Daily Archives: April 2, 2011

Big adventure, small wheels


Laura Crawford and Russ Roca

A couple whose travels I’ve followed vicariously for nearly two years as they did an extensive bicycle tour of America are about to embark on a new adventure.
“Our next project is about re-imagining the All-American Road Trip, with a journey across the United States that combines Brompton folding bikes and the train,” Russ Roca and Laura Crawford said on their website, The Path Less Pedaled. The new venture is called Big Adventure. Small Wheels: A rambling journey across America on bikes and trains.
Russ, a photographer and writer, and Laura, a writer and jewelry maker, sold all their wordly goods in 2009 and set out by bicycle from the West Coast, pedaling about 10,000 miles in more than 15 months.

A Brompton bicycle folded for carrying

On their next trip, they plan to use English-made Brompton bikes with 16-inch wheels and integrate their bicycle excursions with train travel.
“We believe that the combination of bikes and trains is under-utilized as a means of contemporary travel,” they wrote. “With gas prices threatening to climb ever higher, we want to show that multi-modal travel within the U.S. is a viable and enjoyable way to travel.
“As gas prices rise and train use becomes more popular, mass transit will become the new frontier of bicycle advocacy,” they wrote.

Andrew Ritchie, the British engineer who invented the Brompton

“Imagine getting off the train at the gateway to Glacier National Park or in the heart of Chicago. If you have your bicycle with you, all you have to do is pedal away. You really are free to ‘move about the country.'”
The couple’s previous trip began July 30, 2009, in Portland, Ore. They cycled down the West Coast and worked their way across the United States, chronicling their journey on the website The Path Less Pedaled and a Facebook page of the same name.
The couple passed through Fort Worth last April and made a presentation at Trinity Bicycles, where I had the opportunity to meet them and talk with them about their travels.
I’ll let them tell about their next venture in a video posted on their website.

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Filed under Americana, Cycling across America, Travels, Urban cycling