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
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.
We in the American bicycling community are so fortunate to have Congressman Jim Oberstar as our friend and leader.
I’m just going to admit up front that I think hot camp food is overrated. It’s messy, time-intensive, and often less appetizing than most people are willing to admit (Freeze-dried entrees are not tasty. They’re just not.) Yes, if you have the time, it can be fun to cook up a big elaborate meal on the trail. And yes, hot food does warm the soul after a long day in the saddle (until it’s time to do the dishes.) But sometimes it’s also nice leave the stove, fuel, and mess kit at home and save time, space and arguably weight by packing cold meals (unless you eat only freeze-dried food).
Every now and then — but not often enough — I get together to do some riding with my friend Chuck Haney, an outdoor photographer from Whitefish, Montana, whose work often graces the pages of Adventure Cyclist magazine. One of our most memorable trips took place in July of 2002, when we met up in tiny Wise River, Montana. This general region holds one of the most spectacular expanses of mountain-and-basin country in all of Montana; and, in terms of Adventure Cycling routes, it’s a true crossroads.
Just before Aaron Teasdale left his position in the Adventure Cycling publications department, he and I had a discussion that revealed we both perceive a need for more off-pavement bikepacking routes like the Great Divide. He and I quizzed one another: What would be a good location for such a route? Western Washington and/or Oregon? Maybe. The Great Basin of southern Idaho and northern Nevada? Possibly. Paralleling the Appalachian Trail on the Eastern Seaboard? Perhaps.
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.
2010 was a record year for the Adventure Cycling Bicycle Travel Awards. With over 75 total nominations and several nominees receiving multiple nominations, the competition was definitely fierce. Our winners include an amazing line-up of individuals and entities that are doing great work around bicycle travel.
When I’m traveling by bicycle, I like to keep camping as simple as possible. Especially when I’m traveling alone, I try to maximize my time on the bike and minimize the time I spend doing “camp chores.” For this reason, I usually opt to eat sandwiches over cooking an evening meal, don’t usually build fires, and don’t like to spend time constructing elaborate shelters.
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.