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
Every bicycle journey has a theme song. At least all of mine do. A tune that fits the mood of the journey ... or describes the place you are pedaling through ... or sometimes it's just the tune that is incessantly playing on every radio.
When I arrived at work Monday morning I learned that Chuck Harris, the Mirror Man, had passed away. Without thinking about it I immediately raised my hand to touch the glasses-mounted rearview mirror that I wore. Chuck made that mirror for me many years ago, one of more than 88,000 that he made by hand over five decades.
As we cycle through the summer and inspiration is high, it's the perfect time to share your love of bicycle touring with your community through one of our special, half-priced Library Memberships. You can give this membership to any of your local libraries, including public, university, and K-12 schools.
When Adventure Cycling released the first GPS waypoint files in early 2003, we had no idea what the future might hold for technology in mapping and navigation. We certainly couldn't have predicted the rise of the smartphone as a location finding tool or the downward trend in GPS-receiver unit sales.
I remember last spring sitting down to write a blog article about helping my 17-year-old son plan his cross-country bike trip.
If you get a tour of the Adventure Cycling headquarters in Missoula, I'm your last stop. I sit upstairs, on the far end of the building and I spend most of my time staring at a computer, wearing headphones.
Greg Edwards has been leading and staffing Adventure Cycling tours since 2008.
Kat and I got out of the city (Seattle) last weekend. We took the Amtrak (reserved two spots on the luggage car bike rack) up to Bellingham with plans to bike out to Birch Bay. Not far out of Bellingham our map indicated a bike trail that ran along the Nooksack River. We always enjoy the opportunity to get off the road, so we pulled into an empty gravel parking lot.
It's been a busy summer here at Adventure Cycling headquarters. Last month Adventure Cycling celebrated the much-anticipated completion of our renovation and building expansion with a huge community block party. We saw members and donors from all over the country, gave away freezers-full of free ice cream, danced to live music, and even got to be on the radio!
Today's guest post was written fresh-from-the-saddle by Amie Thao, who is wandering around the world on a little blue bicycle -- 12,400 kilometers and counting:
For an avid touring cyclist, there is nothing quite like the opportunity to check another item off your bucket list of places to ride. Alaska was one for me.
I really enjoy working at Adventure Cycling Association. I could probably write a list of 100 things that are terrific about this organization from the mission to the members to the staff to the unique headquarters.
"With an expectant wife, a long tour was out of the question. But a quick 20-mile overnighter seemed just the ticket -- out after Saturday morning chores and back by Sunday lunch. Plus, if anything unexpected happened, I could be home in about an hour." That's what urban geographer Byron Rushing (he specializes in bicycle and pedestrian planning) has to say in this week's Bike Overnight's piece.
Yesterday, June Curry, an amazing woman and a hero to many thousands of cyclists worldwide, passed away at the age of 91. June's story has been told many times but here's the snapshot:
Sometimes our super-saturated, media-driven world can get me down. The sheer amount of bad news one can ingest in a single day via the internet, radio and television can be overwhelming. That's when I want to get on my bike and ride.
Ever since Adventure Cycling released the new routing through North Dakota, we've been anxiously awaiting feedback from cyclists riding it. We are fortunate because we happen to know a few of the cyclists out there and they are reporting back to us. Mac Sullivan (Special Projects Director Ginny Sullivan's 17-year-old son), his best friend Drew Gottman, and two new friends Tyler and Neal, are riding together and have just crossed North Dakota on the Northern Tier route. They gave it mostly glowing reviews.
Today's guest post was written by Martina Brimmer, owner of Swift Industries, to announce the 2nd annual Tough & Tender: A literary and photographic project celebrating women's experiences with the bicycle.
Greetings from Vancouver, British Columbia and Velo-City 2012, the international conference focused on all things bicycling, from urban bike facilities to bike touring.
Campfires. I have always loved them. Loved the heat they provide. The crackle that fills the otherwise stillness of night. The hypnotic dancing of flames that can hold my attention longer than most feature films. I even love the pungent smell that lingers on your clothes long after the last embers fade.
Sit back, turn up the volume and check out our "How to Read Adventure Cycling Maps" video. And don't worry if you missed something or need to hear it again, that's one of the joys of video, right? You can pause, rewind and replay as many times as you wish!
Many of our updated route maps have been converted to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and are now sporting the new style conventions. It's been exciting to see established routes refreshed in this way. One of the new features is adding convenience stores. In most cases, we are not really adding new information as much as redefining old data.
Where were we going to squeeze in the Nuts & Bolts sidebars for the stories from Chuck Haney about cycling in Northwest Montana and Paul Lamarra about riding the Iron Curtain? Short answer: We weren't. To the rescue: The Internet.
Months ago, I bought an incredibly tall, fixer-upper, vintage road bike off of Craigslist. My bearded manfriend and I set it in the living room and gazed at it as we made the vocal realization that we were going to fix it up for Ryland.
Time is money. Which is a good thing, because I have a whole lot more time than the green stuff. Carrying a tent has always been the great bicycle journey budget stretcher. The cost of hotels can be pricey. On a three month trip, that cost can be devastating. Especially if you are traveling in a part of the world where lodging is expensive.
I know that nutritionists will cringe, but as a touring cyclist I consider ice cream as the Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner of Champions. It should have its own food group category. Ice cream companies should set aside a day each year to celebrate and thank touring cyclists. We are a ravenous revenue source!