Programs: Travelogue by Bob Harbicht
By: Teri Muse
Bob Harbicht’s cycling travelogue began 35 years ago. Bob had a client who was an avid biker that shared with him all his cycling journeys and it intrigued Bob. Without giving it much thought, Bob told his son, “When you turn 15, we will ride our bikes from San Francisco to Los Angeles.” Bob forgot about saying this, but his son didn’t and on his 15th birthday he asked his Dad when were they going for that ride?
Never to go back on a promise, Bob and his son rode the 470 miles from San Francisco to Santa Monica in just 7 days. Bob said it was quite an amazing experience to be able to spend a whole week alone with his 15 year old son. The biking bug bit the Harbicht family and the next year Bob, Patsy and their son and daughter went on a bike trek together . Thirty five years later Bob and Patsy have cycled in places as far North as Alaska, as far South as New Zealand, the entire California Coast, Budapest, New England in the Fall, Europe, France from the Mediterranean Sea to the Pyrenees Mountains, and Canada.
Bob and Patsy used to plan their own trips, mapping out the course, transporting their bikes and exploring on their own. Now, they go on organized bike trips where the course is all determined for them by locals of that country who know all the hidden gems. They don’t have to lug their bikes on the plane, instead the organizers have the bikes all ready for them and follow them around in a van to make any necessary repairs on their bikes or to allow them to rest by riding in the van instead. (Hardly doubt Bob or Patsy would ever ride in the van!).
Once their grandsons were old enough to ride, Bob and Patsy took them along. One of their most memorable trips with their grandsons Robert and Patrick was bicycling the Czech Republic, Germany and Austria. Bob treated us to a slide show of this trip showing us the beautiful countryside of these countries that could only be explored by bike or foot. We all laughed at the pictures Bob showed us like when Bob misunderstood the waiter and ordered 4 large pizzas for the 4 of them, when him and Patsy kissed in front of the Kissing Statue and the picture of the urinal his grandsons discovered that had a mini soccer field complete with the soccer ball and goal for target practice in it!