Around 1983-84, I was driving a company blazer in Houston and I saw a fellow bicycle tourist riding north up 59 towards Houston. He was in pretty bad shape. If he wasn't sitting on a touring bike, he would have looked like a homeless street person from downtown. I was on my way home an decided to pick him up and help him out (it was late and he was heading into town and I knew he was screwed on a place to stay). I picked him up and we started talking while I worked my way thru rush hour traffic.
He was Zedo Pedal (pronounced Zee-do Pee-dal). He said that translated into Joe Pedal. He actually changed his name to reflect his bicycle touring. I think he was from Brazil. He had letter a from his president saying that he was representing his country and to help him in any way possible on his journeys.
I took him home (I still lived with my mom) and got him a shower. We then went to the house of some friends. 3 bicycling guys that shared a house. We all sat back and he entertained us that evening with his stories. He just got to the US from South America while travelling thru some seriously war torn countries. The guy had some serious gonads.
When he was at my house, he saw my touring bike. The entire night, he was begging me for all the gear on my bike (panniers, racks, cateye computer, tent...). He basically wanted everything but the frame. It took me a year to save up the money to buy all my toys. I felt bad, but I wasn't parting with my toys.
I eventually went home and he stayed with my friends. They washed his clothes, rode him out of town and gave him some food money.
I always wondered how his trip turned out.