Hello my friend and fellow cyclist,

2014 marks the twenty-first year of Historical Trails Cycling, and for the life of me I have no idea where the years have gone. I can still recall like it was just yesterday, when on a solo cross-country tour in 1991, I was ascending the north side of Huntington Hill in eastern Oregon, where I saw the Oregon Trail ruts for the first time. At the time I could not have imagined how that moment would forever change my life and bestow upon me the many friendships I would make along the way. Now, twenty years later, I’m still leading groups across scenic and historic trails of America and preparing for a new season with two new exciting tours. A lot has happened since that first tour in 1993, and during that time we have shared the road with many riders from across America and the world, and have shared many stories with the locals along the way.

After the success of our first Oregon Trail Tour in 1993, we thought we would try our luck a second time in 1994, but for two of us we were not so lucky, yet in many respects we were very fortunate. On an empty roadway on the seventh day of the tour, a drunk driver collided with me, and staff mechanic and friend, James Melton. While James and I were recovering in the hospital, the remaining HTC staff led the group of riders onto Oregon. Although James and I have often joked over the years about being crash-test dummies, the truth is, helmets really do save lives, and we were blessed to still be riding today.

In 1997 we returned to the Oregon Trail again, only this time we shared the road with the 150th anniversary tour of the Mormon Trail. Over the years we added more tours to the HTC roster; in 2002 we added the Lewis and Clark Trail from St. Louis to the Oregon coast, and in 2009, the Wilderness Road, from St. Louis to Williamsburg, Virginia, and in 2012, The Natchez Trace, from Nashville to Natchez, Mississippi, and this coming summer we will be adding the Oregon Coast Tour, from Astoria, Oregon to Crescent City, California. This season HTC will be offering some shorter tours where we will finish our days staying in comfortable lodgings and dining at fine local restaurants. The Historic Natchez Trace and the beautiful Oregon Coast tour will be two of these week-long rides we will be offering.

In the early years we would at times have 35 to 50 riders on the road, but in the last twelve years we have found it more enjoyable for everyone if we keep our group sizes to 12 – 15 riders, for a more personal tour experience. At Historical Trails Cycling we continue to seek out unique, scenic and historic cycling routes throughout the United States offering affordable options on cycling adventures.

We hope you can join us on a cycling adventure real soon, as the beauty of America and its history is never too far away, and when explored from the seat of a bicycle it becomes even closer.

Safe Riding and Plenty of Tailwinds to You!

Tom Armstrong | Tour Director | Historical Trails Cycling