October 22, 2012
It is mid-autumn here in Missoula. Our 2012 tours are wrapping up and we have announced our 2013 tours schedule. The time has come to kick back a little and start thinking more about my personal touring goals; my bucket list. What I love most about this time is that I can dream and imagine myself out on the road in some awesome locations. Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream, Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam; the 1958 Everly Brothers hit "All I Have to Do Is Dream" immediately came to mind.
I recently received a copy of the book, "Fifty Places To Bike Before You Die" by Chris Santella and the timing could not have been more perfect. Many months ago, I was approached by Chris to be interviewed for a chapter in this book about one of my top touring locations, the Eastern Sierras. Excited about doing the article, I took a mental journey back to one of the most awesome cycling destinations in the US. When the book arrived, I immediately read my chapter first, but then began to explore the remainder of the book. I was blown away by the incredible destinations. My bucket list had to be expanded!
I soon discovered that the book contained chapters from three other expert Adventure Cycling leaders: Art Brown, Tim Meyer and Tammy Schurr as well references to eleven of Adventure Cycling's tour destinations: Eastern Sierras, Leelanau Peninsula in Michigan, South Dakota Black Hills, Texas Hill Country, Glacier/Waterton Lakes National Park, California Wine Country, Grand Canyon North Rim, Blue Ridge Parkway, Oregon's Crater Lake, the Champlain Valley in Vermont, and San Juan Islands in Washington State.
What makes this book exciting is that Chris included interviews with cycling-industry experts to identify and describe what it is like to cycle in all 50 regions. The book also includes destinations outside of North America (26 of the 50 locations) allowing one to expand their dreams beyond continental boundaries.
After reading all 50 destinations at least three times, I selected two locations for my bucket list, one inside, and one outside North America. Since I have never ridden in Europe, I chose Tuscany, Italy as my first international tour. The Icefields Parkway in Alberta Canada intrigued me because it brought back memories of my Denali Adventure this past year; so I added that destination as well.
You can order Chris Santella's book, "Fifty Places To Bike Before You Die" online and make some additions to your bucket list.
All you have to do is Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam.
Happy trails and sweet dreams -- Arlen
Top Photo: Chris Santella
Bottom Photo: Steven Powell
ON THE ROAD is written by the tours team -- Mo, Paul, Madeline, and Arlen -- tours specialists and intrepid bicyclists, covering all things related to Adventure Cycling's tours Department. Check out our 2013 Tours!