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
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.
We've met with many states over the past couple of years about the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS). As we move from awareness building to the implementation process, it's become exceedingly important that states and their partners understand the vision as well as the "how to" of getting it done.
On a mountain bike, space is often at a premium. One of the most effective places to cut both space and weight on a bicycle camping trip is your shelter. Even light solo tents usually weigh two to three pounds and take up quite a bit of space. Bivy sacks can feel claustrophobic and don't always provide the best protection from the weather. A great method is to use a SilNylon or polyethylene "tarp," rope, and stakes to construct a barrier from the elements.
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 Ebay, Craigslist, 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.
If you've ever used an Adventure Cycling map you already know that they include a very valuable tool called the Service Directory. We've never told the businesses we list there that they are on our maps; we've never asked these businesses if they are enjoying having cyclists at their stores and in their communities. And we've never talked to those businesses to let them know what they can do to be more bike-travel friendly. What does this have to do with those images at the tops of our maps?
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.
A couple of years ago, I received an email from a writer pitching me an idea that she thought our readers would be interested in. Seems the town of Twin Bridges, Montana — almost in Adventure Cycling’s backyard — was in the process of establishing some sort of accommodations for cyclists.
Valentine's Day is coming up, and I'm lucky to be spending it again this year with Josh, who you may know from his fabulous gear reviews. Or maybe you were lucky and called in to renew your membership and got to talk to him. Anyway, he's an all-around great guy: fun to have adventures with, watch movies with, eat cookies with — and I'm sure he's looking forward to spending Valentine's Day with me, too. Of course, I know, in my heart of hearts, there's 'someone' he'd rather be with.
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.
When it comes to picking out the right saddle for your bicycle, the options can seem overwhelming. That's partly because there really isn't one correct solution. Some prefer or need something softer; others, something firmer. Some riders comfortably ride the saddles their bikes come with for thousands and thousands and thousands of miles.