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Photo by Colt Fetters
The Barn Bicycle Camping area in the Methow Valley in Washington State is located on three of our mapped routes: the Northern Tier, Sierra Cascades and Washington Parks. The services they offer fall into our unique service category of Cyclists Only Camping.
Small towns dot our route network from sea to sea and border to border. With a population of 50 people, the tightly knit community of Ovando sits on Montana Highway 200 in the midst of ranch country at the intersection of two of our routes, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) and the Lewis & Clark Bicycle Trail. Ovando embraces the cyclists who trickle through their town every summer with great enthusiasm. In 2012 the number exceeded 400 cyclists.
In our Bicycle Travel Etiquette series, we focused on the Warmshowers.org community as well as the many spontaneous meetings randomly formed on the road over the Couchsurfing group to create our How To Guides for hosting cyclists and being hosted. There is a reason why.
If you happen to live in or near one of the thousands of communities along the Adventure Cycling Route Network, you have probably seen them — traveling cyclists riding bicycles, gear strapped onto their trusty steed. Wouldn't it be great to get to know some of them? This post features tips on how to be a good host.
When you are planning your trip, where to sleep is a big part of the equation. Depending on the destination, it will probably involve a combination of camping, hotels, and homes of friends and family. This post features tips on how to be a good guest, it's the second in a series on Bicycle Travel Etiquette.
In December of 2012, I wrote a blog post on Bicycle Travel Etiquette in response to some reports that had trickled into our office about less than courteous behavior by traveling cyclists. In an attempt to reverse the trend before it gained momentum, we began soliciting comments from cyclists and hosts, staff members, and representatives of WarmShowers.
In his October/November 2012 Adventure Cyclist " Letter from the Editor", Mike Deme responded to correspondence he had received from Gillian Hoggard, our 2006 Trail Angel Award winner. Gillian was writing to withdraw her name as a "Cyclists Only Lodging" on the TransAmerica Trail due to a string of bad experiences. Based on my observations in general — so, not scientifically speaking — over the last couple of years, to varying degrees, we have had an increase in the number of complaints about rude cyclists.
With the increasing number of Cyclists Only Lodging and Camping listings on our maps, we got to wondering how one of the first of these facilities was doing: the Community Center in Monroeville, Indiana. I was able to connect with some cyclists who had stayed there recently and asked.
I received an email from Wayne Garvey, the current pastor at Marion United Methodist Church in Marion, Kentucky, located on the TransAmerica Trail." Even though they had been informally serving as a Cyclist Only host, he wanted to be added to the map.
In 2005, Donn Olson, a farmer near Dalbo, Minnesota, encountered a couple of traveling cyclists who were dealing with a nasty batch of construction in front of his house. The three got to talking and before long, Donn found himself inviting them in for refreshments and a place to sleep for the night. The two young men introduced Donn to Adventure Cycling and suggested that he offer himself as "cyclists only lodging" option on the Northern Tier Bicycle Route map.
I'm so excited about this news, I can hardly sit still! Back in May, we mentioned that Twin Bridges, Montana, was setting up a cyclists only campground. Little did we know (though we did suspect) the impact it would have on this small, rural community.
Chester, Illinois is not only the home of the legendary Popeye the Sailor, it is also houses a first class Cyclists Only Camping location run by the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
In addition to traditional campground facilities, Adventure Cycling route maps also list what we call Cyclists Only Lodging. These are places along the way only available to the traveling cyclist and are generally only known because of our map listings or word of mouth. The options run the gamut from church sanctuaries to ranches to cycling specific camping areas. All aim to help the traveling cyclist and have their unique take on how best to accomplish their goal.