Sun July 12 2009
Posted Jul 12, 2009
By Tim Gallagher, Sioux City Journal | Posted: Sunday, July
SIOUX CITY -- A sign outside the Sioux City's city limits
here could say, "We're halfway there!"
So it goes for tandem cyclists Brian and Pamela Pangburn who
pedaled into the Woodbury County seat Saturday from the
north on Iowa Highway 12.
The couple started their summer vacation by dipping their
back tire into the Pacific Ocean at Astoria, Ore., May 19.
They plan to dunk their front tire in the Atlantic Ocean at
Hampton, Va., Sept. 1.
Sioux City marks the 2,300-mile point of this 4,600-mile
Expedition is the right word. Part of the trek follows a
trail blazed by Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery.
"I had no idea the Lewis and Clark expedition was so big,"
said Brian Pangburn. "I didn't realize they had a slave with
them. I didn't know anything about the dog (Seaman). I don't
think I learned near as much as I should have about them
when I was in school."
The Pangburns visited numerous Lewis & Clark attractions
along the way. They planned a visit to the Lewis & Clark
Interpretive Center this weekend as well as the Sergeant
Floyd River Museum & Welcome Center and the Sergeant Floyd
Monument. Sioux City was the site of Floyd's death, the only
death on the 2 1/2-year expedition.
"I'm paying attention to how their diets changed on the
expedition," Pangburn said. "They were mostly meat eaters,
but switched largely to camas (a root) and salmon when they
crossed the Continental Divide. And many of them got sick."
Landlords head home
Brian, 44, and Pamela Pangburn, 45, own apartment units and
single-family rental homes in Casa Grande, Ariz. Their
children are 25 and 24, respectively.
"We're getting to be middle-aged and our kids are leaving
the nest," said Brian, explaining their urge to cycle. "We
try to ride an hour or two every day back home."
The bug to cycle more bit two years ago when Brian's mother,
Cheri Ubben of Hampton, Iowa, suggested they participate in
the Register's Annual Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI). The
2007 ride had an overnight stay in Hampton, the
north-central Iowa community where Brian graduated from high
The couple rode RAGBRAI and wanted more. They returned for
the 2008 ride.
"On the second day of RAGBRAI last summer we spoke with a
72-year-old cyclist who was doing his second cross country
ride of the year," Brian said. "We figured if he could do it
twice, we could do it once."
They planned the ride and got started, but have taken brief
breaks at the start of each month. Why? They need to return
home to collect rental checks and address the needs of any
renters. They flew home from Missoula, Mont., for 48 hours
recently and flew home from Pierre, S.D., last weekend.
All told, there are 66 riding days on this trek. It will
take three months to do it.
Some stats to chew on:
- Average speed is 12 1/2 miles per hour.
- Biking 8 hours daily burns 4,000 calories.
- Weight loss or gain? None for Brian or Pam. They weigh the
same as they did in May.
- Best meal? The eight-egg Hungry Man's Omelette at The
Loggers' Restaurant in Oregon.
- Closest call? A live skunk that nearly sprayed them Tuesday.
- Coldest? Snow on June 7 at Lincoln, Mont.
- Hottest? Around 90 Tuesday in South Dakota.
After heading south from Sioux City today, the couple will
bunk in Onawa, Iowa, with a cycling acquaintance. That kind
of hospitality has greeted the couple throughout their trip.
One-third of their evenings on the road have been spent in
the homes of fellow cyclists.
They'll join RAGBRAI a week from today as it starts its
journey from west to east across southern Iowa. After
crossing the Mississippi River, the Pangburns will cruise
south toward St. Louis. They'll catch up with the Trans-Am
Trail that will eventually take them to Hampton, Va.
The Pangburns' lives will return to normal come September.
That is, as normal as these property managers can get. You
see, their lives are more than rental checks and property
upkeep. Both Brian and Pam are members of the U.S. Skydiving
Team. Pam is the team's videographer. She jumps with a
camera fastened to her helmet.
"Normally we're getting into competition in the fall," Brian
said. "The planes are at 13,000 feet when we jump. We do
canopy formations as soon as we jump."
What's more dangerous: A jump from 13,000 feet or pedaling
all summer on a tandem recumbent cycle?
"I understand there are risks with both," Brian said. "I do
feel more in control with a parachute as I've got 4,300
jumps. Never once has my parachute not opened."
For more information on Brian and Pam Pangburn, see
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