The Adventure Cycling blog covers bicycle-travel news, touring tips and gear, bicycle routes, organizational news, membership highlights, guided tours, and more. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for daily updates.
Photo by Adam Coppola
Sometimes it is the simple things that bring the greatest joy, and that's why Salsa's new Anything Cage is going down as my personal pick for 2011 Touring Product of the Year.
The night is a dark time for cyclists ... and we're not necessarily in the clear during the daytime, either. Overcast days, or roads that are heavily shaded, don't lend themselves to providing great visibility to drivers of cars approaching a rider from behind. For this reason, it's a great idea to outfit yourself with some bright clothing, gear, and/or accessories when you take off for a tour.
Once in a long while the Gods of Cycling just smile down on you and say, "We have made you suffer enough. We have made you ride to work through too many snowstorms and scheduled too many of your biking 'vacations' during record breaking heat waves. To make it up to you, we're going to give you a perfect 15-day bicycling tour through Baja, Mexico and we're going to let you try out a Tout Terrain Silkroad while you're there." For a minute it seems too good to be true, but then you just decide to smile and go with it.
Media specialist and BikeOvernights.org editor lists his 10 favorite rail-trails.
I'm a big believer that you will enjoy your tour a great deal more if you get a strong night of sleep between riding days. If you plan on camping most of the nights on your tour, sleep can sometimes be hard to come by, unless you're among the few fortunate individuals who can sleep anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances. Here are some tips for getting a solid night of sleep on your next tour.
Sustrans — roll that word around in your mouth for a moment. Say it again, Sustrans. Ah, this word, a shortened version of sustainable transportation, wraps up the goal of the organization in one neat word.
Last week I received a note from a representative of Tourism New Zealand, with some pretty darn exciting news. "Tourism New Zealand has just announced the latest cycle trail opening on New Zealand’s national cycleway," wrote Kelly Stephens. "It is a stunning cycle loop with sweeping vistas. We thought this might be of interest to you to share with your readers."
Unlike other tours I've taken south of the border, this one presented some unique challenges. For starters, the route called for a mix of pavement, sand, and gravel roads. Heading into the Baja desert, we also needed to be sensitive to flat tires from thorns, in addition to hydration with temps much higher than what we're used to this time of year. Here's a rundown on the route, bike selection, equipment, and tools.
We have recently begun posting complete PDF versions of Adventure Cyclist on the Adventure Cycling Association website behind our member wall (see My Adventure Cycling), but this seems a bit primitive compared to the iOS and Android apps that are commonplace these days.
Fun media find: This photograph of Adventure Cycling co-founder, June Siple, was picked up by a slew of fashionista-type blogs this year; first published in National Geographic in 1973.
Belt drive transmissions are probably best known in the motorsports world, where you can find them on a fair number of cruiser-style motorcycles. Over the past few years, they have been slowly working their way into the cycling scene, and are currently most commonly found on urban single-speed bikes. The benefits of belt drive over a bicycle chain, which you may already know, are that they are cleaner (since they don't require any kind of lubricant), quieter, and they last longer.
If you've ever used an Adventure Cycling map to navigate our network, you may remember seeing those brilliant pink lines that cross the route on the map panels. Those lines indicate where the narrative directions begin and end. In other words, before you can travel from map panel to map panel, you must first travel from matchline to matchline.
Today we welcome Greg Siple -- co-founder of Adventure Cycling and art director -- as a contributor to the blog.
Technical cycling apparel is never mandatory for touring, but it can make the miles go by a little more comfortably. As usual, this year's Interbike show was full of apparel companies showing off a wide range of styles, intended for numerous audiences. Since I prefer to put my money into my bikes and tours, any time I look at clothing I put a strong emphasis on durability. Here are some items that not only function well for touring, but will keep you covered for the long haul.
Last month, the editor of our Adventure Cyclist magazine took a look at Cateye's INOU, a GPS enabled camera and video recorder that mounts to your helmet or handlebars. I was a big fan of what he had to say about it, so I decided to borrow it for a few rides, and share some of the actual video that comes out of this little guy.
Panniers were everywhere at this year's Interbike show. There were a few new companies to be seen, a couple of veteran companies jumping into the pannier arena for the first time, and a lot of current pannier manufacturers bolstering and fine-tuning their existing supply.
Okay, maybe I can't really call our staff overnight epic (it was only 30 miles each way), but it was epic-ly fun! It was a great chance for everyone to get to ride together, have a look at Paul's hand-made bikepacking setup, and enjoy a lazy afternoon at a time of year when the evenings are still fairly long.
If you're interested in a new touring bike for next year, there's some great news. The pool of available bikes is on the rise! Here's a sampling of four new touring bikes for 2012, aimed at four different styles of touring.
In response to requests from members for an electronic version of the magazine, Adventure Cycling has rolled out the past year's issues in downloadable PDF format. We will continue to offer individual articles from many of our past issues in our publications archive, for anyone to access, but these full-issue downloads are available to current members only.
With the increasing number of Cyclists Only Lodging and Camping listings on our maps, we got to wondering how one of the first of these facilities was doing: the Community Center in Monroeville, Indiana. I was able to connect with some cyclists who had stayed there recently and asked.
Sometimes it's challenging to mix bike touring and fashion. A certain friend is fond of reminding me that I'm dressing for a bike ride, not for the prom, when I complain about my limited outfit options.
There I times that I feel as though the biggest obstacle to packing up and heading out on a bike tour is deciding on a route. The list of places to go, and cool things to see, is so long. How do you pick one route over another? The overwhelming choices can easily cause a person to drag his feet, and even spend years thinking about a tour, instead of going on one.