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Bike Bits Vol. 16, No. 9, May 7, 2014
This is the 333rd issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 51,858 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.


"Dreams are like sticks … you just have to chase them."
--Bixby the Rescue Dog


This issue's opening quote comes from Bixby, a four-year-old female rescue dog from Texas. Bixby is on tour with her human, Mike, and their mascot, a rubber chicken named Charlie. "We have now pedaled nearly 5,000 miles through 21 states and are having the adventure of a lifetime. And we're just getting started! Hopefully, along the way we are helping to unite other four-legged friends with new humans to look after, supporting local animal rescues and shelters." Check out "Where's Bixby? Sharing the Bicycle Travels of Bixby and Her Human" by clicking here: 


Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to ride across the U.S. from San Francisco to New York City on a single, number-designated bicycle route? In honor of National Bicycle Month, we have kicked off our fifth annual "Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It." campaign. The goal is to raise awareness and support for the ever-growing U.S. Bicycle Route System. So far, thanks to our members and other donors, we've raised $4,785 towards our $125,000 goal and 5,973 miles of U.S. Bicycle Routes have been designated, with thousands more to come. Donate before May 31st to have your donation matched 1:1, and donate $50 or more for a chance to win a brand-new Raleigh Sojourn touring bicycle.


A reader named Robbie from Asheville, North Carolina, wrote Bike Bits to tell us that last summer he bicycled across the country from Boston to the Oregon coast. "I kept a blog along the way," he said. "Specifically, I compiled a touring gear list with a novice in mind. It may be useful to others as they plan their own summer trek." We had a look at Robbie's list, and it might indeed provide a good gear outline for those planning their own long-distance tour.


"When the company where he worked was acquired in the midst of one of the country's most severe recessions, Mike Dillon found himself without a job. It's a story common to many, but Dillon's response was far from expected. Instead of searching for new employment, he bought a bicycle, loaded it with camping gear, and pedaled alone across the United States." So begins the description of Mike's book "Changing Cadence," in which he tells the story of bicycling through the South, the Southwest, and, finally, up the coast of California. On his blog, Mike writes: "For all you IPA drinking, Clydesdale bodied cyclists; weekend warriors; or those of you who sit at your desks and wonder what it's like to unplug and venture into the unknown, I have a favor to ask. Please purchase a copy of ‘Changing Cadence.' I think you'll enjoy the story, but more importantly you will be helping a wonderful non-profit organization, because all proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to the Aldar Academy." That's a Sacramento-based nonprofit school for students with severe learning, emotional, and behavioral problems. 


Join Adventure Cycling Association, Bike Tours Direct, and Outdoor Chattanooga for a special gathering at Outdoor Chattanooga (200 River St.) from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, May 12, with Executive Director Jim Sayer and leaders from America Walks and the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (reception at 5 p.m. with short talks starting around 6). And/or join Adventure Cycling, Bike Walk Tennessee, and Oasis Bike Workshop for a gathering at Oasis in downtown Nashville (1704 Charlotte Avenue) on Thursday, May 15, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Whichever event you are able to attend, you'll enjoy snacks and libations, meet kindred cycling spirits, and learn the latest about bike travel and cycling advocacy in North America--including Adventure Cycling's work on a new Bicycle Route 66, the brand new Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route, and the U.S. Bicycle Route System. Please RSVP by May 11 at (406) 532-2751 or 
Up in the northwest quadrant of the U.S. in the capital city of Idaho, Adventure Cycling media specialist Mac McCoy will be appearing at Boise Bike Week on May 16. Read about that gathering here: 


The Alliance for Biking & Walking has released the 2014 Benchmarking Report, a massive compendium of data and research on walking and bicycling in all 50 states, 52 of the most populous cities, and 17 midsized cities. The report includes a wealth of relevant data on active transportation throughout the United States. You can take a peek at the most interesting data points and download the report at this link:


Did you know that through the corporate membership program, Adventure Cycling Association receives support from dozens of tour operators, bike and accessory manufacturers, and other companies? This unique program allows bike-friendly businesses to provide substantial support for Adventure Cycling's work, while benefiting from significant advertising discounts, recognition in Adventure Cyclist magazine and on the web, and other special opportunities to make a connection to our 47,000 members. Join companies like Primal Wear, Bike Tours Direct, Rudy Project, Blackburn, and many others that already support Adventure Cycling through corporate membership. Learn more here: 


Anna Danley of Whitefish, Montana, wrote to tell us about a new business that she and her husband are starting. "We are offering guided mountain-bike rides, lessons, and camps out of the Whitefish Bike Retreat." Read more about it here:
From that same general neck of the woods comes the third annual Gran Fondo Kootenai, a two-day, fully supported ride that benefits several local charities and features a pair of great courses featuring some of the best riding in the Northwest. The event is slated for July 5 and 6, and begins and ends in Libby, Montana.


Looking for a great resource to plan your next mountain bike trip? The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) has embarked on a grand plan to map every mountain bike route across the country. Visit the link below for detailed maps, elevation profiles, and compelling photos from fat-tire excursions throughout the U.S. You can take the information along on your ride by adding the free MTB Project mobile app to your smart phone. It even shows your location on the trail as you ride. 


Until next time, click on to learn how and when to bicycle a very special mountain stretch of the TransAmerica Trail in Oregon, carefree and car-free. 


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Adventure Cycling Association is North America's premier nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle. Membership is open to anyone and includes a one-year subscription to Adventure Cyclist magazine and discounted pricing on maps from our Adventure Cycling Route Network, which now includes 42,180 miles. To join, go to:

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