January 18, 2017
“When my father saw my interest in cycling, he encouraged me in every way to get out on the road just as he had done in the 1930s during The Depression. And more than that, he supported my ambitions by buying me a proper bike, tools, clothing, and accessories — whatever I needed to seek out bicycle touring adventure. I think of that first bike now as an investment in my future. And it has paid large dividends for me. His support when I was so young made all the difference.” -Greg Siple
In 1968, twenty-two-year-old Greg Siple flew from to Europe to discover bike culture. “In Europe, the bicycle was understood and revered, and I wanted to connect with bicycling in a way I could not in Columbus, OH,” said Greg. And though he watched the Tour de France and saw famous racers like Eddy Merckx, he didn’t come home wanting to jumpstart bike racing culture in the States.
“Ironically, although I had gone to Europe on a bike racing quest, I came home a bicycle tourist. Slowly meandering across the European countryside had become more fulfilling than riding big miles or getting somewhere first. I had traded achievement for adventure.”
Less than five years later, Greg and his wife June, and Dan and Lys Burden, laid the cornerstone for bike travel culture in America when they pedaled out of Anchorage, AK on their Argentina-bound Hemistour. That youthful energy was the catalyst for what has become the premier bicycle-travel organization in North America with over 50,000 members strong.
Now, as Greg prepares to retire, we want to honor his years of commitment and inspiration by renaming the Young Adult Bike Travel Program:
The Greg Siple Award for Young Adult Bicycle Travel
In its fourth year, this award empowers young riders to gain the skills and gear needed to get out on the road and inspire others to travel and see the world by bicycle. This award changes lives in dramatic ways. Jocelyn Munoz, one of two 2015 award winners said, “Adventure outings were unheard of in my childhood.”
Thanks to our members’ past support, our previous eight award winners are influencing a new generation of bike travelers. Recently Jocelyn hosted a workshop on preparing for a bike tour at the Western Regional Outdoor Leadership Conference. “It was very exciting to see a room full of eager bikers, and the outcome was great!” John Nguyen, a 2014 winner, started a bike club in Houston, TX, still going strong after two years. Cara Thompson, 2016 winner, led a group on a three-day ride after her Leadership Training Course.
Will you help empower a young person to embark on a lifetime of bike travel? Already, two generous donors have promised to match your gift up to $7,500, covering all the gear, transportation, and accommodations, and training course for one person! Will you support one other person by helping us raise another $7,500?
If your answer is yes, please donate!
Adventure Cycling members can read the full story of Greg’s 1968 sojourn here.
Photo 1 Greg Siple | Photo 2 Tom Robertson | Photo 3 Jocelyn Munoz | Photo 4 Ron McClure
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 firstname.lastname@example.org