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
What kind of features would you like to see in a map that would live on your mobile device while on a bicycle tour? While we believe that paper maps are a long way from falling entirely out of fashion, we know that eventually our maps will be available electronically.
There was a time when most bikepackers were literally backpackers with bikes, hoisting top-heavy, backbreaking loads on their shoulders while riding mountain bikes through the woods. These days, mountain bikers have several different options for hauling camping gear, from traditional racks and panniers to trailers. However, racks and panniers are more difficult to adapt to suspension systems on mountain bikes, and also increase the profile of the bike, which can make it more difficult to maneuver through tight singletrack and heavily forested trails. Trailers are more versatile, but also add another layer of difficulty and weight to technical terrain. Also, as with any mechanical component, racks and trailers are just another thing that can break or otherwise fail — a problem you want to avoid when traveling far away from civilization.
I was a young kid in the 1950s, long enough ago that I can recall when I wasn't feeling well, seeing our family doctor come walking through my bedroom door, his big black bag in hand. I wasn’t particularly crazy about having to stick out my tongue and say “Ahhhhhh” as he jammed that flat stick down my throat, but it was a lot better than getting drug downtown to his office while suffering a sore throat and 101-degree temperature.
At least once a week, I receive an email or phone call from someone asking if its okay to ride a mountain bike for their tour, whether it be a weekend trip or a cross-country tour. The quick answer to the question is absolutely, but here are some reasons behind the answer, and ways you can go about making it happen.
If there's one thing I enjoy as much as bike touring, it's taking old things and turning them into something new.
One of the projects I’ve been toiling away on in the non-Adventure Cycling half of my work life is a sixth-edition rewrite of the Insiders’ Guide to Glacier National Park (the book also encompasses the greater Flathead Valley and surroundings). I’m not the original author, but the Globe Pequot Press asked if I’d be interested in doing the revision after the book’s original writers opted out.
The vast majority of touring bikes are built with cantilever brake bosses, which as the name suggests, are designed to take cantilever style brakes. The reason for this style is that they allow you to run wider tires, and provide a lot of space for fenders.
Do cyclists eat to ride or ride to eat. All I know is that stopping at a cafe or bakery is an essential part of any ride. A cafe follows a bicycle ride as naturally as "c" follows "b" in the alphabet.
As I packed for my trip, I wanted to keep in mind the weather conditions I might encounter. The resources I used to discover this information are the same ones I might use for planning a bicycle-based tour. What resources do you use when planning what to pack based on weather considerations?
For decades, climbers and backpackers have embraced “ultralight” as a strategy for moving faster and farther on difficult terrain. And while cyclists are constantly trying to shave grams, bicycle travelers have been much slower to jump on the lightweight bandwagon. This could be because many of us don’t really care that our extra-large air mattresses and portable espresso makers are slowing us down on the hills when it means a comfy night’s sleep and energized morning. But for others, the image of a loaded cyclist laboring up a hill, face strained beyond recognition beneath the weight of four bulging panniers and a trailer, is daunting enough to discourage the idea of a multi-day ride. Add technical terrain, such as singletrack trails, rocky jeep roads, and muddy logging routes to the mix, and it’s no wonder that mountain biking has long been a single-day affair. That’s all changing with the growing trend of “bikepacking,” whose enthusiasts understand that one can’t clear the gnarly stuff with a trailer swinging from their rear wheel, but they can pare their belongings down to a manageable size.
Despite the boring names, the PR77 and PR107 pedals from Exustar are worth some attention. Taking an initial look at the pedal, it appears to be a standard Look style clipless pedal, but flip it around and check out the underside, and you will find an SPD compatible entry point.
I've been chased by every breed of dog on the planet, from Chihuahuas to Kangal Dogs. Every traveling cyclist has their own method for dealing with canines.
Last week, Frank M., our main man in Colorado, sent me a story from the Denver Post that raises some compelling questions. The piece focuses on a 62-year-old Boulder woman who is trying to do the right thing—the healthy, green thing—by getting to and from work on her bicycle, over trails designated for bicyclists and pedestrians. But not being an uber-athlete, she employs a little power backup to surmount some of the hills along her 7-mile commute.
I was happy to see someone comment last week on the newly updated Salsa Casseroll. Salsa has been super busy over the past year updating and adding to their already impressive line of adventure-oriented bikes, so here's a rundown of a few bikes that I was excited to check out last week, starting with the Casseroll.