Cape May Firemen Welcome Bicyclist
About 100 onlookers gathered at the intersection of Broadway and Beach Avenue to welcome Allen Hubbs. The crowd included Allen’s mother, his wife Terri and daughter Neosha.
Pedaling a bicycle weighing 120 pounds for 59 days and more than 4000 miles sounds like a daunting task. At 57, Allen Hubbs was used to challenging tasks. For 35 years, Hubbs worked for the U.S. Forest Service of the Department of Agriculture fighting and managing forest fires.
Hubbs was greeted by firemen and the apparatus of the Cape May and West Cape May fire departments when he finished his trek here in Cape May. This welcome is considered a symbolic gesture reserved for the brotherhood of firemen. “It’s an honor to welcome a fellow fireman, retired or not to our community,” Chief Alex Coulter. “Our guys were excited to set up and meet Allen.”
Firefighting and public service run deep in the Hubbs family. Allen’s son Joshua is a Hot Shot crew member of the U.S. Forest Service. The Forest Service and its interagency partners employ hotshot crews to help manage complex wildfires. Allen’s brother Terri is Battalion Chief of the Gloucester City Fire Department. Another brother is a retired FBI agent.
Allen Hubbs left Coos Bay, Oregon on June 3 heading east. Avoiding larger metropolitan areas Hubbs pedaled an average of 75 miles a day. Camping along the side of the road or in parks provided most of his lodging. “The bike became a conversation starter,” Hubbs said. “People would occasionally invite me into their homes.” he said.
Most notable was a grandmother in Delhi, Ontario Canada who invited Allen into her home to fill water bottles, 375 miles later in Hancock New York he met the woman’s grandson. Stories like this could be repeated throughout the trip reported Hubbs.
Hubbs kept his family informed of his whereabouts with GPS devices, and updated the Facebook page he created called Ona Surly Hubz. Hubbs now plans to dismantle the bicycle and fly back to Coos Bay, Oregon with his family. “This was a personal challenge to myself,” Hubbs said, “something I could push myself to complete on my own.”