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Photo by Adam Coppola
Timbuk2 — long a dominant force in the messenger-bag market — has finally entered the bicycle touring realm with their Shift Pannier Messenger bag.
I truly feel sorry for people who have only observed the world from the seat of a speeding car. It all becomes a blur. The pace of bicycle travel suites me. But even pedaling can propel you too quickly through your surroundings.
ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours, a silver-level member, is one of our newer corporate members. Maria Elena Price, co-owner, took time to answer some of our questions and tell us more about her company.
Four years ago, I was asked to help create and lead a bicycle tour of the Ohio portion of the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route for a group of eight students and three adults from the Bronx Lab School, a public high school in New York.
There's a new mountain bike course here in Missoula and we're all having fun getting out on it! However, with the large number of scary bumps and crazy pitches, I've been adding something else to my usual carry-along stock of tubes, tire levers, etc. After a nasty little spill awhile ago, I've decided to carry a basic first-aid kit with me as well.
But of all the maps I have (and I have boxes full of them), I do have a favorite. It is no bigger than three by four inches. It was drawn for me by a man I met on the road in South Africa.
Summer is here. I was reminded of this in full force when I nearly passed out while mountain biking during a 92-degree afternoon at the beginning of the week. Yikes! We need to drink a lot! And, while water is of utmost importance, sometimes it's nice to drink things that aren't just plain water, too. Salt and electrolytes are important when we're sweating a lot, and besides ... who doesn't want to change up the flavor occasionally?
After a long winter up in Montana, we're pretty excited to have some summer weather. But while I love taking advantage of the warm weather, a long day in the saddle under the hot sun can really take its toll, and I often find myself looking forward to the temperature dropping back down. Fortunately, there are a lot of little things you can do to keep your cool and enjoy the summer sun at the same time. I actually wrote a post about this a few years back, but sometimes it's good to revisit an important topic such as this.
I live in the insanely beautiful Pacific Northwest. Due to our cloudy skies and somewhat damp weather (even in July), the color pallet can be quite muted — dark greens, blues, and greys.
So when I travel, I am drawn to the opposite. The rich and vibrant, almost electric colors that you will find on the houses in Cuba, in the shops in Bangkok, and in the markets in India.
I've been thinking recently about all the friends I make on the road. Not friends I make while touring, although those are certainly special friends indeed, but the friends I make during my daily commute to and from work each day. The lady who somehow always ends up stopped at the same stoplight as me and says, "Do you really ride in ALL KINDS OF WEATHER?!" The little old man who gives me the thumbs up whenever I pass him walking on California Street.
I am amazed at how many bike travelers hop on their bikes for a day's ride and rarely stop. Sure, they might stop to fix a flat or to take off a jacket, or to pause to look at their map. But "lingering" isn't in their vocabulary. They zoom to their next destination and check into a hotel or campsite.
Most touring bikes include a third set of eyelets for an extra water bottle cage, however, not everybody tours on a touring bike, especially on routes such as the Great Divide Route. While the third bottle cage might be excessive for a lot of tours, it can be nice to have that extra insurance for long stretches between water stops. While there is nothing wrong with tossing an extra bottle in a pannier or back pocket, it can be nice to keep your fluids quickly accessible and off the back.
Thirty years ago (tomorrow). I left Seaside, Oregon with my buddy Thomas to cycle across America. July 2, 1981. Almost 11,000 days have passed since we dipped our rear tires in the Pacific Ocean. Hard to believe. In some ways it really does feel like it was yesterday.