Then & Now: Everything Has Changed for Tours Director Arlen Hall Since 1976

September 7, 2015

How old were you in 1976?
I was eighteen years old and a senior at Meadowdale High School in Dayton, OH in 1976, graduating in May of that year.

Where it may have begun. Arlen, about age three in Dayton, OH. He still loves streamers.

What were you doing during Bikecentennial?
During Bikecentennial, I was preparing to go to college at Case Western Reserve University in Dayton to study computer engineering. I was indeed a serious geek and not interested in cycling or even owning a bicycle.

By the way, the PC as we know it was introduced in 1983, so this was definitely a pre personal computing era. I know how to use a slide-rule and understand NAND gates.

Arlen with with sons Brandon (bikeseat) and Chris (bike) in 1991 in Northbridge, MA, at the
start of many cycling rides and tours together. Brandon is now an Adventure Cycling tour leader.

What has changed for you since 1976? What remains the same?
Wow. Nothing remains the same. I began riding seriously in 1998 when my two sons began riding bicycles and participated in a youth bike ride each year as a part of the youth group at church. This led me to get involved in, and eventually direct, a New England regional youth biking program through 2011, the year I moved to Missoula to lead the cycling programs at Adventure Cycling.

With that youth program, I led three teen cross-country tours in 2003, 2007, and 2010 as well as dozens of other trips for middle and high school students. I also took Adventure Cycling's leadership training program in 2004 and began leading trips for them. I would eventually close my software company and move to Missoula, making the realization of cycling dreams of others my new vocation. Cycling has also provided the opportunity to explore my genealogy by visiting the locations that my ancestors lived and toiled. All done by bicycle and it continues.

Adventure Cycling's Denali Adventure in 2012. Arlen participated
in the tour with his son Brandon who had just graduated from college.

Do you think you would have done Bikecentennial if given the opportunity? Why?
I do not think I would have done Bikecentennial. Even if it was open to me, my interests were not cycling centered. Had it been, my life would not have taken the path that it has and I would not be where I am today. I would not have had the best two sons on the planet and would not have not met my wife Shawn at the time of my life that I did. I have been blessed on my life journey and I have no regrets.

Cycling the Mississippi River Trail in 2013 with the "Old Guys" from New Orleans, LA to
Memphis, TN—eleven guys, eight days. Music, booze, and food with great friends.

Photos and words courtesy of Tours Director Arlen Hall.

Are you interested in celebrating the 40th anniversary of Adventure Cycling by going on a tour? Arlen recommends these:
Epic TransAms Tours
These tours also pause in Missoula so participants can attend the Montana Bicycle Celebration (July 15 - 17, 2016) to celebrate Adventure Cycling's 40th anniversary. 
The following tours start or end in or near Missoula so participants can attend the Montana Bicycle Celebration (July 15 - 17, 2016)


Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Adventure Cycling Association with Bike Your Park Day on September 24. Ride to or within your favorite parks and public lands with thousands of other throughout the country on the same day. Register at Thank you to the 40th anniversary sponsors: Raleigh BicyclesMontana Department of CommerceSalsa CyclesAdvocate CyclesBlue Cross Blue Shield of MontanaPrimal WearVisit MississippiVisit IdahoTravel OregonOsprey PacksExperience Plus!Destination Missoula and Missoulian.

Find out more about Adventure Cycling’s generous sponsors.


Colleen Welch September 7, 2015, 6:19 PM

I met Arlen when he was just beginning the New Orleans to Memphis tour at Mexican Hill Farm (I was cycling from Austin to Memphis). I've just now realized we were both riding Bike Fridays! I guess I never saw his bike, and he never saw mine!

Jim Hainen September 8, 2015, 5:55 AM

Why do you ride a Bike Friday?

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