading tours for Adventure Cycling since 2009. Lately, he has been busy on Cycle Montana-Missoula, Cycle Montana-Big Sky Country, Southern Arizona Road Adventure, Texas Hill Country, and Idaho Relaxed. His favorite experiences on a bike were completing the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route and riding through Yosemite on a self-contained Sierra Cascade ride. Traveling is what drew him to bike touring. “I love leading tours because of the new and exciting places I get to see and the people I get to enjoy the experience with.” While on the road, his favorite snack is anything that someone else prepares!
Dennis Patterson is from Mesa, Arizona. Dennis has been a bicycle tourist since 1977 and has ridden the TransAm Bicycle Route self-supported with Adventure Cycling in 2017, and most recently led the Pacific Coast. He also spends many days bikepacking the backroads of the Southwest. His fondest memories of touring are all of the wonderful people that he has met on the road and those that host cyclists. His dream tour is to ride the Andes Trail from Quito to Ushuaia in South America. He loves the camaraderie that happens on bicycle tours and is excited to share those experiences with others. Plain granola bars and Clif Bars keep him going on the road, but his favorite snack is a chocolate shake at the end of the day. Dennis carries a harmonica in his handlebar bag to play while riding or taking a break in the shade.
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 the Hawaii Big Island and California Gold Rush to the Bay tours. His favorite tour experience of all time was riding the 33-mile loop around the caldera rim of Crater Lake, Oregon. It was wickedly hilly, with spectacular views of deep-blue Crater Lake that kept changing as one progressed around the lake. His dream bicycle tour is to ride around three Hawaiian islands, Maui, Lanai, and Molokai, and to use a ferry and charter boat to combine those rides into an integrated bike tour. Steve loves leading bike tours and sharing the feeling of freedom with friends and tour participants every morning, having just loaded everything onto their bikes and setting out in the cool, crisp morning air with the open road lying ahead. He has been known to deviate many miles from the established bike tour route for a root beer float or for shave ice when in Hawaii.
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.
Brian Raines is a marketing consultant from Chesapeake Beach, Maryland. His is also an accidental bike/ped advocate in Maryland, serving on the boards of Bike Maryland and the Maryland Outdoor Recreation Economic Commission. He also chairs the Southern MD Bicycle and Pedestrian Infrastructure Advisory Committee and the Calvert County Parks & Recreation Advisory Board. Brian began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2018, and so far his favorite is the Grand Canyon tour. He enjoys riding anywhere there is more gravel than cars and more dirt than tarmac. One bucket list ride for him is the Kokopelli Trail in Colorado. His favorite on-the-road snacks are gummy bears and, of course, ice cream.
Tom Reitter is a retired software engineer currently living in Richland, Washington. He began leading tours for Adventure Cycling with the 2017 Black Hills tour. His favorite tour memory is the one where he met his now-partner, Kelly — the Great Parks North tour. A month later, Tom headed out on the Southern Tier, which gave him plenty of time to think about what’s important in life. After returning home to Maryland, he decided to retire and move to Richland to be with Kelly where they now spend their time exploring the backroads of the northwest. His favorite part of bicycle touring is the people you meet. From every walk of life, through the common love of touring, you instantly have a rich and bountiful network of friends. His ideal road snack is peanut butter.
Damon Richards is from Indianapolis, Indiana, and runs Bike Indianapolis, the bicycle advocacy group for central Indiana. He began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2017, and his favorite tour experience ever is when he rode solo across the United States in 2014. While that was his dream tour, next on the list is to ride the Pacific Coast Highway from Canada to Mexico. He loves leading bike tours because “touring has given me remarkable insights about myself and the world I live in. I want to share the opportunity for similar insights with others.” His favorite snack on tour is Clif Bars in multiple flavors with a Snickers thrown in once in a while.
Joe Riemensnider was born in Minnesota but relocated to Missoula, Montana, in 2010. When he’s not leading tours or managing a local bike shop, Joe is working on his degree in Recreation Management. He began leading tours for Adventure Cycling in 2018 with the Erie Canal Family Fun tour. One of his all-time favorite tour moments was the first time he rode his fully loaded bike onto a ferry to the San Juan Islands. He loves being able to combine touring with public transportation and he loves taking ferries places — being on the open water always has a feeling of adventure. Since that first ferry ride, he has planned many of his tours around Amtrak and boat transportation. His dream is to ride the Great Himalaya Trail that traverses Nepal. Joe’s favorite on-the-road snacks are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and any kind of cheese (but not combined). One day, he hopes to tour with his dogs in the trailer, but training them has been a slow process since one of them is suddenly nowhere to be found even at the sight of trailer.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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!”
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.
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 30 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. Wally is now retired, which leaves him doing one of two things — riding his bike or thinking about riding his bike. He has been all over the country, including his longest ride which was from Key West, Florida, to Homer, Alaska. Long rides or short, Wally’s favorite part of touring is the friendly people he meets in small towns on his rides. Wally has led tours for Adventure Cycling since 1998. Don’t let his calm demeanor and good humor fool you, however. Underneath that calm 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.
Inn to Inn. This weeklong tour through the glorious red-rock country of southern Utah offers an irresistible mix for the traveler who enjoys riding self-supported but to prefers to sleep indoors and eat meals in restaurants.
Fully Supported. Bicycle through the heart of Cajun Country and partake of all the food, music, and culture that Acadiana has to offer. On this relaxed tour you can enjoy jambalaya, crawfish pie, and gumbo, and you’ll find that the spicy cuisine of southern Louisiana is complemented by its mellow terrain.