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"I moved up from tricycle to dancing to playing cymbals," he says. "That's kind of where I stayed."

Itchy-O has tripled in size since then. The group has issued an album, acquired a rabid following and now performs actual concerts. Like its other unsung volunteers, Simoni is preparing for Itchy-O's upcoming tour of Las Vegas, Reno and the West Coast. "Part of the reason I'm in the band is that it forces me to do something with other people," he says. "It's like the island of misfit toys. It's great to simply be a part of something, to be just a minor character in a major project — that's different for me."

Being on tour with a 26-member marching band promises to be a different kind of road trip than Simoni is used to. But there's still time for solitary adventures, too. Time to explore far horizons and what lies beyond them, even though his siblings occasionally bug him about settling down, about his current life being — well, a work in progress.

Justin Simoni and the single-speed bicycle he rode on the Tour Divide, now on display at Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop.
Justin Simoni and the single-speed bicycle he rode on the Tour Divide, now on display at Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop.
Spanning 2,745 miles of backcountry mountain biking, the Tour Divide is the longest off-pavement cycling route on earth.
Spanning 2,745 miles of backcountry mountain biking, the Tour Divide is the longest off-pavement cycling route on earth.

"I don't know what I'm doing next year," he says simply. "I don't have a car. I don't have a significant other. I don't even have a dog — which is sad, because dogs are awesome. These are life choices I've made. This is my path right now."

He grins. "But it might not be that way next year."

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6 comments
Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Any chance of this guy catching passes over the middle ???

Betsy Holmes
Betsy Holmes

i LOVED this cover story. Thank you Westword for bringing Justin's story forward. Justin, you rock!

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Alan, thanks again for taking us along w/ a TRUE athlete.

No millions, major enforcements, and of course no jerseys

adorning every thug in the region.

I'm crippled and people are always trying to pat me on the back,

but there's no way to realistically compare feats. Most major sports

figures couldn't hang w/ this guy.

Nothing short of amazing and a story well written.

willy
willy

I wish Justin would run for president - maybe he could channel some of that creativity and determination toward fixing the economy.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

endorsements / not enforcements ......

 
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