A man riding his bicycle around the perimeter of the United States as part of his Good Vibes tour to share stories of people, places, organizations and communities that are making the world a happier place was in Havre Tuesday.
Tom Helbig of Tomfoolery Outdoors rode into Havre Monday night and spoke with the Havre Daily News about his journey and mission.
“In 2016, I bicycled from San Diego, California to Key West, Florida, and on that journey I did volunteer work for Special Olympics and did some awareness events, and went to 13 different events around the country – my goal was to, one, volunteer service in each state that I rode across,” he said. “That kind of launched this bigger project of mine, to ride the perimeter of the United States and spread good will as I travel.”
He calls his journey the “Tomfoolery Good Vibes Tour,” he said.
He said he is on leg four of his quest on bicycling the perimeter of the United States.
In 2016, he said, he did the southern route, and in 2018, he rode from Key West, Florida to Canada up the Atlantic Coast, and from fall last year to early this year he completed the Pacific Coast from Canada down to Mexico.
As of July 15, he started this part of the journey of cycling around the perimeter of the United States in Neah Bay, Washington, and will end at Lubec, Maine, he said.
“I love the simplicity of bicycle travel, exploring small town America, the people I meet, the sights that I wouldn’t always see from a car, the people I wouldn’t meet from a car and, the stretch from the Olympic Peninsula to here is some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been,” Helbig said.
He said traveling through Havre has been nice because it is flatter and a different kind of beauty.
He added that traveling on a bike gives him the opportunity to see things and towns that he normally wouldn’t see.
His path around the perimeter around the United States, he said, takes him to all four corners of the country and he’s now connecting the dots.
Helbig is originally from Dayton, Ohio, he said, where he has an outdoor venture business called Tomfoolery Outdoors.
“So I’m Tom in Tomfoolery, sometimes the fool,” he said, laughing. “I produce events and do guided experiences.”
Because of coronavirus his events schedule was canceled, he said, adding that he took the opportunity with his schedule being clear to tackle the northern route across America.
“As I travel, I see the best in humanity and that’s always what is shared, and so that is really important to me,” Helbig said. “I have had zero negative experiences with human beings on my travels and I’m over 10,000 miles on my bicycle now.”
“I think we can make the difference that we’d like to see in our community, so with a lot of the challenges that exist with our world, I think that we can lead by example, and so my bike journey is leading by example – showing that if we bring good to our communities, to our families, to our friends, to our business that we really can make the world a better place,” he added.
He said as he travels he seeks out “good vibes leaders,” which are peoples, places, organizations and communities that are making the world happier, loving, accepting place and sharing their stories on social media.