Bike Bits Archive

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Bike Bits Vol. 18, No. 9, May 4, 2016
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This is the 380th issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you, and 57,657 other readers, because you've signed up for it at the Adventure Cycling Association website, http://www.adventurecycling.org. 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.

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"The bicycle is just as good company as most husbands and, when it gets old and shabby, a woman can dispose of it and get a new one without shocking the entire community." 
--Ann Strong, Minneapolis Tribune, 1895


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SPRING IS IN THE AIR…
…and before you know it, it'll be summer, which means simmering heat and, depending on where you live, humidity. For those of you planning a bicycle tour this summer, it's a good bet that logistics are on your minds. You're thinking about where to stay, where to buy food, where to find a bike shop, and--perhaps most importantly--where to find that most crucial element of life: water. It's easy to get stressed out about where and when the next water stop will appear. Why doesn't someone just invent a water bottle that fills itself? It could maybe take advantage of all this darn humidity. Well, someone did. Fontus makes two products, a self-contained bottle that can be strapped onto a backpack and a bottle-filler system that can be mounted on a bicycle. The latter captures water from the air flowing across the bike as you ride, filling a 16-ounce bottle as you pedal. Read more about it below. 
http://fontus.at


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GET OUT OF THE BIG APPLE AND ONTO THE OPEN ROAD
718 Cyclery in Brooklyn, New York, has a couple of tours coming up: the Spring Tour is from Pittsburgh to DC on the GAP and the C&O Canal, May 7-13; the Summer Tour is an Adirondack Loop, July 9-15. Check out their website for more information and to register. 
http://www.718c.com/tours


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NEW SEASON, NEW HELMET
The bike helmet of one of our staffers celebrated its 10th birthday this year, so we figured it was time for a new one (the helmet, not the staffer). The trouble was that every bike shop in town had a zillion different kinds of helmets, and we had no way of knowing whether one would be safer or better performing than any other. What we needed was information. Boy, did we find it. Helmets.org redefines the term "extensive." Their website is pretty low-tech, but there's enough information there to keep you busy for the rest of your workdays. Anything you want to know about bicycle helmets, they've got it, as well as details on seemingly every helmet on the market today. Follow the link below to see their 2016 helmet guide (spoiler: when it comes to new helmet technologies like MIPS, the group behind helmets.org is pretty skeptical--we always recommend conducting your own research).      
http://www.helmets.org/helmet16.htm


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OLD TOUR LEADERS NEVER DIE
Here's a great example of how bicycle touring, especially leading organized tours, can change a person for good. 
http://writingonmybike.com/charlie-mcintosh-youre-hero/ 


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REGISTER YOUR BIKE TRIP, WIN A BIKE!
Register your National Bike Travel Weekend (June 3-5) trip by May 16 at BikeTravelWeekend.org for a chance to win an Adventure Cycling 40th-anniversary-branded Salsa Marrakesh touring bicycle. Join over 6,000 people for the biggest bike travel weekend and participate your way: go one or two nights, ride one to 100 miles, go solo or with friends, and stay in a hotel, cabin, tent, hostel, or friend's house. Everyone who registers by May 16 will be entered in a chance to win.
https://goo.gl/qYIJ8N


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KNEEL TO YOUR ROBOT OVERLORDS
Just in case you've been living under a rock, the age of autonomous vehicles is nigh. Whether you love the idea of being able to doze off during the rush-hour traffic of your daily commute, or you tremble in fear at the thought of computer software alone guiding a 4,000-pound steel missile, the fact remains that driverless cars are coming, and engineers are working diligently to smooth out the wrinkles. One such wrinkle? Cyclists. 
http://goo.gl/cXaYBE
And if you really want to dive into the rabbit hole:
http://islandpress.org/blog/what-will-21st-century-transportation-system-look


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ALL ABOARD! (AND DON'T FORGET YOUR BIKE)
Amtrak passengers can now roll their bicycles on and off at any station on the Vermonter route between Washington, DC, and St. Albans, Vermont, without having to box them. The new bicycle service started May 1 following the much-anticipated launch of the same service on Amtrak's Capitol Limited route last fall, which has been very successful. The two routes are part of a pilot to test the bicycle service on different types of routes and equipment, with the goal of expanding the service to additional stations and routes across Amtrak's national network.
https://www.amtrak.com/bring-your-bicycle-onboard 


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SOME CYCLISTS HAVE THEIR PRIORITIES STRAIGHT
Andrew Chang rode across the country last summer and used food as the lens through which he experienced America. Luckily for us, he wrote an article about his favorite eats. 
https://goo.gl/Q3u1UW


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BEER, EXISTENTIALISM, AND…BIKE HIGHWAYS?
Not satisfied with being known for, among other things, the autobahn, Germany has just opened the first few miles of its new bike highway, which when completed will run from Duisburg to Hamm (we've never heard of them either), a distance of 62 miles. Plans are in the works for an entire countrywide network of bike highways, which will be quite an expensive undertaking. Good thing Germany is about the only country in Europe right now with an economy in the black.
http://goo.gl/mSxOEI


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SHARE ADVENTURE CYCLING WITH A FRIEND
Share the inspiration of bicycle travel by sending a friend a free issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine. Log in to your My Adventure Cycling account, enter your friend's name and mailing address, and we'll put a free sample issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine in the mail for them, compliments of you. If you're a current member and refer your friends or family members, you'll also be entered to win some great monthly prizes in our Share the Joy contest, including an Adventure Cycling 40th-anniversary-branded Salsa Marrakesh touring bicycle. https://www.adventurecycling.org/membership/share-the-joy/give-a-sample-issue/


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WANT BIKE REPAIR STATIONS? (HINT: YES, YOU DO)
Shenandoah National Park needs your help to make the park a better place to ride! The Shenandoah National Park Trust is raising $6,500 by May 20 to purchase and install bike repair stations at four locations along Skyline Drive. These all-weather repair stations include tools for basic bike repairs, from changing a flat to adjusting brakes. Chip in to help make the park more bike friendly!
http://www.crowdrise.com/ride-safe/fundraiser/snptrust


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Until next time, click on https://goo.gl/z8BBmK for a little vicarious adventure via video. 
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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 45,003 miles. To join, go to:  http://www.adventurecycling.org/membership

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