Enjoy these recent features from Adventure Cyclist magazine. Adventure Cycling members receive 9 issues of Adventure Cyclist each year and receive full access to digital editions. Join today!
by Amy Thao. Before setting out on a tour, the focus is usually on preparing the bike, gear, route, and finances. After leaving home, the rhythm of the road sets in and the focus shifts to the journey. I want to share with you some of the things I learned, especially about the importance of making human connections when traveling by bicycle. I first encountered cycle touring while on vacation in Iceland. I saw four people on fully loaded bikes making their way around the Ring Road in the wind and rain. At the time, it seemed insane — I was having enough trouble keeping my rental car from being blown off the road — but I never forgot the look of intense joy on one cyclist’s face as she made it to the top of a steep climb.
by Dan Schwartzman. Arriving in San Luis Obispo after a leisurely 40-mile ride flanked by cow-filled golden pastures and the mighty Pacific, I do what I always do upon entering a new city. I go straight to the Bikram yoga studio. This distinctive type of hot yoga, the kind that I am certified to teach, is practiced in more than 500 studios in North America, and many are located along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). For the better part of the past two months, I have been riding the cyclist-friendly route and, as I make my way from Vancouver heading south, Bikram studios have served as my homes away from home along the way. Some have provided work. Others offer a warm place to stay or some friendly people to meet. I always find a space to stretch out after a day in the saddle. I take comfort in the familiar series of 26 postures named for its eccentric guru, Bikram Choudhury, who patented the sequence and trained his more than 8,000 certified teachers to use the same language, a script known as the teacher’s dialogue, when leading a class at any of his approved studios, regardless of location.
story and photos by Chuck Haney. When you first think of Indiana, what comes to mind? For me, having grown up in neighboring northern Ohio, my recollections are of a flat-as-a-pancake landscape with orderly rows of cornfields bordering weathered barns complete with basketball hoops hanging off the side. You could just as easily hear the wind rustling through the corn stalks as the thud of a bouncing leather basketball. And, for heaven’s sake, what exactly is a Hoosier anyway
by Eddie Game Photos by Caine Delacy. Most people have heard of Kazakhstan: ninth-largest country in the world, site of the first successful space missions, and the home of Borat. Fewer people have heard of its smaller, mountainous neighbor Kyrgyzstan, and fewer still of the Tian Shan. Stretching for over 2,000 kilometers along the borders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and China, the Tian Shan is a mountain range of epic proportions with dozens of peaks over 5,000 meters, interspersed by hundreds of glaciers, remote alpine valleys, flanked by dense forests, and dotted with turquoise lakes. Best of all, there are hardly any tourists. In fact, there are hardly any people at all.
photos and story by Tore Groenne. It was the third time I’d tried to make it to Bolivia’s far southwest on my bike. The first time was nine years before when I set out from La Paz after being robbed to the point where I had a dollar and a half left but neither a credit card, nor a passport, nor a plane ticket home. I was 20 years old and on a four-month ride, my first ride ever, down along the Andes, and when I finally sorted things out, I soon pedaled for the seemingly safer and definitely more comfortable roads of Chile. Three years later, I passed through La Paz again, this time on a bike ride from Mexico to Argentina. I fell in love with La Paz, gorged on the delicious street food, drank with locals in shady bars, biked the breakneck “Road of Death” down to the jungle and climbed Huayna Potosi; witnessing the sunrise from the stupendous 19,974-foot summit after a frosty night climb through the clear Andean air. When I got back to high camp, my tent had been emptied. Sleeping bag, mattress, stove — all gone. Disillusioned I left Bolivia behind and once again headed for Chile and the comfort of friends and pisco sour in the desert town of Antofagasta. Ever since, I have regretted not bicycling the wilderness of Bolivia’s southwest. This time I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way.
by Nathan Ward. A person can’t escape the sky in central Kansas. The bubble of space around you dominates every angle of view. The horizon line, the thin crust of Earth traveled by humans, feels stretched and fragile in contrast. But one can see a long way out here, and under this vast sky, a slow moving black dot drew my eye.