Every summer we enjoy the parade of bicycle travelers who drop by our office here in Missoula, Montana. These cyclists come from all over the world. Their variety of style, equipment, route, and purpose is endless.
In 1982, Greg Siple began recording our visitors on film and asking them to tell their stories, creating Adventure Cycling's National Bicycle Touring Portrait Collection. The Open Road Gallery features selections from this collection in Adventure Cyclist magazine and here on our website.
John Hathaway was a legendary bicycle tourist long before most bicycle tourists were off of their training wheels. When Hathaway, an Adventure Cycling member, passed through Missoula in the summer of 1993 on his 30,000-mile, 24-month tour of the U.S., he was 68 years old.
Pierre Badeau, of Soucieu En Jarrest, France, was posing here for our camera a second time in the summer of 1993 as a member of the North Star group that left Missoula in June headed for Alaska. The first time we photographed Adventure Cycling member Badeau was in the summer of 1991, when he was riding the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail by himself, at the age of 61. A retired manager of a camera shop, Badeau shot 1,200 color slides during his solo tour that year, 500 of which he used in slide shows for relatives, friends, associations and schools when he got back home.
We reached all the way back to 1986 for this photo of round-the-world cyclist Shinobu Nakamura, a member of the Japan Adventure Cyclist Club (JACC). Nakamura, who listed his destination as "every continent," had as good a reason as we've seen for riding around the world.
Adventure Cycling member Bruce "Ole" Ohlson of Pittsburgh, California, has a bachelor's degree in philosophy, so it's no surprise that he came up with this quote regarding his lifetime total of 84,500 loaded touring miles: "It's not that bicycling is so important, it is that everything else is equally unimportant."
Think of it as the Peace Corps on wheels. Bike Aid, a program sponsored by the Overseas Development Network of San Francisco, took to the open road in the summer of 1997 to raise money for environmental education and action around the United States and the world. Seventy-five riders took three different routes across the nation to carry their message of social activism to local community groups and environmental organizations. The riders began simultaneously last June 16 in Seattle, San Francisco, and Portland, and finished in Washington, DC on August 20. "Our" group of 17 riders, pictured above, began in Seattle. (There were actually 21 riders in the group; four were unable to make it into the photo.)
Long-time Adventure Cycling member Shirley Braxton, 67, and her late husband Sam Braxton began planning to ride across the United States in the early ‘70’s, before the TransAmerica Trail even existed. But the demands of raising a family and running a business forced Shirley and Sam to postpone their trip.
Page Gaines, 59, of Denver, Colorado is a lifetime member of Adventure Cycling and the proud owner of Moulton Jubilee. When this photo was taken in 1996, the retired real estate broker was on his first cross-country ride from Seattle, Washington, to Delaware with an organization called Wandering Wheels. This followed tours in 1991 from Denver, Colorado to Syracuse, New York, a solo camping tour, and in 1993 from Dover, England to Cape Wrath, Scotland. Gaines also attended an Adventure Cycling Leadership Training Course in 1995.
In the summer of 1996, two 26-year-old women, Piera Damonte and Lia Farley, from Berkeley and San Francisco, respectively, and both a bit cynical, took off from Eugene, Oregon, headed for Savannah, Georgia, and the summer Olympics in Atlanta. They rode the TransAmerica Trail most of the way.
New Zealand sheep farmers Don and Pam Morrison cycled across the United States during the summer of 1995 on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail. Pam was a little skeptical when her husband suggested the trip. After all, Don was the "keen cyclist" of the family having biked from Banff, Canada to Dallas, Texas in 1990.
Anitra Moser-Poungsuwan, an Adventure Cycling member from Bangkok, Thailand, and her husband Yeshua, took their first cycling trip -- from San Francisco, California, to Providence, Rhode Island -- in the summer of 1994, stopping in at Adventure Cycling headquarters on June 16 of that year.