She's Number One

Laura Orton, a hospital dietitian from Michigan, was riding a big loop out of Seattle, Washington, when she came our way. The date was July 23, 1982. Her portrait is notable in that it was the first one. With Laura we launched the effort to document the fascinating parade of touring cyclists that have been streaming through Missoula since 1976. Currently we have more than 3000 portraits in the collection and the number continues go grow.

She liked the roller coaster rhythm of bicycle touring — the highs and lows that come every day on the road. And her strongest memory of this tour was a road in Alberta. “We experienced 13 miles of tarred, bubblegum road, the temperature at 90 degrees, with man-eating flies.” Nonetheless she was looking forward to a tour in Europe.