Do All the Things You Didn't Think You Could

April 12, 2017 - April Cypher is Adventure Cycling's development coordinator.

“Cycling has made me more confident. Before that cross-country tour, I was positive I couldn’t climb mountains, but I did. You do things you didn’t think you could do.”

–Fran Stagg, bike travel hero

Meet Fran Stagg. She wants to make cycling dreams come true. That’s why she became a Legacy Society Member and included Adventure Cycling in her will.

“My legacy gift to Adventure Cycling is an opportunity to turn the lives of diverse people toward social, healthy, fun, educational, and challenging pursuits via bicycling. Other organizations I support don’t foster all those goals.”

At 83 Fran still rides the trails around Salt Lake City weekly, gets in the occasional road ride, and does an annual guided tour with Adventure Cycling. Her first “long distance” ride at the age of 10 consisted of riding six miles on a busy highway between Carbonville and Price, Utah. “I was so afraid my parents would find out.”

Fran joined the Adventure Cycling tribe in the early 1980s after reading about other riders’ cross-country trips in Adventure Cyclist’s precursor, BikeReport. “I joined the organization dreaming of, but not quite believing, I would make my own cross-country trip.”

She read about Wisconsin’s Elroy-Sparta Trail in the magazine and decided to try it. “I hadn’t remembered reading anything about bringing lights,” said Fran, who found herself at the mouth of a dark tunnel a few miles into the ride. Determined to continue, the sound of running water all around her, she inched her way along. “That first tunnel was nearly a mile long. I kept thinking, ‘I’m going to take another step and drown.’” When she rounded the tunnel’s final corner, she was greeted by the flashlight beams of a troop of boy scouts. “Where were they when I needed them?”

Her confidence grew with each ride and in 2007, Fran rode from Los Angeles to Boston and accomplished a life-long dream. For her, the best part of bike touring is “meeting new people and proving what you can do if you put your mind to it.”

“Traveling by bicycle, whether a trip around the block, an overnight jaunt, a week vacation, a journey to another state, a cross-country adventure, or a worldwide journey are things which change people’s lives, inspire them, and fill them with self confidence. My gift to Adventure Cycling can help make it easier for more people to accomplish cycling dreams, whatever they are.”

“I wanted to leave my money to who makes me the happiest. That’s Adventure Cycling.”

Would you like to be a bike travel hero and ensure future cyclists will be inspired and empowered for years to come? Consider becoming a Legacy Society Member. Legacy Society Members’ donations go into an endowment fund to be used to ensure the long-term longevity of the organization.

If you would like more information about how to use your will to accomplish your charitable objectives, please contact the Development Office, at or call Annette at (406) 532-2775.

Photos by Julie Shipman


The Thomas Stevens Fan Club is brought to you by the development team, Annette, April, and Michelle. They share an office with a classic Parisian Metropole bicycle. Want to know more about how you can support Adventure Cycling and all the amazing work they do? Call them at 406-532-2760 or email them at


IBikeNYC April 13, 2017, 9:29 AM

You go, girl!

"Too old" for WHAT?

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