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Since I began writing for WhatcomTalk, I had the opportunity to meet Nick Sucik. He’s a videographer who, like me, wondered about “Naked Bike Guy” and “Unicycle Guy.” He found my articles online and connected with me via email. Thanks to WhatcomTalk for opening up new things for me.

Lee Becker is ready to ride. Photo credit: Dan Burwell.

We decided to collaborate and create a video interview with our new friend, Natural Lee. After I wrote my first article, I received two emails. One described a bike ride in 35-degree rain where Lee actually wore a shirt to start. He still finished without one. Anyone who rides knows cold rain is the worst possible weather. The second email described Lee as a young man living in Glacier in a tree stump. What? Seriously? So I asked Lee and finally met up with him again.

We met at his house in the Geneva Neighborhood. He graciously let me, Nick and my son, Soren, in to watch a video on VHS. It was a Canadian Broadcaster who visited Glacier and met up with Lee to tour his house. Indeed, his house was built out of the middle of a log stump. The stump had partially rotted out on a bank, forming a cave.

Lee simply molded grout and developed a two-room cabin complete with propane stove, French doors and a split level, which was caused by a partial cave-in of the slope. Lights and power were provided by a turbine up on the hill. In the video, Lee was a young, spry kid smoking flavored cigars and baking brownies for the TV interviewer. The house is still standing in his friend’s property in Glacier but is now in disrepair.

Lee Becker covers a lot of ground. Photo credit: Dan Burwell.

Lee also describes how he ended up on the west coast from his New York home. You may have guessed … He biked here!

He basically had the idea to just start biking west, much like Forrest Gump decided to run. Lee rode along the south border in Canada, making it on handouts and the kindness of strangers all the way to Winnipeg before he began to feel utterly exhausted. After riding 100 miles or more per day for a month, he slowed, continued to Vancouver, crossed the boarder and headed to Glacier, as he had a friend there. I imagine Lee much like Forrest Gump, with thick beard and a 10-speed bike rolling up the Mount Baker Highway. His life could be an epic adventure movie.

Lee’s celebrity in Bellingham also includes some false, albeit interesting, stories that people make up about him to explain why he doesn’t wear a shirt. I’ve now heard of two of these stories (one in my 1st story and one in the video) and I suspect there are more. Nick and I set the record straight.

Lee inspires me each time I talk to him. He is truly himself, taking no rules from anyone, yet not rude about it. To be free is to be one’s self. Nick and I hope you enjoy this interview taken at Lee’s home in Bellingham. Lee Becker is a true “Bellebrity” (Bellingham Celebrity).

Got an idea for someone you’ve always wondered about? Maybe you already know them but think they deserve some lime light. I’m looking to get to know others that make our community a better place, a unique place, maybe even a stranger place. Drop me a line at submit@whatcomtalk.com.

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