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.
"The purpose of Ken Kifer's Bike Pages is to share what I know about cycling and to encourage others to bicycle as well." This is the first line on Ken's website (www.kenkifer.com/bikepages), a venerable gold mine of information for the bicycle tourist.
A "surplus of tailwinds." Only "four days of rain in 69 days of cycling." Sounds like retired banker/Adventure Cycling member Charles Hazelrigg's luck held up pretty well during his east-to-west TransAmerica ride last summer with his daughter, Nancy Hazelrigg. The Hazelriggs decided on an early spring departure for their adventure, leaving Yorktown, Virginia, on March 28 in order to take advantage of cooler weather, and to complete the Trail by their self-imposed deadline of July 1. They arrived in Florence, Oregon, on June 20.
"I am James Lupori," says James Lupori. "My wife is Virginia. We have been married 15 years and are still married after riding our custom Rodriguez tandem bicycle from our home in North Seattle, Washington to Bar Harbor, Maine. We began our tour (last year) on May 11th and arrived at Bar Harbor on August 3rd, a total of 70 fantastic riding days."
What this country needs is more universities like James Madison in Virginia. Last year, for the third summer in a row, a group of JMU graduates chose to ride across the TransAmerica Trail from east to west in what has apparently become a rite of passage for the school. (Hey, it beats binge drinking.)
Here is a crew of James Madison University graduates who rode the TransAmerica Trail in the summer of 1997 to celebrate their collegiate achievement, the third such group of JMU graduates to take on the TransAm.
Just after this photo was taken Keith Barney, 38, of Alpine, Utah, completed the 1997 edition of the Tour of the Swan River Valley on a three-wheel hand cycle. The tour is a two-day, 220-mile event beginning and ending in Missoula, Montana. Keith, who had competed in 99 wheelchair road races, called the tour "a good warm-up for an attempt at the 24-hour record for hand cycling." The record currently stands at 240 miles.
In 1996 Dick Verschuur and Els Schaap were at a crossroads in their lives and decided that a change of lifestyle was needed. After reading an article about Frank van Ryn, a Dutch cyclist, they started planning a seven-month bike trip. Once they hit the road, seven months became thirteen, and a new lifestyle was born.
"This is America, the land of lawns!" proclaims Adventure Cycling member Blaine Bare, of Blowing Rock, North Carolina. And he should know, as he has supported his year-long quest to find a new place to live by riding - and mowing - his way across the TransAmerica Trail and points beyond.
Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? No, not that Romeo, there is no Juliet here. Romeo is the name of a group of cyclists that has been following the path of two other historical figures famous journey, Lewis and Clark.
Bicycle, a rock band riding from New York to Seattle, stopped by in August, of 1995, to talk with us before spinning off to their next gig. The band was comprised of Adventure Cycling member and lead singer Kurt Liebert, guitarist Brian Chenault, and drummer Forrest Kemper. Brian's mother, Kathy Chenault, followed in a van with the heavy equipment.