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Bike Bits Vol. 17, No. 19, October 7, 2015
This is the 366th issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 55,919 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.


"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." 
--Neale Donald Walsch


A reader named Aaron wrote to tell Bike Bits that the Minnesota Bicycling Map has been greatly improved in the 2015 edition. "The 2013 edition was really problematic," Aaron said, "but the design, accuracy, and completeness of the 2015 edition is much better. It's [still] not up to the standards of the Adventure Cycling maps--and the scale is smaller than those--but at least it is now useful." The map is available in paper as well as online, the latter by clicking here: 
You can catch some chatter about the new map here at Bike Forums:    


Interested in having a whole bunch of fun while making some bicycling memories? Then join us in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Bikecentennial in Missoula, Montana, July 15 through 17, 2016. The jam-packed weekend will include parties, speakers, music, art, film, a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly minted Missoula to Lolo Trail (a key improvement to the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail), bike rides along the heralded Bitterroot Trail, and Bikecentennial 76 reunions. Sunday Streets and BIKEapalooza, a community bike ride around Missoula, will round out the celebratory weekend. Get your tickets today--and it's not too early to book your room or camping reservations, either. 


Classic Rendezvous is a fun little website celebrating bicycles "from the days when handcraft and individualism were the hallmarks of ‘the good stuff.'" More specifically, the site highlights vintage racing-style bikes from the early 20th century through 1983, from more than a dozen countries. 
Among the scores of bike builders featured is the late Sam Braxton of Missoula. Sam was a major influence during the early days of Bikecentennial, a fact you can explore in more detail with the publication of our 40th anniversary book in 2016.


Join us for a regional gathering at the Park Tool Headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota, on Tuesday, October 13, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. Adventure Cycling cartographers Jenn Milyko, Jamie Robertson, and Travis Switzer will all be on hand to talk about the latest in national and global bike travel news, including the new Bicycle Route 66 and the popular Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route, the expanding U.S. Bicycle Route System, and partnerships with Amtrak and the National Park Service to promote cycling. You'll also enjoy a PowerPoint presentation dishing up some beautiful imagery of bike adventures from around the planet. There will be refreshments and a chance to hobnob with Jenn, Jamie, Travis and fellow cyclists in a relaxed and friendly setting. Join us and bring a friend! The address is 5115 Hadley Avenue North. Please RSVP by October 7 (that's today, folks!) by calling (406) 532-2751 or emailing


Adventure Cycling Association and urban cycling outfitter Arriving by Bike will host a regional gathering at Cozmic, 199 West 8th Street in downtown Eugene, Oregon, on Tuesday, October 27 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm (6:00-6:45 social time, followed by the program). Executive director Jim Sayer will be there to discuss new bike routes in North America, including the forthcoming Texas Hill Country and Chicago-New York City routes, bike overnights, our big plans for Adventure Cycling's 40th anniversary in 2016, and more. And on the following day, October 28, Jim will do an encore presentation in Portland from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at Velo Cult Bike Shop, 1969 Northeast 42nd Avenue. Refreshments, including craft beers, will be available at both gatherings. Please RSVP Beth Petersen before October 26 by calling (406) 532-2751 or emailing


What began as an informal conversation among three brothers named Jack, Jeff, and Jerry Von Handorf at the 19th hole of Twin Oaks Golf Course in Latonia, Kentucky, evolved into a 54-day bicycle ride across the country. Because he wasn't crazy about doing the dishes, by default Jeff became the designated ride blogger (even though he didn't know what a blog was before the trip began). His project expanded into a book, titled "Courage Across the Country." A straightforward, often humorous account of their 2013 adventure, the book is perhaps aimed more at friends and family, although any reader who picks it up will gain some insight into what it's like to bicycle 80 miles a day for two months. Best of all, Jeff is giving the book away. All he asks is that you make a donation to the National MPS Society. Learn more here:  


The TransAmerica Trail (TAT), sans "Bicycle," is a dirt-road route across the country that was mapped originally for cyclists with motors. With the growing popularity of bicycling on dirt and gravel, however, the trail has been discovered by cyclists of the self-propelled variety--like Tom and Sarah, for instance, who appear to be in southern Oregon about now. They describe the route like this: "Easily mistaken for Adventure Cycling's TransAmerica [Bicycle] Trail that follows paved roads, the TAT was originally designed for the dual-sport motorcyclist, and follows primarily unpaved roads. We believe that this route is equally ideal for bicycle travel, at least most of it, and we will use it as our guide while we cross the U.S. on our bicycles on as many dirt roads as possible." From the map you can find at the site linked below, it looks like the route crosses the country south of the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail and north of the Southern Tier. 


"It was an epic experience," writes Primoz Zevnic. "It was my first time in USA. I can just say, I adore nice American rural folks all over country. Thanks for all of your maps. I did a video." He sure did. It's about an hour long, and from what we've seen and heard of it, there are some really nice shots and fine tunes. And the music should be good--through a little Google-sleuthing we believe we've discovered that Primoz is associated with the Gimnazija Kranj Symphony Orchestra in Kranj, Slovenia.


Caltrans is preparing to widen Highway 89 in Siskiyou County, California, a road that is part of the Sierra Cascades Bicycle Route. According to the Mt. Shasta Active Transportation Committee, its intersection with the main boulevard in the town of Mt. Shasta is already difficult to cross, and widening it will only make it more dangerous. In addition to touring cyclists riding the Sierra Cascades, local pedestrians and cyclists use this uncontrolled intersection where Highway 89 crosses Mt. Shasta Boulevard. The committee is proposing a bicycle and pedestrian tunnel at the intersection. You can help support the movement by writing to Caltrans at, the Siskiyou County Local Transportation Commission at, and the Mt. Shasta Active Transportation Committee at Alternatively, you can go to the website linked below and click on the email icon there (this will send an email only to Caltrans, and not to the other two entities). 


It appears that Governor John Hickenlooper is tired of seeing Colorado fall behind states like Washington and Minnesota in the annual Bicycle Friendly State Rankings put out by the League of American Bicyclists. Click here to read about Hickenlooper's grand vision (and to view a photo of a sweet-looking single speed):  


Until next time, click on to see how some cyclists park their bikes in Japan. 


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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: