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
The North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show (NAHBS) has proven to be a showcase for bicycles and ideas that find their way into mass-market bikes, and into the mainstream. “Touring bicycles” have followed a hard line for decades, demanding 700c wheels, drop handlebars, and attachment points for fenders, racks, and water bottles. Recently, the traditional touring bike has been challenged by modern concepts born on the dirt tracks of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR), above treeline on the Colorado Trail, and on the 1100-mile Alaskan Iditarod Trail. Riding off-pavement promises low traffic volumes, excellent camping, and extraordinary scenery. To access remote settings via unpaved routes, several deviations from the concept of a traditional touring bike can help.
Earlier this year we were tipped off that the AMC Network will be pushing out a new television series later this fall. The working title is The Biking Dead, and it is set to air along side their popular The Walking Dead series, which will be entering it's fourth season this year. Adventure Cycling was granted an exclusive interview with the producer of The Biking Dead, Frank Darabont, and we're excited to give you an insider's look at what you can expect from this new series.
So you've taken your Adventure Cycling tour. You've had the time of your life, done some fabulous cycling, and made some new friends. Now you're home, looking through your memory cards of photos to relive your trip. Wow! Look at those awesome photos! You want to share them with your fellow participants, with Adventure Cycling, with the world, but how?
Whether you're riding on gravel roads, or simply a rough stretch of pavement, road vibrations can take a heavy toll on your lower back, shoulders, and overall mood. Your body absorbs any vibrations that your bike puts out through the three contact points you have with your bike. These contact points are your hands, feet, and derriere. To help smooth things out, here are a couple tweaks and upgrades you can make on your bike.
So you bought a set of Adventure Cycling maps for your upcoming bicycle tour? Yeah! They are packed full of information to help you on the road as well as plan from home. Be sure you know the nitty gritty of all the details found on them before you leave. Check out this informative (and fun!) video by America ByCycle on How to Read Adventure Cycling Maps.
Spring has sprung here in Western Montana (well, kind of) but just as important, there are new welcoming signs on our headquarters building to greet visiting cyclists and let them know they've arrived at the mecca of bicycle travel.
Did you buy one of the awesome Adventure Cycling 2013 Calendars? Before November comes, you might want to take a gander at this video we put together.
Well in the midst of some adventure chatter, and a libation or two, I said what the heck, and I signed up for the 2013 Togwotee Winter Classic! I decided on the 25-mile race. Bill had great time at last year's race, although that race was a bit of a slog with soft snow contributing to a slow course on which most of the 35-mile racers needed 6 hours or more to finish. I was definitely hoping for firmer conditions this year.
Cargo bikes are all the rage these days. Each year more amazing models hit the marketplace. For someone who hasn't owned a car for eight years, a bike with a lot of carrying capacity is high on my list of desires. Hauling a couple of bags of compost, and/or large ceder boards for a garden project is not an easy task with your average bike.
Support Adventure Cycling Association while experiencing the ride of a lifetime! Adventure Cycling is participating in Climate Ride California, a 5-day, fully supported ‘green conference on wheels’ where people who care about sustainability, renewable energy, and bike advocacy pedal together to make a difference.
We've had a terrific array of tales told at BikeOvernights.org over the past few weeks.
Adventure Cycling Association has offered the C&O Canal and the Great Allegheny Passage tour for the past 9 years. The 340-mile, off-road ride is fully supported with catered meals, water stops, SAG services, mechanical support, and luggage transport. The riders' only obligation is to have fun. The tour leader, Larry Brock, has led countless groups along this route and makes sure the riders' experiences are a top priority. Here are some highlights from the trip.
In my latest "Fine Tuned" column in this month's Adventure Cyclist, I focused on gravel riding. Gravel roads are where I tend to spend the majority of my time in the saddle, so it's an exciting topic for me. To keep the momentum running, today I'm going to run down some of my favorite gravel tires.
We recently sent out our annual member survey. There were several opportunities on the survey for members to tell us more through comments. As the responses come in, they are read and sorted by hand and distributed to the appropriate departments. Carla and I have been spending some time handling the Routes & Mapping share. It was through this process of correspondence that a great story from the road was shared with me, one that I couldn't have made up.
Three Adventure Cycling staff (Ginny Sullivan, Winona Bateman, and myself) traveled last week to the National Bike Summit in Washington, DC. Although it was my eighth summit, it felt really new and fresh. Here are five highlights!
The talent and fervor of Adventure Cycling members, readers, and followers never ceases to amaze me. We received incredible shots for our 4th Annual Bicycle Travel Photo Contest. A panel of five judges picked the winners from over 450 submissions. The March Issue of Adventure Cyclist highlights these wonderful photos. If you haven't seen them in print yet, drumroll please …
Last year I decided to celebrate the completion of my master's degree by committing to my first multi-day tour: I booked the Introduction to Bike Touring course offered by Adventure Cycling in Oregon. It seemed a fitting end to a program that included interning for and writing my thesis about them. After the trip I can say, without qualification, it was a great experience!
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).