cycling hamster

Schroeder's Page

 cycling hamster

If you do not see the slide show you can get the shockwave flashplayer HERE .
If you couldn't see the slide show, you can check out the pictures here HERE

Above is a short slide show of pictures of my favorite partner on the road. Schroeder, a Golden (short hair) hamster, was a little over two years old when he took a bicycle ride with me across America back in 1992. The trip was between Spokane, Washington and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

JUNE 30, 1992


by Philip E.L. Greene

While returning from vacation through Hannibal, Missouri, John and Phyllis Frame of Benedict Road, Huber Heights, noticed a young man resting by his bicycle near the post office. They struck up a conversation with him and found out that he was not traveling alone. When he mentioned his "buddy", Phyllis Frame began looking for another rider.

But the young man's companion, it turned out, was his pet hamster, Schroeder, and the young man, Hans Myors, was not out for a casual pedal. He was, in fact, riding across the country from his home in Spokane, Washington to the small town of North East, Pennsylvania (near Erie, Pennsylvania), a trip of nearly 3,000 miles.

Since immigrating here from Germany, and becoming a U.S. citizen, Myors has moved around quite a bit, he said, spending almost four years in Orlando, Florida as his longest stay. His second longest stay was in Spokane, Washington. Between 1986 and 1988, Hans took a 16,500 mile trip around the perimeter of the country. "I just want to see this big country of mine," he said.

The trip he is currently taking is sort of a missionary journey, he said, to Lutheran and other denominational churches in the community of North East , Pennsylvania where he hopes to help set up a service organization such as the one he helped form back in Washington.

All along the way, Schroeder has been by his side, calmly riding in a small cage that fits into the handlebar bag on Myor's bike. "Most of the time, he sleeps" Myors said, adding that, when they stop for the night and he is tired, the hamster seems to come alive and want to be active. Schroeder is about 26 months old, Myors said. He has had the hamster since the age of about three weeks.

Phyllis Frame said that once they all got talking, Myors mentioned that he wanted to see the Air Force Museum while riding through Ohio. Frame said that she told him that the museum is only a short distance from her home, so, if he wanted, he could stop in and stay for a few days. Last Sunday, he pulled in for a visit, she said.

Myors said he has been staying in his tent at Lutheran churches along the way. He said that showers, clean laundry, and meals consisting of anything other than peanut butter and jelly have become the highlights of his trip. Schroeder, he said, shares the same menu as he.

Myors said he will leave for the final leg of his trip, about 375 miles, on Wednesday. He said that he and Schroeder are anxious to reach their destination.

I hope that you enjoyed the above newspaper article. There were several other ones written across the country but this was the only one that I could get my hands on. The trip across the country was pretty neat with Schroeder. I never imagined that he would have survived such a long round trip across the country.

I was planning to go across the country to Pennsylvania to see if I could start an ecumenical social service center in one of the towns in the Northeast corner of Pennsylvania. I didn't know how long it would take and I didn't really want to give up Schroeder. I had Schroeder for about two and a quarter years before I started the cycling trip.

I got Schroeder in one of the pet stores in Spokane, Washington. My first hamster "Fritzy", which was a "Teddy Bear" (long hair ), had passed away and I wanted another companion. A friend of mine told me that a "Golden" (short hair originally from Syria) were really fun to have. When I went to the store to get one, they had all these small hamsters that were about three weeks old running around the cage. I was having a hard time choosing one. I wanted a male hamster this time because I didn't want to go through the task of finding homes for baby hamsters. I didn't know that I had bought a hamster that was pregnant the first time.

I somehow came up with a thought that the hamster who seemed to give the most attention to me when I looked into the cage would be the one for me. This is what turned out to be true because there was this one golden brown and white hamster who stood up on it's hind feet looking up at me. It was like it was saying "Take Me, Take Me". I was really glad to learn that this hamster was a male.

We became instant friends. Schroeder really made himself welcome in my apartment and he never got himself lost in it. I had a great time taking him outside and putting him into a hamster ball so that he could wander up and down the apartment complex driveway or along the front sidewalk. My landlady really liked him and would come over for special visits with him.

When it got near the time I was to get on the road, I knew that I couldn't part company with him. Schroeder seemed to be a hardy character and I thought that he would make it. I was able to find a small animal cage that fit in the large main pocket in my handlebar bag. I had took Schroeder around Spokane in it to check it out and he didn't seem to mind. For his gear, I gave up one of the pockets in my front panniers for his food, water bottle, and cedar shavings.

It was real fun having Schroeder on the bicycle as a companion. I was worried some on how he would survive the trip but he was a trooper. For the most part of the day he would be sleeping soundly buried in the cedar shavings in the cage. There was a good supply of air going into the handlebar bag. I didn't have a way for him to get water when he wanted to drink but I stopped quite often for him to have a drink from his water bottle. I was also concerned about him being jostled about from any major bumps that I couldn't avoid but they never phased him.

Schroeder even ate pretty well the same food that I ate. He seemed to really enjoy pieces of my peanut butter sandwiches. I would always be amazed at how much food he would stuff into his cheek pouches. I thought he would bust them but he didn't. When I stopped for long breaks, I got him out of the cage so that he could roam around in the grass some. He really seemed to enjoy that.

At night, it was the time to really have fun with him. I would let him roam around in the tent. He didn't try to chew a hole in the tent. A lot of times he would climb up on top of my chest and either curl up for a while or clean himself. He was a very clean hamster. There were times when I did have trouble getting to sleep at night since Schroeder is a nocturnal animal. I had to flip the cage upside down to make sure that he didn't chew a hole through the cage top.

People were quite surprised when they found out that I was going across the country with a hamster. Whenever I would stop at a store, some person would always ask if I was afraid of traveling alone. I would say no and I told them that I was traveling with a partner. They of course thought I was talking about a human partner and started to look for another cyclist. Then I would tell them that my partner was right here with us on the bicycle. I would get this astonished look when I would open up the handlebar bag and pull out Schroeder who had been fast asleep.

Kids were the most fun. If there were some kids loitering around either the store or gas station that I stopped at for a break, I would tell one of them that if they heard any really loud snoring coming from the bike they would have to come in and get me. This got the kids very curious and they would ask me why I told them what I did. I would go through the same spiel that I would do with adults and then pull out Schroeder after a few minutes.

Schroeder would even attend church services with me. I would take the cage out of the handlebar bag and carry it inside the church. The cage would be placed right next to me on the church pew. Not once did a minister say that Schroeder wasn't allowed to worship with me.

When I finally got to the town of my destination, nothing ever happened. The ministers that I was supposed to be working with forgot that I was coming and most of them had gone on vacation. After a couple of days in the town, I shoved off towards Philadelphia. Schroeder and I spent a couple of days in Philadelphia.

I didn't think that I could make a trip cycling back to Spokane so I opted to take Greyhound back. I had to change buses five times. I was really worried that Schroeder would be found out but he wasn't. The last bus driver that I had even allowed me to take Schroeder out of his cage so that he could get some exercise.

I really enjoyed that trip across the country with him. If there were ever a world's record for the farthest traveling hamster, Schroeder would probably have it paws down since he covered a distance of almost 7,000 miles on bicycle and buses. Someday, I'm thinking about writing a children's book about his adventures across the country.

Schroeder even survived another short bus trip down to Portland, Oregon where I was to start a position with a Catholic social service agency. Schroeder passed away in January of 1993 a little more than a month before I started my ministry of cycling around the United States. He was almost three years old when he went to that big hamster heaven in the sky.

Hamster Heaven

Here are some neat hamster Websites I think you will enjoy. (Click on the hamster to visit the site. Sites will open in a new window.)

hamster Happy House (Virtual Hamster)
hamster The Hamster Dance

Here are some neat hamster videos that I found on YouTube. I think you will enjoy them. (Click on the hamster to visit their page.)

hamster Funny and Cute Hamsters
hamster Hamster Controlled Robot
hamster Hamster Dance Song
hamster Hamster, Piano, and Popcorn
hamster Hamster Race
hamster Hamster vs Toilet Paper Roll
hamster Smart Hamster Opens A Box
hamster Turbo Hamster

This isn't a page about a hamster but it is one about a rodent. Some people might be offended by the message but it does have some meaning to it. Click on the squirrel below to see the "Squirrel Revival". This is the original video done by Ray Stevens.


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bike rev pic

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