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
Bicycle travel is growing in the U.S. While it's still considered a cycling niche, bicycle touring is slowly edging its way into view of the mainstream with growing participation, growing support and infrastructure for the activity, and a growing economic impact.
The plan was to drive 4 hours north, take a right up Graves Creek, then hopefully make it to the Clarence Creek Trailhead before the storm hit. From there we'd skin up to Stahl Peak Lookout in the dark, and the next day head to Mount Wam Lookout. Then, back to the 4WD Durango which would be able to make it downhill, 15 inches or not.
On Monday, I wrote about my experience riding a segment of the Rhine River Bicycle Route (in Germany), and while I did it for the sheer enjoyment, I also did it to see first-hand the parallels between European routes and those being developed as part of the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS).
With winter knocking on my bike, I decided to asked some local experts about winterizing bike tips, and I also mixed in some random thoughts:
I've talked to many Adventure Cycling members who rhapsodize about riding in Europe, including self-guided tours, where a tour company sets up your route and all your logistics (including luggage transport) and all you have to do is ride.
Jim Sayer from Adventure Cycling (in the middle) with Richard Weston, a co-author of a new report on the economic impact of bike tourism in Europe, and Camille Thome, secretary-general of the Departements et Regions Cyclables, a leading French advocacy group, in Nantes, France.
Making videos of your bicycle holidays is a great way to relive your adventures and share your passion with others, as I found out about four years ago when I made my first slideshows of my bicycle holidays. Soon after, I started filming instead of taking pictures. My cycling passion extended to a passion for filming. Three years ago, I founded World Cycle Videos a bicycle-touring video group on Vimeo, a video-sharing platform. I regularly get questions from group members: How do I make a good video? What camera and editing program do I need?
The recently-completed Adventure Cycling Wine and Harvest tour was about cycling around the vineyards of Sonoma and Napa Valleys, and yet, it was so much more than that.
I'm not a big organized bike ride guy. Most of my riding has been solo or very small group travel (like two people). But when I heard the concept behind "The Passport to Pain," I couldn't resist signing up. The ride had at least three things going for it. It was close (Vashon Island is a ferry ride away from my home in Seattle). It was one day (pain is best in limited doses). And it was creative (the concept is brilliant).
With fall underway and winter just around the corner, many cyclists (myself included) are looking forward to sunshine in the not-so-distant coming year.
Last week I asked you for feedback on a section of our Sierra Cascades Bicycle Route encompassing California State Highway 89 (SR 89). Thank you for all your input, it is greatly appreciated and will help inform our decision making process. I then alluded to an exciting new development in that same area shared with us by Bil Paul, researcher for the route.
As we roll in to the waning of the warm, I wanted to take the time to review some basic, but often overlooked, elements of shift/pedal technique. These tips should help maximize one's efficiency while minimizing discomfort and mechanical discord.
If you were speeding along in a car on the road from Haines to Haines Junction in Alaska, the above scene might seem normal -- a young kid on a bike pedaling up the driveway, the American and Alaska state flags flying. You might wonder why the family had a phone both out by the road.
We began hearing about cyclists' experiences on the often shoulder-less and heavily truck-trafficked California State Highway 89 (SR 89) in the first year after releasing the Sierra Cascade Bicycle Route maps. We were concerned about it from a safety standpoint and began looking into it. A few months ago the subject resurfaced in my inbox in two pieces, both of which originated from Bil Paul, the researcher for the route.
Elle Steele Bustamante out of Sacramento, California, is the author of this week's fun-filled Bike Overnight. Titled Our First Ever Family Weekend of Wonderfulness, Elle wrote the story as her first step in documenting a year of living almost car-free by the family of four. (If they didn't have a year left on their Prius lease, she says, they would go totally car-free.)
Although the 2012 tour season is not quite over, Adventure Cycling Association has seen an overwhelming response to our 2012 tours, with almost 1300 participants overall.
In collaboration with WorldCycle Videos, Adventure Cycling's first Bicycle Travel Video Contest will accept submissions through February 28, 2013. Now is the time to check out the submission categories and begin production, whether you plan an autumn bike overnight video shoot, tackle your footage from a past adventure, or set up an interview with a bicycle traveler who inspires you to document their passion and story in a portrait piece.
This week's Bike Overnight story comes from Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson, who tells us about an amazing accommodation in western Washington where grown-ups get to act like kids (or squirrels?) and sleep in the trees. "In mid-June," writes Kent, "Christine and I spent our 'virtual weekend' (Wednesday and Thursday) on a few acres of land next to the Raging River at a wonderful place called TreeHouse Point. This place is not far from our home in Issaquah -- just over eight miles as the bikes roll, and almost all of those miles traverse paths designated for non-motorized travel."
The leaves are changing and I now wear a jacket and gloves as I rocket down my hill. There is less light in the evenings, so I have been enjoying riding home in the dappled fall rays.
September is arriving, school is recommencing, the weather is moderating, and Adventure Cycling's 2013 Early, Epic, and Educational tours schedule has been announced.
I recently had the job of researching the western "half" of Adventure Cycling's new Bicycle Route 66 route. So what do we do when we research a new route? First of all, after we have a general idea of a new route, e.g. Historic Route 66, we gather information from local cyclists and clubs in each area to get suggestions on specific roads to use. Then we take these suggestions, along with a handful of bike maps and other detailed maps, and hit the road.
We've got a lot of fantastic tour leaders here at Adventure Cycling, as well as our fantastic tours themselves! Often a tour leader can take a tour experience from alright to amazing, as I'm sure you know. So how are you supposed to choose? Well, we've selected two of our best for you this week, both leading fall tours along the Pacific Coast, and pitted them against each other to help you decide which leader style is right for you!
A bicycle route network launched by the European Cyclists Federation is made up of 12 routes and goes through multiple countries. EuroVelo is supported by national, regional and local governments, commercial serice providers and a leading sponsor, the Accell Group. The 12 routes will total 66,000 km when the system is complete. At present, 45,000 km are in place.
As you may already know, Adventure Cycling announced their Early, Epic, and Educational tours for 2013 this past Wednesday. The response has been very overwhelming here in the tours department. The January Florida Keys and Florida LTC tours are already 50% full in just 3 days!
It's been a sad week for cycling, but if you think I'm writing about Lance Armstrong, you would be mistaken. I'm deeply saddened by the death of Leslie Bohm, one of the best people I've met since taking the helm at Adventure Cycling seven years ago.