The Cookie Lady, Cycling’s Biggest Trail Angel, Passes Away

On Monday, June Curry, a.k.a., the Cookie Lady, passed away at age 91. Curry was a trail angel to cyclists passing through Afton, Virginia, through the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Our pal Jeff Thrope, of Cold Splinters, wrote this about Curry last year:

Curry received the Adventure Cycling Association’s first Trail Angel Award in 2003. The award has since been named after her, in honor and recognition for her help towards over 11,000 weary traveling cyclists on the Transamerica Trail. June Curry began baking cookies for cyclists the very first year that the Transam was run, during Bikecentennial ’76. Curry lives atop a ridge just after a grueling climb in Virginia, just before the Blue Ridge Parkway. Over the years Curry offered water, lodging, a place to relax, and of course cookies in exchange for stories from people all around the world. Curry’s home (and cycling “hostel”) serve as a literal museum, with yellowed polaroids, sweaty caps, and used bike tires, archiving over thirty years of the Transam. Over the years there have been hundreds of articles written about The Cookie Lady, including from the New York Times.

And today the Adventure Cycling Association added:

Living in her home near the small town of Afton, VA, on the slopes of the Blue Ridge Mountains, June was going about her normal routine in the summer of 1976 when she noticed an unusual number of cyclists passing her home going up and down the incline. Being a courteous person, she put out her garden hose for cyclists to fill up their water bottles. Being a social person, June learned that these cyclists were part of a phenomenon known as Bikecentennial. Eventually, she started supplying the riders with snacks and home-baked cookies (the reason she was dubbed the “Cookie Lady”). Then June took the momentous leap to re-purpose a building next to her home as an overnight stop-over for traveling cyclists. The “Bike House” had places to sleep, a full kitchen, and loads of cycling memorabilia and Polaroid photos of visiting cyclists. (There are some good pictures of June and the Bike House in this article in Nelson County Life.)

Over more than three decades, June hosted thousands of cyclists from all over the planet. Her generosity was so great that we named our first formal bike-travel award in her honor — the June Curry “Trail Angel” Award – recognizing an individual or group that goes the extra mile (or ten) to help traveling cyclists.

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