www.RogerWendell.com
Roger J. Wendell
Defending 3.8 Billion Years of Organic EvolutionSM
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Bikes Make Life Better!
Cycling
and HPVs (Human Powered Vehicles)
Boulder Bikeways by Roger J. Wendell - 05-06-2009
Boulder Bikeways
Although I love cycling I never got involved in it beyond my need for affordable and efficient transportation. In another life, when I have more time, I hope to participate in a lot more recreational cycling and other forms of human powered transportation. But, until then, I'm still pleased to have logged many thousands of miles on my bike, instead of my car, for those quick trips to the grocery store, to see a friend, go to work, or attend club meetings. That's not to say I haven't cruised the neighborhood, on a cool fall evening, for a bit of exercise and fresh air but most of my own cycling experience has been for "business" purposes - running errands or appearing at different functions, etc.
 
                - Roger J. Wendell Golden, Colorado - July 29, 2006

 

 

YouTube Logo - Small Click Here for a YouTube video of my bike taking a ride on the bus...
Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my page on "Peak Oil" and why we should be riding more bicycles!
YouTube Logo - Small Click Here for a YouTube video of Steve and me riding our bikes up Dinosaur Ridge near Morrison.
Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for my photo contribution to Bike to Work Week...

 

"The bicycle is the most civilized conveyance known to man. Other forms of transport grow daily more nightmarish. Only the bicycle remains pure in heart."

- Iris Murdoch, The Red and the Green

 

Think on this!

My Bike Ride to Boulder
My bike ride to Boulder each day...
Think, for a moment, how efficient and healthful human powered vehicles (bicycles!) really are! Not only are they really, really good for the environment but the resources that go into making them are relatively "light" and Earth friendly as well. And, of course, there's the obvious health benefit in using our own bodies to get us around - everything from simple walking and jogging to bicycles and 4-Wheel HPVs are the smart way to "go!"
 
- Roger J. Wendell, summer 2006
 

 

"When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man's convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man's brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle."

- Elizabeth West, Hovel in the Hills

 

"The bicycle is a masterpiece of physics. It harnesses human muscle power directly to that old-time marvel - the wheel - and yields a vehicle more energy efficient than any other devised, ever, by anyone. A human on a bicycle is more efficient (in calories expended per pound and per mile) than a train, truck, airplane, boat, automobile, motorcycle, skateboard, canoe, or jet pack. Cycling is more efficient than walking, which takes three times as many calories per mile. Pound for pound, a person riding a bike can go father on a calorie of food than a gazelle can running, a salmon swimming, or an eagle flying."

"Oh, and the bicycle is hugely democratic: It is equally available to all. That's why on the highways, byways, and bikeways in most of the world, the bicycle is the most ubiquitous transport vehicle. Bicycles outnumber automobiles almost two to one worldwide, and their production outpaces cars by three to one. Rush-hour traffic in China is dominated by these human-powered vehicles. Even in the wealthy cities of Europe and Japan, a large share of the populace gets around by bike. Only here is it treated as little more than a plaything. About 50 million U.S. adults (and 40 million children) ride their bikes at least once each year, but only about 2 million are regular bike commuters."

- Eric Sorensen and the Sightline Institute,
Seven Wonders of a Cool Planet excerpted in
the March/April 2008 Sierra, p.49

 

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(Click on any of this page's "thumbnail" images for a larger view!)

Bike to Work Day!

Bike to work day station at KGNU in Boulder, Colorado by Roger J. Wendell - 06-22-2011
KGNU Breakfast station!
Bike to work day station at KGNU in Boulder, Colorado by Roger J. Wendell - 06-22-2011
Cyclists
Bike to work day station at KGNU in Boulder, Colorado by Roger J. Wendell - 06-22-2011
Repair question
Bike to work day station at KGNU in Boulder, Colorado by Roger J. Wendell - 06-22-2011
Repair demonstration
Bike to work day station at KGNU in Boulder, Colorado by Roger J. Wendell - 06-22-2011
Tools
Bike to work day station at KGNU in Boulder, Colorado by Roger J. Wendell - 06-22-2011
Repair station

 

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Rental Bikes:

Roger J. Wendell bicycling near Norman, Oklahoma - 05-17-2006
Norman, Oklahoma
Roger Wendell's rented bike in San Francisco, California - September 2005
My rented bike in San Fran...
Cycling on the Golden Gate Bridge - September 2005
San Francisco
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park - 09-25-2007
Great Falls Overlook, Maryland
Roger J. Wendell cycling in the Turfan Depression along the Silk Road, China - June 2001
Me cycling in the Turfan Depression along China's Silk Road...
Like many, unfortunately, I've been involved in a lot of business travel. Since I've already seen so much of the country I try to avoid renting a car if my hotel is anywhere near the worksite. And, as luck would have it, bikes have been pretty easy to rent in most of the cities I've visited. At the far left is a shot of me just off Highway 9 near Norman, Oklahoma with a rental bike. The next photo, and the one adjacent it, is when I rented a bike during my early fall visit to San Francisco in 2005. San Francisco is extremely fortunate to have the non-profit Bike Hut Foundation right on Pier 40 - I highly recommend them for bicycle rentals! The next photo, second from the right, was taken by me along the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park - although very flat, the trail offers many dozens of miles of pleasant walking, running and riding along the Potomac River in Maryland. The photo furthest right is me on a rental bike in China's Turfan Depression. I don't recall the exact rental fee but remember it being VERY affordable at the time!

 

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My Bike:

Panasonic DX 2000 Fax Machine Panasonic DX 2000
Ten-Speed!
Hard to believe that Panasonic used to make bicycles! As you can see, the "new" Panasonic DX 2000, as of 2006, was actually a Fax machine! However, the "old" (and much more loved!) Panasonic DX 2000 was a handmade ten-speed bicycle that brought me a quarter century of riding pleasure by the time I had created this page!

For me, it all started in the very early 80s when I bought my brother Randy's Panasonic DX 2000 ten-speed to help him with a little college tuition and to provide myself with a ride to my own college classes (I was on the GI-bill and had more cash than him at the time...). I think I paid $100 in five, $20 installments to pay for the bike. Anyway, that very same Panasonic has served me well, all the way into the summer of 2006, for all kinds of errands and trips around the neighborhood.

It was in July 2006 that I spent over $400 to upgrade the ol' Panasonic to something a little more modern. Although a bit extravagant, I spent the money because I love the Panasonic's 27 inch frame and also because the overall bike, itself, hasn't been much of a "theft magnet" for the quarter century I've owned it - half the time I park it without even locking it! Anyway, for $400 a local bike shop provided me with a new chain, rear cassette, rear wheel, brake handles, cables, shifters, two tubes, two tires, and handlebar tape. Unfortunately the Panasonic's old frame was a bit too narrow to add any more gears without a lot more expense so I'm "stuck" with just 14 speeds instead of a "Granny Gear" or other configuration for our steep, hilly neighborhood.

Nevertheless, the $400 seems to have been well spent as the new technology has completely changed my Panasonic - the ride is incredibly smooth and the shifting is simply a dream - no longer do I have to reach down to the middle of the frame to change gears! Unfortunately I didn't think to photograph the bike in its original configuration. Nevertheless, you can get a good idea of what a Panasonic DX 2000 looks like in these pictures I took immediately after the bike shop's upgrades - I hope to continue riding it, as a local commuter bike, for the remainder of my life...

Panasonic DX 2000 ten-speed bicycle - 07-29-2006
Panasonic DX 2000
Panasonic DX 2000 gear cassette with Shimano Altus Derailer - 07-29-2006
Rear gear cassette
Panasonic DX 2000 bicycle crank - 07-29-2006
Panasonic crank
Panasonic DX 2000 bicycle handlebars - 07-29-2006
Panasonic handlebars
Panasonic DX 2000 bicycle logo label # 1278 - 07-31-2006
Panasonic logo label # 1278
Panasonic DX 2000 bicycle pedal - 07-29-2006
Panasonic pedal
Panasonic DX 2000 bicycle seat - 07-29-2006
Old-style seat...
Panasonic DX 2000 with Shimano Altus Derailer - 07-29-2006
Shimano Altus Derailleur
Panasonic DX 2000 Combination brake handle/shifter - 07-29-2006
New Brake handle/Shifter
Panasonic DX 2000 1020 Steel Frame - 07-31-2006
Real steel...
Note: My Panasonic, in its current configuration plus a set of front and rear CatEye lights,
Note: now weighs 27.12 pounds (12.31 kilograms) - pretty darn heavy by mondern standards!

 

Yellow Arrow Pointing Right Click Here for a bit of history on Panasonic bicycles!

 

Notes from Panasonic enthusiasts:

Kim's Panasonic DX 2000 ten-speed bicycle - 06-01-2008
Kim's DX 2000
Dear Roger,

I just came across your article about your dx2000 road bike. I too have one. I restored it after I picked it up at an estate sale for $10. The seat, bar tape and cables were basically ruined. The tires were rotted and all of the chrome was starting to corrode.

You can see the end result after spending the winter using about the same money you spent and a lot of elbow grease!

I kept the original gearing/derailleur and shifters, along with the original brakes and brake levers. Power washing with engine gunk remover and chrome polish brought it all back to life!

Attached is a photo I hope you can see. Anyway, just wanted to share it with you.

Thanks

Kim M.
Michigan

 

Tony Morneau's Panasonic DX 2000 ten-speed bicycle - 2009
Tony Morneau's Panasonic DX 2000 ten-speed bicycle - 2009
Tony's DX 2000
Dear Mr. Wendell,

My name is Tony Morneau and I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

I still own and ride a Panasonic DX2000 that I bought new in 1978 when I was 28 years old. The bike was originally black, but after having ridden it on a set of Weyless rollers (that I still own) for a few years, the paint started to show a bit of rust from all of the sweat that dripped down onto it from my body. I never did like black, but it was the only bike in the shop that had a 28" frame, so when it came time to re-paint the bike, I went with a nice silver color.

I am 6' 6" tall, have a 37" inseam and weigh 285 lbs. (Yes, I'm overweight because I don't ride enough, but I hope that both are about to change.)

Anyway, the reason I'm writing to you is that I just looked at you website and I marvel at the work you had done to your bike. Specifically, I also don't like reaching way down to change gears. I would love to have the 7-gear freewheel, rear and front derailleurs, and Shimano gearshift system that you have had installed on your bike.

I assume that the system allows you to just move the brake/gear lever sidways once and you get one gear up or down. Is this correct?

Do you still like the system? [yes!]

Does it shift reliably? [yes!]

Any maintenance problems? [just the usual routine stuff]

If you like the system, would you be kind enough to tell me the exact part names and model numbers for those items?

Thanks very much for your assistance, Mr. Wendell.

Have a good one.

Sincerely,
Tony Morneau

 

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Hauling stuff on a bike:

So far I haven't had the money, or taken the appropriate amount of time, to properly configure my bike for hauling stuff. Part of the reason is because I don't have a lot of room, in my garage, for extra bike stuff and it also gets pretty crowded with bicycle on the GS (Boulder/Golden) bus ride I take twice each day.
Hauling a large package on my bike, Roger J. Wendell - 07-09-2012 Hauling a Printer on my Bike by Roger J. Wendell - 03-06-2009 For most of the time, when it comes to hauling stuff on my bike, I usually rely on a pack and strong back. Definitely not recommended for others because it's hard to properly distribute weight and the things I'm carrying flop around and get a bit dangerous at times - especially in the case of the printer you see in the photo at right. Nevertheless, I've hauled all kinds of heavy loads on my bike using a backpack. In the case of this printer, with its associated power supply, cables, and all the books and work clothes I carry the pack weighed-in at 33 pounds (15 kilograms) that night - not extremely heavy but still flopping around too much to be safe. In the photo left of it, 40 months later, I was able to upgrade to rear rack to carry large boxes and other loads. I'll also be experimenting with trailers but am still pretty comfortable with keeping loads on the bike itself for now...

 

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HPVs
Human Powered Vehicles
(and other stuff will be posted here as I receive 'em!)

Bike Powered Generator at the Sierra Club Summit Meeting in San Francisco - September 2005
Bike-powered generator

Roger J. Wendell on a utility tricycle - August 3, 2006 Utility Tricycle - August 3, 2006 At one time I worked in a large plant (800,000 square feet), in Denver, where mechanics used these great little tricycles to get around with their tools and spare parts. It seems these industrial tricycles should have a lot of application in other industries and settings around the country - they're certainly great for the company's budget and the employee's health!

 

Roger J. Wendell on a Quadracycle at St Petersburg, Florida - 08-22-2006 Quadracycle at St Petersburg, Florida - 08-22-2006 Quadracycle at St Petersburg, Florida - 08-22-2006 Tricycle Chopper at St Petersburg, Florida - 08-22-2006
Tricycle "Chopper"
In August, 2006 I was on a business trip in Florida and found this great little rental shop along the pier in St. Petersburg. They had all kinds of tricycles and quadracycles - perfect tropical tourist vehicles!

 

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Cycling Restrictions

Sometimes I've found mountain bikers (ORVs and others, too) riding through designated Wilderness or high altitude tundra here in Colorado when it only makes sense to restrict such activity. At other times, I've seen signs banning borders, cyclists, and others yet the area is congested with cars and all kind of other industrial debris. As time permits, I'll post more of these signs I encounter that are related to these issues:

Dover, England Harbour Board Cycling Sign - 10-06-2006
Port of Dover, England, UK
Cyclists Dismount at Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland - October 2006
Trinity College, Ireland
No Name Rest Stop, Glenwood Canyon, Colorado by Roger J. Wendell - 10-04-2010
No Name, Glenwood Canyon, CO

 

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Touring:

It wasn't until I was in my early 50s (mid 2000s) that I got the idea to undertake a long-distance tour by bicycle. Unfortunately I don't have the many weeks (and months) of vacation available to properly complete such a trip. Nevertheless, it's my plan (hope?) to do the Denver-Seattle-San Diego "triangle" sometime around 2010 or 2011 if I'm able to retire. Until then, I've found a lot of satisfaction in running into long-distance cyclists all around the world. Here are a few I've recorded when I remembered to have a camera on me:

 

Two guys from Netherlands stopped in Boulder on their wasy from San Francisco to Denver - 06-18-2009 Two guys from Netherlands stopped in Boulder on their wasy from San Francisco to Denver - 06-18-2009 Two guys from Netherlands stopped in Boulder on their wasy from San Francisco to Denver - 06-18-2009 Two guys from Netherlands stopped in Boulder on their wasy from San Francisco to Denver - 06-18-2009 Two guys from Netherlands stopped in Boulder on their wasy from San Francisco to Denver - 06-18-2009
These two guys were from the Netherlands and had almost completed their ride from San Francisco to Denver's International Airport for their flight home the following day. The ride took them seven weeks with an average of about 50 miles (80 kilometres) per day with frequent stops at national parks and other attractions. I met them on a Thursday morning as they were breaking camp alongide the Boulder Creek Trail near 55th and Valmont in Boulder. They admitted that this was one of their worse campsites, over the entire trip, but they got so caught up with Boulder's bike shops (and other attractions) that they didn't start looking for a campsite until well after dark. Although they ended up adjacent a prairie dog colony they were directly beneath the Valmont plant's high voltage lines and immediately alongside east Pearl Street. Nevertheless, they were both in great spirits and were eager to tell me how much they loved the wide-open spaces of the American west. They seemed to be traveling relatively light except for the four litres of water carried by each (one litre on each front fork) - a necessity, they explained, for all the time spent crossing the desert. Both of their bikes were "regular" touring bikes that they brought from Europe although one was of American manufacture. I helped them figure out the best route to Denver's airport (avoiding the busy and restricted Highway 36/270 connection) and left them thinking about my own tour within the next year or two...

 

Down the Road in South America
 
Time and Cindie Travis, Down-the-Road
Reproduced with permission
In 2004 I met Tim and Cindie Travis while I was climbing Aconcagua in Argentina. A year earlier they had sold everything they owned for a round-the-world bicycle tour. As luck would have it I ran into them near the park headquarters as they were cycling through the area. I was so impressed with their chosen lifestyle that I later had them on my radio show a couple of times later when they were near reliable phone service. I was especially honored to be mentioned in their 2008 book, Down the Road in South America (A Bicycle Tour through Poverty, Paradise, and the Places in Between), p. 224. In addition to cycling their book had a lot to say about a better way of living (with less possessions) which I quote on my Voluntary Simplicity page.
Audio: Tim and Cindie on Bicycle Retirement...
A Tim and Cindie quote:
"In the cycling world, preventing a flat tire is like curing the common cold. First, it cannot be prevented; secondly, everyone has advice or a home remedy. Even though our web site was only 18 months old, hundreds of people were reading Cindie's journals every day. Anytime she wrote about a flat tire, we were flooded with emails containing recommendations for different brands of tires. I knew people were trying to help and appreciated their thoughtfulness, but sometimes flats cannot be avoided no matter what kind of tire is used. Ecuador had more than the average amount of broken glass on the roads. Avoiding a flat on the road was like a teacher avoiding a cold in a classroom of sick kids."

 

Cycling from Kansas to Arizona I met this young woman alongside Interstate 40 about 75 miles west of Oklahoma City. I was out photographing the nearby wind farm when I noticed her on the frontage road. It was a warm spring day, in 2006, and she didn't mind talking about her travels despite the "busy" sign on her bike trailer. Turns out this wasn't the first time she'd ridden the 1,100 miles (1,770 km) from Lawrence, Kansas to Flagstaff, Arizona. It seemed like a fantastic adventure I'd love to undertake myself some day!*

 

"Part of my mood came from the tension that arose from my desire to drift into both time and solitude. I felt regret for not reaching out to others more. But this regret was not out of loneliness so much as out of what I felt was my responsibility to seek stories, drama, adventure. The truth was, bicycle touring was peaceful, simple actually. The real point was not adventure - a word that was imbued with frenzy and high energy - but a means of slowing down, of finding solace and peace. I felt I should be an investigative reporter, rewriting the contemporary history of a changing West. But I was really just a guy on a bicycle, moving through a space that I wanted to melt into. My journal could be a distraction, a burden, and I wanted both to fill it with words and to throw it away."
 
- Daryl Farmer in his book,
Bicycling beyond the Divide
(Two Journeys into the West), p. 109

 

Test Riding Touring Bikes

Test riding a Surly Long Haul Trucker from Full Cycle's Pearl Street store in Boulder, Colorado - 09-24-2010 Test riding a Surly Long Haul Trucker from Full Cycle's Pearl Street store in Boulder, Colorado - 09-24-2010 *In 2006, as you can see from an earlier entry above, I was dreaming of a bicycle tour of my own. In 2009 and 2010 I started to test ride various bikes in preparation for possible retirement on a bicycle. I'll update this page once I make a decision on a bike, route, and destination (depending on if I'm able to retire from my regular job, of course!
Anyway, these Surly Long Haul Truckers seem like they might be the way to go for a serious tour. At the time of these photos, in September 2010, their bare-bones list price was $1,094 - I can probably figure on an additional $800 for pedals, panniers, racks, bicycle computer, and maybe a trailer although I'm not sure about that yet. For me, at a height of just under six feet (181.5 centimetres) the 58cm Surly seemed to be most comfortable. The two stores I was shopping at allowed me (as you can see from these photos) to test ride the bikes for over half an hour through the bike paths of Boulder, Colorado. It'll be a couple more months of research before I finally settle on a bike and store so please don't consider this article a direct endorsement!

 

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Bicycle Racks

Books Bicycle Rack at the Belmar Library in Lakewood, Colorado by Roger J. Wendell - 08-14-2010 Bicycle racks come in all shapes and sizes - as you can see by this "BOOKS" rack at the library! Bicycle racks are of special interest to me as I was responsible for purchasing them over a 17 year period while I was a maintenance manager for various buildings in Reno, Boulder, and Grand Junction Colorado. It always surprised me how expensive the simplest bicycle racks could cost (a small, sturdy model cost my department $500 USD in the mid 90s...) but I felt it was a worthy expense that provided necessary security for those who wished to bicycle commute each day.

 

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Bikes, We Salute You
by Bob Sipchen, editor in chief, Sierra
July/August 2012, p. 4

"I hereby nominate the bicycle as Universal Symbol of All That Is Right With the World. Bikes reflect innovation and entrepreneurial energy. I've seen bicycles delivering chickens in the Dominican Republic and pedicabs hauling chattering children to school in India."

"Working with titanium, carbon fiber, bamboo, plywood - just about anything - designers fashion commuter bikes that pretzel into suitcases and recumbent bikes that ride like lightweight La-Z boys."

"Google around and you'll find there's plenty of traction for bikes as a symbol of, as the blog Copenhagenize.com puts it, 'progress, renewal, and promising times ahead.' My personal symbolic interpretation isn't as deep as poet Nikki Giovanni's 'love and life and bicycles are about trust and balance' or as overtly political as the Indian politician who rode around Uttar Pradesh flying his Samajwaid Party's red and green bicycle flag."

"What I like best about bikes is that they make people happy..."

 

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A Note About Technique
From Christina Crosby's A Body, Undone
(Living On after Great Pain), p. 13

"I considered myself a serious cyclist, in that I hoped to ride at least four days out of seven, and challenged myself, sometimes by choosing a route that included steep climbs, and almost always by paying attention to my speed. I did my best to maintain a steady, fast cadence, and to keep a good position on the bicycle - let the legs do the work and keep the torso steady, low, and forward, with your hands over the brake hoods. Pedal through the circle, as though you're scraping mud off your foot when you get to the bottom, rather than simply pushing down with one and then the other leg. Get up out of the saddle with your body weight forward when charging up a hill."

 

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YouTube Logo - Small Click Here for a YouTube video of me riding my bike across Lake Thunderbird in Oklahoma...

 

Links:

  1. 4 Wheeled Bikes
  2. Adventure Cycling Association
  3. Barefoot
  4. Bicycle Colorado
  5. Bicycle Touring Around the World with Tim and Cindie Travis*
  6. Bike Calculator
  7. Bike Denver - A voice for Denver cyclists
  8. Bike Touring Basics - free 66 page beginner's guide
  9. Boulder Bike Share
  10. Camping
  11. CarBusters - Journal of the Carfree Movement
  12. Climbing
  13. Courage Classic for Children's Hospital
  14. Couch Surfing - connect with new friends all around the world
  15. CPtips - Cycling Performance Tips
  16. Critical Mass - Visionary Traffic Jams since 1992!
  17. Denver area bicycle maps
  18. Denver area bicycle registration
  19. Down the Road - Tim and Cindie Travis Bike the World!
  20. Fossil Fuels and Peak Oil
  21. Fuel Economy
  22. Hiking
  1. Highpoints
  2. IHPVA - International Human Powered Vehicle Association
  3. League of American Bicyclists
  4. Leave No Trace - Center for Outdoor Ethics
  5. Map My Ride
  6. OHPV - Oregon Human Powered Vehicles
  7. ORV - the Off-Road Vehicle menace
  8. People for Bikes
  9. Recumbent FAQ's
  10. Recumbent Rides
  11. Sports Zoo
  12. Sustainability
  13. Trail Journals
  14. Travel and Travel Two
  15. United Bicycle Institute - spoke calculator and other stuff!
  16. USA Cycling
  17. USBRS - United States Bicycle Route System
  18. Waypoints
  19. Warm Showers - A community for touring cyclists and hosts
  20. WNBR - World Naked Bike Ride
  21. Working Bikes Cooperative
  22. WorldsBestBikeStickers.COM - Faster than a Speeding Pack of Dogs
* - I met Tim and Cindie Travis while they were on their bikes in Argentina - two years after they had left Arizona!!

 

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