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Bike Bits Vol. 17, No. 12, June 17, 2015
This is the 359th issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 55,781 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.

"I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine." 
--Caskie Stinnett 


Below you'll find the link to a terrific piece from The Wall Street Journal by Penny Jansen, about her and her husband's excellent adventure. The day after Eric retired from his job in industrial construction--his final assignment was in Malaysia--the couple rolled off on a bicycle tour of unknown mileage and duration. They've been on the road eight months now, having traveled more than 6,000 miles through seven countries in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific. "We didn't see ourselves starting retirement this way," Penny writes. "Our original plan was simply to return to the U.S. But the idea of attempting this adventure together finally took hold." Penny also offers some savvy advice for anyone considering a similar move, including "look beyond your fears."


The digital map products for Bicycle Route 66 and the Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route are ready for purchase and upload to your GPS device or smartphone. The GPX Tracks and Services Points for the route can be purchased individually or as a set. "Tracks and Services Points are an improvement on the GPS waypoint data we've been distributing since 2003," writes Routes & Mapping Department assistant director Jennifer Milyko in a May 7 blog post. "Each download comprises high resolution track data and enhanced service points. Both may be used on a GPS device, smartphone, or tablet, as well as on your PC or Mac for planning purposes." Read Jenn's post in its entirety here: 


Here's a nice story from The New York Times about riding the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal towpath from Pittsburgh to the nation's capital. "Three friends and I hadn't chosen this route by happenstance," writes Matthew L. Wald. "The bumpy, 335-mile-long ride draws cyclists from around the world because it is almost entirely car-free, weaving through terrain that forms a tour of American history." 


Waterloo, Ontario, Regional Police Sgt. Peter Viol was scheduled to show up at the starting of this year's Tour Divide. The race, which began in Banff, Alberta, on June 12th, follows Adventure Cycling's Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. "There is no entry fee, no prizes, and no support, so you're on your own," the 61-year-old Viol told Liz Monteiro of the Guelph Mercury newspaper. Attempting to average around 100 miles per day, Viol is raising money for the Grand River Regional Cancer Centre as he goes. 
Here's the link to a video from a group that did just a piece of the Great Divide last summer, and at a much more relaxed pace: 


A reader from Massachusetts named Karin contacted Bike Bits to share the news about a much-loved tour: "The former Mass BikePike Tour has changed its name to Cycle Massachusetts, and has added a very popular weeklong option," she wrote. "We've chosen to spend two nights at each destination so our participants can slow down and really enjoy the sights and sounds (and tastes!) of our small but beautiful state." Karin added that their most rural stop, Hardwick, is a personal favorite of hers. "There I saw only five cars during a 90-minute sunset ride through Massachusetts's most farm-centric community. Our lodging space is the spectacular Eagle Hill School, and where I dream of eating everything on the menu at the nearby Rose 32 Bakery." Cycle Massachusetts, which donates its proceeds to Massbike, will take place from August 1st through 7th (with 2-, 4-, 5-, and 7-day options). More info: 


The following link takes you to an interesting infographic and story from Momentum Mag, exploring the relative safety of cycling compared to other activities. 


Adventure Cycling Association's semiannual member drive runs through the end of the month. The goal is to encourage people to join as new members. During the drive, anyone who becomes a new member online will receive an Adventure Cycling neck wrap as a free gift. They will also be entered into daily product raffles courtesy of some of our corporate members, in addition to entry in our Share the Joy bicycle giveaway. If you're not yet a member of Adventure Cycling, this is an opportune time to join; if you are a member, it's a great time to encourage your non-member cycling friends to sign up to receive the bicycle travel inspiration we provide on a regular basis.  


Fat-tire bikes have been excluded from existing Wilderness Areas since the sport of mountain biking erupted in the early 1980s. Rightly so, perhaps. But what about newly proposed Wilderness, where mountain bikers have established a record of "traditional use," and even helped to build and maintain trails? Click on this Adventure Journal link to read an interesting take, and plenty of comments, on the whole matter: 


Until next time, click on to read the latest in the world of Bike Overnight adventures. 


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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: