Location: Wichita

Wichita’s Bicycle Bob

From NCbeat, a monthly lifestyle magazine published in Wichita, Kansas comes the story of Bob Hughes, also known as “Bicycle Bob” for his extensive backyard collection of bicycles:

Many Wichitans have seen Hughes, a retired engineer and Air Force veteran, on his daily commute. Though he can drive, he prefers to bike in all kinds of weather, including snow. “It’s more convenient to hop on a bike and ride,” he explains – a realization that came to him as a student at Wichita State in the late ‘60s. Many college students bike around campus; Hughes just never stopped.

He picks up new bikes at garage and estate sales, balancing a new find on the road like a cane while he pedals the one that got him there in the first place. He once rode home that way from Andover – a 30-minute trip at his speed.

Though he doesn’t have to worry about the price of gas, the lifestyle does have its disadvantages. Hughes estimates he’s been hit by cars at least 40 times, and the staff at Wesley Medical Center have gotten to know him well. He also doesn’t wear a helmet, thinking it lulls the rider into a false sense of security. “You get your neck broke either way, helmet or not,” he says.

It seems as though he bikes to prove something: that even in Wichita, living without a car can be done. “It’s a constitutional right,” he says. “A bike is nothing but a new pair of shoes with a round sole.”

You take care out there, Bicycle Bob.

Read more from NCBeat.com. Thanks to John at Cycling in Wichita for the tip.

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About The Author

By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web’s premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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