Join us to welcome Bob
Parker as he relates his 2000 mile bike trek across the northern
tier of states and the Midwest, and also a 200 mile mountain bike
ride from Telluride to Moab via the San Juan Hut system. In
addition to pictures and route descriptions, Bob will discuss the
planning and preparation for these kinds of trips.
Bob has always been
interested in cycling, so when, in the mid-1970s, Bicycling magazine
covered the cross-country biking phenomenon that was BikeCentennial,
he paid attention. While these were not the first cross-country
trips by bike, they were the first that garnered such wide
participation and reporting. Reading about the trips between
assisting undergraduates with their computer courses, engendered the
dream of doing a cross-country trip of this sort. It seemed like a
wonderful thing to attempt. However, more school, family, and work
overtook the dream, and Bob didn't spend much time thinking about
Bob leaving Williston following his
dream of doing big bike trips.
In 2002, however, he
began considering how to commemorate a half-century on the planet.
He wanted to do something that wasn't ephemeral, something that
seemed significant and that he'd remember for a long time. The
dream of riding cross-country came back as he considered his
And so Bob began a
two-year process of thinking, planning, and preparing, that
culminated in Spring 2004 in a mostly-solo multiweek trip across
much of the upper tier of the western US and through the Midwest.
The preparation was fun, but it was nothing compared to the absolute
joy of unfettered riding during that time. He achieved his goal of
undertaking something memorable, and had adventures both desirable
and undesirable along the way.
But then there are the
side effects. It turns out that long bike trips are addictive, and
so when Bob finished this one he began thinking about another. The
next had to be more modest in scope, due to time and other
constraints, and this time he roped friends into coming along.
Other changes included making this a mountain bike trip, along the
spine of a nearby mountain range, and a move from self-sufficiency.
The trip was great, and this time it wasn't the feeling of getting
away from it all, but the presence of friends and his son, that made
it truly memorable.
During the program,
Bob will talk about planning, preparation, equipment, and the rides
themselves. In addition, he will cover some of the marvelous
resources available for people contemplating long-distance rides.
While making these trips he learned a few things that he thinks
probably should have been obvious at the start, and he'll reflect on
those as well.
Bob has lived in Los
Alamos and worked at LANL for eleven years, after previously working
in the computer industry in numerous other states. He enjoys biking
– road, mountain, and tandem – as well as running, handball, skiing,
and, occasionally, climbing and backpacking.