Alternative Uses for Adventure Cycling Maps

December 23, 2013

This guest post written by Adventure Cycling Memberships Intern Claire Dal Nogare.

You've got your Adventure Cycling maps and you're done navigating for the day, so now what do you do with them? Here are a few other handy ways to use your map set:

Portable seat

The quest for a place to rest your bum can be daunting. When no chair is available, fear not. The Adventure Cycling maps are a marvelous makeshift seat. As a bonus they will protect your chamois from water and dirt. All you must do is place your map on a patch of ground and then sit right on top of it. Disclaimer: The cushioning is quite minimal.

Insulation Layer

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

This saying is too true when it comes to touring. In many areas, the weather can change on a dime. When the temperature begins to drop and your jacket is deep in your panniers what is a cyclist to do? Yet again, fear not. Your map can become an almost impermeable insulation layer. Simply unfold it and wrap in inside of your jersey. Protect those vital organs and continue your journey unfettered by the cold.


While pedaling around the country, many of the worries of normal life do not affect riders. There is no need for a well pressed shirt. Schedules are loosely followed. Traffic jams are a thing of the past. Nevertheless, one cannot escape the task of organizing their money, cards, driver’s license, etc. Made from recycled Adventure Cycling route maps, our Cyclosource store has just the thing:

SOS Flag

In my humble opinion, waving down a car with wildly flailing hands just will not do the trick. Surface area is a magical thing. These maps boast an impressive 24x18" of surface area. Nobody can drive past a stranded cyclist and pull the “I didn’t see you” excuse when the cyclist is waving around a giant SOS flag.

Origami Paper

Support sustainability and reuse your Adventure Cycling map. When you have finished your map what is better than to fold it into a beautiful creation? Paper cranes, a leaping frog, hearts, a hat, the list goes on. This would make a lovely gift for those who may be hosting you for the evening. Or to keep for yourself...

Universal Remote Control

I know I've overestimated the power of the map with this last one. A map cannot function as a universal controller. But, I would recommend treating your map as such. It is made with love in Missoula, Montana. The amount of research and development and care that went into each section is astounding.

Photos by Patrick Finley and Julie Huck

CYCLO NOTES is brought to you every Monday morning by Adventure Cycling's Cyclosource team — Teri, Patrick & Geoff.


Terry Bahl January 2, 2014, 8:14 PM

Julie, great idea! Many a time I wished I had a little nicer place to sit to make a lunch. Smeared some Nutella? Just wipe it off.

Todd December 24, 2013, 6:14 AM

I think a great use would be for some dear friend to use a map to wrap my Christmas gift... say an AC trip registration ?

Jennifer Milyko January 3, 2014, 7:08 AM

Todd, Great re-use! My family often receives packages wrapped in old maps. I have a bit of a reputation for it in fact. Hazard of the job, I suppose. =)

Bill Vetter December 24, 2013, 3:15 AM

Love the wallet idea, can you specify the recycled map to use, or maybe send a special map from a previous trip to be made into a wallet?

Super Biker Woman December 23, 2013, 2:47 PM

Because the paper is waterproof, it could be used under a helmet in the rain. But, really, I don't think I would do anything that might destroy my map. I might want to use it again!

BikingBrian December 23, 2013, 10:24 AM

You can also cut it up into small enough pieces to use as tire boot!

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