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Bike Bits Vol. 17, No. 14, July 15, 2015
This is the 361st issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 56,233 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.

"There will be a lot of complaining that today was too hard, but the winners never complain." 
--Phil Liggett, Tour de France commentator

"On May 10, 1884, midway through his 48th year, Samuel L. Clemens reluctantly ‘confessed to age' by wearing glasses for the first time. That same day, the celebrated writer better known as Mark Twain sought to reclaim his youth by mounting a bicycle for the first time. Only one of these first tries succeeded. ‘The spectacles,' Twain later recalled, ‘stayed on.'" So begins an intriguing July 13 piece from The New York Times focusing on a Smithsonian exhibit that explores, among other subjects, the brief but intense bicycle craze that enveloped America at the end of the 19th century.


You can share the inspiration of bicycle travel with a friend by sending them a free catalog of the Adventure Cycling Route Network maps. Detailing a network of more than 44,000 miles of carefully chosen back roads, byways, and bike trails, Adventure Cycling maps guarantee adventure, while offering riders the reassurance of knowing they were researched by experienced, knowledgeable bicycle travelers. Adventure Cycling members who send a map catalog to a friend will be entered in the Share the Joy campaign, giving them a chance to win the grand-prize Revolt 1 gravel bike from Giant Bicycles as well as monthly prize drawings. Have a free map catalog sent to a friend today!

Chuck Robinson, co-owner of Village Books in Bellingham, Washington, set his wheels rolling on June 15, taking aim at his hometown of Galva, Illinois. With 2,400 miles to go total, Chuck has personally pledged one dollar per mile to each of three charities, and he invites his friends to chip in. Of his 26th day of riding, which took place July 11th on the road from Havre to Malta, Montana, he wrote at his blog: "This was the toughest day of the ride so far. First there was the distance, just short of 90 miles. Next there was the heat, 95 degrees mid-afternoon. But, worst, there was the wind, 15 to 16 mph, out of the east, right on my nose. I struggled to maintain a reasonable speed, even downhill. I was more exhausted than I'd been on any ride since my first STP [Seattle to Portland]." Great job, Chuck, we're cheering for you! 


"Patrick and I had been together (and going on great adventures) for over ten years when we decided to make a plan; and that plan involved getting married and going on a honeymoon … a honeymoon on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route." So wrote UK filmmaker Hannah Maia, whom we also reported on last November. If you haven't yet viewed the video that she put together after their epic ride, you're in for a treat: 
On a similar note, here are some terrific photos from this year's Tour Divide race. They give real sense of the vastness of the terrain traversed by the Great Divide, as well as the challenges and joys experienced by those who race on it. 
However, just like honeymooners Patrick and Hannah, it's definitely not all about racers on the Great Divide. For instance, check out the Todd family from Anchorage, Alaska:


Lucky's Ride, taking place October 2 through 4 on Missouri's Katy Trail, is being presented by Lucky's Markets and St. Louis-based Trailnet, an organization that promotes walking, bicycling, and the use of public transit. The three-day adventure begins at the Lucky's Market in the western St. Louis County community of Ellisville, from which point participants will be bussed mid-state to Columbia, where the cycling begins. Following the beautiful, car-free Katy Trail east back toward St. Louis, riders will enjoy two evenings of camping and wind up at the newly opened Lucky's Market in Rock Hill, where a celebratory bash will ensue. Money raised through the ride will benefit Trailnet's youth education programs, with Lucky's matching donations up to $10,000. 


After spending nearly all of his first 41 years as a diabetic, losing about three-quarters of his vision, undergoing three organ transplants, suffering colon cancer, and taking on many other medical challenges, David Goldman decided it was time for a new kind of challenge. "This time it will be one of my choosing," he writes; "a 2,500 mile bike ride retracing Route 66 from LA to Chicago." Click here to find out more: 


Nicholas Deshais, writing for the Spokane Spokesman-Review, recently rode the newly designated U.S. Bicycle Route 10 for 416 miles across northern Washington. Having tackled Loup Loup Pass, where he was surprised to find a box of free bottled water left out for cyclists, Deshais wrote: "I had seen so much of the state, and been shocked at the hospitality along the way, yet I'd only ridden 175 miles of my trek along U.S. Bicycle Route 10. Many more were between me and my destination of Sandpoint, Idaho. These miles are a small percentage of those in the national bike highway network. Washington state's U.S. Bicycle Route 10, which follows state Highway 20 most of the way across Washington, accounts for 416 miles in the nationwide network of bike routes, which has nearly 9,000 miles of official routes. State planners and cycling advocates worked for nearly four years to have the first official western bike route appear in Washington, and now they say the route will only do more to burnish the state's standing as the most bike-friendly in the union."


Starting from Port Byron, Illinois's 30-foot-tall Will B. Rolling statue and ending at the 30-foot Ben Bikin' statue in Sparta, Wisconsin, the Will to Ben Bike Tour is billed as "the only bi-state bicycle tour through the Driftless Region in the beautiful colors of early fall." Organizers also promise that it will be one of the most challenging organized tours in the Midwest, as participants ride roughly 300 miles over six days, with additional suggested routes available out of the overnighting towns for those craving even more miles. The event takes place October 3 through 9. 


Until next time, click on to learn about the 12th Annual Onion River Century Ride, benefitting children's literacy in and around Montpelier, Vermont. 


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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: