Fall 2010, Lowell Smoger finished his masters program in engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology and found himself–like many young Americans–high on smarts, degrees, and skills, but low on that all important, job-landing element, experience. Unlike many young Americans, however, Lowell didn’t move back in with his parents and start scouring Craigslist for job openings. He started planning a bike tour that would introduce him to America and maybe introduce him to a few bike industry folks along the way, as well.
I met Lowell this Labor Day weekend while he was stopped in Seattle. A college friend of mine, Hannah, had ridden with him for the first few weeks of the tour and had sent me a message telling me to meet up with her tour partner when he got to Seattle. Lowell, my girlfriend, and I spent an afternoon exploring nearby Bainbridge Island by bike. On the ferry ride over to the island, Lowell and I talked about his reasons for touring, his life on the road, his take on the kindness of strangers, and more.