We met Barb & Randall Angell on ETC rides and I was taken by their story about driving from BC to Claremont, CA to get their bike fixed. In 2014 we booked a tour to the Yukon and I realized that we would be riding a little segment of their route, so I went to look up their narrative and discovered that the URL for their website now pointed to an office furniture place. (While searching I found this article about their work with Lighthouse for the Blind.)
I found the webpage about their trip on the wayback machine and scraped the text – you can access it on the sidebar (without any formatting or link repair.) I didn’t copy their photos, but at least for now you can get to them from here. Here are their beginning and ending photos as a taste:
Here’s how they introduced their adventure:
The Love of Cycling
Oh for the love of cycling! So, how did this tandem team become smitten with this passion for pushing pedals?
Randall received his first bike at age 9. With nothing but soft gravel roads to ride on, learning how to stay upright required no training wheels as falling into the dirt did not dampen spirits. One of his favorite destinations was the mailbox, two miles away. On the dusty Kansas farm roads, he rode and rode and rode that bike until he outgrew it as a teenager.
Barb received her first bike at age 7. She traded rides on her huge tricycle for rides on her friends’ bikes until she found one she could stay up on. The bike she selected had the banana-shaped seat that was popular in the 60s. By sixth grade, she upgraded to a three speed. Like Randall, she rode and rode and rode her bike throughout her youth.
Fast forward to the late 70s. In a college setting, Randall realized that a bicycle would be very practical so he purchased a rusting old bike. This 3 speed didn’t shift or brake very well so he took the bike completely apart, then reassembled and painted it. Biking on paved streets for the first time, Randall was amazed at how much fun it was. After miles of enjoyment, his bike was stolen and it was time for an upgrade to a 10 speed Schwinn World Sport.
Boy with bike meets girl with bike. Within a month of meeting Randall, Barb went out and bought a Schwinn bike that was identical to his. Hmmmm, wonder if she was trying to impress her new friend? Their common love for cycling resulted in numerous biking dates while at Kansas State University. The only thing missing at their subsequent wedding was a tandem.
Commencing their engineering careers, the Angells and their Schwinns moved to Ohio in the mid 80s. For the next few years, cycling took a backseat to long work hours. The Schwinns were retired and two Huffy mountain bikes became the preferred wheels. Fifteen speeds. Wow!
A move to Michigan in the early 90s really set the stage for their increased cycling outings. The new community was bike friendly and their job settings allowed more personal time. Within their first two years of Michigan residency, they had biked down every street in Rochester Hills (643 miles). A year later they biked all of Auburn Hills and Troy. Along the way, they upgraded to Montague’s foldable hybrid bikes. Twenty-one speeds. Wow, wow!
Because the folding bikes could easily fit into two hard shell suitcases, their cycling frontier expanded from metro Detroit to the whole USA. All vacations were now bicycle vacations. They biked Arizona. They biked New Mexico. They biked Texas. In the late 90s they finally wised up to a tandem. The Angells were now TeamAngell. Two seats. Twenty-seven speeds. Wow, wow, wow!
With the tandem, the enjoyment, the speed and the out-of-state adventures all saw a big jump. The horizons were expanded even further with self-contained cycle touring. From reading about other cycling adventures, they realized, “We CAN DO this!”
A short visit to the Puget Sound region in ’95 set the stage for a long tour. Their dream evolved to a Seattle move with a cross-continent ride prior to the relocation. Nine years later, their vision became reality with a five month tour from Alaska’s Arctic Circle to Key West, Florida.
Since their youthful cycling starts, incremental advancements in equipment and adventures have allowed them to fulfill dream after dream. Having biked at least 100 miles in 42 states and annually exceeding 3,000 cycling miles, TeamAngell is sometimes asked by non-cyclists, “How do you cover so much ground?” Their answer is simply, “We started out small and we share a common passion.”
Randall and Barb Angell
Here are some PDFs they posted on their site: