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Bike Bits Vol. 17, No. 9, May 6, 2015
This is the 356th issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 55,514 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.


"Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt." 
--John Muir 


Some sources attribute this edition's opening quote to "anonymous." But whether the sentiment was first uttered by John Muir or someone else, it's a great recommendation. And a terrific place to follow the advice is in Oregon, with its growing network of mapped routes for off-pavement touring. Writes Oregon Bikepacking founder Donnie Kolb: "The sudden popularity of bikepacking certainly helped propel this idea forward, but it was more than that. It took thousands of miles of bikepacking Oregon before we felt like we knew enough to put together enough legitimately good routes. You can't fake quality. All we needed was a web genius to put our ideas together. Lucky for us all, the stars aligned--we serendipitously met our web guru, and viola--Oregon Bikepacking."


Adventure Cycling has been creating social networks for traveling bicyclists since the launch of Bikecentennial in 1976. Now, the largest cycling membership organization in North America wants to reconnect with those who were involved in Bikecentennial, as well as with other cyclists who have ridden all or parts of the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail between 1976 and today. In preparation for our yearlong 40th anniversary celebration in 2016, we invite Bikecentennial participants and TransAm cyclists to fill out an online form to share their contact and trip information. Anyone interested in participating or volunteering in the 40th anniversary events can also fill out the online form. You'll find it here:   


Click on the link below to read about a new product called Trotify that will make your bicycle sound like a galloping steed.  


In a piece titled "The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever--Continental Divide Trail," Scott Morris writes: "There are three major long distance trails in the U.S.--the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail. The first two are summarily closed to bikes. Only the CDT is (mostly) open. It is also considered the hardest and most wild of the three. Yet no one had attempted to thru-ride the trail ... until now. It's been a dream of mine to tackle the CDT for years. It was a daunting task, full of unknowns and major map work. I figured I would need four or five months to complete the 3,100 miles, due to the difficult terrain and hike-a-bike. It wasn't an endeavor I wanted to pursue alone. Enter Eszter Horanyi, an accomplished bikepacker and my girlfriend. She holds nearly every bikepacking record worth holding, and somehow I was able to convince her that spending a summer pushing our bikes along the Divide was a good idea." The couple obviously paused long enough to take some great photos, as you can see here:  


Wouldn't it be amazing to be able to ride across the U.S. from San Francisco to New York City on a single, number-designated bicycle route? For the sixth year in a row, Adventure Cycling is kicking off National Bike Month by launching a month-long campaign to raise awareness and support for a seamless United States Bicycle Route System (USBRS), so that someday you and other cyclists will be able to do just that. The "Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It." campaign has raised more than $432,000 over the last five years, and this year our goal is to raise an additional $150,000 by May 31st. "This fall we hit a major threshold for the network, reaching over 8,000 miles of designated routes in sixteen states plus the District of Columbia," said Adventure Cycling executive director Jim Sayer. "With more states planning routes in 2015, we are about to reach another major milestone--the 10,000-mile mark. That's one-fifth of the way towards completing a 50,000-mile network, covering the entire country." Adventure Cycling provides staff support for development of the USBRS, which is a project of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a nonprofit, nonpartisan association representing highway and transportation departments in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Learn more about the campaign by viewing the video found at this link: 


Martina from Swift Industries, a bicycle bag company in Seattle and an Adventure Cycling corporate member, contacted Bike Bits to ask if we could help get the word out about the Swift Campout, which she calls "a global call out to go on a bike overnight on solstice weekend, June 20-21." You can take part wherever you are. The only thing Swift asks is, in the spirit of bike camping, that your adventure be self-supported and that you leave no trace. Learn all about it here:  
On a similar note, watch for upcoming information about Adventure Cycling's National Bike Travel Weekend in 2016. "Bike Overnights Everywhere" will include one- to two-night DIY tours of all kinds in all 50 states, in Washington D.C., and beyond. It's coming on the weekend of June 3-5, 2016, as one of four primary components of our 40th anniversary celebration. You can read about all the anniversary events by clicking on the links found under "40th Anniversary" at the upper right-hand side of the page this link takes you to:  


On May 9th, Jon Knudsen of Albuquerque will begin riding the new Bicycle Route 66 through New Mexico with his friend Mike Moye. "However," wrote Jon, "that's not the big news. The news is that New Mexico's MainStreet program, which is dedicated to promoting and preserving the older downtown areas in many New Mexico communities, has decided that they want me to blog the bike trip on their Off the Road in New Mexico site. They think it will be an exciting way to introduce bicycle touring to the communities along Route 66, as well as introduce The Land of Enchantment to cyclists." Jon added that the pair, who are Adventure Cycling members, plan to start at the New Mexico-Arizona state line and that their stops will include Gallup, Zuni Pueblo, El Morro, Grants, Albuquerque; from Albuquerque, they'll take the train to Santa Fe, then ride through Pecos, Las Vegas (NM), Santa Rosa, and Tucumcari. You can follow along here:   


Here's a good article about what items you should consider packing when heading into the backcountry on a mountain bike day ride. The caveat: "Like most tools, these items are only useful if you know how to use them." 


For her final semester of the European Master in Tourism Management program, Franziska Mattner was invited as a research scholar to the U.S. to conduct research on bicycle travel. The focus of her research, she said, is "designing a human-centered bicycle tourism experience. It's about understanding people's past/present experiences in bicycle travel in order to inform how … bicycle travel [can be] more meaningful and memorable to touring cyclists." The research target is the touring cyclist who has been or is currently on a self-supported bike tour of a week or longer. Franziska hopes to receive between 100 and 200 responses before the survey closing date of May 15th.  

Ben Greene of Cottonwood, Idaho, wrote to tell us about his upcoming project aimed at riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route to raise funds for the Omaha Community Bike Project, as well as to buy winter clothing for the disadvantaged population of Sioux City, Iowa. Ben's interest in that part of the country stems from the facts that he attended Creighton University in Omaha, studying pre-med, and that prior to his ride he's spending time in Sioux City serving as a medical translator for Spanish speakers. 


Until next time, click on to learn about the Colorado Neurological Institute's 10th annual Elephant Rock Cycling Festival, coming up June 7th in and around Castle Rock. 


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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: