Bike Bits Archive

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Bike Bits Vol. 17, No. 1, January 7, 2015
This is the 348th issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 54,813 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.


"For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness." 
--Ralph Waldo Emerson 


The Agile Rascal Traveling Bike Theatre is a newly formed group of artists from the Bay Area of California who describe themselves as being "at the intersection of performing arts and bike culture." The group plans to tour the U.S. by bicycle next summer, performing in both outdoor and indoor venues as the various communities visited allow. The route they tentatively plan to follow begins in Oakland and dips through the Southwest before heading north to Denver and then eastward across the country to the ultimate destination of New York City. You can read about the artists involved by clicking on this link: 


The Gates Carbon Drive "Belted Blog" features a short piece about Elmar and Ellen van Drunen, who "quit their jobs, sold their house in the Netherlands, and flew to Brazil to embark on a multi-year journey from South America to Alaska. Fourteen months into their adventure the Dutch couple have pedaled 10,500 miles on their Santos Travel Lite bikes." Click the following link to read the story, which extols the virtues of the Rohloff hub and Gates Carbon Drive belt. You can also view some terrific photos of their trip.  


Are you looking for adventure and inspiration all year long? Not yet a member of Adventure Cycling? Join by January 11, and we'll send you our 2015 Bicycle Travel Calendar for FREE! We want to reach out to as many new cyclists as possible, so that we can tempt and inspire them to take a bicycle adventure this year. If you're already a member, please share this offer with your friends. They'll thank you every time an issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine lands in their mailbox. 


Gravel Grinder News has joined forces with another online service called Gravel News. In an effort to discontinue reinventing the (fat) wheel and rolling over each other's toes, Mark "Guitar Ted" Stevenson, the founder of Gravel Grinder News, and Ben Welnak of Gravel News have created a single entity, while retaining the name of the latter newsletter. Click on the following link to learn more about the merger and to find out just what Gravel News is and does:
Speaking of bicycling on gravel and dirt, Mike Dion's "Ride the Divide," a film about racing on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, is included in the Los Angeles Times' list of "Overrated/Underrated 2014." It's a very long list, and you have to scroll down through approximately 80 percent of it to find the blurb, which reads: "UNDERRATED: ‘Ride the Divide' (2010). If you're entertaining the idea of bike commuting but leery of the few miles of asphalt from here to there, this documentary puts distance into perspective by following the handful of hardy maniacs who battle loneliness and wilderness in tackling a 2,700-mile mountain bike race that stretches from Canada to Mexico along the Rocky Mountains. It may not make rush hour on Glendale Boulevard any less treacherous, but at least there isn't any snow. Or bears."


Luis Alex de Cuba wrote to tell us that in late December his friend Tom Palermo was killed by an automobile driver while bicycling in Baltimore, and that the response has been overwhelming. "Hundreds of cyclists rode to the site of the accident Thursday [January 1] to remember Palermo," reported the Baltimore Sun; "and, some said, to send a message to the wider community about the vulnerability of riders on city streets." Jeff Hulting, Palermo's brother-in-law, told Sun reporter Matthew Hay Brown that "as tragic as this accident was, and the grief that our family feels, it is our hope that the awareness caused by this horrible event will ultimately result in the saving of tens, if not hundreds, of cyclists' lives in the future." Click on the following link to learn more about the accident, as well as about the movement to memorialize Palermo, who was a fixture in the Baltimore cycling community.  


Adventure Cycling Executive Director Jim Sayer will be traveling through the Empire State later this month for the New York Times Travel Show (January 24-25) and three special gatherings for members and their friends. At the gatherings, you'll hear the latest news on bike travel and Adventure Cycling projects (plus see some really cool bike touring photos). The first gathering will be in downtown Brooklyn on January 22 at the YWCA from 6:15 to 8:00 p.m. The second will be in Saratoga Springs on Monday, January 26, at the United Methodist Church from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. The third will be in partnership with the Finger Lakes Cycling Club, where Jim will present at the FLCC's annual dinner in downtown Ithaca at the Cinemapolis. This event takes place Tuesday, January 27, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., and will feature pizza, salad, drinks, and lots of cycling kindred spirits (donations for the meal gratefully accepted from non-FLCC members). For details, click on the calendar link below, and if you have questions, contact Beth Petersen at or 406-532-2751.
Check out details for all three events here:
You can also catch up with Jim and other Adventure Cycling staff and volunteers at the New York Times Travel Show, the largest consumer travel show in the world, held in Manhattan. For details on the program and tickets, click here:


With the towering peaks of Glacier National Park, sparkling mountain lakes, and rolling plains as far as the eye can see, it's easy to see why five Adventure Cycling routes guide cyclists through Montana. Of course, we're biased; Montana is also home. When the opportunity to show off some of Big Sky Country's best cycling arose through a partnership with the Montana Film Office and a production group named Epic Montana, Adventure Cycling jumped at the chance. The result will be a five-film series directed by Rachel Stevens, our senior graphic designer and award-winning filmmaker. Titled "Adventure Cycling Montana," the series will highlight the state's spectacular scenery, friendly folks, and world-class cycling. The first installment follows a trio of riders enjoying the fall colors between Libby and Whitefish on a stretch of the Northern Tier Bicycle Route. Subsequent episodes will feature the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, the Lewis & Clark Bicycle Trail, and the Great Parks Bicycle Route. To view the first film and to read a behind-the-scenes post by Rachel, click here:  


Jim McNeely of Peterstown, West Virginia, wrote Bike Bits to update us on his Appalachian Cycleways Network (ACN) project. "I've posted info for Route Division C in southwest Virginia, northwest North Carolina, and southeast West Virginia in my Crazy Guy on a Bike article [linked below]," Jim wrote. "I'm now working on Route Divisions A and B; that's everything south of the Virginia/Tennessee state line. I always stress that these routes are typically a little ‘further back' than many bike routes, and require navigation skills, self-sufficiency, and a sturdy road-touring bicycle. They highlight back roads and the Appalachian landscape and culture." Jim added that he's looking for experienced touring cyclists who share his fascination with wandering the Appalachian region by bicycle, and who might be willing to test the ACN routes and navigation techniques. "It would be most helpful if they are GPS-equipped," he said.


An Adventure Cycling life member named Tom wrote Bike Bits to tell us about a trails confab coming up soon at the former Fort Ord, near Monterey, California. "The Fort Ord Reuse Authority is holding a one-day symposium about trail-network planning, design, and economic impact in the region," Tom said. The gathering takes place at the University Center, California State University Monterey Bay on Thursday, January 22, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Scheduled speakers include Mia Birk, author of "Joyride"; Peter Katz, author and leading proponent of New Urbanism; Laura Thompson, manager of the San Francisco Bay Trail Project; Tim Blumenthal, president of PeopleForBikes; John Wentworth, CEO of Mammoth Lake Trails and Public Access; and Dena Belzer, founder of Strategic Economics, a national leader in innovative urban economics research. The event is free and open to the public. 


Now that January is here, Fat Bike February can't be far away. To get psyched for it, check out this blog post written last February by media specialist Mac McCoy: 
Now, to put some rubber to the rime in advance of Fat Bike February, consider traveling to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for the 2015 Global Fat Bike Summit, January 23-25. By the way, the photo that comes up when you click on the link for the summit is of Mac (on the right) and Adventure Cycling cartographer Casey Greene. The two were caught on camera by Jason Boucher of Quality Bicycle Products, while riding at the 2013 Fat Bike Summit in Island Park, Idaho. 
Have photos or a story you'd like featured during Fat Bike February? Contact Adventure Cycling's digital media coordinator Alison Riley at 


Until next time, click on to read about some of Outside magazine's fat-bike picks for this winter. 


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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: