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
Breaking ground for an expanded bike-travel "mecca," approval of the first new official U.S. Bicycle Routes in nearly three decades, a cool new website to promote overnight bike trips, record map sales and lots of new route development and improvement: these are just a few of the highlights from a rock-solid year for Adventure Cycling Association.
Sometimes it is the simple things that bring the greatest joy, and that's why Salsa's new Anything Cage is going down as my personal pick for 2011 Touring Product of the Year.
A good pair of binoculars can be a weighty item to add to full panniers. But the few times I've elected to leave them behind, I've regretted doing so. They are for the birds. Literally.
The night is a dark time for cyclists ... and we're not necessarily in the clear during the daytime, either. Overcast days, or roads that are heavily shaded, don't lend themselves to providing great visibility to drivers of cars approaching a rider from behind. For this reason, it's a great idea to outfit yourself with some bright clothing, gear, and/or accessories when you take off for a tour.
Once in a long while the Gods of Cycling just smile down on you and say, "We have made you suffer enough. We have made you ride to work through too many snowstorms and scheduled too many of your biking 'vacations' during record breaking heat waves. To make it up to you, we're going to give you a perfect 15-day bicycling tour through Baja, Mexico and we're going to let you try out a Tout Terrain Silkroad while you're there." For a minute it seems too good to be true, but then you just decide to smile and go with it.
Media specialist and BikeOvernights.org editor lists his 10 favorite rail-trails.
I'm a big believer that you will enjoy your tour a great deal more if you get a strong night of sleep between riding days. If you plan on camping most of the nights on your tour, sleep can sometimes be hard to come by, unless you're among the few fortunate individuals who can sleep anywhere, anytime, under any circumstances. Here are some tips for getting a solid night of sleep on your next tour.
Sustrans — roll that word around in your mouth for a moment. Say it again, Sustrans. Ah, this word, a shortened version of sustainable transportation, wraps up the goal of the organization in one neat word.
Last week I received a note from a representative of Tourism New Zealand, with some pretty darn exciting news. "Tourism New Zealand has just announced the latest cycle trail opening on New Zealand’s national cycleway," wrote Kelly Stephens. "It is a stunning cycle loop with sweeping vistas. We thought this might be of interest to you to share with your readers."
Unlike other tours I've taken south of the border, this one presented some unique challenges. For starters, the route called for a mix of pavement, sand, and gravel roads. Heading into the Baja desert, we also needed to be sensitive to flat tires from thorns, in addition to hydration with temps much higher than what we're used to this time of year. Here's a rundown on the route, bike selection, equipment, and tools.
We have recently begun posting complete PDF versions of Adventure Cyclist on the Adventure Cycling Association website behind our member wall (see My Adventure Cycling), but this seems a bit primitive compared to the iOS and Android apps that are commonplace these days.