The Cycling Druplers

A 330 mile Trip to DrupalCon Pittsburgh 2023

Randy Fay (left) and Nancy Lewis (Right)

Randy Fay

At the most, it would take about 20 hours of flight from New Zealand to Pittsburgh, a road trip may be another suited travel decision or a train ride, but would cycling cross your mind? Drupal enthusiast Randy Fay, who incidently is the winner of 2023 Aaron Winborn Award, and his wife Nancy Lewis travelled or rather cycled 330 miles (530 km) from Washington, DC, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to attend the DrupalCon 23 event. 

We've done many thousands of miles of bike touring in our day.

remarks Randy. In this particular journey, they rode the C&O Canal Towpath (C&O = Chesapeake and Ohio) and the GAP (Great Allegheny Passage) and then headed towards Washington. Nothing but muddy trails and beautiful countryside.  

It's all dirt path, no cars all the way!


Randy has been involved in Drupal for many years and was formerly involved with maintaining contrib packages and some core development and mentoring, etc. These days he maintains and supports DDEV.

TheDropTimes [TDT]: Why did you both decide to travel this way? Who was the initiator of this Idea? Was this the first time for this type of travel?

Randy: We've loved bike touring for years. I knew I was going to Pittsburgh for Drupalcon NA, so I asked Nancy if there were people we knew of things we should do there. Of course, she said, "Oh, we should ride the C&O" This was definitely not our first bike tour. We rode 14,000 miles (22,000 km) from the top of Canada to Argentina from 2006-2009; see


TDT: Can you tell us about your daily routine on a trip like this? 

Randy: We usually wake up at 6 or 7, usually in our tent at a hiker-biker or other site. I make coffee for Nancy on our little alcohol stove, and she gets up gradually. Then we get things together, pack up the tent, load everything on the tandem bike, and head off. 


TDT: What was the preparation like for this? 

Randy: We ride regularly and always take a shakedown ride before going on something like this to make sure all the gear works.

TDT: Were there any challenges you both faced? 

Randy: We had a dog run toward us, right under our front wheel, and we went down. We weren't going very fast, but Nancy definitely hurt her leg and is still limping. But after one day off the bike, she rode the whole rest of the way.

TDT: What are you most looking forward to at DrupalCon 2023 this year?

Randy: I always love seeing old friends, helping people with DDEV, and learning about their experiences and challenges. I'll be at the contrib day and help people wherever I can.

Randy Fay and Nancy Lewis live in Palisade, Colorado, USA, between the mountains and the desert on the western edge of Colorado. Do stay tuned for a detailed interview with Randy Fay who will talk about DrupalCon and his Drupal journey. 


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