Is It The Teeth?

Minnesotan Marty Clish, “a performer, pizza deliverer, and student of health”, and Coloradan Bill Tucker, “gentleman”, teamed up in the summer of 2000 to ride from Seattle, Washington, to Washington, DC. (We should also point out the third individual along for the ride: Mata Huggi, the Teddy bear).

While they faced the trials and tribulations of any cross-country riders, things always worked out. Monty explained, “People have been GREAT on the trip. It seems that some spirit is watching out for us. Someone or something seems to show up that is just what we need just when we need it.”

Bill found himself relaxing as the trip progressed, “At first, we took a planned route. I was really nervous. Now, after a month, who knows where we’re going to be in five minutes.”

On his website Bill reflected on another rider they met along the way, “We met Paul yesterday. He had a full set of panniers, a flat rear tire, and crooked rear wheel. As we all worked on the tire, he told us how he came to these circumstances:Vet, 53, missing some upper teeth and biking from Atlanta; A victim of lost government paperwork, he has no home, no money, two Teflon knee caps, but is full of brushes-with-death stories with cars, and small town police officers. Cogent and affable, we talked to him over an hour. I ended up giving him a spare tube, and since he didn't have a pump, my spare pump. We also gave him my last package of Pop-tarts and some loose change. We rode away wishing him well.

“At the risk of sounding like a twilight zone episode, what makes us so different from Paul. All the harassment and problems he has experienced sharply contrast with the kindness and generosity we've experienced. Why?"

“Is it because we have a sign: ‘We are biking from Seattle to DC.’ A sign that declares our courage to do something insane and life threatening like ride across this car infested country on a bike?"

“Is it because we're relatively youngω Following our dreams, something many people enjoy vicariously experiencing (without all that nasty rain!) or wish they had done at our age."

“Is it because there is two of us, and thus harder to take advantage of?"

“Or is it simply because we have all our teeth?"

“I don't know what makes our experiences different than Paul's...but I hope we keep it.”