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Bike Bits Vol. 17, No. 16, August 19, 2015
This is the 363rd issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 56,593 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.

"May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds." 
--Edward Abbey 


Are you, or is someone you know, just getting started in bicycle touring? Wondering what bike and gear to buy? You can find all kinds of good information in "Bike Touring Basics," an 86-page free eBook from TravellingTwo and Bicycle Traveler Magazine. This is the third edition of the popular book, newly updated in 2015 with the help of more than fifty touring cyclists. The primary author is Friedel Grant, a Canadian living with her husband and two young sons in the Netherlands, who has served on our panel judges for the annual Bicycle Travel Video Contest.


Letterman may have left the world of late-night television, but the top-ten list lives on in various forms. Here, for instance, are "10 Things You Didn't Know about the 1976 Bicentennial TransAm Ride," compiled by Adventure Cycling's development coordinator, April Cypher. Funny stuff. 


As hard as it is to believe for some of us, that Bikecentennial summer of 1976 was four decades ago. And do we ever have a stellar lineup of tours to celebrate our 40th anniversary. Like the saying goes, "102 Tours in 40 different states" plus Puerto Rico and Canada! And so many formats: Family Fun, Educational, Fully Supported, Van Supported, Inn to Inn, Self Contained, Women Only, Young Adult Only, and Epic tours. In honor of that long-ago summer of '76, we're even offering a pair of 76-day cross-country rides on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail (one in each direction), aimed specifically at those 18 to 29 years old, and at a lower cost than our standard self-contained TransAm tours. That's also about two weeks shorter than normal -- we figure those spry young legs will be up to it. Click on the following link to check out the full schedule of 2016 tours, along with the 2015 tours still to go. Make 2016 the year for your adventure--big or small, from one week to three months on the road. 


According to the Adventure Journal story linked below, Eric Hites weighed in at 560 pounds when he decided to try bicycling across America. In so doing, he hopes to lose weight and regain his wife. Not surprisingly, his first bike, for which he paid $17, didn't hold up too well, so he picked up a better one along the way.  


Below you'll find the link to a good piece from the Bend (Oregon) Bulletin, singing the praises of the terrific bicycling that is to be enjoyed in the Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, area. In fact, the reporter, a Bend resident, goes so far as to write: "I considered Bend to be the road-biking capital of the Pacific Northwest until I spent several days last week in this northern Idaho city. No fewer than three separate paved bicycling trails, each of them following abandoned rail routes and together totaling well over 100 miles, lure two-wheel travelers to encounters with mountain passes and beautiful lake shores with wildlife-rich meadows." 
Here's a ride for you and the family to consider, taking place on those very trails a little less than a year from now: 


As reported in the May 20, 2015, Bike Bits, Laurie Chipps quit her job as a librarian at the Art Institute of Chicago on May 10 to see the country while bicycling the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail. "I'll try to put it simply: I had everything in my life, but a couple of years ago, I felt unhappy and not content with what I had," she told Chicago-based reporter Justin Breen. Laurie recently finished her ride, and Breen has updated his piece to reflect that fact. It includes some great photos of Laurie along the way. As mentioned in the story, she'll be relocating to Missoula, Montana, a move that her friend and fellow former Chicagoan, Annette Stahelin -- now the development director at Adventure Cycling -- made about a year earlier. 
Speaking of the TransAm Trail, in this story from CNN, the granddaddy of cross-country routes joins the likes of the Leh-Manali Highway in India and Bolivia's Camino del Muerte as one of "9 must-ride trips for cyclists." 


The Pacific Coast Bicycle Route is one of the most popular bike rides in the U.S., but the route could stand some improvements. That's why the bicycle coordinator for Caltrans, District 1, has asked us to ask you: "Have you ridden the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route? If so, Caltrans is looking for your input. The Pacific Coast Bicycle Route runs through three of our four counties--Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino--and we're looking for feedback from cyclists who have ridden any portion of it. We've developed a survey [that] will be available until September 30." Click here to access the survey: 


What a great idea--tire the kids out a bit on the way to school while letting them have some fun and get a little exercise. According to the article linked below, 25 of these $15,000 bus/bikes have already sold in the Netherlands, a country that always seems to be several pedal strokes ahead of the rest of the world when it comes to cycling-related matters. The convertible stroller/bicycle described after the school bus looks like another fascinating product. Out of stock? Maybe, or maybe not.  


A reader named Wayne from north of the border wrote to say, "Thought you might be interested in the launch of a new road cycling network in Nova Scotia. It's called the Blue Route and aims to eventually cover 3,000 kilometers in the beautiful province." Sounds fantastic! Why the Blue Route? Well, maybe because Quebec has already claimed the color green with its older Route Verte. More on the Blue Route here: 


Until next time, click on to explore the new and improved web pages for the National Advocacy Projects of Adventure Cycling's Travel Initiatives Department. 


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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: