Laura & Russ
Laura & Russ

Russ Roca and Laura Crawford, Path Less Pedaled

Portland, Oregon

We are bike travelers. We enjoy lots of styles of riding (road, gravel, self-supported touring), but it is the experience of traveling somewhere for the first time, by bike, that we seek out and promote. Everything is more beautiful and more interesting when you’re on a bicycle, and you have opportunities to interact with people and places that you would never experience in a car.

Around 2005, we both started commuting regularly by bike. We were living in LA at the time, so it felt subversive and exciting. In 2007, we discovered bike touring, which opened Pandora’s box. In March 2009, we spent 6 days riding around Joshua Tree National Park. There is nothing so beautifully epic as riding through the desert - and by the time we got home, we had decided to sell everything and travel by bike.

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What kind of cyclist are you?
We are bike travelers.  We enjoy lots of styles of riding (road, gravel, self-supported touring), but it is the experience of traveling somewhere for the first time, by bike, that we seek out and promote. More below

How long has cycling been a part of your life? When did it become more than just “riding a bike”?
Around 2005, we both started commuting regularly by bike.  We were living in LA at the time, so it felt subversive and exciting. 
In 2007, we discovered bike touring, which opened Pandora’s box.  In March 2009, we spent 6 days riding around Joshua Tree National Park.  There is nothing so beautifully epic as riding through the desert - and by the time we got home, we had decided to sell everything and travel by bike.  

The cycling accomplishment you’re proudest of to date?
Our original 10,000-mile, 15-month, travels-by-bike around the US.  We met incredible people, camped out in stunning locations, survived snow and thunderstorms and running out of food, and racked up a book’s-worth of stories.
 
Favorite place you’ve been on a bike so far?
Far West Texas.  It’s an incredible wide-open landscape, mostly empty except for the occasional ranch and quirky western town. 
It’s quiet and dark at night, and everything feels epic. 

Favorite place to daydream about that you haven’t yet ridden?
Argentina.  As far as we can tell, Argentina has everything we want in life: beautiful places to explore by bike, fly-fishing, wine, and steak. 

How do you describe what the bicycle means to you?
Freedom and Exploration.  Everything is more beautiful and more interesting when you’re on a bicycle, and you have opportunities to interact with people and places that you would never experience in a car.   

How will your future as a cyclist unfold?
Good question!  Our basic mantra is: ride bikes, travel, do good.  We want to continue traveling by bike, and continue
Working to make bike travel a mainstream and welcoming activity.  We’ve also been on a trajectory of more gravel, less pavement, so there are certainly more bikepacking adventures in our future. 

Who inspires you and your riding?
The kind people and unique stories that we encounter on the road are what inspire us to continue to travel and adventure by bike, like Phil Carlson of Treo Ranches, who opens his hunting lodge to cyclists during the summer, and Bill White of Twin Bridges, Montana, who raised $10,000 to build Bike Camp to welcome touring cyclists.

Favorite Salsa model and why?
Our trusty, beloved Vayas have seen us through the last few years of self-supported touring and filming by bike.  Our new
Warbirds are leading us into more off-pavement riding, a road bike for when we don’t know what the road is going to look like. 

Favorite pre, during, and post ride/race food and bevvies?
Bananas, Burgers, Beer, and Bourbon.

When you’re not cycling…
If we’re not cycling or consulting about bike tourism, we can generally be found fishing, relaxing by the river, or hanging out in one of Portland’s many great places to drink beer. 

What don’t you leave home without on a ride?
Besides the tool kit and patch kit… A camera and extra food.   

www.pathlesspedaled.com