My name is Rob Hess and I live outside of Erie Pennsylvania. I am married and father of 6. I have been a touring cyclist since 2001. My wife and I decided to do healthy family activities out-doors, and get our kids into activities that we could share through adulthood. We decided on travel, camping and bicycling. Biking became our go-to family favorite. We have a strong sense of adventure and in particular I love to experience the outdoors on a bike. I have pedaled throughout the US on short 1 to 2-week vacation rides, and recently enjoyed riding around Paris with my wife. In Feb 2018 I will embark on my first cross country bike ride, on the Southern Tier trail, unsupported with a friend.

  • Family: I am married for 30+ years, and the father of 6 amazing boys, (now men).
  • Business: Owner of Paragon Print Systems, Inc., a technology company branded BarcodeFactory.com.
  • Giving: Founder Hearts for the Hungry, a non-profit org focused on providing nutritious meals and disaster aid to the poorest regions of Haiti. I also support local Christian focused charities in Western Pennsylvania.

Why bike touring…

I enjoy spending time with friends and family going places on a bike. Seeing the world at a pace where you don't miss a thing. I especially love to eat. Exercise to me equals more food. My favorite foods cover all the major food groups; Salt, Sugar, and doughnuts. I occasionally enjoy salads, as long as they are smothered in whatever can hide the taste of lettuce.

When I was a kid I loved the feeling of freedom a bike gave me. I could leave my house and ride all day, covering many miles in our small community in upstate NY. As I grew older and graduated to cars, I left the sport of riding behind. When my wife and I started a family, we went full circle back to bicycling with our kids. They started young on difficult long rides, and today they love the outdoors and share our sense of love of travel and adventure.

Our first long distance bike tour was Pittsburgh to Washington DC, on the Great Allegheny Passage. That was in June 2002 when the trail was little used and had many parts unconnected. We travelled the 325 miles utilizing a combination of grit, determination and stupidity. I learn best from making mistakes, and my touring skills have since greatly improved. I travel light and leave the hair dryer and curling iron home.