The world's dominant bicycle touring ride began in 1973 as a happy accident--as Stephen Gaul can attest.
Love this! Nice use of the word bucolic. I think my girlfriend and I were there in 1979 or 80. She wore a tube top the whole way. We didn’t train. We had regular bikes, no bike shorts or helmets and that is all I will disclose in public.
Great memories, Kyle! The Pickard anecdote I recall was his riding a one speed bike, coming in late each day and having dismount issues--on more than one occasion he would circle a couple standing fellow riders, coming closer and closer until they could catch him and lift him safely off the bike. Hope it was true!