Pedaling + Paddling

Nov 9, 2009

When it comes to self-propelled travel, there's no reason to stick to a single mode of getting from point A to point B. Consider, for instance, travel writer and Chicago resident Ted Villaire's recent 10-day trip along the western shores of Michigan, which he made by bicycle and kayak.

Similarly, only much longer in the saddle and with the paddle, this couple from Germany spent five years years exploring the world's roads and waters. In all, they cycled approximately 55,000 miles and paddled some 2,600 miles.

If you'd like to dabble in multi-mode travel, but leave the planning to someone else, certain outfitters can accommodate you. Discover France, for instance, offers a package trip in the Provence region that mixes road cycling, canoeing, hiking, and mountain biking (oh, yeah, and zip-lining).

There's also a movement underway for wild-country travel that combines mountain biking and packrafting. It is perhaps best exemplified by Back Country Biking, a company that runs bicycle-and-packraft adventures in the Highlands of Scotland.

However, you say, a straight cycling adventure is copacetic by you? Me, too. I'm thinking of taking my next one aboard a self-contained unit like this. It may not be the fastest ride around, but can you imagine the camping comfort once you call it a day?

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BIKING WITHOUT BORDERS was posted by Michael McCoy, Adventure Cycling’s field editor, highlighting a little bit of this or a little bit of that — just about anything, as long as it related to traveling by bicycle. Mac also compiles the organization's twice-monthly e-newsletter Bike Bits, which goes free-of-charge to more than 50,000 readers worldwide.

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