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

April 9, 2011
Daily Mileage on Tour
Daily Mileage on Tour

It's that time of year at Adventure Cycling when we're starting to get a lot of phone calls from cyclists wondering how many miles they should ride per day on their upcoming tour. If I were asked this by someone I knew well, and had ridden with on many occasions, I would feel pretty comfortable throwing out a ballpark figure. Talking to someone I have not even met, on the other hand, makes guessing a number not just incredibly difficult, but irresponsible on my part.

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April 5, 2011
Recovery Food: Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recovery Food: Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies

I know that the current trend is toward low-sodium diets, but I tend to have pretty low sodium to start with, and as it warms up and I spend even more time in the sun I really have to work hard to maintain my salt intake. Folks who spend a lot of time sweating need a lot more sodium (and a lot more fluid!) than sedentary individuals, and there are lots of ways to get it.

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April 2, 2011
Cleanliness Counts
Cleanliness Counts

Keeping the mud and dirt off your bike isn't mandatory, but it's not a bad idea, for a variety of reasons. For one, it can make it easier to identify frame defects and damaged components, in addition to making it easier to work on your bike in general. It can also help extend the life of some parts, such as your chain, cassette, cables, and housing.

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March 26, 2011
Side Trips
Side Trips

When planning out a bike trip, it is really easy to focus solely on the route from point A to point B. However, once you hit the road, you may find a town that you are crazy about and want to hang out in for a few days, or perhaps you will hear from locals about some incredible sights that are 10 miles perpendicular to your direction of travel.

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March 19, 2011
Clip-on Fenders
Clip-on Fenders

It is really hard to beat a solid set of fenders that are bolted to your frame and fork, I won't argue that. However, there are a few clip-on fenders that offer great coverage, durability, and versatility. Clip-on fenders are a good option (maybe your only option) if you don't have fender eyelets, or perhaps you have multiple bikes and want to swap a set of fenders from one to the other quickly.

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March 12, 2011
DIY: On-the-Bike Food

Recipe for Mother's No Bake Energy Bars.

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March 5, 2011
Flat Tire Prevention
Flat Tire Prevention

With spring right around the corner, and the daylight hours increasing, it's an exciting time for cyclists looking forward to putting in some miles. However, the early spring season can be a challenging time to ride as far as flat tires are concerned, especially in the northern climes. There's a lot of gravel, glass, and miscellaneous debris on the road that gets covered up by snow through the winter, only to rear its ugly head as the snow melts. On top of this, the conditions are often damp, and road debris tends to stick to bicycle tires better when the tires are wet. So, making sure you have a good barrier between the surface of your tire and the air inside your tube can be very important.

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March 4, 2011
How To Find The Perfect Touring Bicycle
How To Find The Perfect Touring Bicycle

I get emails all the time from people who ask: “I'm planning to go on a bicycle tour sometime soon. What kind of touring bicycle should I get?”

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February 26, 2011
Canari Static Jammer Winter Glove
Canari Static Jammer Winter Glove

Looking back (and a little bit forward) on a season of winter riding, the Canari Static Jammer gloves were a big surprise for me. Just looking at them, they don't appear to be padded up enough to handle the cold winter bite, but the windproof/waterproof fabric does a great job of keeping your hands protected, while allowing some breathing room to keep too much moisture from building up inside.

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February 19, 2011
Used Bicycle Shops

About a month ago, I wrote up some tips for purchasing a used bike. What I neglected to include in that post was where you could go to find a used bike. In the past, I have found places such as EbayCraigslist, and local listservs for bicycle clubs useful. These are all good places to find a used bike; however, in some cases, your local bike shop can also be a good starting point.

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February 12, 2011
Bike Glow Light
Bike Glow Light

Even when you're out on tour, you may find yourself riding around town in the dark. Maybe you're heading to the store to stock up on food, or checking out the nightlife away from camp. In such cases, it's a good idea to make sure you are visible to traffic. While headlights and tail lights are great for this, you also want to be seen from the side, especially at intersections. Spoke reflectors are certainly helpful, but they aren't a lot of fun. If you really want to make your presence known, the Bike Glow is worth taking a look at.

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February 5, 2011
Rear Derailleur Adjustments

The derailleurs on a bike may seem pretty complex, but once you start fiddling around with them you'll find them surprisingly easy to troubleshoot. When you're on the road, and away from a bike shop, knowing how to tweak your derailleur can save you a lot of skipping gears and frustration.

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January 29, 2011
Behold the Tallac Behold
Behold the Tallac Behold

For years, I've noticed people using their water bottle cages to carry tools and other miscellaneous gear on day rides, as well as on tours. The most common carrying technique I have seen is cutting off the narrow neck near the top of an old water bottle, cramming gear into it, and stuffing the top with something like an old sock to keep items from rattling out. This gets the job done, but it isn't super elegant and it knocks your water carrying capacity down by one bottle.

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January 22, 2011
Touring Aboard a Cyclocross Bike
Touring Aboard a Cyclocross Bike

The other day I received a great question over the phone from a cyclist who said she could really take on just one bike. She wants it primarily for fast-paced road riding, but she'd also like it to be worthy of loaded touring. Having been in a similar situation in the past myself, I suggested the route I chose: a cyclocross bike.

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January 18, 2011
The Art Of (Not) Planning For A Bike Tour
The Art Of (Not) Planning For A Bike Tour

We get a lot of questions about planning through our Travelling Two bike touring blog, and every time someone emails us to ask which panniers are best or how many T-shirts they need to pack, I think of Lee.

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January 15, 2011
Purchasing a Used Touring Bike

While buying a new bike can be fun and exciting, it can also be very intimidating when you start looking at $900 price tags before you even start adding in racks, panniers, and other touring equipment. This isn't always in an individual's desirable price range, especially when they are just trying to get their feet in the door.

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January 8, 2011
Bicycle Touring Extracurriculars

When planning out a bicycle tour, the main focus is often on the route, and a well thought out pack list. One thing that easily escapes my mind when planning ahead is extracurricular activities. You may have a long afternoon ahead of you by the time you have camp setup at the end of your ride, and if you have some energy left, it can be fun to take on a secondary adventure/activity. Here are a few ideas:

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January 1, 2011
Upper Body and Core

If you're still looking for a good New Year's resolution, how about working on your upper body and core fitness? As far as cycling goes, this kind of strength isn't something that is super intuitive, but if you don't pay a little attention to it, you will feel it once you start putting in longer rides as the weather warms up.

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December 25, 2010
Boxing Your Bike at Maximum Capacity
Boxing Your Bike at Maximum Capacity

This is a busy time of the year for airlines, and if you are flying with your bike, get ready for some stiff baggage fees. But, as long as you're paying to get your bike on a plane, you may as well make the most of it.

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December 18, 2010
Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance

The winter season is a great time to get on top of some bike maintenance projects, or to learn some basic mechanical skills to help save time and money spent at the shop. Regardless of your skill level, the book Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance is a great manual to have on hand.

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December 11, 2010
Chamois Cream

Some use it all the time, others have specific conditions they prefer to use it under. In my own experience, I find it most useful in cold/damp weather, or on extended tours, where it isn't always possible to consistently wash my bike shorts. Like bike saddles, everyone has their own preference, and those hardened over time may not need to use it all. One thing is for certain, there is a huge pool of brands to choose from, most of which have some pretty clever names.

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December 4, 2010
Gift Picks for Cyclists: Part III

Our shipping specialist, Sarah Raz, was kind enough to let me tag along on her series of holiday gift ideas. I'll start this one out with a few inexpensive safe bets before getting into the fun stuff.

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November 27, 2010
Swobo Apparel
Swobo Apparel

With bicycle touring, there is a fair amount of time spent off the bike. Maybe you're stopping to top off on supplies at a store, or doing a bit of sight seeing between destinations. For this reason, it can sometimes be nice to have clothing that is not only comfortable and functional on the bike, but looks good off the bike as well.

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November 13, 2010
Tail Lights
Tail Lights

When touring, I do my best to make sure I start and finish my rides with the sun up, but considering that most of my plans are made on the fly, this doesn't always work out so well. With the darkness descending quickly (especially with the daylight savings period concluded for many of us), lights are a great thing to have on hand, regardless of the conditions you intend to ride in.

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November 6, 2010
BOB Yak Trailer
BOB Yak Trailer

Initial assembly of the trailer does not require any special knowledge, and tools consist of a some hex wrenches, two adjustable wrenches, Phillips head, and flat head screwdrivers. For the most part, you are only attaching the swingarm, fender, and rear wheel to the frame. The instructions are detailed and provide a few illustrations to help you through the process.

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