Jim had his mascot "George, George, George of the Jungle." George, an orangutan, was russet with inordinately long arms and legs and long fur which, as he settled down between Jim's rear panniers, waved in the breeze as Jim rode. George also had a really stupid grin on his face and looked as if he wanted to give/receive a hug, or....
Buck (Bucky) was Melissa's mascot. She didn't come with one, and after much teasing, prodding, and encouragement became amenable to the concept of a mascot. After all, many of us had mascots. While in the Duty Free Shop on our Sunday ride to Roosville, BC to get the Canada border part of the trip in, Jim (I believe) spotted this 8" (or so) stuffed beaver. A cute little fellow with large teeth (rather a "buck" tooth look to him...I think Jim did the sex check), piercing beady eyes, nice brown fur. Just the right size to fit in Melissa's Camelbak carrying area. It was love at first sight.
Corky...he (it?) had a unique story. Carl was Not Interested in jumping into the mascot scene. Not one bit. But in Bigfork we had occasion to have a bottle or two of wine - with real corks...not the cheap screw-top stuff. Suddenly Carl had a mascot. Appropriately named, I might add. Carl wasn't especially kind and considerate to Corky. Corky had to make-do. Sometimes in the bottom of a pannier, unable to watch the trip unfold. Or uncork, as it were. Near the end of the trip, Corky went overboard. Carl didn't even want to retrace his route to look for Corky! Nor was he concerned. Something about "I didn't choose Corky, so I don't feel too badly." Out there in the wilds of Montana, there is a Corky, looking for a new owner, someone he (it?) can be a mascot for, ready for bike to ride or bottle to cork.
Daffy (Duck) rode with Al, in his special spot on the handlebar. If I remember correctly, Daffy also had horn capabilities. He'd been patched together a few times over the years, perhaps by now nearly as much super-glue as plastic. A little faded in color, he obviously has been a long-time faithful companion.
Duck/Emergency Backup Duck (EBD)/Big Duck/Lawn Duck all belonged to Paul. At the start of the trip, Paul only had Duck and EBD as his special touring companions. The rest came later. Duck rode behind Paul on the rear rack, and EBD (a very small duck indeed) was chained to the zipper of Paul's handlebar bag.
Frog/Emergency Backup Frog (EBF) both came from England with Ann. (With these English emergency backup mascots, there must be a significant problem with mascot-knapping in the UK.) Frog rode shotgun and EBF rode in a similar handlebar position as EBD. During the trip, Frog had an unfortunately cycling experience and in a freak accident, gave up part of its bulging eyeball to the knife-like spinning of spokes.
Rufus. My mascot. The only mascot on the trip to have his own web page. He's been with me since 1991 and my first touring adventure - to Scotland. A handsome teddy bear with personality, he's been through rain, hail, snow, blistering sun, a wedding, and the indignity of being stolen and unceremoniuously tossed, unwanted, into the bushes.
Copyright Judith J. Colwell, 1997. All rights reserved.
Last Updated: May 14, 1998