Adventure Cycling Blog

Photo by Adam Coppola

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

May 21, 2012
Benefits of Bicycling & U.S. Bike Routes

Last week, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) announced the approval of two new U.S. Bike Routes: USBR 45 in Minnesota and USBR 35 in Michigan.

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May 18, 2012
Touring Gear and Tips Roundup
In a few short weeks, my fiance and I will be gearing up, and heading to Fairbanks, Alaska, to kick off a five- or six-month tour down to Mexico.  If you're interested in our route, you can check out the outline we've got in mind here.  So far, we've never managed to stay on route, always wandering around to nearby sights, so we'll see what happens in the end.  If you want to follow our progress, we'll be updating our Tumblr page. Anyway, the point of all this is that today marks my final blog post for this column. With that in mind, I had a hard time deciding on what to focus on, so I'm just going to throw out a potpourri of things I'm into for various reasons.  Here we go!
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May 11, 2012
Touring Tool Kit
Touring Tool Kit

Whenever I'm putting together a pack list for a tour, before I even start thinking about what I might need, I always grab the pack list from my previous tour to use as an outline.  Since all tours are different, there are things that need to be tweaked here and there.  For instance, fenders and warm clothes can stay at home on a tour through Baja, Mexico, while they will be a necessity for touring in Alaska.

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May 9, 2012
Building Bicycle Tourism
Building Bicycle Tourism

Let's start this blog talking about money and connections. Meet Jean Francois Pronovost, standing here with his daughters after a weekend ride on the route network he was instrumental in creating, La Route Verte.

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May 4, 2012
Filling in the Gaps
Filling in the Gaps

Bicycle touring is a good time, but it also takes up a good amount of time.  While we often fill in the time between tours by heading out on day rides, or weekend overnights, there are a lot of other fun things to do on a bike.  Here are some of the activities I've enjoyed over the years to fill in the spaces and stay in shape from one tour to another.

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May 3, 2012
Corporate Supporter Spotlight: BikeToursDirect
Corporate Supporter Spotlight: BikeToursDirect

BikeToursDirect, a gold-level member, is one of our newer corporate members. Jim Johnson, owner, took time to answer some of our questions and tell us more about his company.

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May 1, 2012
How To Make a Bike Blog
How To Make a Bike Blog

10 easy steps to creating a bike tour blog.

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April 27, 2012
Kids on Bikes!
Kids on Bikes!

Kids on Bikes! They make me smile. They give me hope for the future.

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April 25, 2012
Bearing Witness to History by Bicycle

I've just finished Edward P. Jones' extraordinary book, The Known World. Published in 2003, the novel explores the painful relationships wrought by slavery, weaving in a little know historical fact that there were freed blacks who owned slaves.

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April 24, 2012
10 Ways to Stay Healthy on a Bike Tour
10 Ways to Stay Healthy on a Bike Tour

We know what you're thinking -- how can you NOT be healthy on a bike tour? Read on!

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April 20, 2012
Leg Lube Performance Shave Gel
Leg Lube Performance Shave Gel

Looking at the faces of bicycle tourists, it seems like it's about a 50/50 split between those who shave and those who don't.  For myself, beard growing season happens as soon as the daytime mercury drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which means I'm shaving on long summer tours.  Over the years, I more or less had to make due with soap and water when it came to shaving, since I wasn't about to deal with heavy gel aerosol cans.  It was never super comfortable, and I nicked myself a lot, but it was better than itchy stubble.

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April 20, 2012
Share the Joy of Adventure Cycling
Share the Joy of Adventure Cycling
Picture the open road, your favorite bike, the wind in your hair ... if only you could bottle up all of that passion and excitement you have for bike touring and share it with your friends and loved ones ....Wait -- you can!  By sharing Adventure Cycling with them, you can give your friends a taste of all that bike touring has to offer. 
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April 18, 2012
Cycling our National Parks - Free Admission This Week
Cycling our National Parks - Free Admission This Week

In honor of National Park Week, April 21-29, all 396 U.S. National Parks are offering free entrance admission. Maybe it's time you checked biking to and through a National Park off your bucket list.

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April 13, 2012
Training For Your Tour

We get a lot of questions about what kind of training is needed for a bicycle tour, which is a super broad question. How you train for a tour depends on the difficulty and length of the tour, your experience as a rider, your body type, and health conditions to name just a few factors. Regardless, here's some general advice that can be applied to almost any training regiment.

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April 12, 2012
Touring Cyclists Always Welcome Camping
Touring Cyclists Always Welcome Camping

Last week we heard about a fantastic development via the Virginia Bicycling Federation about the Virginia State Park System. They announced a new policy that ensures long distance touring cyclists will always have a spot to pitch a tent in their parks, even when designated spots are filled.

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April 10, 2012
10 Things You Might Think You Need for a Long Distance Tour, but Don't
10 Things You Might Think You Need for a Long Distance Tour, but Don't

As touring season ramps up and you’re getting your things together, you may be weighing what you do and do not need to bring, or what you need to make room for as your storage space fills up. Here's how to pare down!

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April 6, 2012
Adventure Medical Kits Escape Bivvy
Adventure Medical Kits Escape Bivvy

The Escape Bivvy from Adventure Medical Kits is new for 2012, and it is looking to be a beefed up version of their popular Emergency Bivvy. Intended to provide additional warmth when the unexpected occurs, this bivvy reflects body heat back inwards, but also manages to breath out moisture to cut down on condensation buildup.

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April 4, 2012
Family Circles: Planning A Cross-Country Bike Trip
Family Circles: Planning A Cross-Country Bike Trip

Spring, a time for training and planning summer bike trips. This year, all my time and energy is devoted to the bike trip of a lifetime — for my youngest son, Mac.

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March 30, 2012
The Decision
The Decision

In the 2011 Oct/Nov issue of Adventure Cyclist I wrote a column titled The Decision. It got a lot of responses. I recently read the column on Weekday, a show on public radio station KUOW in Seattle.

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March 28, 2012
Exciting Times at the 2012 National Bike Summit
Exciting Times at the 2012 National Bike Summit

The cherry blossoms were in full bloom and I thoroughly enjoyed the spring (or summer) weather while I attended the 2012 National Bike Summit at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Washington, D.C. last week.

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March 24, 2012
Lost and Found
Lost and Found

It never fails, no matter how iron clad your pack list is, there will always be something you realize you missed, in addition to lot of things you realize you don't really need. For the extra items, you can always ship those back home when you reach a post office, and with the items you forgot, you can usually pick them along they way. One fun thing about touring is that when I say pick thing up along the way, I really mean along the way. Over the years, I've found a lot of odd items laying on or next to the road while riding that I have found useful.

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February 29, 2012
A Historic Ride Through Adventure Cycling Association
A Historic Ride Through Adventure Cycling Association

In this video produced by America ByCycle about Adventure Cycling, America ByCycle heads to the Adventure Cycling Association headquarters in Missoula, Montana to meet the people behind the maps. There they finally get to weigh their fully-loaded bikes, meet Greg Siple, one of the founders of Bikecentennial and Adventure Cycling Association, and get their portraits taken.

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February 28, 2012
A Leap Day Mantra
A Leap Day Mantra

In 1996, I was eleven years old. I will never forget the classes' reaction to finding out our classmate, Jared, was born on February 29.

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February 25, 2012
Windy Rides

We've had a calm winter overall here in Montana, but this past week acted as a good reminder of what it's like to ride in harsh conditions, specifically heavy winds. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you battle the winds with finesse!

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February 24, 2012
Highway Celebration!
Highway Celebration!

Sometimes I look back over my trip photos and wonder, "Did I take that?"

The above image fits in that category. It's India. It's in my trip folder. Then it dawns on me that even though I was on a solo trip, I didn't take the photo ... because I'm IN it.

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