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Michelle was born and raised in Dunedin, New Zealand. In the early 1990's she followed her dreams and 'adventured' out into the world on a shoestring, visiting 31 countries on her own. She moved to the Seattle area in 1993 and put down roots - in the snow - as part of the professional ski patrol at Crystal Mountain Resort. She has an amazing daughter "...who daily inspires me to live life to its fullest!" - and is proud owner of Cirrus, a fully certified Avalanche Search Dog.
First bike: "One that belonged to my grandparents."
Favorite movie: Lord of the Rings
If you had a superpower..."I'd have bionic legs. That way I'd never get tired out exploring the planet."
Cycling hero: Kim Eakin
Favorite vacation destination: New Zealand or Nepal
Hobbies: Road biking, Alpine skiing, Telemark skiing, backcountry ski touring, traveling, tramping, climbing. "I love all aspects of the outdoors and adventure. I am thrilled to share and assist in creating a new life-experience for guests of Bicycle Adventures!"
Issaquah, WA. 5 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Kempton grew up riding and racing anything with a motor and two wheels in rural Washington. When motocross became too expensive for a 19-year-old, he switched to bicycles. An avid cyclocross and mountain bike racer and road bike enthusiast, Kempton has taken and guided cycling vacations all over the world, in the U.S., Canada, Spain, Morocco, France, Mexico, Italy and Thailand. He says he can't wait for the list to be "...twice as long!" A student of bike racing history and statistics, Kempton can answer any question you can throw his way.
Favorite Tour: Oregon Crater Lake Classic
Why: "Being able to take in the natural beauty of Crater Lake - and experience a day with [guide] Mark Wojahn - is something everyone should have the opportunity to do."
Favorite place to stay on a Bicycle Adventures tour: The Inn at Spanish Head [Oregon Coast Classic Tour] - "Every room hangs right over the Pacific Ocean. The sunset looks like it's in IMAX!"
First Bike: Schwinn Stingray Junior. "Bright red, of course!"
Hobbies: "I've been a professional musician for 20 years and play my bass every day I'm home."
Kirkland, WA. 7 years with Bicycle Adventures.
As a former bike racer, Brad has been to many of the 50 United States. (Todd Starnes, Bicycle Adventures' other owner, is his former coach.) Brad's an avid University of Washington Huskies fan with a love for all things sports-related. Prior to Bicycle Adventures, Brad spent his professional time doing operations and logistics. He's married and has four children - two boys and two girls - and an adorable dog named Jack.
Favorite Tour: Oregon Coast Classic. "This coast is ever-changing and ever beautiful. My wife and I took our honeymoon here, and it will always hold very special memories for me."
Favorite Place to stay: "As a former bike racer I'd have to say...preferably someplace with a bed!" The Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria, B.C. (where we stay on the San Juan Islands - Victoria Classic)
Favorite Movie: Revenge of the Nerds
Portland, Oregon. 3 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Matt brings a terrific amount of experience to guiding. He served in the military with the U.S. Coast Guard, saving lives both in and out of the water. He spent several years as his own boss, and several more working for a boss in corporate America. He finished his bachelor’s degree on a Wednesday and started his master’s degree Thursday morning. Smitten with Seattle after just one visit, he packed up and relocated. He lost over 60 pounds and several pant sizes, ran a marathon, got beat in a 5k by his mother, and spent a summer as a pedi-cab driver. He failed public speaking in college - only to become public speaker years later, with appearances on a prime-time Friday night TV show. If you ask, he'll say he became a personal trainer and SPINN instructor (a current passion) completely by accident.
First bike: "A Huffy that I actually got twice. My mom and dad painted it without me knowing and gave it to me AGAIN!"
Favorite movie: Rudy (1993 American sports film.) "It's a story of great success and inspiration."
Favorite book: Love (Leo Buscaglia) "...or anything by David Sedaris."
If you were a superhero, who would you be? "Batman. Christian Bale's Batman."
Hobbies: "Drooling over bicycles. Fitness in any shape or form (only because I love food!) Trying new places to eat is always a treat; tying new coffee is a very close followup to trying new restaurants. I also enjoy discovering new music, which I often use to teach indoor cycling classes."
Kent, WA. 9 years with Bicycle Adventures.
A Wisconsin native, Jeff worked in Washington D.C. for a few years, then traded city traffic for Utah wilderness (including two back-to-back winters with over 700 inches of snow at the ski resorts!) He spent a number of years in health care, then several more in education as a teacher and an administrator. During 'shoulder seasons' between bike tours and teaching skiing, he still does staff development for the school system. Winter finds him wearing his ski-instructor hat at Crystal Mountain Resort near Mt. Rainier. Jeff has recently begun paragliding (ask him about his many humbling “failures to launch.") When not on a bike or a pair of skis, Jeff enjoys time with his wife and two adult sons. He loves getting to know the people that he trains and tours with. "I have the best job(s) in the world! I love my office!"
Favorite Tour: Canadian Gulf Islands
Why: "It's one of the most beautiful places in the world. Traffic is light, locals are friendly and lodging is incredible. There are so many beautiful views, some from the water and some after short hikes."
A story: "Here’s a Gulf Islands story from last summer: we're on a ferry when Orca whales are spotted. The captain S-L-O-W-S the ferry so that we can watch the whales as they parallel the boat. It's a sunny day with crystal-clear blue skies. Here we are on the water with lush, green islands in the background and snowcapped mountains in the distance. And then a bald eagle flies over our heads. Perfect!"
Favorite ride on a Bicycle Adventures trip: The ride into Cattle Point in American Camp on San Juan Island. "It's always breathtaking. I've had guests who have toured all over the world say that this ride is one of their top five!"
Tucson, AZ. 3 years with Bicycle Adventures.
"To be on a bike ride is like playing in life’s playground, because there is just so much to take in. I love learning about the world that surrounds me. I like to immerse myself in the plants and mountains and waters of wherever I am." A terrific chef, Raven learned Thai cooking in Thailand. She is also a yoga practitioner, botanist, gardener...and cyclist.
Favorite tour: Cactus Classic (Arizona)
Why? "The desert in bloom is one of the most beautiful things in the world to me."
What's special about a Bicycle Adventures tour? "The beauty of Bicycle Adventures is that no matter where you're riding, you can expect to be moved by the exquisite natural beauty of the area."
A story: "One of my favorite memories is from a Cactus Classic trip. We were gearing up to ride Mt. Lemmon and a cyclist came past the van on a recumbent bike with his dog. He told us that the first riding he ever did in his life was with Bicycle Adventures over 20 years ago, and he's been biking ever since!"
First bike: A speckled Huffy mountain bike
Favorite book: East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
Favorite vacation destination: Maui, Hawaii (7 Sacred Pools); Turtle Island, Thailand
Hobbies: "Reading, learning, hiking, playing with my dog Oso and swimming with dolphins. The underwater world fascinates me."
San Diego, CA. 3 years with Bicycle Adventures.
As a past Bicycle Adventures guest, Ginger has a unique perspective. A passionate cyclist and California native, she's participated in over 100 cycling events (including both the Glacier-Banff-Jasper and Cascades Epic tours.) She's also participated in "several crazy endurance events." Along the way, she found that sharing cycling strategies and training others came naturally, and so began her own coaching and event-planning business. She currently teaches beginner cyclists bike handling and group riding skills; she coaches novices and helps them prepare for their first - or most challenging - century event. In her other life, Ginger spent 20 years directing a nonprofit for sixty-five after-school child care programs. In 2012 she finally stepped back in order to pursue her longtime passions for cycling and the outdoors. "I love being outdoors and exploring new places on and off the bike."
As a past guest, what’s special about a Bicycle Adventures vacation? "The ability to disconnect from the 'real' world and enjoy a week of quality people time."
Favorite tour? Glacier-Banff-Jasper. "The scenery and open roads, the quaint little communities and lodging we experienced and the anticipation of seeing a 'bear jam!' "
Favorite ride on a Bicycle Adventures trip? "Anything with a steady hill climb!"
Cycling nickname: Spice
Favorite vacation destination: New Zealand
Hobbies: "Besides cycling?" Paddle boarding, hiking, hanging out at the beach
Vashon Island, WA. 6 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Lizzie loves a good road trip. In 2008 she set off with two teammates from her college rowing team, two-wheeling from New York City to Seattle – and lost her heart to bicycle touring. She's currently enjoying the slow life on Puget Sound's Vashon Island, where a falling tree or a deer in the back yard can define one's day. Though she suspects she'd rather be a gardener, Lizzie is currently pursuing a Masters in Nutrition. When not on her bike, she sings in her band,(JangleWagon) and works in her garden. Favorite tour: "The Big Island of Hawaii is The Place: compelling history and culture, fascinating biology and geology, salt water in your hair and fresh fish on your plate."
Favorite ride on a Bicycle Adventures trip: "The Icefields Parkway, from Lake Louise north to the Saskatchewan River Crossing [ed. note: on Glacier-Banff-Jasper and Banff-Jasper tours]. The morning is a climb alongside bears and ravens to Peyto Lake...the afternoon is a religious experience. I've seen those mountains a dozen times, and they still bring joy and tears. But you don't have to take my word for it!"
She also loves the San Juan Islands tours: "All the islands and peninsulas in the Puget Sound are best explored by bike!"
Go-to guide lunch? "I'm a salad queen. On trips I love an arugula salad with avocado, nectarine, lemon juice and olive oil."
Favorite movie: Discovery Channel's Planet Earth
Favorite book: "Most consulted? How to Cook Everything" (Mark Bittman)
If you had a superpower...? "Oh, maybe I'd do something about this 'winter' thing."
When alone, pretends to be: Linda Ronstadt
Hobbies: Gardening, botany, foraging, cooking, country two-step, singing, enjoying westward views of Puget Sound
Snoqualmie, WA. 5 years with Bicycle Adventures.
A degree in Environmental Sociology, studying in South Africa and traveling in Europe all contribute to Karie's passion for exploration and play. Her post-graduate life has included working with children on low ropes courses, teaching mountain biking, rock climbing, snowshoeing and plenty of just plain getting dirty. Karie spends plenty of time playing with bigger kids as well while guiding Bicycle Adventures tours. Constantly inspired by the beauty of the regions where we tour, Karie loves creating an active and rewarding experience for guests. In the off-season you might find Karie spinning the globe and landing where the dart does - be it running a ski shop in the Cascade mountains or living aboard a tiny sailboat in the Caribbean, all in the name of adventure.
Favorite Tour: Glacier-Banff-Jasper
Why: "The sheer size and magnitude of the Northern Canadian Rockies are stunning! You feel incredibly connected to those mountains after a day cycling alongside thier glaciers, subsequent rivers and over mountain passes. Guests are always surprised with and proud of themselves (and rightly so!) after riding such raw landscapes."
Best thing about guiding: "Experiencing the week together. Having someone just as excited as you are to take that photo, eat the amazing food, charge that hill, and celebrate at the top! Guests go from strangers to friends in only one week."
Favorite book: White African, Louis Leakey's biography
Favorite place to dine on a tour: Duck Soup Inn on San Juan Island. "I have met people all over the world who share my love for this gem, hidden on a Washington Island."
Favorite place to stay on a tour: Lakedale Resort, San Juan Island. "After the best meal of your life, who wouldn't want to gaze out over the lake from the deck of this lodge?"
Favorite ride on a Bicycle Adventures tour: Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park - or up Mount Constitution on Orcas Island, Washington.
Portland, Oregon. 2 years with Bicycle Adventures.
A high school social studies teacher, Monica still loves going to school every day. Outside school she enjoys spending time as a plant geek and working on transforming her 1915 craftsman home from potential to princess status. "I don't own a TV; I think I have averaged one movie a year, and I don't have a Twitter account."
First bike: Pink Schwinn with a pink flower patterned banana seat
Favorite book: Oregon book: Sometimes a Great Notion. Classic book: Great Expectations.
If you had a superpower: "I'd love to be a bamboo runner like in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
Favorite vacation destination: "That depends on the season. . . I'm a sucker for National Parks. Death Valley and Canyonlands are places I could be happily lost in for weeks every year. Internationally, I loved doing an almost 3-week trip car camping and exploring Iceland. I'd love to go back for a spring or fall northern lights experience."
Hobbies: cooking, running, swimming, reading, hiking, eating, sleeping, laughing, cross country and skate skiing, traveling, snorkeling, playing.
North Bend, WA. 4 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Catherine has taught middle school math for the past 8 years in Washington's Snoqualmie Valley, and previously in Belgrade, Serbia. She coaches skiing, cross-country and track events and takes students on ski club trips. When not teaching/coaching/supervising, you'll find Catherine enjoying outdoor activities all around the Pacific Northwest and abroad: skiing, biking, climbing and kayaking. At home, Catherine loves spending time in her garden or with her dog Tucker.
First bike: A blue Muddy Fox hand-me-down from her brother.
Favorite movie: The Princess Bride
Favorite ride on a Bicycle Adventures tour: From Nelson to Creston, BC on the Northern Idaho - Selkirk trip - ("It even includes a ferry ride!")
Favorite place to stay on a tour: Coeur d'Alene Resort (also on the Northern Idaho - Selkirk tour). "It reminds me of my childhood - and it has such a beautiful view!"
North Bend, WA. 5 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Lynn developed a passion for the outdoors while growing up on a small farm in Troy, Idaho [pop: 862]. She spent several years working as a wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service, traveling the world during the off-season. She studied in Pau, France and Anchorage, Alaska before graduating with a dual major from the University of Idaho. She spent several weeks in Thailand in 2012, exploring the northern region on rented motorcycles and rock climbing on the Phra Nang Peninsula, "...and eating fantastic food!” she says. She loves exploring, being active and meeting new people.
Hobbies: Rock climbing, mountain biking, running, surfing, playing guitar
Favorite Bicycle Adventures tour: "Bryce & Zion National Parks. Or the Northern Idaho tour for its scenery, tough riding and beautiful landscapes (plus, that tour goes through my hometown!)"
Best thing about being a guide: "I love seeing the smiles on people's faces while they are biking on beautiful roads. It makes us all happier versions of ourselves."
Favorite ride on a Bicycle Adventures tour: Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier National Park, Montana [Glacier-Banff-Jasper tour and Glacer 4-Day tour].
Bainbridge Island, WA. 11 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Ruth is a massage therapist with a background in event management (cycling events and triathlons), physical education/health, and a few other pursuits that don't require one to sit still. She lives on Bainbridge Island with her partner and seems to keep coming out of Bicycle Adventures Guide Retirement, she says, "...because it's my favorite job of all time!" She's been on staff since 2004, give or take a few retirement hiatuses.
How many Bicycle Adventures trips have you guided? "Uh...30-ish?"
Favorite tour? Bryce & Zion: "The scenery against the color of the sky...electric blue...and the perfect climate in Utah in the early fall."
Favorite place to stay on a tour: Lakedale Resort at Three Lakes, on San Juan Island
Favorite ride on a Bicycle Adventures trip? Crater Lake Rim Ride
Best thing about guiding? "Making lunches! And being thankful every day for how cool it is to take people to play outside (especially when other people work in cubicles...and I don't!)"
If you were a superhero, who would it be? "I would be Peter Pan and never grow up (wait, I think I AM!!)"
Cycling nickname: Ruthless ("...college soccer nickname, but let's go with it.")
Favorite vacation destination: "Anywhere I can swim in the open water, run, bike, and drink a good beer afterwards! New Zealand and Ashland, Oregon are both in the top five."
Hobbies: Cooking, swimming, biking, running.
Tucson, AZ. 4 years with Bicycle Adventures.
A childhood spent in Northern Mexico and Southern Arizona gave Noe a passion for the Sonoran Desert. He spent 10 years volunteering as a crew leader for the Arizona Trail, a National Scenic Trail traversing the entire state of Arizona as it winds from Mexico to Utah. A passionate cyclist, Noe spent a decade as Event Director for El Tour de Tucson, the Race Across America and the 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo mountain bike race. Besides leading the majority of Bicycle Adventures' Cactus Classic tours, Noe's also led guided tours in Honduras and Mexico's Copper Canyon. His regional expertise and playful-but-professional attitude make him a guest favorite.
Favorite Tour: "The one that I'm on! It's a privilege and honor for me to be entrusted with our guests' safety and fun. I take both - fun and safety - very seriously!"
Hobbies: "It's paddles and pedals for me, this life experience! Bring on the adventure!"
Palm Desert, California. 14 years with Bicycle Adventures.
David’s zest for adventure was fueled by a 20-year career as a globetrotting TV reporter on the West Coast. He won six Emmys and covered stories from Europe to Asia and Alaska to the Caribbean. Prior to joining Bicycle Adventures, he also worked for Nike in corporate communications and as a public relations specialist, focusing on crisis communications and media training.
Born and raised in New York City, David is a graduate of Dartmouth College and has a master’s degree in journalism from Ohio State University. He is also an award-winning poet. When not riding his bike on a Bicycle Adventures trip, David enjoys participating in organized cycling events throughout the country, such as Hotter ‘N Hell 100, TOSRV, RAGBRAI, El Tour de Tucson, Amtrak Century, STP, RAMROD, Santa Fe Century, Tour de Palm Springs, Solvang Century, etc. He enjoys sampling microbrews and following college football.
Favorite tour: Napa & Sonoma Wine Country
Why: "Exceptional food and lodging, plus a myriad of cycling options to satisfy every taste."
Favorite ride on a Bicycle Adventures Trip: Avenue of the Giants (California Redwoods tour)
Best memory from a tour: "Being an official witness as a couple got married on the layover day of a California Redwoods trip."
First bike: Ross 3-speed
Favorite movie: The Third Man
Favorite book: Anything by Elmore Leonard
Hood River, OR. 7 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Brad is an extreme-sports pioneer. His resume includes spearheading the exhilarating sport of snowkiting in the Pacific Northwest, ski instruction at Mt. Rainier's Crystal Mountain Resort, paragliding and mountain biking. A natural entertainer, Brad constantly thinks of fresh new ways to amuse guests. (Hosting a one-man outdoor cooking show and writing tour-chronicling ballads are two of his favorites.) Prior to his guiding/sliding/showbiz career, he spent 13 years managing a grocery store.
Favorite tour: San Juan Islands/Victoria
Why: "Once you get to the San Juan Islands it's just so relaxed and tranquil - the food is world class, and everyone else is there for the same thing: to enjoy a Pacific Northwest summer!"
Favorite place to stay on a Bicycle Adventures tour: Skamania Lodge [Columbia Gorge Classic tour]
Go-to guide lunch: Wild green salad with black cherries, feta, mangoes, avocados, lime, green onion and seasoned rice vinegar
Favorite ride on a Bicycle Adventures tour: "The ride into Zion National Park. Hands down."
Los Angeles, California. 2 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Much like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expected Spencer to come from Los Angeles. His travels began at an early age with the necessity of an annual 'pilgrimage for sanity' to Yosemite Valley. Spencer spends much of his time roaming with a medium format camera in hand, collecting stories and beautiful moments. When grounded in Los Angeles, you'll find him working the art department on a movie set, walking dogs or publishing his latest book. The day he received his photography degree, he jumped on a plane to go bike touring in Spain with a girl who eventually broke his heart in front of the Eiffel Tower. His love for bike touring endured, however, and he has yet to fully return from the summer of 2010, continuing to explore the world by bicycle.
First bike: "A way-too-tall Schwinn World Tour."
Favorite movie: Dumb and Dumber
Favorite book: Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
When alone, pretends to be: Steve Perry
Cycling hero? Rex Hazard. He developed a rare lung disease, got discharged from the Marines, build a huge squiggly tubed tall-bike and rode across the country. Now he’s my roommate.
Cycling nickname: Speen
Favorite vacation spot: "Yosemite Valley will always take my breath away."
Hobbies: amateur theoretical physics, climbing rocks, posing on top of mountains, hanging out in hot springs, sampling the darkest beers he can find and welding bikes together.
Portland, Oregon. 2 years with Bicycle Adventures.
James has ridden his bicycle in 16 different countries. A big San Francisco 49ers fan with a profound interest in science and technology, he currently studies Power Systems Engineering at Portland State University. He teaches robotics at an urban youth charter school, has a dog, makes good coffee and proudly lives on a plant-based diet. James loves meeting new people and discovering their different backgrounds and experiences. "One of my biggest passions is cycle touring - it encompasses so many of my other passions."
First bike: "Something with training wheels."
Favorite movie: Lord of the Rings, extended versions (all of them.)
Favorite book: Game of Thrones (currently)
When alone, pretends to be: Joe Montana or Inspector Gadget
Hobbies: cycling, traveling, climbing, backpacking, mountaineering, reading, board/video games, 49ers, robotics, cooking, tinkering.
Seattle, WA. 2 years with Bicycle Adventures.
If you call the office, you're most likely to hear Jessica's cheery voice on the other end. A multi-talented artist-guide-customer-service dynamo, Jessica has been spotted riding across the Great Plains and perched on mountain tops with an easel, sketching. If she hasn't led your upcoming tour, she's probably painted it at some point in her amazing life.
Jessica is a product of Southern California suburbs who escaped cul-de-sac life to draw in Italy, study in China and hitchhike to Mexico for tacos. In 2012 she self-published an art book of nearly 300 watercolors to fund daily ice cream stops on her solo self-supported bike tour across the country. On return she moved to Seattle to roast her own coffee, start gardening and host potlucks at her neighborhood brewery. She gave up a car to feel the rain on her neck and exchange high-fives with fellow bike commuters on sunny days. Her philosophy on adventure - and life - is to hold a smile on the uphills and say 'yes' when opportunity presents itself. Reaching the top is always worth it. Click here to check out her fascinating blog.
First bike: "Pink, with handlebar streamers, a hand-me-down from my sister that I outgrew within a year."
Favorite movie: Amelie
Favorite book: Anything by Michael Pollan.
Superpower: "Neutral Fahrenheit Woman! Bring on Siberian tundra or an erupting volcanic blaze, there's no temperature too extreme. Blankets, air conditioners and oven mitts are preposterous inventions when degrees don't matter."
Cycling hero: "Old friend, fellow guide and adventure partner Spencer Harding. He's my bike guru and taught me everything I know about bikes, from changing my first tire to welding a tall bike."
Cycling nickname: Lala
Hobbies: Eating, biking, painting
Issaquah, WA. 5 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Laura grew up in the Seattle area and spent childhood summers romping in the Cascade Mountains and San Juan Islands. She discovered climbing and skiing in her early teens; cycling in her early twenties. While attending the University of Washington, she raced with both the Husky Ski Team and Gregg’s Greenlake Cycle mountain bike team. After graduating with dual degrees in Physics and Earth and Space Sciences, she took a break to work as a ski instructor at Crystal Mountain Resort on Washington’s Mount Rainier. Eventually, dreams of research called her back to grad school for a master’s in Glaciology from the University of Alaska. When not on Bicycle Adventures trips, she can be found skiing, climbing, mountain biking, or sharing adventures with her dog Asia.
Favorite tour: Canadian Gulf Islands.
Why? "I spent a fair amount of time in the summers of my youth sailing in the Canadian Gulf Islands. It's been fun to see those islands from a different perspective. The lodgings and scenery are some of the best in the West!"
Favorite inn: Skamania Lodge [Columbia Gorge tour]
Favorite ride: "The BZ Corner - Troutlake - Glenwood loop on day 4 of the Columbia Gorge trip. Great views, nice open highways, and a fun descent."
First bike: "A Strawberry Shortcake with training wheels, tassels and a great bell."
When you're alone, who do you pretend to be? "Me, only slightly smarter, stronger, gutsier and better looking."
Hobbies: Skiing (back-country and in-area), climbing, biking, knitting hats.
Puyallup, Washington. 2 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Scott grew up in the Pacific Northwest. Shaped by its beauty and abundant recreational opportunities, he was fortunate to be raised by parents who valued time spent outdoors and limited time with televisions, computers and game consoles. After graduating with a degree in cellular and molecular biology from Pacific University in Oregon, Scott worked in biotech as a cancer biology research assistant. Life in a dimly-lit lab hunched over a microscope quickly burned him out and contributed to some unhealthy habits. Now with the lab in the rear-view mirror, Scott spends winters instructing snowboarding at Crystal Mountain Ski Resort in Washington, where he coaches the Freeride program. "I love coaching talented teenagers, helping them develop confidence in the mountains, good mountain etiquette and respect for the environment, safety and steep terrain."
Best thing about guiding: "During the summer I’m bagging miles on my bike not only for recreation but also for work. I couldn't be more excited to spread passion for cycling while contributing to making Bicycle Adventures vacations amazing and epic."
First Bike: A GT Interceptor BMX bike ("...I never needed training wheels, just lots of bandaids!")
Favorite Movie: Stand By Me. "It reminds me of my childhood...trekking around the woods adventuring with friends and family."
Favorite Book: "I read a lot of crime fiction in my free time...I love Lee Childs’ Jack Reacher series and James Patterson’s Alex Cross series."
Superpower: "I'd choose the ability to fly."
Hobbies: "I love the great outdoors: hiking, biking, running, snowboarding and golf occupy most of my free time. When the weather isn’t cooperating I enjoy cooking, reading and binge-watching NetFlix and Amazon Prime."
Portland, Oregon. 9 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Chris Mader's other job is teaching middle and high school science at an independent school in Portland, Oregon. "On trips, I always bring too many geology books about the area. But I spend a lot more time ‘reading’ and appreciating the actual geology than I do reading the books!" Chris spent about 10 yrs as an instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School, leading and guiding thirty-day mountaineering trips. He now teaches for the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS out of Lander, Wyoming. In winter, Chris can be found skiing Oregon's Mt Hood, in the backcountry of Jackson, WY, or on skinny skis at any number of Nordic Centers.
Favorite place to dine on a tour: Coho Restaurant on San Juan Island
Favorite ride on a Bicycle Adventures trip: "Tough one to answer – the Aufderheide Scenic Drive in Oregon; no wait..the Lost Coast in California on the Redwoods tour…. Or maybe Mt Hamilton in California - or the Icefields Parkway in Banff National Park - or the riding in the San Juan Islands, Mt Constitution… ahhh, they’re all great!
Best thing about guiding? "Easy one…. Having fun with the guests!"
"What makes our tours special is that the guests get an incredible experience riding through some amazing scenery and landscapes while everything else is taken care of. Our trips are seamless, with guest experience and customer support our highest priority as guides. As a guide, I feel like I have the responsibility, and the leeway, to make a trip special for my guests. That could mean anything from arranging a massage to an unexpected celebratory bottle of wine waiting for a guest in their hotel room - or going for an early morning ‘off the itinerary’ ride with them. Guests are at the center of what we do and why we do it."
First bike: Yellow Schwinn Stingray
Hobbies: "Besides cycling (which actually might be above ‘hobby’): skiing, kayaking and photography."
Olympia, WA. 22 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Born in Iowa amongst the corn fields, one of Chad's earliest memories is seeing the Rocky Mountains for the first time. He was only about 3 years old, but says, "I knew our family was headed in the right direction!" He spent a lot of time in the outdoors growing up: hiking, fishing and hunting with my parents. As a youth, soccer was his favorite sport. "I was like a junkie for the black and white ball, chasing it constantly, 5-7 days a week." During college, music became another interest and over the years Chad has played bass guitar in a number of different bands. In his 20’s and 30’s his passions turned toward travel to foreign destinations as well: Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, and Asia. "These days, the wilderness is my temple and I like to get my spiritual 'fix' as often as possible. Weekends, you are almost guaranteed to find me out 'on the trail.' ”
Favorite tour: Volcanoes of Washington
Why: "It has it all: Amazing scenery and challenging rides on low traffic roads. Plus, there’s just something about these volcanoes that is … beyond words."
Favorite book: "Who can pick a favorite? Maybe Friend of the Earth by TC Boyle."
Favorite vacation destination: "Impossible to pick a favorite. If you are a parent, do you have a favorite child?"
Seattle, WA. 3 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Born in New York City, raised in Northeast Pennsylvania at his family’s country inn, Will boasts over thirty years in the hospitality and outdoor recreation and adventure industries. He's always been passionate about adventure and has experience in everything from chef work to management. He originally migrated west to Park City, Utah, where he taught skiing, mountain biking and climbing for ten years. Now on the West Coast, he calls Seattle home. When not running tours for Bicycle Adventures will manages the snow sports school at Mt. Rainier's Crystal Mountain Resort. He holds certifications from the International Kiteboarding Organization and the Professional Ski Instructors of America. Will says, "I’m always up for an adventure!" Hobbies include skiing, climbing, kiteboarding, cooking and wine tasting.
First bike: Schwinn Stingray
Cycling hero: Floyd Landis
Favorite movie: Harold and Maude
When alone, pretends to be: “The Red Rocker”
Would love to have lunch with: Yvon Chouinard or Mick Jagger.
Favorite vacation destination: Southern Utah
Issaquah, WA. 2 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Don grew up on the outskirts of Toronto, Canada, and spent most of his time playing in the woods and on the river. He got his first bike at age 4. Mechanically inclined, he began fixing bike tires and other bike-related problems so that he could keep up with his brothers and sister. As his skills grew, they ultimately bore fruit as a degree and career in mechanical engineering. His explorations blossomed as well, now including wilderness canoe trips in northern Ontario and bicycle tours with his wife through Germany, Switzerland and Austria. A racer, Don has done several triathlons, including Ironman distance races.
Favorite movie: Galaxy Quest
If you were a superhero..."I always liked Spiderman. He was such a real character and he created his own neat toys."
Cycling hero: Lance Armstrong ("...I know he cheated, but he also did a lot for a lot of other people.")
Hobbies: Bicycling, triathlons, motorcycle touring, travel
Fun Story: Ask Don how he discovered bikes have brakes.
Bellevue, WA. 3 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Miles is a Pacific Northwest native from Kirkland, Washington. He went to college at Central Washington University, earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Business Administration and Supply Chain Management, worked for Boeing for two months - and discovered that an indoor career would not work for him. He now works for the ski patrol at Crystal Mountain Resort (Mt. Rainier) in the winters and guides bike trips in the summer. Miles' hobbies are cycling, skiing, mountaineering, hiking, kayaking, climbing...and just about anything else that involves the outdoors.
First bike: Red GT mountain bike
If he were a superhero: "I'd be Spiderman so I could fly through the air!"
Cycling hero: "It was Lance Armstrong..."
Cycling nickname: Kilometer ("My European nickname")
What’s special about a Bicycle Adventures vacation: "You get to enjoy a nonstop adventure, getting an amazing workout, eating extremely well and enjoying it all with great company!"
A memorable tour: "In the summer of 2009 I rode my bike from Dublin, Ireland to Naples, Italy with two friends. We traveled through 11 countries over 3000 miles and 78 nights."
North Bend, WA. 3 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Matt - aka 'Miracle Matt' - grew up amid the wheat fields of Eastern Washington. An avid cyclist, he worked as a bike messenger in Seattle for a handful of years. (Stories from those years include racing an indoor figure 8 velodrome with Run-D.M.C. on the stage.) He spent a decade building downhill bikes and splitting time between racing and downhilling in Whistler, B.C. These days, he splits his free time between camping with his family, traversing the High Cascades and exploring little-known mountain bike trails. When Matt isn't scouting potentially bike-friendly peaks in the Cascades, you'll find him in his recording studio making records or editing movie sound design - or canoeing with his wonderful wife and daughter.
First bike: Schwinn Pixie. "Plastic tires until I destroyed them doing skids."
Favorite movie: Dune
Favorite book: A Wrinkle in Time (Madeleine L'Engle)
If you had a superpower, what would it be? "I would choose the power to hold time still. Flying would be fun too."
Cycling nickname: 66
Favorite vacation destination: Neah Bay, WA
Issaquah, WA. 13 years with Bicycle Adventures.
A Washington native raised in Forks (home of the Twilight novels), Julie came to Bicycle Adventures after several years in sales and customer service, including Starbucks Corporation and Amazon.com. She's spent a bit of time tramping around both Asia and Mexico. She enjoys running, volunteers for the local marathon and rides regularly with Capital Bicycling Club's fixed-gear 'nerds.'
I'd love to have lunch with: Aung San Suu Kyi or Bob Roll
Favorite vacation destinations: Phuket, Thailand; the Oregon Coast; New Zealand. "Anywhere there's a warm beach."
First bike: Sparkly blue, banana seat, monkey handlebars and flowery basket
Favorite hike on a Bicycle Adventures tour: The Narrows in Zion National Park
Hobbies: Reading, riding, running, yoga, hiking, watching bike racing (international and local)
Wenatchee, WA. 3 years with Bicycle Adventures.
For the last 7 years Lori’s run a bike shop in Wenatchee, Washington. Her favorite bike rides are with her co-workers: they load up with camping gear, take off on some nice singletrack, ride for awhile, find a flat spot with a good view, set up camp and light a bonfire. “Every bike camp trip has an outrageous story!” says Lori. She commutes by bike 20 miles each way to work. Her other passions are paragliding and speedflying. “I love being able to travel with my wings on my back. I've flown in Hawaii, Sun Valley, the Owens Valley, the North Cascades, the Oregon coast, the Atacama Desert in Chile, and Chamonix, France. Traveling is another love and being able to take a wing along enables me to get a totally different perspective.” Life goals include traveling to the Karakorams in Pakistan to paraglide and swimming with a whale shark. She spends part of the year in Hawaii with Armond, her partner and best friend, where she’s hoping to check the whale shark swim off the list. Says Lori: “I am happiest when I am immersed in nature. Doesn’t matter where; I love the ocean, the rainforest, the top of a snow-covered mountain, the desert, flower filled meadows......these places fulfill me and give me a sense that I am very small in the grand scheme of things and am part of something much greater than myself.”
First bike: "Strawberry Shortcake bike. No training wheels!"
Favorite movie: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Favorite book: In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex (Nathaniel Philbrick)
If you were a superhero, who would you be? "Wonderwoman. And I'd have an invisible jet."
Seattle, WA. 2 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Jennifer grew up in the Seattle area, and can't think of a better place to live. She enjoys being in a city with great restaurants, art and friends, yet close to the mountains and ocean. After 14 years in healthcare administration, Jennifer left to fulfill a longstanding dream of biking the Pacific Coast Highway. She believes her Training & Development background helps her to "meet people where they are" regardless of cycling ability or fitness level. She is just excited to continue bike touring, and to share it with anyone who will listen! When not on tour, Jennifer slows down for Netflix binges, two book clubs, laughing with husband Toby and corralling their two chihuahuas, Manny and Lois Lane.
First bike: "I don't remember, but my first motorcycle was a 50cc Yamaha Zinger. I do remember a second or third bicycle with a sparkly purple banana seat and handlebar streamers."
Favorite movie: The Triplets of Belleville
Favorite book: Charlotte's Web
Cycling hero? "A woman I met in Eugene when I was 17. She was not much older than I, and despite not (yet) being an accomplished cyclist, was setting out to bike across the country. I wish I had asked her name."
Cycling nickname: Cookie Ranger
Favorite vacation destination: "Anywhere I haven't yet been."
Hobbies: "Skiing, running, baking and telling really bad (good?) puns."
Olympia, WA. 3 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Jo went to college in North Carolina on a cycling scholarship. She raced there, then spent several months in Europe racing with the USA Cycling National Development Team. After college she moved to Washington from Memphis, Tennessee to enjoy the cycling and outdoors opportunities in the Great Northwest. A personal trainer and running coach, she's worked with all ages of clients. She's officiated and volunteered at road and mountain bike races, skills clinics and women's beginner cycling clinics. She has plenty of experience coaching and motivating people both new and experienced to the sport.
Favorite Tour: Death Valley
Why: "Because it's amazing!"
Hobbies: working on her tiny house, camping, snowshoeing, running, knitting, gardening and spending time with her husband Neil and a very entertaining Rhodesian Ridgeback named Willow.
Tualatin, OR. 10 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Teri grew up in Alabama, Idaho and California. She ran cross-country and track in high school. After attending Boise State University, she moved to Oregon where a love for all things outdoors blossomed into unbridled passion. When she isn't guiding, you'll find her on a trail somewhere, smiling. Her two boys, Charlie and Jalen, are living out their own dreams - respectively, in Montana and Oregon.
Favorite tour: "Just one? New Mexico (Classic and Classic Plus tours), Southern Oregon & Crater Lake Plus, Oregon Wine Country, Washington Epic...so many...all for different reasons."
Favorite tour dining spot: Cafe Pasqual's [on both New Mexico tours]
Favorite place to stay on Bicycle Adventures' tours: Sun Mountain Lodge, in Winthrop, Washington [Washington Cascades Epic tour]
First bike: " A Hasbro 'Inchworm' - I fell in love with wheels early in life!"
Favorite book: Ishmael [Daniel Quinn], The Power of One, Lone Survivor
Hobbies: "Hard for me to pick favorites! Skate skiing, mountain biking, running, cooking, hiking, snowshoeing...."
Best thing about guiding: "Bicycle Adventures' guides are given the autonomy in the field to provide flexibility and options to our guests. That freedom allows us to provide a 'best vacation' experience - and makes our job fun."
Seattle, WA. 3 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Chris grew up in Heidelberg, Germany and the northeast U.S. He studied at England's University of Sheffield, worked as a camp counselor in Maine and graduated from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee with a degree in film and video production. He’s been a video engineer and technician for concert tours and large corporate events, and toured with Kid Rock, Brad Paisley and Alan Jackson (to name a few). On tours, he always kept his bicycle in the bay of the tour bus so he could ride in the afternoons after load-in and before before the show began. Says Chris, “Cycling has always been my favorite way to see places and meet people.” He's also a tandem cycling enthusiast and rides with his wife in tandem rallies in both the U.S. and Europe when given the chance.
First bike: "A GT Timberline I bought with paper-route money in 8th grade."
Favorite Movie: Cinema Paradisio
Favorite Book: A Tramp Abroad (Mark Twain)
Superpower: "I'd like the power to speak every human language perfectly and the power to heal wounds like E.T."
Cycling Hero: Tyler Hamilton
Cycling Nickname: Somertime
Sammamish, WA. 7 years with Bicycle Adventures.
In his former careers as sports scientist and sports marketer, Todd traveled extensively throughout the U.S., South and Central America and Europe. An avid cyclist, Todd has a degree in Sports Science from Seattle Pacific University and an MBA from the University of Washington. He grew up in South Dakota and left as soon as possible to pursue college, travel, and his favorite sports: bike racing, skiing, running and triathlons. Finding himself a much better trainer than athlete, Todd went on to coach bike racing and triathlons at both national and international levels. He continues to volunteer his time coaching at a local high school. Todd is married and has two college-age daughters, but does manage to fit in several Bicycle Adventures tours each year. As the self-proclaimed worst guide in the company, Todd loves getting lost on tours and meeting as many guests as possible, though the two don't always mix.
Favorite Tour: San Juan Islands. “I am always amazed at the diversity of the San Juan Islands. I never get tired of the ferry ride, and having such a great place so close to a city like Seattle is a special treat.”
Favorite Place to Stay: Lake Moeraki, New Zealand. “Where else can you see glow-worms and six foot meat-eating eels?”
Favorite Movie: Field of Dreams
Go-To-Guide Lunch: In-N-Out Burger
Sammamish, WA. 6 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Maui Starnes has been guiding for Bicycle Adventures for 4 years. She prefers to lead tours in the Seattle area, highlighting local cuisine and opportunities for pursuit of wildlife. A Pacific Northwest native, she has a keen sense for trails and knows the local dog parks intimately. When not guiding, Maui enjoys a good chewy fir or alder stick and a romp in the creek next to Bicycle Adventures' World Headquarters. Prior to guiding, Maui was a stay-at-home puppy. Herding comes naturally so keeping everyone together on a tour is top priority. She hopes to one day travel to New Zealand to test her herding skills against her cousins, the native sheep dogs.
Favorite Tour: Volcanoes of Washington "...it's close to home, with good throwing sticks and great hiking!"
Favorite Place to Stay: Lakedale Lodge. "They love dogs and have a great lake to play in."
Favorite Movie: "Duh.... Lassie."
Go-to Guide Lunch: Peanut Butter Treats
Hood River, OR. 13 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Laurie grew up mostly in the Northeast, but has lived in Africa and France, and traveled to Central and South America, Southeast Asia, New Zealand and Europe. She lives in Hood River, Oregon, with her husband and two very athletic sons. Between shuttling the boys to baseball games, Laurie enjoys trail running, hiking, biking, and skiing in the Cascade Mountains in both Oregon and Washington. The bounty and beauty of the Hood River Valley never ceases to astound her. She loves bringing Bicycle Adventures' guests to this gem of a destination that never fails to surprise and delight with its quiet roads, stunning vistas and local charm.
Favorite tour: Big Sur - "Amazing scenery, great riding and excellent food!"
Favorite place to stay: Lakedale Lodge [San Juan Islands tours}
Favorite movie: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid ("Am I dating myself here?")
Go-to guide lunch: grilled sourdough sandwiches stuffed with fresh mozzarella, basil and tomatoes and served with carrot ginger soup.
Redmond, WA. 3 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Chris is no stranger to adventurees by bike. From loaded touring trips to racing tandems on the track, Chris has a broad background involving two wheels. After graduating from the University of Washington, he worked for a local bicycle frame builder, then traveled the Pacific Northwest while running a sales rep business in the cycling industry. His personal cycling expeditions include the French Pyrenees, the Spanish Picos de Europa, New Zealand and the Caribbean, just to name a few. His greatest bicycling revelation is that when it comes to cycling, the winner isn't always the first one to cross the finish line - it's the one who finishes with the biggest smile. When not riding, Chris supports his cycling addiction with his 'other job' driving a fire truck.
Cycling Hero: "It used to be Greg LeMond. But now it’s the person in a developing nation who hauls his pig to market on the back of his bike."
Favorite cycling destination: "Uphill. The North Cascades offer world-class cycling right in our own backyard!"
Hobbies: Nordic skiing, rowing, water skiing, hiking, climbing, "...and trying to keep up with my wife."
Gee whiz: "Did you know that in New Zealand, they measure wind speed using the Beaufort scale? When the weatherman reports winds of '6' there [25-31 mph] it’s a lot different from winds of '6' in North America."
Favorite movie: Cool Hand Luke
Seattle, WA. 4 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Chris designed software for Microsoft and raced on the pro circuit before eschewing the corporate world in order to lead tours for Bicycle Adventures. He co-owns and runs a small personal training studio called GeekFit, where he can usually be found when not on the road. Chris is currently learning to weld and fabricate his own 'frankenbikes' as a hobby. Though unofficially retired from competitive racing, he still enters the occasional triathlon or bike race just for fun.
He loves candlelit dinners, long runs on the beach and Northwest microbrews. He especially enjoys annoying Bicycle Adventures guests with his own terrible renditions of popular songs.
Favorite Tour: Glacier-Banff-Jasper
Hillsboro, OR. 21 years with Bicycle Adventures.
Mark's life is all about leading games, playing sports, competitive dancing and music. He ran cross-country and track throughout high school and college, then moved on to marathons and road races. He spent 18 years working with children in a variety of youth camps and has run a bevy of skiing programs for over 20 years - including seniors' cross-country and snowshoe programs. When not guiding tours or teaching snow sports, Mark's time is spent ice dancing and ballroom dancing. He loves to learn something new, "...especially when it's physically and mentally challenging," he says. An avid photographer, Mark has taken many of the photos on our website. He's led more than 200 Bicycle Adventures trips. He's also well-known for playing the recorder, an instrument popular in medieval times - and for Sylvia, his purple marionette.
Why: "I have great experiences like running Seniors' Cross Country Ski Week in the Crater Lake area, so I really feel at home there. And I am excited for what the guests will see and experience each day - great rides and super scenery. The Columbia Gorge trip has very diverse environments along with a raft trip and hiking. I like the variety of activities for the guests and the potential for a more relaxed pace."
First bike: "Red. I found it by the Christmas tree."
Favorite book: Mark Twain's Letters from the Earth