Bike Bits Archive

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Bike Bits Vol. 17, No. 23, December 2, 2015
This is the 370th issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 55,648 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.


"Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." 
--Louis L'Amour


Jonathan Hayward contacted Bike Bits a few days ago to fill us in on a new mountain bike ride/race happening next June in the mountains of western Canada. "This is a fully self-supported bikepacking event," he said. "The route is over 80 percent gravel. It will be run similar to events such as the Tour Divide and other long-distance, self-supported rides. The grand depart will take place in Hinton, Alberta, and the ride will end in Coleman, Alberta." Jonathan added that the route will dish up tough climbs and epic downhills as it parallels the "first range" of the Rocky Mountains, and that riders will pass through small towns steeped in coal mining history and ride alongside glacier-fed streams amidst big, beautiful mountains. 


For 2016, the year of the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail's 40th birthday, the Adventure Cycling Tours Department is offering a pair of special TransAm rides for those 18 to 29 years old, as well as Introduction to Road Touring courses aimed at that same age group: 
The department is also offering Introduction to Road Touring courses exclusively for women: 
Special incentives, such as the "bring a friend" and bike club offers, will be back again, too: 


The 827-page (!) Kindle book "Cycling inside the Loop" by Ron Bass is, according to a Bike Bits reader named Larry, "a very authoritative guide to our city, and a super interesting read." The book's official write-up explains that it describes the sites inside the Interstate 610 loop that can be visited by bicycle. "Beyond history, the book covers many more aspects of Houston: architecture, art, green spaces, famous people, notorious crime [sites], and much more."  


Another initiative aimed at the younger crowd is the Young Adult Bike Travel Scholarship program, which was developed in response to our members' sincere commitment to Adventure Cycling's mission to inspire and empower people of all ages to travel by bicycle. Whether you are a young person age 18 to 25 new to bicycle travel, or one looking to build your outdoor leadership skills, this program is here to help get you into the saddle and out on the road. The deadline to apply for the scholarship is December 31, 2015.     
We have received a $5,000 donor match for the scholarship program, and are looking to raise an equal amount. You can help!  


By clicking on the following link you'll be whisked away to the backcountry of Idaho, where you can join five female mountain bikers as they "discover new trails, share stories, laugh, and learn that their ideal great day looked a lot like what they had found." 


The piece linked below will fill you in on's opinion of ten of the best touring bikes out there. The website is based in the United Kingdom, but the listing does include models from U.S. companies such as Surly and Trek.  


Adventure Cycling's executive director, Jim Sayer, will be roaming Southern California next week, hosting three regional bike travel gatherings in the Southland. These gatherings will be a chance to mingle with other folks interested in cycling and bike touring--and also to hear Jim present on the latest bike travel news, including the U.S. Bicycle Route System, cycling in state and national parks, bikes on Amtrak, upcoming new routes (Texas Hill Country and Chicago-NYC), new tours, and Adventure Cycling's big 40th anniversary plans. Check out the links below for the venues and times:
Pasadena, Monday, December 7 at 7:00-8:30                                   
Irvine, Wednesday, December 9 at 6:45-8:15      
Santa Monica, Saturday December 12 at 6:30-8:30   
For those of you in the New York metro area, keep your eyes peeled for the next Bike Bits. Adventure Cycling will be at the New York Times Travel Show (January 9-10) and offering 100 free passes to the largest consumer travel show in North America. We'll supply the special code and more information about a social event we're pulling together for January 7 to mark Adventure Cycling's (and Bikecentennial's) 40th anniversary. 


Jeff Stutin of Maupintour reached out to inform us of a new cycling tour itinerary his company is offering in Italy. It's available on any date, and for any number of riders, between March 20 and October 15, 2016. The eight-day, seven-night tour goes from Lake Garda to the Adriatic Sea. Four different distances are available each day--with most ranging from 35 to 90 miles--so riders of varying skills and fitness levels can all be accommodated. Click here for more details: 


We'd like to invite you to participate in an important survey that will assist us in enhancing our existing bicycle tour offerings and also help us develop new ones. Your responses will be helpful if you have toured with Adventure Cycling, have toured with another organization, or are just thinking about taking a tour. The survey should take about ten minutes to complete and responses will remain confidential and anonymous. Thanks for helping out!


Click on the following link to explore a very cool story map focusing on Glacier National Park's Going-to-the-Sun Road. It was put together by Leslie Zolman, GIS coordinator for the Montana Office of Tourism.  
Going-to-the-Sun Road is a highlight for those riding a couple of Adventure Cycling routes, the Northern Tier and the Great Parks North. Longtime members may remember this 1987 poster by Missoula artist Monte Dolack, which Bikecentennial commissioned as a way of celebrating the very special road and ride:  


Gerry Daly wrote to tell us that his newly published book, "Cycling the Mekong," details a ten-week, unsupported bike trip through Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and Laos. The route took in the entire coast of Vietnam, from Hanoi to the South China Sea, and then returned to the starting point in Saigon. According to the paperback's description at Amazon, readers will not only follow the author on his journey, but also learn how to stretch the budget by finding cheap digs and food while avoiding scams, and how to be self-sufficient on a bike on the back roads of Southeast Asia.  


Until next time, click on to learn how to get hold of the Adventure Cycling 2016 calendar, which makes an outstanding gift for the holidays! 

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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: