Ladies and gentlemen, for those of you who don’t know me, my name is Evan Miller. That’s my wife Emily over there. Matt and I have been friends for more than a decade now, so I wanted to say a few things about my buddy over here.


When I was a kid growing up in a small town in Indiana, there was one surefire way to make friends. You got on your bike on a warm summer day and rode around the neighborhood until you saw another boy your age on a bike, and then you were friends. Simple as that.


When I moved to Chicago at the ripe young age of 27, I didn’t know a whole lot of people. So I decided to try out the tried and true method from my youth: i went out looking for someone to ride bikes with. When I saw that a local tavern and in my neighborhood was hosting a class on bike camping, I figured this would be a great place to find other like minded individuals who would share my love for all things two-wheeled. 


That’s where I met Matt Bozek. I remember he had a really cool bike – a Surly Long Haul trucker, the perfect vehicle for the kind of bike camping trips I had been dabbling in recently. We hit it off pretty quickly, and a few months later we were already brainstorming ideas for getting out of the city on our touring bikes. In the following years, we did all kinds of trips, from short rides to breweries outside of the city limits, to week-long multi state adventures all over the country.


Our bike tours were always fun, but never predictable. Our tour from Montreal to Boston found us lost on country dirt trails and backroads more than once. Our tour along the east coast needed to be completely rethought when a storm front hit us with 25mph headwinds riding south on the Outer Banks. Our plans to ride along the Katy trail to St Louis were dashed when the Missouri river had the worst flooding in 30 years. On that trip, we narrowly avoided being hit by a literal tornado after weather reports inspired us to get a hotel for the night rather than camp.


Throughout these hectic and sometimes very difficult trips, there was one thing that I could always rely on: Matt Bozek. Matt never complained, never got frustrated, and he was always prepared and always motivated to help find the best solution for whatever predicament we had gotten ourselves into that day. On some of the toughest days, when the hills were steep or the weather was bad, Matt never lost his spirit or his sense of humor.


When I was exhausted and frustrated, trying to plot out a GPS bike route to get us to the next camp site, Matt was the guy who would go up to a stranger and chat them up. One night, well past dark, while biking through the backroads of Rutland, Vermont, I saw Matt pull over to talk to some random guy who was out on his lawn. At first I thought the guy was angry at us for biking down his road, but ten minutes later, we’re in the guy’s house having beers with him and his wife and being offered fruit and veggies from the garden. We had fresh grape tomatoes in our camp pasta that night.


This is the kind of guy Matt is. He’s kind and generous, he always has a corny joke up his sleeve, and he would show genuine interest in getting to know just about anyone we’d cross along our route. Bonus points if they like cats as much as he does.


I didn’t get to know Becca until a couple years into knowing Matt. When I finally did, I understood exactly what he loved about her so much. Becca has that same kind of personality – she’s someone who is always excited to see you, always happy to listen. When Becca finally moved to Chicago, my friendship with the two of them only grew stronger as I got to join for all kinds of fun pub crawls and theme parties. If you guys don’t already know, Becca knows how to throw a great theme party. After all these years, the only thing better than being friends with Matt Bozek is being friends with Matt & Becca.


Matt and Becca, I’m so happy you two found each other. And while I greatly miss having the two of you around Chicago, I know you’ve made an incredible life together here in Seattle. Emily and I are thrilled to be here for this special day, and we wish you nothing but the best in the future. With that, let’s raise our glasses and toast to this wonderful couple