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Bike Bits Vol. 17, No. 8, April 15, 2015
This is the 355th issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 54,764 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.


"Traveling--it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller." 
--Ibn Battuta 


Blackburn, manufacturer of fine bike bags and other cycling gear, turns 40 this year, one year before Bikecentennial/Adventure Cycling's 40th. The company's new film, "Comes with Baggage: A history of bicycle travel, from boneshakers to bikepacking," debuts tonight in conjunction with the Sea Otter Classic in Monterey, California. The venue for the screening is the Garden Stage at the Monterey County Fairgrounds, where the gates open at 7:30 p.m. Check out the film's trailer, which stars our very own Greg Siple:  


"Any chance our shop's free Adventure Bike classes and trips this spring can make it into the next newsletter?" So asked Joseph Nocella, owner of 718 Cyclery, Inc., in Brooklyn, New York. An emphatic "Yes!" came the answer to his request. Consider this passage from the shop's website: "718 Cyclery is committed to spreading our love of bike camping and Adventure Cycling to our customers. We are launching a series of free classes and events this spring that will culminate with our trip to Fahenstock State Park in Carmel, New York, on July 10-12. It's all free, but signing up online is a must to reserve your spot and help us plan." You can do it here:


Adventure Cycling executive director Jim Sayer will be in Boston on Tuesday, April 28, to meet with members and other cycling friends. He will talk about projects including Adventure Cycling's 40th anniversary plans for 2016, the brand new Bicycle Route 66, routes on the drawing board (e.g., Chicago to New York and Texas Hill Country), bike overnights, and the U.S. Bicycle Route System. Refreshments will be available, along with the opportunity to hobnob with Jim and fellow adventure cyclists. The gathering takes place from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. at Landry's Bicycles, 890 Commonwealth Avenue. Join us, and bring a friend! And please RSVP by April 24--so we can be sure to have enough refreshments on hand--by calling or emailing Beth Petersen at (406) 532-2751 or 


Kim Anderson True contacted Bike Bits with information about the weeklong BikeMaine, a ride now in its third year that's put on by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. "We are working hard here in Maine to develop bicycle tourism," wrote Kim, who is the ride's director. "Last year we attracted riders from 35 states and five foreign countries. People really had a ball experiencing Maine by bike." She went on to explain that while the 2014 ride drew a respectable 250 riders, they really need to get to the 350 mark to make it a sustainable event for the coalition. This year's host communities include Kittery, Old Orchard Beach, Bridgton, Bethel (two nights), Sweden (Camp Tapawingo), and Kennebunk. Click here for more details: 


Check out the latest in a series of articles about Adventure Cycling Association and the Adventure Cycling Route Network appearing in EuroVelo, the newsletter of the European Cyclists' Federation (ECF). This one, focusing on route selection and mapping, was prepared by our publications director, Michael Deme, along with help from Routes & Mapping Department assistant director Jennifer Milyko. As we reported last year, the ECF and Adventure Cycling have partnered up to promote each other's work and respective route networks in order to encourage and promote cycle tourism, route development, and knowledge sharing.  


The fifth annual Tour de Heifer, billed as "Vermont's most challenging dirt road rides," are slated to take place June 7 in and around Brattleboro. The rides raise funds and awareness for Strolling of the Heifers, a nonprofit dedicated to connecting people with healthy local food sources and encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship in Vermont's farm and food industry. The Tour's 60-mile and 30-mile challenge routes follow mostly dirt roads, with a bit of pavement thrown in for good measure. Both entail significant elevation change--nearly 7,000 feet for the 60-miler, and more than 3,000 feet for the 30-miler. There's also a 15-mile option available for the less serious and/or ambitious. The tour is part of the annual Strolling of the Heifers Weekend, which includes the "world-famous Strolling of the Heifers Parade" and Slow Living Expo. 


"I envision this ride being a compelling reason to upgrade the California Bike Route 1," wrote Dave Snyder, who alerted us to the fully supported, five-day California Dream Ride. The goal is to raise funds for the California Bicycle Coalition's better bikeways campaign, Dave explained, saying that CalBike's unique position as leaders of California's bike movement will give riders "special access to community leaders and superstars in the bike world who will join us for fun events every evening of the ride." Included are accommodations and most meals, SAG and mechanic support, jersey, entertainment, and plenty of chances to connect with fellow bicyclists committed to making California a better place for bicycling. Register to start fundraising here: 


Adventure Cycling's membership director, Julie Huck, reports that at the end of March the organization reached an all-time high membership number of 48,209--the first time ever to crack the 48,000 mark. Wow! Did you know that Adventure Cycling members are eligible for discounted products and services from select corporate partners such as Rudy Project, BikeToursDirect, and Primal wear? With discounts on lodging, tours, and more, membership in Adventure Cycling grants you access to a wide range of deals to enhance your bicycle travel experience. Click on the following link to view a list of all the Adventure Cycling Member Benefits:  


The Driftless Region is an area of the Upper Mississippi River Basin that was bypassed by the last continental glacier, leaving a diverse topography of rugged hills and valleys cut into limestone bedrock. With plenty of demanding hills--but not at the expense of picturesque flatlands, which you'll also find--southwestern Wisconsin offers riders of every caliber back-road routes for relaxed or challenging riding (or a mix of both). A new website has been launched to promote road riding in the region. The project is supported by the La Crosse Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, with volunteer work from local cyclists. Check it out here: 
This just in: Ride with GPS has named Bicycle La Crosse to their Ambassador Program, which highlights well-designed, well-documented, tried-and-true rides from a region. It's the first region in the Midwest to achieve the ambassador distinction. 

Until next time, click on  to view a sweet video of Adventure Cycling's new Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route. 


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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: