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Holiday cheer: miracle family tours U.S. on bike built for five

Via Streetsblog, I stumbled across the story of the Pedouins, a family of five on a 7,000-mile bike trip from Kentucky to Alaska on a custom-built tandem. Pedouin is a mash-up of pedal + bedouin, I believe, an appropriate moniker for this family of cycling nomads.

In addition to mom and dad, the Pedouins consist of Robin, Jasmine, and Cheyenne — 3, 4, and 7 years old, respectively. Cycle touring is incredibly rewarding, but it’s not easy work. Even at their moderate pace — about 25 miles a day — the Pedouins still have to deal with constant exposure to the elements, hills, headwinds, flats, crashes, and all the other challenges of bicycling. The family spends most nights in a tent. If the ride goes as expected, it will last for twenty months. Did I mention that Robin is 3?

The bike is designed with couplers that allow it be taken apart and reassembled as a two-person, three-person, or four-person vehicle when some riders want to hang back at the camp site. Notice the chain extenders on the second and third seats, designed to accommodate little legs.

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Here is the bike fully loaded. Let’s stipulate that the kids are certainly helping to push the wagon up the hill, but mom and dad must be pretty seriously fit.

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Here it is loaded with adorable munchkins, right at the 2,000-mile mark.

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The Pedouins’ travelogue is pretty charming. It turns out that people are quick to extend their hospitality to families of five on 7,000-mile bike journeys. Cops especially seem to get a big kick out of helping them along.

> From the police officer we heard about a donut shop to visit for breakfast. Without trailer we head there and enjoy the morning rush. When we get back to our campsite we find two boxes of donuts plus milk and orange juice; with the compliments of the police officer. Thank you sir!

I’m surprised the Pedouins haven’t gotten more attention. They’ve had a handful of local press appearances, but this story has national media written all over it. How ’bout it, New York Times?

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