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Bike Bits Vol. 16, No. 15, August 6, 2014
This is the 339th issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 53,084 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.


"People don't take trips, trips take people." 
--John Steinbeck


Adventure Cycling member Michael Woods of San Francisco is a structural engineer who on most days can be found at his desk, drawing and performing calculations for floodgates, tunnels, and bridges. But in June and July of 2013, Mike took a long break from that setting and, after very little training but a great deal of planning, hopped on his bicycle for a solo, 4,257-mile ride back to his native Boston. On August 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., he will offer a presentation about his adventure at the San Francisco Main Library. He will talk about planning and executing the ride, which, he says, "included long days of up to 120 miles for this out-of-shape rider with bad knees." After a 60-minute slide show, Mike will field questions and demonstrate the packing and unpacking of his bike, which weighs 85 pounds when loaded. View a map showing the location of the library at this link: 


On Monday of this week we received an exuberant e-missive from Carol, a rider who participated in July's Cycle Divide Montana tour. "The participant group was exceptional," she wrote. "This was our eighth Adventure Cycling event ride, and while all the trips have been filled with wonderful people, this group, as a group, was just outstanding. One couple, on a mountain bike tandem, created the video linked below. It captures the experience of this trip really well, and truly shows the fun and spirit of these event rides. It's 17 minutes long, but those minutes fly by."


If you're wondering who Craig Allen is … he's the son of the guy riding his bicycle across Canada. He's also a deejay on New Jersey 101.5, Trenton's WKXW-FM. His dad began riding in western Canada on June 26, taking aim for home back in the Garden State. 
Well, Craig's dad was bicycling across Canada; he didn't quite make it. But, he wrote, "With my prior attempt in 2013, I have biked Vancouver to Ottawa to home in New Jersey just outside New York City, missing only the equivalent of maybe 180 miles through very sparsely inhabited northern Ontario." Craig's dad truly is filled with the spirit of adventure. 


Adventurer and filmmaker Leon McCarron writes at his blog that he has read quite a few books detailing bicycle journeys, only to find that a lot of them aren't very well done. "Many fall into the trap of giving too much banal information, e.g., endless descriptions of kit and routes," he writes, "while others are poorly written and fail to ever really paint a picture of the adventure or conjure up images of characters and landscapes for the reader." He backs up his criticism with some solid advice about how to go about it the right way, steps that include identifying your unique story early on and pinpointing themes, audience, and voice. 


Ken Foster at Bike Florida contacted Bike Bits to fill us in on an awesome-sounding opportunity in his state. Here's what he had to say about the person who will become the new Bike Florida Tour Manager: "The ideal candidate will bring extensive knowledge and experience to Bike Florida with the ability to blend their unique skills and knowledge base with Bike Florida's established culture. A successful candidate will take full responsibility for the Boutique Tour business. The successful candidate will also act as the Tour Assistant for the 2015 Spring Tour with potential of transitioning into the Ride Director position for the 2016 Spring Tour." Do not dawdle: This position closes to applications on August 8, the day after tomorrow. 


You can share the inspiration of bicycle travel with a friend by sending them a free catalog detailing the Adventure Cycling Route Network. With a system of more than 42,000 miles of carefully chosen back roads, byways, and bike trails to choose from, Adventure Cycling maps guarantee adventure, while offering riders the reassurance of knowing they were researched by experienced, knowledgeable bicycle travelers. Adventure Cycling members who send a catalog to a friend will be entered to win the grand-prize Novara Ponderosa 27.5 mountain bike from REI, as well as monthly prizes from Arkel, Bike2Power, Cygolite, and more. Send a free map catalog to a friend today!


Their season is almost over, but if you happen to be in the vicinity of Toronto this week, you still have the chance to catch the Bicycle Opera Project, which "brings together a cast of young emerging opera stars, instrumentalists, and a program of fantastic Canadian opera works." Not only that, but they've been traveling from show to show by bicycle, pulling loaded trailers as they go. The group is performing in the area the evenings of August 7–10. 
On a classically related note, so too is the season winding down for the Handlebards, "a four-strong, all-male troupe of cycling players pedaling the length and breadth of the UK for three months, performing fast-paced productions of Shakespeare's ‘Macbeth' and ‘The Comedy of Errors.'" The Handlebards' final few performances of the season take place in Edinburgh, Scotland, August 6–10. 


Seventy-one-year-old Dianne Franz of Palm Harbor, Florida, recently fulfilled her longtime goal of bicycling in all 50 states. In June, the retired middle-school teacher finally pedaled in Kansas, the final state in her quest. And it wasn't just a ceremonial spin through the wheat field: Dianne rode the 555-mile Biking Across Kansas, traveling from the southwest corner of the state to the northeast corner. A lot of her other two-wheeled excursions have been on similar cross-state event rides. Dianne told Patti Ewald, a staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times, that she went on her first organized tour, Bike Florida, in the early 1990s while still teaching, and that these are some of what she enjoys about it all: "When you go into the heart of the country, when 800 bikers pull into a town of 450, you're treated like royalty. Farm towns. The heartland. We are greeted with welcome signs. Women make homemade stuff for us. Girl Scouts come to sell us things they've made." 


Until next time, click on to read about the Health Nuts & Handlebars' ride across America, which they accomplished to the accompanying tunes of CCR and good ol' country.  


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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: