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
There are two items that represent the joy of childhood to me: bikes and kites. Riding a bike was easy for me. Flying a kite ... not so much.If I crashed my bike as often as I crashed my kites as a kid, I wouldn't be alive today. Watching the kids in Myanmar fly their kites with an ease I've never known, I suppose my mistake was always going for the largest kite at the store--bigger was better. Except that no matter how fast I ran, my kite would get about 50 feet off the ground, start doing pinwheels, suddenly nose dive, and crash with a fatal thud.
Looking at our route network the other day, I was thinking about loop routes and connections. The wide open gap across the south central United States caught my eye. Then I remembered hearing something about the Chisholm Trail. The historic Chisholm Trail was developed after the Civil War to move cattle from Texas north to Kansas. A growing railroad presence could then be utilized to move animals eastward where the majority of the U.S. population lived.
AASHTO is proud to be among the many supporters of the 2013 National Bike Summit. This week, the premiere advocacy event for cycling brings more than 800 enthusiasts of all types to the nation's capital. If you haven’t participated in the National Bike Summit before, I highly recommend you do. The summit provides a solid voice for bike advocates and their allies, as well as a space for seminars on advocacy and the benefits of cycling. I'm sure you already know the health and economic benefits of cycling, and AASHTO does too.
I find it interesting that most cars come standard with three rearview mirrors, but bicycles are sold without any! Perhaps the thought is that bicycles don’t have a reverse gear, so why would you need mirrors for backing up? But seriously, cycle mirrors not only let you see what the cars behind you are doing — if used correctly, they can also enable you influence how the traffic will pass you.
We fully understand that when you're planning a big ride, you want to stretch your budget as far as you can. With that in mind, we've partnered up with some awesome companies to provide great discounts for our members. Here's what we have to offer.
Instead of cycling the main highway in Southern Laos, we opted to pedal the tracks and foot paths along the Mekong. It was slow going, but the ability to be so close to people's daily lives was worth the effort. One early morning we came upon a man who was busy mending a fishing net. I asked if could take a photo and positioned myself so I could capture his silhouette. He was such a master at his craft that his movements, rather than being abrupt, were balletic. Kat was on the opposite side and snapped a photo of the fisherman in the glorious morning light.
A peculiar looking fork, Salsa's Enabler first caught my eye a few years ago when introduced as their rigid 29er "adventure fork." It has since become the stock fork on their Mukluk line of fat bikes and it is becoming a go-to option for a fatbike frame build. While putting together a fatbike build earlier this winter, I took an opportunity to purchase one and put it to use with my setup. Although I haven't tested it to it's fullest potential for overnight adventures and gear hauling, it has steered wonderfully so far and I have thoroughly enjoyed some of the features of this unique fork.
The U.S. Bicycle Route System, as an AASHTO project, follows many of the same guidelines and rules as any transportation project. For signing, the guiding document supplied by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUCTD).
We are very grateful to be beneficiaries of Climate Ride again this year! Everyone here at Adventure Cycling is so geared up for it that in order to choose team captains for Climate Ride California and Climate Ride NYC to DC we had to hold a lottery!
View photo compilations from some of Adventure Cycling's most recent tours.
In the current issue of Adventure Cyclist, I brought up compact frame geometry in my Fine Tuned column. One benefit of compact geometry that I failed to bring up in that article is in the case of fat bikes, where it seems to be heavily favored.
Two and a half years ago, three touring cyclists were cited for violating Black Hawk, Colorado's ordinance banning bicycling on most streets in their town. The ordinance made the town impossible to legally ride through. After failing in the first two rounds of court proceedings, they continued their appeal all the way to the highest court in the state.
In September, Adventure Cycling announced its first Bicycle Travel Video Contest. Since then, we've enjoyed a slew of submissions from touring cyclists around the globe. We've also had the great pleasure of publishing a series of how-to posts on creating bike-touring videos, contributed by some of our volunteer judges -- all experienced touring cyclists and knowledgeable videographers. Their posts covered everything from storytelling to equipment. We thought it would be fun to offer a round up of those expert posts so you can enjoy them all in one place.
With snow and ice abounding in Missoula, it would be so nice to ride a fat bike around, to officially participate in Fat Bike February. But the finances for a rad, new bike are just not in the cards this year. (And truth be told, if I buy one bike this year, it'll probably be this one.) So to stabilize my bike travel, I made my own studded tires! It was easier than I had imagined and I made a video to share this ever-rewarding do-it-yourself with you.
Over the last few months, Adventure Cycling has been very busy working to create new opportunities for bike travel in North America, for example by developing new routes like an Idaho hot springs off-pavement route and Bicycle Route 66, and advancing an official U.S. Bicycle Route System.
It's Fat Bike February, and with the future of fat bikes so bright, you had best be wearing some shades. When talking about fat bike apparel, there is often a lot of focus on warm layers, and waterproof clothing, however, sunglasses are a pivotal piece of equipment. Whether you're riding through the snow or along a beach, chances are you're going to have a lot of surface area around you reflecting the sunlight back up into your face, intensifying it the sun's effect. This can impair your vision, and believe it or not, squinting does soak up a good amount of energy over the long run, which you would much rather put into pedaling.
Through all four seasons and twelve months of 2012, I rode a fat bike, exclusively. I commuted through a winter in Alaska, toured south through Canada, followed the Great Divide Route and the Colorado Trail, and eventually settled into New Mexico for the winter -- all on big rubber, all on an old, purple Surly Pugsley. But I don't need big tires for every ride, and I have built a Velo Orange Campeur frame into a capable urban commuter, touring bike, and light dirt-road machine. However, with the opportunity to spend a few days riding out of town this past week I immediately knew which bike to take.
“I like biking because you get fresh air and feel the nice cool breeze. I like riding my bike because you can see some nice houses. You even feel very happy. I also like it because sometimes it brings peace to the world.” —Kira Gardner, 8 year-old daughter of member Todd Gardner
We recently kicked off our 2013 guided tours in the first week of January with the Florida Keys Winter Escape.
According to presenters from QBP this weekend at the second annual Fat Bike Summit, there are around 10,000 fat bikes out in the world today. They expect that number to double in the next twelve months. Where will they be used? What is the future of fatbiking?
In this video, Adventure Cyclist magazine contributor Patrick O'Grady takes a look at the All-City Space Horse. The full review appears in the February 2013 issue of Adventure Cyclist.
Join Adventure Cycling Association on Climate Ride, the epic 5-day pedaling adventure in California! The best part is that you can help Adventure Cycling Association while you're doing it! Right now we're recruiting members for our new team on the California ride and for the NY to DC ride in September. You can be part of the fun and raise funds to support our mission and programs at the same time.
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.