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Bike Bits Vol. 18, No. 4, February 17, 2016
This is the 375th issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 56,643 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.


"It is amazing how the common denominator of a bicycle brings us all together. We are all ages, all walks of life, all races and religions. We have all kinds of bicycles, and we ride for all different reasons. We just love to ride our bicycles, and we share that joy with like-minded friends, both new and old." 
--Fred Freed, Adventure Cycling Life Member


Lukas Herbert of Gotham Bike Tours says that through his business he aims to introduce people to the bike overnight concept by leading them on three-day, two-night tours originating in New York City. "While bike riding is becoming hugely popular here, a lot of people do not have access to personal motor vehicles," Lukas says. "This poses a major obstacle for doing a bike tour. Fortunately, we have a mass transit system that permits bikes, so we are setting up these tours with 100 percent access to mass transit." The idea, he adds, is to remove as many barriers as possible to getting people out on a bike overnight. "Then, if they do our tours, maybe they can ‘graduate' to a bigger, longer tour, maybe even strike out on their own," Lukas says. Tours upcoming this summer include two in the Hudson Valley and another pair on eastern Long Island. Click here to learn more. 


The Sustainable Trails Coalition (STC) is a Colorado-incorporated nonprofit that formed in 2015. Foremost among the organization's goals is to try to persuade the Forest Service and lawmakers to take a more measured look at the potential use of mountain bikes in certain areas where they are currently not permitted, or are in danger of becoming prohibited. Their approach to the wilderness ban runs counter to that of the International Mountain Bicycling Association, as you can learn about in this interview with Ted Stroll, a retired attorney and president of the STC's board of directors. 


Join Adventure Cycling Association, the Reston Association, and the Reston Bike Club for a special gathering in Reston, Virginia, on Sunday, March 6 from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. at the Reston Association Conference Center, 12001 Sunrise Valley Drive. Adventure Cycling staff members Ginny Sullivan and Saara Snow will be there to talk about Adventure Cycling's 40th anniversary events, our ever-expanding tours program and route network, and our national advocacy projects, including the U.S. Bicycle Route System. You can meet fellow cycling enthusiasts and enjoy snacks and refreshments courtesy of the Reston Association, Reston Bike Club, and Friends of the Washington and Old Dominion Trail. Learn more here, including how to RSVP (by March 3 please!):


Adventure Cycling is a sponsor of one of America's most vibrant bike gatherings, the national Youth Bike Summit, which this year takes place in St. Paul, Minnesota, in late May. Of course you can attend, but they’re also looking for awesome proposals for session subjects. Please share this with young folks (or those who are young at heart, which we guess is just about all Bike Bits readers!) or submit a proposal yourself by March 1 using the link below.

"Fat Bikes Are Taking Over the World. And We Love It." That's the headline to a link posted at Outside online for the trailer of "Off the Beaten Path," a film "that explores how fatties are enabling cyclists to ride places they've never ridden before." The footage is stunning; the riders, extremely skilled. They perform wheelies and zip through and over snowfields, rocks, and sand, along with riding in some places maybe they shouldn't be, like wings of a wrecked airplane and the walls of a decaying building. (Note: If you have trouble loading the video, as we did, click on the "First Tracks Productions" link and you'll be whisked right to it.) 
The opening photo alone makes tapping into the following site worthwhile. The piece focuses on the inaugural Fat Bike World Championships, which happened in late January in Crested Butte, Colorado. 


This story has gone around quite a bit already, but it's definitely worth a read if you haven't caught it yet. It details the adventures of Jeffrey Tanenhaus, who pedaled a heavy, three-speed New York City bike-share bicycle beyond the boundaries of the city, the boundaries of the state, and the boundaries of the region--all the way across the country, in fact, to the end of the Santa Monica Pier. (He did occasionally hitch rides in desolate parts of the Southwest.) The piece, which comes from the LAist, doesn't mention if anybody in New York missed this particular component of the Citi Bike fleet for the five months it took Jeffrey to cross the continent. 


Annually, Adventure Cycling offers an online survey for its members in an effort to learn more about their cycling interests and preferences, and to receive valuable feedback regarding our services, programs, and resources. The results of the survey, which takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete, provide us with much-needed insights into how we are meeting members' needs, and on what is working and what can be improved. The 2016 survey can be taken anytime between now and February 29. As always, the information gleaned will represent one of the most important tools for planning future programs and services. 


Anyone fascinated by the history of bicycle racing will get a charge out of the vintage photos featured in a new book from VeloPress titled, "Shoulder to Shoulder: Bicycle Racing in the Age of Anquetil." The name refers to Jacques Anquetil, the Frenchman from Normandy who "became cycling's leading ambassador as the sport left behind the post-war era of Fausto Coppi to embrace the promise of the freewheeling sixties." Sparse of words (captions only), the book features black-and-white photos that are evocative and somehow appealing even to those who aren't huge fans of bicycle racing. 
The book's photos come from the Horton Collection: 


If you've been on an extended group bicycle tour, you likely formed strong bonds and enduring relationships with certain individuals--those people who started out as strangers but somewhere along the line transformed into lifelong friends. Adventure Cycling encourages you to reconnect with them and your other TransAmerica Trail riding buddies (or friends from other group bike tours), by gathering for a reunion in 2016, the 40th anniversary year of Bikecentennial. Scheduled reunions will be listed on an interactive map where it will be easy to reach out to friends and to provide inspiration for other groups and group members. Adventure Cycling's web resources also offer ideas for reunion activities and ways to share memories and reminisce about that transformative bicycle adventure from long ago, or not so long ago. Register your reunion here: 


Ohio has an Official State Beverage (tomato juice), Utah an Official State Cooking Pot (the Dutch oven), and Delaware an Official State Macroinvertebrate (the Stonefly). So why not an Official State Exercise? That's what some elementary-school students in Milwaukee would like to see for their state, and they think Wisconsin's Official State Exercise should definitely involve two wheels. Check it out: 


Until next time, click on to get (re)fired up about the helmet issue. 


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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: