Adventure Cycling Blog

Photo by Adam Coppola

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

August 29, 2014
Images that Beckon the Bicycle Traveler
Images that Beckon the Bicycle Traveler

Some bike travel photos are stunningly beautiful. Some make you smile or laugh. And then there are the photos that make you want to pack your panniers and go. The photo above does that for me. Now I have a personal connection to this photo. I took it. That's my wife off in the distance. It was late morning, and we were on our way to Luang Prabang, Laos. When I lifted my camera to take the shot, I was grinning ear-to-ear

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August 15, 2014
A Market Master
A Market Master

We always refer to "riding a bike," but one of the bicycle's best attributes, is its ability to quickly and conveniently stop.

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August 1, 2014
World's Coolest School Commute?
World's Coolest School Commute?

This has got to be one of the coolest school commutes in the world. It is also one of my favorite photos I've ever taken. It's about travel, tranquility, forward motion, and kids on bikes. And this photo was not staged. These students in Laos are just heading home from school.

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July 18, 2014
In Praise of Bananas
In Praise of Bananas

What a marvelous food is the banana — sweet calories packaged in an easy-opening, biodegradable container.  Slather a whole bunch with peanut butter, wash it all down with a carton of milk, and it's all the fuel I need for a long day's bike ride.
 

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July 4, 2014
A Memorable 4th of July
A Memorable 4th of July

It was only our second day of our cross country bike trip. Other than having bikes and panniers, Thomas and I were ill prepared. We were riding in Adidas cotton shorts, cotton t-shirts, and had high school quality cotton sweats. Our first day of riding had taught us a couple of valuable lessons: #1. Sunscreen is a really good idea. #2. Yes, your butt can hurt beyond belief after just one day of riding.

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June 20, 2014
Good Clean Filthy Fun
Good Clean Filthy Fun

It was our first bike journey together, and we were on a seriously limited budget. Hotel stays were few and far between, and wild camping rarely came with a free flowing water source. 

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June 6, 2014
Pilgrimage to Portland
Pilgrimage to Portland

If you ride your bicycle to work in the United States, odds are you don't have much company. In most U.S. cities, less than one percent of commuters use a bicycle to get to work. If you are feeling very alone, you owe it to yourself to make a pilgrimage to Portland, Oregon.

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May 16, 2014
Urban Travel: Porto, Portugal
Urban Travel: Porto, Portugal

When I first began bicycle touring, cities were a place to get away from ... as fast as possible. Over the years, not only have I become more comfortable riding in city traffic, but many cities have become increasingly bicycle friendly.

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April 25, 2014
Night Market Serenade
Night Market Serenade

We stuffed ourselves silly on noodle dishes, and curry, and sweets. Plenty of fuel for the next day's pedal toward Laos. Above the din of the people and a loud broadcast advertising campaign from a local business, I heard a single voice.

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March 28, 2014
Celebrate the Green
Celebrate the Green

Here's to the color green! Green is the sign of winter releasing its grasp. Those little shoots of green precede the explosion of flowers to follow. Green makes me dream of fresh veggies to munch and lush valleys to explore. Green makes me yearn to get on my bike.

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March 14, 2014
Climbing the Condor
Climbing the Condor

If you enjoy long, slow, epic climbs, I'd highly recommend you conquer The Condor (Paso del Cóndor). At over 4000 meters, it is the highest paved road in Venezuela. If you begin your bike journey in Barquisimeto at the northernmost point of the Andes, you'll have plenty of time to warm up for the big climb.

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February 28, 2014
Pedaling Across a Magical Bridge
Pedaling Across a Magical Bridge

Most bridges (new and old) carry huge volumes of traffic. Cars, buses, and trucks make a lot of noise. This kills the esthetic experience. Imagine what it would be like to travel across the Golden Gate bridge completely closed to traffic? That's what crossing U Bein bridge near Amarapura in Myanmar is like.

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February 14, 2014
The Reluctant Traveler Update
The Reluctant Traveler Update

This post is an update on Tiva (aka The Reluctant Traveler), our rescue dog we adopted last year. My blog post last summer, which was expanded into a column in the Feb 2014 edition of Adventure Cyclist magazine, talks about our journey with an amazing, but fearful, dog. 

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January 31, 2014
On the Road: Pajama Game
On the Road: Pajama Game

I'd like to introduce you to one of my bicycling heroes. He hasn't cycled around the world or across the country. I'm not sure if he has ever cycled outside of New York City. He has pedaled his bike around Manhattan for over 50 years, taking photos of what New Yorker's are wearing. He is still going strong at 84.

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January 17, 2014
A Most Amazing Moth
A Most Amazing Moth

Oh my God! The most beautiful moth I'd ever seen as if a forest sprite had decided to go under cover. It was the size of my hand. We weren't gazing at it on some distant wildlife reserve trail. It was lounging on the back of a plastic chair at a roadside restaurant in Myanmar.

 

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January 3, 2014
Bikes in Myanmar
Bikes in Myanmar

During our bike trip in Myanmar last year, we shared the roads (and paths) with a lot of bikes. None of them had carbon fiber frames. They were not equipped with index shifters, or disc brakes, or 9-speed cassettes. Their chains were not replaced when they reached .75% wear. They creaked and moaned when pedaled. They were beautiful, efficient, human-powered machines.

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December 13, 2013
Remembering Nelson Mandela
Remembering Nelson Mandela

The world lost a truly great man last week with the passing of Nelson Mandela. Sometimes a bike trip is just a bike trip. And then sometimes you find yourself in a place in the world at a time in history that you will never forget.

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November 22, 2013
Two Minute Noodles
Two Minute Noodles

There is nothing quite as enjoyable on a bike tour as a breakfast break. You've put on a few miles or kilometers, your body and mind are alert, and your taste buds are tingling. You park your bike outside a diner and go in, look at a menu, order coffee or tea, and wait. It generally doesn't take long, ten to fifteen minutes. But when you are bike trip hungry, minutes feel like hours.

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November 8, 2013
Roadside Wedding Parties
Roadside Wedding Parties

One of the delights of pedaling along the dusty back roads of Cambodia, was coming upon a roadside wedding party. There were days when we encountered a half dozen of them.

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October 25, 2013
On the Way to Mandalay
On the Way to Mandalay

Bicycle travel is not only one of the best ways to see the world, but to hear it as well. I love how varied the soundscape can be from country to country. Sometimes I like to close my eyes and simply listen to a country—the different bird calls, market sounds, even traffic sounds.

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October 11, 2013
The Cabin Respite
The Cabin Respite

"There is nothing like having an encounter with a grizzly bear to make a tiny cabin feel like a castle fortress. We slept like logs. You see, bears just make travel better."

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September 27, 2013
The Perfect Day
The Perfect Day

Almost any day on a bike trip is a good day. But every once in a while, a perfect day comes along. I don't have an official checklist of what qualifies a day as being perfect. But there are those days when your heart sings, and you couldn't keep a smile off your face if you tried. They are the days that first pop into your mind when it's been too long since your last bicycle journey.

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September 13, 2013
Overloaded
Overloaded

When it comes to the stuff I carry on my bike, no one would ever accuse me of being an ultralight bike traveler. When traveling solo, I've been known to pedal with a tent big enough for me and my bicycle. Before the digital camera revolution, a large portion of one of my panniers was devoted to 80 rolls of slide film. I regularly find room to pack a bottle (or two) of wine. How much is too much? 20 lbs? 40 lbs? 60 lbs of gear?

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August 23, 2013
School Encounters
School Encounters

It's always fun to pedal by a school on a bike trip. A bicycle loaded down for an adventure is always a draw. The reaction can vary from polite waves, to smiles and shouted hellos, to all out classroom-emptying chaos. I've never been a rock star, but there are times on the road when I think I've experienced what it's like.

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August 9, 2013
Traffic Dance
Traffic Dance

When we first pedaled up to this intersection, I thought I'd see an accident within sixty seconds. This traffic dance fascinated me. An hour later, not a single scrape. How could that be possible without any traffic signals, stop signs, or traffic cops?

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