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Photo by Adam Coppola
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.
One of the few racing cyclists I met while I was in Cuba was a young man named Alexie. He came over to chat with me in a small town in the province of Pinar del Rio (west of Havana).
I thought he was interested in my bike. It was a Rodriguez, which is a common surname in Cuba. But I later found out he wasn’t interested in the frame or the brakes or the tires. He was interested in one of my water bottles.
Who makes the smallest pack-size solo tent? If you're traveling lightweight and only carrying two pairs of shorts maximum, how do you prevent saddle sores? What's the weather like on the Colorado Trail in August? Find out!
The whole morning we struggled to push our bicycles up the steep mountain pass.
Like yesterday, today will be a scorcher, so we’ve hit the road unusually early. A faint glow in the east hints at the approaching sunrise, and the endless plains of northeastern Wyoming sprawl before us in the half-light. In the distance, a pack of coyotes — it sounds like a hundred of 'em — yip-yammer their high-pitched exuberance for the day. From somewhere much closer pulses an incongruous, rhythmic drumming, and I think for a second that a rock band is jamming behind the fantastic sandstone formation off to our left. Then I recognized it as the sound of an oil well, pump-pump-pumping black gold from deep within the bowels of the Cowboy State. The only other sound is that of our narrow rubber tires purring over the prairie pavement. I’m convinced we’re the only humans for a hundred miles around. “This is great,” I say to Nancy.
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.
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.
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.
While the Rocky Mountains and West Coast have a greater range of possibilities for long-distance trail rides than other regions, there also are good options for dirt touring with mountain bikes in the Midwest and eastern United States. The following article details five routes to get off the highway and into a new adventure.
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:
We heard the tinkling of bells, high up above our tent site in eastern Turkey. It had to be a flock of sheep or goats ... or both. But we scanned the steep mountains around us and couldn't make out anything a thousand feet above our campsite.
When I first saw the map for PAVING THE WAY: The National Park-to-Park Highway documentary, I flashed on the blog post I wrote in December 2009 about A Killer Route Loop. The film recreates the 5,000 mile, 76-day journey undertaken by 12 individuals via automobile in 1920 to visit twelve western U.S. national parks. The Killer Route Loop would use pieces of our route network to showcase a slightly different slice of the West. Both trips take in some of the most stunning scenery the U.S. National Park Service system has to offer west of the Mississippi River.
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.