August 13, 2012
Greg Edwards has been leading and staffing Adventure Cycling tours since 2008. In June, he expertly directed the Blue Ridge Bliss Tour and is currently gearing up to lead the charge on Adventure Cycling's Freedom Flyer Tour, a fabulous tour filled with quaint towns, history, and the greenest of green Pennsylvania hillsides. This tour is shaping up to be a cycling dream, a mixture of trails, country roads, and the perfect start in the City of Brotherly Love.
Who is this extraordinary tour leader who dazzles with his organizational skills, welcomes everyone with ease, and creates a truly memorable tour for each participant? I sent Greg a few probing question to learn more about him and his touring habits:
How did you become interested in cycling and in leading tours for Adventure Cycling?
I became interested in cycling as a way to improve my fitness level so that my asthma would not control my life. I have always enjoyed traveling. I especially like the challenge and unique perspective of seeing the world on two wheels. I have organized and lead various types of trips for other organizations for many years. When my friend, Larry Brock (Adventure Cycling‘s 2012 C&O Canal tour leader), told me he was leading bike tours for Adventure Cycling, I thought, wow! What a great opportunity. I can do that?
Give us some highlights of this upcoming Freedom Flyer Tour.
The Freedom Flyer is a very nice trip. We will experience amazing scenery in the Pennsylvania and Maryland countryside riding country roads shared by Amish buggies. A portion of the route will be on three trails. Two of these trails are quite famous, the Schuylkill and the C&O Canal. Anyone interested in American history will especially love this tour. We will have the opportunity to visit historic sites in Philadelphia, Valley Forge, Lancaster, York, Gettysburg, Antietam Battlefield, Harpers Ferry, and Washington DC. The nature lover will be more than satisfied as well, experiencing the beautiful Catoctin Mountains, Cunningham Falls, Great Falls on the Potomac, and more.
What are some of the additional amenities and joys of the Freedom Flyer trip?
The campgrounds are really nice on this trip, especially Codorus State Park, which sits right on the lake. But several nights we will be staying indoors at historic sites like the Chamounix Mansion and Misty Mount Cabins which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Of course, one of the best parts of any bike ride is the chance to eat. Everyone knows we ride to eat and eat to ride? You certainly will get your fill of fantastic food on this fabulous fall foray. I am looking forward to the Amish pies in Lancaster, the potato chips at the Hanover potato chip company, and all the amazing meals provided by our caterer Anne Steinbach. As an added bonus, you and I will get to enjoy all of this with new friends from across the country that shares the same excitement and enthusiasm for adventure.
Where would you say is the most exotic place you have ridden your bicycle?
That's a tough one to answer. I've ridden in 46 states and three provinces, but two that come to mind are riding from the top of Mauna Kea, HI, (13,996') and a 30-mile mountain-bike descent full of hairpin switchbacks in Argentina.
Besides cycling, what else do you do for fun?
I also enjoy kayaking, hiking, backpacking, running, mountaineering, hunting, fishing and cross-country skiing. I also do a fair amount of normal, resort travel with the family, and am always looking for new locations to explore.
We recently saw you 'rocking' a grass skirt on The Blue Ridge Bliss Tour, what is your most interesting or unusual talent?
I wouldn't really call it a talent but I have an uncanny ability to fall sleep anywhere. I've been seen snoozing at college football games and NASCAR races. I have even dozed off on the bike, but I kept rolling upright. Other than that, I can’t think of one. I can't carry a tune in a bucket and I dance with two left feet, but I do play a radio pretty well.
Favorite ice cream flavor or off-the bike treat?
That’s easy, Hershey's coconut, almond, chocolate chip if you are talking hand dipped. I have been called a cookie monster, because I love milk and cookies.
Favorite post ride meal?
My biggest craving after a long, hard ride is almost always pizza.
Thanks Greg, the Freedom Flyer tour sounds awesome. You had me at Amish pies and freshly made potato chips. But seriously thanks for all your hard work to make Adventure Cycling’s tours truly unique and special. Keep the rubber side down, awake or asleep, and I hope to see you on the road someday.
P.S. Adventure Cycling's 2013 early and epic tours will be announced very soon.
Photo courtesy of Larry Brock
ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team -- Mo, Paul, Madeline, and Arlen -- tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to Adventure Cycling's Tours Department. Find your dream tour now!