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Different spokes for different folks
Very soon they will be somewhere between Mexico and South America. Later, the married cyclists can be found somewhere between Africa and China. And years later still, they'll be pedaling somewhere between Europe and New Zealand.
The Prescott couple stopped in Tucson last week as they embarked on their seven-year odyssey around the world - by bike. Tim, 35, quit his job as a teacher at Mingus Mountain Academy. Cindie, 40, quit her job as a geologist with a groundwater consultant firm.
They sold their old cars, rented out their home and stuck just about everything they owned that wasn't trip-related in storage.
"I look at our bikes now as our new apartment," Tim said.
Both are avid travelers. Cindie has backpacked through China. Tim has endured Baja California on nothing but two wheels and sweat, as well as pedaled through the West.
Their first date was a mountain bike ride in Flagstaff. They got married in Las Vegas in 1998 at a drive-through chapel, with the newlyweds riding away on a tandem bike.
They've been planning this trip almost since they met on a blind date. So, why now? "We have nothing to lose. We have no children," Tim said. "If I wait any longer, I won't want to be sleeping on the ground anymore," Cindie added.
They insist they are not on a lark, and they know their journey - with the inevitable
flat tires and harsh weather - will be anything but a vacation. "We're both
road savvy," Tim said. "That's the beauty of being our age. We know a few
The couple are interested in exploring and experiencing. They are not racing or out to prove anything. In other words, they could find themselves working on a farm in Argentina for a few months before moving on. Tim may stop somewhere to teach. Cindie hopes to help villages with their water problems. "This is just another way to see the world," Cindie said of their $41-a-day travel budget.
The couple have set up a Web site to allow family, friends and anyone else to follow
their adventures: www.downtheroad.org.
They welcome e-mail correspondence, but be patient for a reply. Sometimes
they'll be somewhere just outside of who-knows-where, pedaling away.
I have used several brands of bicycle panniers and
highly recommend Ortlieb.
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