Meet Your Neighbor: Tom Franklin, Bikerman Extraordinaire!

Tom Franklin Encourages All Bikers to Wear Helmets

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,416)

“I’m easily entertained!  I didn’t learn anything at all,” said Tom Franklin, 75, grinning his warm and welcoming smile that is  uniquely Tom.  He was talking about his numerous bike excursions that have tested his endurance and won the admiration of many for his pluck.  “People often ask me what I learned from my trips,” he said.  “Nothing much is my answer,” he said, adding that signature smile.

Last month Franklin and a friend from his Harvard Law School days, flew to Pittsburgh via Jet Blue, where they started their 10 day 200 mile trip along a former railroad track turned bicycle trail to Cumberland, MD.  The two friends chose this route because there was no automobile traffic for the 200 miles and thus it was impossible to get hit by a car since the area is restricted from cars.  It took the two five days to cover the 50 – 60 miles a day – spending nights at inns along the way.  “It was a nice time of the year to do this because there were few others on the bike trail.  We saw dogwood, redbud, and cherry trees in  bloom. We did not expect the two days of snow we saw, though,” he said.

His big trip was ten years ago, when he biked from British Columbia to Tijuana, Mexico – that was 1,800 miles and he did it 10 years ago.  That was a trip that he doesn’t expect to duplicate.  But he is comtemplating a trip in the near future in Texas; the Big Bend Park area.

His second wife of over a year, Anna Ginn, shares his passion for biking.  The two are embarked on another adventure of their own with lots in common.  Ginn  is on the board of Adventure Cycling, the largest of its kind non-proft in the world.  Likewise, she  has completed the same 200 bike excursion that Franklin did last month in Pittsburgh.  The two divide their time between the Hill and New York City.  That’s because Ginn is Senior Director of Synergos, an international philanthropy for “special justice programs around the world.” Founded by David Rockefeller’s daughter, it facilitates programs that improve communities around the world by supporting local organizations, such as creating the first blood bank in Lebannon, and founding a major agricultural program in Ethopia.

Franklin is also a seasoned off-shore sailor who hung up his sails a few years ago at Portland Yacht Services to have more time for biking adventurers.