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Bike Bits Vol. 16, No. 22, November 19, 2014
This is the 346th issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 54,294 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.


"The hardest thing in the world is to simplify your life. It's so easy to make it complex. What's important is leading an examined life."
--Yvon Chouinard 


A Dutch-based design studio has introduced an illuminated trail in Nuenen, Netherlands, called the Van Gogh-Roosegaaard Bicycle Path. Based on Vincent Van Gogh's painting "The Starry Night," it's a short section of a route that goes through the province where the famous artist was born and raised. Learn more and have a look at a few photos of the extraordinary pathway here:
Then there's the world's first "solar road" in the Dutch community of Krommenie. It's actually a 230-foot-long bike path: 


If you're a member of Adventure Cycling Association, you probably noticed that the Winter Cyclosource catalog landed in your mailbox last week. See something in there you'd like? Here's a chance to shop for yourself and/or your intended gift recipients and receive 10 percent off the order. Simply use the code MS-999 where prompted to receive the discount, which is in effect through Friday, November 21. 


Sydney, Australia-based designer Toby King's new concept helmet is equipped not only with an internal LED headlight, but with … here's the list: a camera, in-helmet display and processor, wiper system, proximity sensors, pull-down visor with mirrors, shock-absorbing impact bar (think football helmet face guard), batteries, brake and night lights, smart phone holder, and license plate holder. The latter is a nod to the New South Wales government, which is considering mandatory licensing for cyclists. 


Are you struggling to see your route maps or GPS screen while on the road? If you're in the 50-plus percent of Americans who wear prescription glasses, then you know the pain it can be to find a decent pair of sport RX eyewear that won't slip off your head while on a ride. Luckily, Adventure Cycling Titanium corporate member Rudy Project, in business since 1985, constructs some of the best sport prescription and reader sunglasses ever made. Their frames feature easily adjusted temple tips and nose pieces, so you can adapt the shades to fit; and, best of all, they won't fog or pinch. And Rudy's ImpactX lenses have your RX digitally surfaced onto the backside and are absolutely unbreakable -- seriously, you can bend them in half in your hands (not that we'd recommend it). If you just need a little boost at the bottom of your lenses to help you read that map, Rudy Project also offers Polarized Reader sunglasses in +1.5, +2.0, and +2.5 magnifications. They're offering all Adventure Cycling members a limited time discount of 25 percent off. Check them out here:


Patrick and Hannah, a couple from Britain, had been together and going on adventures for over ten years when they decided to get married and take a honeymoon. What destination did they choose – Tuscany? Or the south of France? Nope, they picked Antelope Wells, New Mexico. Well, that's where they started anyway, setting out with their bikes and their BOBs to ride the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. On returning to the U.K., Hannah created a short film about their three-month adventure, titled "Megamoon." It premieres this Friday (and screens again on Saturday and Sunday) at the Kendal Mountain Festival in the South Lakeland District city of Kendal, England. The movie tells Hannah's personal story of "a road trip of sorts but ultimately a journey by bike where love and adventure come together." 
The Kendal Mountain Festival is described by its organizers as an internationally known event that attracts film premieres from around the globe. Now in its 15th year, the festival is also considered the main social event for outdoor enthusiasts in the UK. 


Something new for 2015 in the Adventure Cycling tours lineup are special Introduction to Road Touring courses for women only (Virginia, May 10-15, and Oregon, July 19-24), as well as special courses for men and women under the age of 30 (Florida, March 15-20, and Texas, March 22-27). These were added after we received feedback that these courses would help attract more young and female folks to bike travel (and, by the way, there will also be five other Intro to Road courses and two Intro to Dirt Touring courses available to everyone). In other news, don't forget about special incentives offered by the Tours Department. These include a credit on a 2015 tour for those enrolling in either an Introduction to Road Touring or Introduction to Dirt Touring course, as well as special offers for those who bring along a friend who hasn't toured with us before, group discounts on fully supported tours, and a special offer for member bike clubs. Learn all about it at this link: 


Jim Johnson is president of Chattanooga-based BikeToursDirect, a global tours broker and business member of Adventure Cycling. One of Jim's other passions is encouraging more cycling in his home region and, to that end, he is coordinating efforts to plan US Bike Route 21 from Knoxville to Chattanooga to Atlanta, USBR 121 from Nashville to Chattanooga, and USBR 80 from Nashville to Knoxville. "Each of the four cities has a sub-group working on routes to and through their cities," Jim said. "For more than four months, nearly 50 volunteers across the two states have been actively engaged with the planning. We're currently trying to build our Chattanooga group, and have a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, November 19." That's today, folks! Jim added that the group needs more "testers" and, eventually, people who can work with the municipalities. "If this works for us," he said, "I'll probably suggest it for the teams in Atlanta/Rome, Nashville, and Knoxville." Today's meeting takes place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at UTC Outdoors in Chattanooga. You can find a map for the location at this link: 

The following link takes you to a six-minute video about a bikepacking trip along the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango, a distance of around 500 miles. The group of four Yeti Cycles ambassadors who started the ride (three finished) found everything from smooth, tacky singletrack to steep, rocky hike-a-biking. They also viewed a lot of gorgeous scenery, even if sometimes they had no idea where they were. 


"I Want My Entire Toothbrush Thank You Very Much" is a post from the Surly Bikes blog by Christina Julien, who describes her job at Surly as "the resident Pain In The Ass, nag, and worry wart." The title refers to Jules' packing philosophy, which is contrary to that of bikepacking light practitioners, who often go to extreme measures to shave mere ounces from the weight of their kits -- like cutting down the handles of their toothbrushes. 


Until next time, click on to see some amazing illustrations of architectural landmarks made with bicycle tire tracks. 


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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: