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Our publications archive includes: feature articles, technical how-tos, and columns from past issues of Adventure Cyclist magazine, and our twice-monthly e-newsletter. This archive also features free clip-art. Search the archives by Category, Author, and Year, or search by Keyword.

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Bike Bits Vol. 16, No. 13, July 2, 2014
This is the 337th issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 52,521 other readers, because you've signed up for it at the Adventure Cycling Association website, Bike Bits arrives in text-only format for quick download and includes links for more information. We want to inspire you to dream and to live your own bicycle adventures.


"Bicycles may change, but cycling is timeless." 
--Zapata Espinoza


"Amtrak announced last week that it is installing new baggage cars equipped for bike storage in all trains on its long-distance routes by year's end. The change will allow Amtrak riders to ‘roll on' their bikes, rather than disassembling them and transporting them in boxes. The new baggage car equipment is being tested in Chicago, New Orleans, Miami, and the Northeast Corridor." Read the rest of this bit of good news at the blog post linked below. (And, as a point of clarification, the change will mean that bikes can be loaded/unloaded only at stations with baggage service; cyclists will not be permitted to load/unload the bikes themselves.)  


"Perhaps the days of bringing your bicycle with you on a flight are numbered. The final day may come sooner than you think, if the airline industry continues down this bike path." So states Christopher Elliott in the Washington Post story the link below takes you to. We know that cyclists are employing strategies like folding bikes, bicycles equipped with S&S couplers that break down to fit standard baggage size, and even, as detailed in the story, checking in late. But really, should all of this be necessary? It sure looks like it's time for change in the air as well as on the tracks. 


An avid Bike Bits reader recently wrote to recommend the Stanford House for individuals and groups interested in finding historic lodging and/or camping in Ohio's Cuyahoga Valley National Park. More than 170 years old, the place can sleep up to thirty people in nine private rooms. 
The major trail running through the national park is the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail, which, when completed, will run for approximately 100 miles from Lake Erie in Cleveland to Waterworks Park in New Philadelphia. Already one of the most popular paths in the state, the towpath trail is part of the greater Ohio-to-Erie Trail, which also includes the heralded Little Miami Scenic Trail. Learn more at this link:


Also out of Ohio comes this story from the Youngstown Vindicator about a group of 18- to 28-year-olds who are riding cross-country from Providence to Seattle, while raising both money and walls for Habitat for Humanity. Upcoming layovers where the group of 29 will pause to hammer nails instead of hills include Ames, Iowa, and Yankton, South Dakota. "On the road, we don't have a lot of luxuries," Andrea Belbusti, one of the group's leaders, said. "It makes us really realize the help that we're bringing to other people, and it makes you think about what's really important." Very cool. 


Last February, Adventure Cycling announced the introduction of the Youth Touring and Leadership Scholarship program. Of the applications submitted and reviewed over the spring, two candidates were selected to participate in a 2014 Adventure Cycling educational tour. The scholarship winners, both recent college grads, are Alice Viana of Chicago and John Nguyen of Houston. Both will be joining us on our Introduction to Road Touring-Oregon course aboard new bikes, and with packs and racks, all donated by our generous sponsors. Learn more in this blog post by tours specialist Mike Lessard: 


Some say Iowa is becoming the gravel-riding capital of the Midwest, with its thousands and thousands of miles of low-traffic gravel roads and unsurfaced (and often notoriously muddy) "Class B" roads. But we believe most riders would be well advised to utilize fatter tires and get more sleep than this pair of 44-year-old Des Moines cyclists did: 


"For two days in Colorado, I got to ride without luggage (aka: unloaded). The spouse of one of the riders spent a few days with us and rented a pickup truck, and we had the opportunity to drop our gear in the truck and ride free. This was actually my idea/suggestion, although I still struggled with the decision of whether or not to take advantage of it. Finally, I decided ‘why make this harder than it needs to be?'" The preceding passage is from the June 26 post on the blog kept by Aaron Schantz as he travels with our TransAm group across the country. Tap in and you'll find some great insights into what it's like to tackle the U.S. by bicycle. 


Click on the link below to read a terrific Q&A interview with Steve Buchtel, who is doing a lot for the Land of Lincoln trails community as Executive Director of Trails for Illinois. His work also has national implications, as Trails for Illinois was a key partner in the recent designation of U.S. Bicycle Routes 36 and 37 along Lake Michigan. "Bike lanes [which Steve worked on in previous positions] are cool," he says, "but they didn't reach people, including me, the same way trails do. So I started looking for a way to make building trails my job. I talked a tiny little organization with no staff and no program into letting me be Executive Director until the money runs out. It's been 2 1/2 years, and I think we're making a difference in Illinois." 


The Art of Bikepacking is an evening of storytelling, photography, and technical expertise coming to Anchorage, Alaska, on Wednesday, July 16. The program will include presentations by Eric Parsons, who will share "A History of Revelate Designs"; Dan Bailey, who will discuss "Adventure and Photography," relating his experiences as a professional adventure photographer; and Lael Wilcox and Nicholas Carman, who will share stories and a series of printed images from their time spent "Bikepacking Europe." The event takes place at The Bicycle Shop, 1801 West Dimond Boulevard, at 7 p.m., and offers free food, beer, and gifts! Pack your bike for adventure and ride to the event for a chance to win prizes, including a complete set of maps for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route and the new Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route. More information: 


Until next time, click on to check out Ian Evans' wild bicycle adventures, which have included a solo spin across Australia. 


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