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Bike Bits Vol. 17, No. 5, March 4, 2015
This is the 352nd issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 55,427 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 great omission in American life is solitude, that zone of time and space, free from the outside pressures, which is the incinerator of the spirit." 
-- Marya Mannes, 1904-1990 


A member named Kelvin sent the link to a Deseret News article about a couple from Utah who are in the midst of an extended bike ride. So far, Clayton and Katy Pratt, who set their wheels rolling in London last July, have pedaled their tandem in more than two dozen countries. When asked by reporter Lee Benson, "Would you recommend this to others?" their answer was: "Of course. Stop what you're doing. Find a bike, go for a ride. It doesn't have to be across the world. It doesn't even have to be overnight. The world changes when you are on a bike. Ride to work. Ride to the grocery store." 


Bicycle Route 66 is finally here; and, as you will see if you click the link below, it's been worth the wait. We announced the route concept way back in 2010, and since then our staff researchers and cartographers have been doing what they do to make the dream a reality. "Route 66 was the overwhelming favorite among our members for a new long-distance route," says Carla Majernik, Adventure Cycling's routes and mapping director. "It's a legendary corridor, and for our route network, a critical link through states where there were no established Adventure Cycling routes, such as Oklahoma." The addition of Bicycle Route 66 brings the total mileage of the Adventure Cycling Route Network to 44,662 miles. Passing through 47 states and parts of Canada, it is the largest mapped national cycling network in the world. Read more about Bicycle Route 66:
Click here to see what Outside Magazine has to say about the new route:


Now that you know about Adventure Cycling's newest routing project, here's some news regarding our original route: The TransAmerica Bicycle Trail turns 40 in 2016. To mark the milestone, we are creating a 200-page coffee-table book focusing on the trail's history, geography, global impact, and more. Lavishly illustrated with drawings and photos both old and new, the book will also contain a wealth of short pieces provided by those who have crossed America on the granddaddy of long-distance cycling routes. Maybe you're one of them? We welcome tales of favorite swimming holes, unforgettable people met along the way, memorable campground meals--or, on a more metaphysical level, what impact riding the TransAm Trail has had on you. If you have a story to share, please send it via email to 


The Greenbelt Route is a new, signed 480-kilometer (300-mile) cycling route in Ontario that winds through a massive protected green space called the Greenbelt, which stretches from Niagara to Northumberland County. "In anticipation of the Greenbelt Route launch," said a trail representative named Kevin, "this summer we are hosting the Great Waterfront Trail Adventure, a six-day fully supported bike tour from one end of the route to the other. We hope to see some of your members on bikes at the launch in August!" Learn more about the tour, slated for August 16 through 21, at this link:  


Tired of winter? Then don't watch this video … unless you want to see a bunch of Montreal cyclists having a blast in the snow and cold. The footage is from the February 15 "Vélo sous zero," during which the temperature was well below zero--whether you choose to express it in degrees Celsius or Fahrenheit. Thanks to Bike Bits reader Suzanne Lafontaine for sending the link! 


In the spirit of the Tour Divide, the self-supported race that follows the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, comes yet another epic journey: the Caldera 500, slated to begin on Friday, September 18, in Mammoth Lakes, California. At about 500 miles in length, 95 percent dirt, and dishing up 70,000 vertical feet of climbing, the route sounds like it could be a good one for tackling at a slower pace, as well. Maybe even better than for hurrying over. 


Larry Brock, Adventure Cycling's East Coast tour director, will be presenting at a couple of REI Outdoor Activity classes in the Old Line State over the coming days. On March 6, he will be at the REI in College Park; on March 11, at the REI in Timonium (north Baltimore area). The subject of Larry's presentations: Cycling the C&O Canal towpath and the Great Allegheny Passage rail-trail with Adventure Cycling. Space is limited at both events, so register ASAP via these links:


The Empire State Ride, a new seven-day ride crossing New York State from the Big Apple to Niagara Falls, will raise funds to support research at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute. Click the following link to get a day-by-day description of the route. It looks like a good one! 


"Nancy Wiswall, age 17, was about to start a 61-day adventure that would take her from Wellesley [Massachusetts], across Canada, to Mexico, and back home--10,000 miles--most by train, a few by truck, and 2,000 by bicycle. The cost would be $210, but then, it was 1939." So begins a fascinating tale titled "A Teen on Tour," beginning on page 106 of the spring 2015 edition of WellesleyWeston Magazine (linked below). She was one of 29 young men and women to set out on the adventure, which was organized by American Youth Hostelling. The story wraps up by saying that Nancy, now 93, "credits this experience with giving her the confidence to go anywhere and do anything."  


Until next time, click on for some youthful inspiration (and catch executive director Jim Sayer and his daughter Keilan at around the 52-minute mark). 


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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 44,662 miles. To join, go to: