2012 Bicycle Travel Award Winners

Reader Contribution by Adventure Cycling Association
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This article is posted with permission from Adventure Cycling. 

Adventure Cycling Association is excited to announce the winners of its 2012 Bicycle Travel Awards!

The Bicycle Travel Awards celebrate the individuals and groups making bicycle adventures possible. Support can come in a myriad of forms, from route creation to a hot shower, and these awards are Adventure Cycling’s way of saying a big, collective ‘THANK YOU!’

The Braxton Bike Shop Award is named in honor of the inaugural winner, the Braxton Bike Shop. In addition to servicing the repair needs of hundreds of long-distance riders, Sam Braxton hand built beautiful custom touring and expedition bikes and wheels designed for the rigors of loaded touring. His wife Shirley offered gracious hospitality that made the shop complete. This award honors bike shops throughout the nation that go out of their way to provide unique services to bicycle travelers. A long-standing commitment to providing touring equipment & gear, skilled mechanics, and great services are hallmarks of the winning bicycle shop.

The recipient of the 2012 Sam Braxton Bike Shop Award is Pacific Coast Cycles in Oceanside, California, for the incredible care and attention with which they serve their customers. Chuck Hoefer’s shop, opened in 1977, is not very large, but there’s enough space to keep Surly Long Haul Truckers stocked in every size, as well as classic and custom bicycles, and mountain bikes. He also carries a wide variety of vintage and modern bicycle parts. Hoefer is a master mechanic and an expert wheel builder, and his shop shares the same spirit and tenacity that Sam Braxton’s shop once exuded, one that creates life-long bonds and friendships, instead of just returning customers. “Chuck and Gretchen are honest, passionate, knowledgeable, and competent,” said Pacific Coast Cycles’ nominator. “They want to sell you a bike you’ll love — nothing more. Chuck might be the best darn mechanic and dedicated lover of biking that Southern California could ever have.”

The June Curry Trail Angel Award is named in honor of June Curry, the famous Cookie Lady of Afton, Virginia. From 1976 until her passing in 2012, June assisted more than 11,000 cyclists on the TransAmerica Trail, sharing with them her hospitality, her home, and from time to time, a few cookies. In this spirit, the Trail Angel Award honors a generous individual or group encountered during a bicycle tour that makes the cyclotourist’s journey easier, or possible, by helping the cyclist through an act of goodwill.

The 2012 June Curry Trail Angel Award goes to Byron Seeley, Kelly White, and Vikki Correll, of Jeffrey City, Wyoming. Located in a ghost town halfway between Rawlins and Lander on the TransAmerica Trail, these three provide resources and shelter to cyclists where none otherwise exist. As their nominator explained, “Byron and Kelly run Monk King Bird Pottery in an abandoned gas station across from the Split Rock Cafe, Vikki’s place. Since the only motel in Jeffrey City closed in 2009, Byron and Kelly have graciously offered a place to camp, or accommodations in their trailer or the floor of their studio, to many traveling cyclists, including me. Jeffrey City is a wild place with big storms, rattlesnakes, clouds of mosquitoes, and miles and miles of sagebrush. The hospitality of Byron ‘the Mad Potter,’ Kelly, and Vikki is a true legend of the TransAm.”

The Pacesetter Award is named in honor of Charlie Pace from Columbus, Ohio, who has devoted over 40 years to creating and supporting bicycle travel opportunities. He was a key promoter and supporter for both the Tour of Scioto River Valley (TOSRV) and Adventure Cycling Association. He has devoted his life to creating opportunities for people to get on their bikes and have fun. This 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 others to travel by bicycle. This can come in the form of creating safe bicycle touring routes, getting kids to enjoy multi-day bicycle trips, inspiring others through large multi-day events, and more.

The recipient of the 2012 Pacesetter Bicycle Travel Award is Ian Klepetar of Gansevoort, New York. In 2007, Klepetar dreamed up Bicycle Benefits, a progressive bicycling program through which users display reflective helmet stickers to receive discounts at local establishments, rewarding individuals and businesses for their commitment to cleaner air, personal health, and the use of pedaling energy in order to create a more sustainable community. Klepetar promotes the program across North America traveling exclusively by bicycle. “He has brought this program to numerous communities in 21 states, the District of Columbia, and British Columbia,” said his nominator. “I have never witnessed more passion for cycling, the bicycle, and non-motorized travel than that which Ian Klepetar embodies. He is a phenomenal human, and exemplary bicycle advocate.” Through his work with Bicycle Benefits, Klepetar has created a bigger awareness of what is possible, accessible, and enjoyable by bike.

Adventure Cycling Association has a history of individuals contributing their time, skills, and passion to help us inspire people to travel by bicycle. Thanks to our great volunteers, who have donated tens of thousands of hours to us over three decades, we’ve become the national leader in bicycle travel. Our way we show our appreciation is by honoring a Volunteer of the Year!

The 2012 Volunteer of the Year Award goes to Christopher Marsh, of Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Marsh’s work in New Mexico on the development of Bicycle Route 66, and his efforts toward its official designation as U.S. Bicycle Route 66 have gone far beyond Adventure Cycling Association’s expectations. In his nomination, Marsh’s outreach to New Mexican communities and tribal leaders, and numerous meetings with the New Mexico Department of Transportation, were gratefully noted, as was his detailed road review and analysis work. The New Mexico section of Bicycle Route 66/U.S. Bike Route 66 will be a wonderful journey for cyclists thanks in a large part to his efforts. “For the past 40 years, Chris Marsh has been contributing, supporting, and promoting bicycling,” said his nominator. “Chris has a lifelong, multi-faceted commitment to cycling. He is a wonderful role model and leader for other cyclists, and has improved the cycling communities of all the towns and cities that have been fortunate enough to have had him as a resident.”

The Adventure Cycling Awards Program began in 2003 as a way to recognize organizations and individuals who are doing extraordinary things in the name of bike travel. Nominations for the 2013 Bicycle Travel Awards will open Monday, July 2, 2013. If you would like to know more about past winners and how to nominate someone, please check out our Bicycle Travel Awards.

Photo by Fotolia/lassedesignen 

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