Travel: Footloose and Cholesterol-Free


Outside magazine, December 1997

Travel: Footloose and Cholesterol-Free

In the midst of its epic ride, a chat with history’s nuttiest cycling tandem
John Galvin

If you find yourself driving a lonely country road, only to spy a monocled, seven-foot legume in your rearview mirror, don’t be alarmed. It seems that the legendary Mr. Peanut is nearing the end of a 90-day, 5,000-mile crossing of the United States on a bicycle built for two. And the novelty of this nuts-are-good-eats marketing campaign doesn’t end
there: On the front seat of the tandem is none other than eight-time U.S. duathlon champion Kenny Souza. Intrigued, we took a moment to see how things are going for the nut and his crowd-pleasing partner.

So, Kenny, isn’t it just a little weird to be riding with a giant peanut behind you?

No, nothing’s been really weird or anything. It’s been really positive. Well, OK, sometimes I’ll get into a groove and then all of a sudden I’ll notice that someone’s staring at me. And I realize, whoa, Mr. Peanut is sitting behind me.

How has the public responded?

What’s amazing is that everyone knows him. All the time they’re yelling, “Mr. Peanut! Mr. Peanut!”

It must get lonely out there. Have you two had some good talks to break up the monotony?

Uh, he’ll gesture, you know, but Mr. Peanut doesn’t actually talk.

He doesn’t? How come?

He just never has. He’s, you know, a peanut.

You’ve been logging up to 100 miles a day. Aren’t you exhausted at quitting time?

It hasn’t been too bad, because we really trained for this. We’re athletes, you know. And I can tell you this: Right now, Mr. Peanut is in the best shape of his life.