Entrevue avec Dan & Lys Burden – Août 2015 (Port Townsend – Washington state)

it was a new concept and it was exciting (elle a realisé qu’elle pouvait aller loin en vélo, 25 miles) quand elle était ado – 13 ans. It was huge because I didn’t drive (until I get married).

I rode to go at the college, 6 miles one way, and my friend June too. I started riding everyday for school. I love the outdoor and I always wanted to do stuff in the outdoor. I met Dan in a cave, he was the leader of a caving trip, June & I signed up for the trip and I have a blast, I was about 18. It was the week-end I was graduated from high school. I really do love trips with this group. Dan & I started to travel and do trips in Europe (3 months in Israel). From June until 4 months during the long summer in Europe, we missed France.

Dan went into the navy and started travelling, those boys worked on a trip from Alaska to Argentina. We girls wanted to be part of that so we worked around it. They were pedal north to south and we the girls were peddling around, the boys decided it was too dangerous. We are going to spent a lot of time with these guys, we should probably get married first. Dan get back to the Navy and got accepted to the university in Montana and I wanted to go with him and live before we get to this huge trip. And my mum said « nothing, you are not going to be with that men without being married » so we had to get married before we left. June get married few months later (fall wedding) and we had a summer wedding. We spend 10 years in Montana.

For the trip, everybody ask us where our kids were and we respond « how we can carry them ? ». At this time we had no helmets, we were hats on our head and what we had was hair net, padding little strips around here. We wear hats a lot to protect from the sun and having nets in Alaska too for the mosquitoes. We only the nets in the north countries. We couldn’t find bicycles good enough for long distance touring, we wanted to ride good quality bike so we wanted in a bike shop in Montana, and we found the frame but we had to rebuild everything on the bike. Especially we wanted good gearing, a bike shop in California which had special stuff for touring bike. The bike shop in Montana show us how to fix everything on the bike.

We knew everything on the bike, we had tools.

For the food, we could carry 10 days of food. We couldn’t afford the light weight food package so we just built a dehydrator ( a bulb in a small box) and we started dry the food and we carry some cans. Mostly we had dehydrated food: we had a lot of pasta and rice. We package all the food and we sent 10 days in the mails. We sent in 3 boxes in the post office we had along the road. We ride about 15 miles a day, it wasn’t hard. One time, the post office had burt and we rode at the post office. The post man knew we were biking so managed to save the boxes and keep them for us. They saved as much mail as they could and they saved our boxes. It was north of the Canadian parks. Post Canada sent the boxes to the next post office, Dan took a train and got to the post office and he took the bus back. The office was a little off. Dan brought the food. On the Cassiar, we had only 1 town on thousand miles.

Historique de Adventure Cycling Association:

In 1970, Dan and Lys Burden came to Missoula, Montana, from Columbus, Ohio, to attend the University of Montana. In 1972, they were joined by another Ohio couple, Greg and June Siple. The four had been planning for a number of years to launch a cycling expedition that summer that would carry them 18,000 miles from Alaska to the southern tip of Argentina. The trek was dubbed Hemistour.

They left Anchorage in June of 1972 and over the next year bicycled to a point in southern Mexico and wrote and photographed an article about the trip that appeared in National Geographic magazine (May 1973).

En route, they conceived the idea for a bicycle tour across the United States to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial in 1976, naming the event Bikecentennial ’76. Unfortunately, Dan contracted hepatitis when the group was nearing the Mexico/Guatemala border and he and Lys had to discontinue Hemistour. Greg and June continued south and completed the journey in Tierra del Fuego in February of 1975. Dan and Lys returned to Missoula and began working on making Bikecentennial a reality. By the fall of 1975, more than a dozen full-time staff members (including Greg and June back from South America) were busy creating the TransAmerica Trail and what eventually blossomed into Adventure Cycling. More than 4,000 cyclists took part in the 1976 inaugural tours.

Following the success of the bicentennial summer, the organization began charting additional long-distance routes for cyclists. We occupied two offices prior to purchasing our headquarters building in 1992.

Today, hundreds of cyclists visit our Missoula, MT, headquarters at 150 East Pine Street.

Read a more detailed history of Bikecentennial ’76 or view the Adventure Cycling timeline.

 

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