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Bike Bits Vol. 18, No. 5, March 2, 2016
This is the 376th issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 56,992 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.


"Traveling by bicycle is boss." 
--Bentley Ramsey


In going through some past correspondences, we found an interesting one from a life member named Forest that relates to one of Adventure Cycling's less-heralded routes. Researched and mapped in the early 2000s in the spirit of the Great Divide route, the 287-mile Utah Cliffs Loop follows dirt roads for the most part, although pieces of pavement are utilized to connect the unpaved sections. "My friend and I finished it last week," Forest wrote. "It was a great route and we had a blast! Feel free to include my blog post on the ride." Okay, we'll do that, albeit a bit belatedly (Forest's email dates back to October 2013). Click the following link, then expect to find some nice photos with funny captions. 


Speaking of the Beehive State, the 2016 Utah Bike Summit is scheduled for April 5 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. The event brings together everyday riders, bicycle and trail advocates, representatives from Utah's bicycle industry, along with planners, engineers, tourism and health-care representatives, and government officials. All who attend share at least one thing in common: a sound commitment to making Utah more bicycle friendly. This year's keynote speaker is Mikael Colville-Anderson of Copenhagen, Denmark, a bicycle transportation expert and one of the leading voices in global urbanism. All types of cyclists are encouraged to attend, whether you bicycle for transportation, recreation, racing, or commuting--or all of the above. 


The link below will take you to a video profiling endurance rider Lael Wilcox and her attempt at setting a record on the Arizona Trail.  
Lael and Nicholas Carman are deeply involved in planning a bikepacking route down the length of Mexico's Baja Peninsula, a distance of nearly 2,000 miles. 
Nicholas and Lael will be among the featured speakers at the Montana Bicycle Celebration, taking place July 15 through 17, 2016, in Adventure Cycling's hometown of Missoula. 


"The four women pedaling bicycles with jammed gears and wobbly chains up Salahuddin Road, Gaza's bumpy main highway, on a recent morning caused quite a stir. … The sight of women on two wheels was so unusual that Alaa, 11, who was grazing sheep on the grassy median, assumed they were foreigners and shouted out his limited English vocabulary: ‘Hello! One, two, three!'" So begins this February 22 New York Times story about a cadre of female cyclists who enjoy recreational riding in the Gaza Strip, despite the social challenges involved.
On a somewhat related note, members of the Italian parliament have nominated Afghanistan's National Women's Cycling Team for the Nobel Peace Prize.  


On your next tour in Montana on the Great Divide, Great Parks North, or Northern Tier, make sure to check out the new and improved bicycle campsites at four state parks--Whitefish Lake, Wayfarers, Placid Lake, and Salmon Lake. Each of the bike campsites will be first-come first-served, with ten tent spaces and a bicycle rack, fire ring, bear-resistant food locker, potable water, bicycle maintenance stand, electrical outlets, and covered shelter with picnic tables. Montana State Parks was able to accomplish the project thanks to a grant from the Montana Office of Tourism, a grant resulting in part from both agencies' participation in the Montana Bicycle Tourism Partnership. This statewide group was initiated two years ago by Adventure Cycling to bring together agencies and organizations interested in growing bicycle tourism in Montana. The project was aided by our Routes & Mapping Department, which produced an effective overlay map showing the state parks and the Adventure Cycling routes in Montana. The map served as a basis for earmarking which parks should get the improvements. 


Starting March 1, cyclists in the Australian state of New South Wales risk being fined AU$229 for riding helmetless--"stiffer than many speeding fines for drivers," according to the Bloomberg Business article linked below. It's one of several new laws designed to reduce deaths and serious injuries among cyclists, but which many cycling advocates argue will discourage cycling and actually result in more automobiles choking the streets of the capital city of Sydney. 


Sean Condon and his wife own Speed and Sprocket Cycle Works, an Adventure Cycling Member Shop in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Sean wrote to tell us this: "Besides tune-ups, repairs, sales, and all the other bike-shoppy type stuff you'd expect, we also organize events. Our next one is called the Sugar Shack Spin." The ride, which involves wonderful things like pancakes, maple syrup, and maple sugar candy, takes place Sunday, March 20. Learn more here: 


Despite protests from some of its members, those who run Britain's CTC plan to rebrand the organization in April, with the new name of Cycling UK. CTC originally stood for Cyclists' Touring Club, a name adopted in 1882 after organizers realized the original 1878 name Bicycle Touring Club excluded the growing number of tricyclists of the time. The club is almost a century older than Adventure Cycling!


"Stephen Fabes, a junior doctor from London, has spent six years cycling round the world. He has slept in schools, in police stations, in churches, mosques, monasteries and in army barracks--and thinks the world is a much better place than we are led to believe." This story from BBC News goes on to detail some of Dr. Fabes' adventures and encounters in Myanmar, Nepal, Peru, and elsewhere. Worth the price of admission alone is the photo of his "campsite" on the frozen waters of Lake Kohvsgol in Mongolia. 


Until next time, click on to read about and watch a video of a fellow who celebrated Fat Bike February by pedaling to the top of wintery Mount Washington in New Hampshire. 


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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: