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Bike Bits Vol. 18, No. 7, April 1, 2016
This is the 378th issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 57,421 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.


"I love, love bicyclists!"  
--Donald Frump 


In going through some past email correspondences, we ran across a fascinating one from life member Chuck Buck of Circleburg, Ohio. Chuck wrote to tell us about his precocious twin daughters Crystal and Lavinia, who set up a lemonade stand when they were just five years old. And that's not all. Click on the following link to read the tale of the twins, in their father's own words. 


One of the grand bicycling traditions in the upper Midwest is the Blue Ox Breakaway, taking place each June in the rolling timberlands of the Sayer-Snyder National Forest outside Hibbing, Minnesota. Dating back to the early 1970s, the event was named in honor of Paul Bunyan's famously colorful bovine companion, Babe. Ever since its inception, the route has included some unpaved roads, which indirectly helped spur the development of mountain bikes. (Blue Ox co-founder Ole Barnstadt, who moved to Marin County, California, in 1975 to take a job in a dental floss factory, became one of the first Mount Tamalpais "Repack Road" downhill daredevils … but that's another story.) Click here for information on the 2016 Blue Ox Breakaway and to read about the unexpected outcome of the ride's unofficial beard contest last year: 


At Adventure Cycling's annual meeting last week, the board of directors voted unanimously to name new founders for the organization. According to long-time board member and current president Bentley Ramsey, "After three decades of hearing it repeated ad nauseum, I was over the story about how the Siples and Burdens came up with the idea for Bikecentennial in Mexico when one of their odometers read ‘1776.' In fact, I was going to scream if I heard it again. That's why I came up with the idea for my new-founder motion." Click here to learn who the new founders are, and to read about the unorthodox manner in which they were picked: 


We've seen in-line skaters tackle the TransAm Trail. We've seen unicyclists, skateboarders, walkers … but we'd never heard about a person riding the route backwards before, until this spring. And we don't mean riding east-to-west, or west-to-east, because both directions are acceptable and spelled out on the map narratives. We mean literally facing backwards. On March 21, 62-year-old Emelia Hacia Atrás of Teacapan, Sinaloa, pedaled westbound into Larned, Kansas, "facing in the opposite direction her recumbent bicycle was moving," reported Ted Backster of KSNC, the NBC television affiliate in nearby Great Bend. Through her thick Spanish accent, but nearly impeccable English, Emelia explained to Backster what her trip was all about. Click here to read a transcript of what she had to say and to check out a photo of the interview in process: 


At the 2015 Interbike trade show, we had an interesting chat with Michael De Leon, Cannondale Bicycle Corporation's vice president of global marketing, about the brand's re-entry into the bicycle touring market. Cannondale took a couple of years off from building touring bikes, but they've recently brought back two new versions of their classic aluminum tourer. They seem solid, but we wondered why they took two years to develop what are essentially the same bikes they'd previously offered. Well, it turns out Cannondale had quite a bit more going on in their skunkworks lab than they first let on. They allowed Adventure Cyclist magazine's contributing road tester (and weirdo extraordinaire), Patrick O'Grady, to visit their top-secret testing facility somewhere outside Sedona, Arizona, for an exclusive first ride of their new "stealth" touring bike. But first, O'Grady had to consent to being blindfolded before being driven to the facility from Sedona. He did and he was, and that's when things got out of hand. The information in the report linked below is but a fraction of the details O'Grady has given us, all sent via tweets that have since been taken down. The rest we are compelled to withhold until our lawyers can get a prior restraint order overturned. O'Grady, you see, absconded with the bike, and Cannondale, understandably, is upset. They're suing him in absentia for theft of intellectual property. And actual property. 


We've reported in the past on Quebec's Green Route, as well as on Nova Scotia's Blue Route. Not to be outdone, or out-colored, by these "southern" provinces, the Canadian territory of Nunavut has announced a project aimed at making its White Route a reality. This sounds like great news for fat bikers. Learn why here: 


Until next time, click on to read about a woman who paid for her cross-country pedaling adventure by providing the public with professional pedicure services as she proceeded. 


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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: