Marvin Paxman - Member Profile - CycleBlaze

Member Profile

Marvin Paxman


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We are Marvin and Erika Paxman from Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada.  While I (Marvin) am a retired computer programmer, Erika is currently a nursing instructor at the college. 

How we got here

 We have always led an active life:  Indeed, our first date, the day after we met (at a barn dance), we went canoeing together on the St Mary's river in southern Alberta.  For further adventure we moved to the Yukon shortly after we were married where we lived for 5 years and had our first 2 children.  Those years saw a lot of exploring, hiking, fly fishing, canoeing and even some hunting (although I really wasn't a hunter, I just was lucky to have a friend who really knew what he was doing).  When we moved back from the north we chose to try living on the west coast where there was sailing and pretty much year-round cycling weather.  We had our third child and settled into raising our kids in the Victoria area of beautiful Vancouver Island.

A bit of a setback

Due to a serious injury to her left ankle some 12 years ago, Erika required multiple surgeries and was left with a fused ankle.  It took a few years just to get back to where she could go for walks again.  So when our dear friends, Steve and Dodie Miller (the Grampies) began some serious cross country tour cycling, starting in 2011, we looked on somewhat wistfully, although we followed their journals closely.  

Technology to the rescue

With the development of lithium batteries, electrically assisted bicycles or e-bikes, as they have come to be known, became a truly viable option for Erika to be able to cycle again.  I was still regularly commuting by bike but as soon as I became aware of the possibility of e-assist, I did a lot of research and in early 2012 I had Erika convinced to give it a try.  Soon we were on e-bikes with 500 watt rear hub motors and a new found ability to really enjoy cycling together again.

We begin to dream

We began taking the bicycles everywhere with us, 

On the Red Rock Canyon parkway in Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta Canada

But the real hook came when Erika's father sent us a slide show of the Mosel river valley in Germany.  We were enthralled!  Especially since Steve and Dodie Miller (the Grampies) had just completed their first European tour,  we ordered the Bikeline guide for the Mosel and started to believe that maybe we could really do something like this!   When we showed up at the Miller's house with a Bikeline book in hand they were surprised and delighted to discover our interest in trying European tour cycling.  From that moment on, they have been so supportive and encouraging!!

Preparation:  Our first tour

To see if we really could do this sort of thing, we decided to try out Oregon's Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway.  It was an excellent choice for a first time multi-day ride.  (We did do an overnight ride locally as a shakedown to test daily distances and equipment)

Ready to start a whole new adventure
One of the highlights: luscious blackberries in the Willamette mission state park

The dream is realized, a new passion is born

So the following year we made the jump to Europe where we discovered the joy of riding a mid-drive pedalec with torque sensor technology.  And how could we not fall in love with the infrastructure of German radwegs!  

Transitioning from the Mosel Radweg to the Rhine Radweg
We were able to rent wonderful long distance e-bikes
Eis cafes, definitely one of our favourite things

We continue to cycle here in Canada and the USA wherever and whenever we travel, but we are always looking forward to that next big trip in Europe which is tour cycling heaven to us.