Adventure Cycling announces 2014 Bicycle Travel Award winners

The Adventure Cycling Association‘s annual awards celebrate extraordinary organizations and individuals who promote and participate in bicycle touring.

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2014 Trail Angel Award: David and Patti Bruner, of Ryegate, Montana

The June Curry Trail Angel Award honors an individual or group encountered during a bicycle tour who made the cyclotourist’s journey easier or possible by helping the cyclist through an act of goodwill.

When Mark Metz and Ray Boyer pulled into town on a stormy afternoon, there were no motels or campgrounds, so they began to set up camp in the town park’s picnic shelter in an attempt to stay dry. That’s when David Bruner pulled up in his pick up truck, introduced himself, and offered them the hospitality of a night in his home.

David and Patti seek out cyclists riding through their town and extend their offer. It is not unusual for them to do it when the weather is good, just out of the fellowship of the road. They are avid cyclists themselves and so know how much a warm bed, a laundry, and a meal mean to riders on tour. They’ve been extending their hospitality to cyclists for years.”

David is the science teacher at Ryegate’s high school (student population: 4) and Patti is the mayor of Ryegate.

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2014 Pacesetter Award: Bruce White of Fredericksburg, Virginia

The Pacesetter Bicycle Travel Award recognizes individuals, groups, businesses, and organizations that have consistently demonstrated extraordinary commitment, dedication, and service to the advancement of Adventure Cycling’s mission of inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.

Scoutmaster Bruce White and Boy Scout Troop 165 have “set the bar” for youth cycling programs and Scouting units across the country. By integrating bicycle travel into their Scouting program, Troop 165 has created an environment where young men can learn and practice outdoor, citizenship, and leadership skills that will last a lifetime.

Its progressive program starts with short local rides where Scouts learn bike handling and safety and simple overnight campouts where they practice camping, cooking, first aid and other skills. Scouts (and parents) can build up to longer multi-day trips and a week-long summer camp where they can strengthen and build on their basic skills. Older scouts have the opportunity to participate in truly unique and special events, such as the ride celebrating Scouting’s centennial in 2010 or the trans-continental ride in 2014.

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2014 Bike Shop Award: Green Mountain Bikes, of Rochester, Vermont

The Braxton Bicycle Shop Award honors bicycle shops throughout the nation that go out of their way to provide unique or exemplary services to bicycle travelers.

Steve and Nancy Ellis were on a 10,500-mile perimeter ride of the U.S., having ridden from St. Augustine, Florida, to San Diego, California, then up to Anacortes, Washington, and the pair were now on their way to Portland, Maine. They had just climbed Breadloaf Pass in Vermont when they noticed the tires on their tandem were shot. They were referred to Green Mountain Bikes, and immediately recognized it as the same shop that had helped them four years earlier on a 1,200-mile bike tour with their daughters.

While their bike was being serviced, Nancy and Steve called ahead to their campsite only to discover it had been completely destroyed in Hurricane Irene. The mechanic, P.J., overheard and invited the pair to camp in the shop’s backyard, leaving the shop unlocked so they could use the restroom. The next day, they woke early and headed out, but on the second large climb of the day, well out of cell phone range, they suffered a mechanical breakdown.

“I went to several houses which were pretty far apart until I found a man at home who let me use his land line,” Nancy explains. “We didn’t know who to call, but I found the receipt from the bike store in my pocket so I called them to get some advice. I was shocked when the phone was answered on a Sunday morning. It was P.J.!

“He said not to worry as he could use his GPS to find us, and an hour later he was roadside, diagnosing our mechanical problem. He realized the parts we needed, went back to the shop, and two hours later was back, fixing up our tandem. He finished around 6:00 PM and only charged us for the part. No labor or gas charge either. He even told us to send not to send the check until we finished our trip. Where could you find another bike shop or mechanic with long distance road service like this?? We are very thankful for the good-hearted and caring people we met on our six-month journey of the U.S., which we completed five weeks later.”

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2014 Volunteer of the Year Award: Adventure Cycling Life Member Rami Haddad, of Lexington, Massachusetts

Each year, Adventure Cycling staff chooses a volunteer who assists the organization in the advancement of Adventure Cycling’s mission of inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle. This year Rami was nominated by several staff members who had this to say:

“Without Rami’s enthusiasm and skill, this past summer’s beta test of digital map data would not have been pulled off in quite the same way. He jumped in from his role of moderating the GPS Discussion Forums to helping write numerous support pages, testing data on various devices (even in the field!) and moving the process forward at every step.”

“Rami has put countless hours into helping us out with the digital mapping project. He has been our expert with device functionality and helped to support all of the testers this summer.”

Rami’s work to promote and improve conditions for bicycle travel in America through his work moderating our forums and assisting with the beta testing of our digital map option was greatly appreciated.


To learn more about past winners and to nominate your own bicycle-travel hero, visit http://www.adventurecycling.org/awards.

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