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Photo by Adam Coppola
If you've ever cycled much on public roads, you've almost certainly had a motor vehicle come too close and scare the heck out of you. Or if you're Gina Evans or Arlen Hall, you've actually been hit by a truck or car at high speed.
This was supposed to be a post about cycling. It was specifically supposed to be about cycling in snow; a video about how to make your own studded tires. And I'll get that to you (I promise), but with the current events of my life, I want to talk about a broader desire for adventure.
Although the cold demands respect, I love nothing more than to muck about, marveling at the beauty of winter and finding stories in the snow.
We all know that recumbents are becoming increasingly more popular among touring-oriented cyclists. The reasons for this are many.
If you ask a traveling cyclist about their scariest moment on a bike, many of them will respond with a tale about an encounter with a loose dog. What should you do when you see Rover on the road ahead of you? There are many tactics you might employ, each with it's own positives and negatives.
I have spent a lot of time trying to improve my photography and filming skills. Filming something well is almost identical to taking a good photograph. The same principles apply. Learn how your camera works. Give some thought to how to take a good photograph or video clip. If you don't do that then even the geekiest post-production expert will not be able to create a masterpiece for you.
Today, as I take a moment to remember the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, and reflect on the impact of his work on our society, I am again very grateful for the sacrifices that he, and those before him, made on my behalf.
It's a true story that I'm a huge sucker for limited-edition runs of products. Recently, I caved and snagged a pair of Bont Thor Hushovd signature-edition cycling shoes, and I'm brainstorming another tour for this summer so I can swing by the Adventure Cycling office to snag another Bikelingual bandana, available only to touring cyclists who visit our headquarters.
As 2012 drew to a close, so did our 2012 Share the Joy program. This program encourages members to share Adventure Cycling Association with their friends and cycling buddies, and also awards fabulous prizes throughout the year.
It's been another incredible year for Adventure Cycling Association and for our work on the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS). I know it's already the middle of January, but let's take quick look back at 2012 accomplishments and then I'll give a sneak peek of all the great things to come in the new year.
As the snow falls, our skinny-tired road bikes whimper and our fat-tired bikes yelp in anticipation of getting out there for some cold adventures. Fat bikes are more popular than ever and now you can show your fervor and solidarity at the 2nd Annual Fat Bike Summit and Festival.
Adventure Cycling's 2013 tours season is up and running, with our first tour ending in Florida this Tuesday. And while we're offering a record-breaking 72 trips this year, they're already filling up.
Riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike route this past summer gave me a whole new appreciation for bottle cages. I began the ride with three different bottle cage models, and by the time I hit the border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico, only one bottle cage survived.
Cyclists face a lot of nemeses on the road, from rumble strips to distracted drivers. Another one is bad chip seal.
As I was ringing in 2013, I found myself contemplating the best adventures of 2012. By far, at the top of my list was the big adventure in my own backyard: a self-contained (together with Bill ) bike-packing trip to the top of a few high points near Missoula, MT.
This is the season for bike lights, and if you didn't score a new light over the holidays, there's a good budget friendly, and very useful light from Knog called the Boomer. The brightest LED light currently available from Knog, it throws out a solid 50 lumens. At this power output, you shouldn't expect to turn night time into day, but you can expect a descent spread of light in front of you to be able to see obstacles in the road, even with city and traffic lights dimming its power.
As another year comes to a close, it is the perfect time to reflect on, and relive, all of the awesome cycling experiences, new cycling friendships, and beautiful stories from 2012.
Just how many times did I say "hello" today? I asked myself that question recently in Cambodia (where we are currently cycling). We have been greeting warmly everywhere in this country, but while cycling the tiny roads and paths along The Mekong, the greeting got intense.
In my column, Fine Tuned, in the latest issue of Adventure Cyclist, I mentioned the difficulties of getting a rack on a fat bike that has 170mm rear dropouts. Here's a testament to how quickly fat bike technology is moving forward: Not long after I submitted my article, Salsa Cycles went ahead and released the new Alternator Rack Wide for their Mukluk fat bike.
Xenia, Ohio, a town of 25,000 is a suburb of Dayton with two bike shops, a community library, multiple restaurants and camping at the fairgrounds. It would make a great stop for a layover day or two to soak up Underground Railroad history and pedal some miles in the surrounding countryside.
The smell of wood smoke is in the air along with the squeals of little pigs darting across the road. The roads had wound up and down for days (500-foot to 2,000-foot climbs all day long) as we crossed from one river drainage to the next. There were no restaurants or stores to be found, so we asked a local if she would cook us breakfast. She held a newborn in one arm as she fried up spicy eggs with greens and sticky rice over a wood fire. We kept glancing up to see dozens of kids peeking in to see the foreigners. We emerged out into the brilliant blue sky of the highlands of northern Laos.
The following is a guest post by travel writer and Adventure Cycling member Jeanine Barone:
I know what you're thinking -- there are a lot of commas in that title. Just know that they're there for emphasis. You might also be thinking about creating videos on your bike tour and posting them to your web log, or "blog" as the kids call it these days. Well great! That's why we're all here. You've learned how to make a bicycle touring video, you've learned what tripods to use, and you've learned the art of storytelling thanks to the other bloggers and judges so far.
When the three young men featured at the start of Tom Allen's new film, Janapar, set out on their round-the-world bicycle tour, Tom's voice-over says something to the effect of "there is something out there ... we want to create meaning in our lives." Quickly the challenges of the road and the beauty found alongside it begin to carve that meaning, chucking artifice aside until the group splinters and each man goes his own way. We then follow Tom into the desert, into a woman's life, into his existential thoughts on exploring the world by bike, without a road map.
Adventure Cycling Association is excited to announce the winners of its 2012 Bicycle Travel Awards! The Bicycle Travel Awards celebrate the individuals and groups making bicycle adventures possible. Support can come in a myriad of forms, from route creation to a hot shower, and these awards are Adventure Cycling's way of saying a big, collective ‘THANK YOU!’