Adventure Cycling Blog

The Adventure Cycling blog covers bicycle-travel news, touring tips and gear, bicycle routes, organizational news, membership highlights, guided tours, and more. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for daily updates. Interested in becoming a guest blogger for Adventure Cycling? Share your story with us.

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You're viewing blog posts in the following category: "Sights and Sounds".
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March 5, 2010
How many curves?
How many curves?

I once asked a local in Tennessee what the road was like up ahead. His answer? "That's the wiggliest damn road you ever saw." Perfect. If you like curves ... and hills ... do I have a route for you.

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February 26, 2010
Reflections of Summer Travel
Reflections of Summer Travel

This is a classic bike travel moment. You come upon a diner with an old fashion register and swivel stools that offers burgers and handmade milk shakes, berry pie, cobbler, chicken fried steak ... the works. And due to the fact that you have been cranking hard on the pedals for days ... you've earned it.

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February 12, 2010
Portland: An Urban Adventure
Portland: An Urban Adventure

Most folks would approach an urban trip by booking a hotel and using it as a base for day trips. We, my partner Kat and I, decided to approach it like all our other bike trips. Fully loaded touring bikes--tent, stove, sleeping bag, etc. No hotel reservations. No guided tour. Just let the travel Fates guide us.

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February 5, 2010
Muhi--The Back Story
Muhi--The Back Story

We were soon to discover that the man wasn't taking about road conditions or steep grades. He was talking about the flies. Those aren't dust speaks in the photo. Muhi they call them. And in the oak forests of Bulgaria these little biting black flies hatch in numbers of biblical proportion.
 

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January 29, 2010
La Lamparita
La Lamparita

It's 1991 and I'm on my first bike trip in a non-English speaking country. I don't speak the language. I've been warned not to drink the water--not to eat at roadside restaurants. I'm traveling alone. I'm nervous. I'm lonely. I'm hungry.

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January 22, 2010
Watching the Parade
Watching the Parade

Photographing people can be a challenge on a bike trip. Sure, you can get all kinds of shots of groups of people smiling directly into the camera lens. But sometimes it feels like that's all you can get.

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January 15, 2010
The Market Singer--Chiang Mai--Thailand
The Market Singer--Chiang Mai--Thailand

Photos can capture the the face of a country, but I find more often than not, it is the music that captures its soul.

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January 8, 2010
Simple Gifts
Simple Gifts

You are leaving on long trip to Africa or South America or Asia or an extended world tour ... what do you bring for gifts?

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January 1, 2010
Scooters in the Bike Lane
Scooters in the Bike Lane

The sad truth is that while many countries are making progress on bringing back the bicycle as viable transportation, in many developing countries ... the trend is just the opposite. People are trading in their bicycle for a scooter and (when they can afford one) a car.

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December 25, 2009
Best Christmas on the Road?
Best Christmas on the Road?

I love being home for the holidays ... but I also have fond memories of Christmas on the road. There is something magical about celebrating a familiar holiday in a foreign land.

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December 18, 2009
Pedaling Through History--Experiencing the event behind Clint Eastwood's "Invictus"
Pedaling Through History--Experiencing the event behind Clint Eastwood's "Invictus"

I had to see the opening weekend of Invictus, Clint Eastwood's latest film about South Africa's epic run for the Rugby World Cup in 1995. Not because I'm a diehard Clint Eastwood fan, or a fan of the sport of rugby. I had to go because I was there.

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December 11, 2009
A Cold Weather Gift--Sound of the Surf
A Cold Weather Gift--Sound of the Surf

As I write this sentence, the temperature in Seattle is 25°F. Pedaling around the city would be a blast ... except for the black ice. When the temps rise above freezing, that infamous Northwest drizzle will return.

Yes, there are those hardy individuals that embrace the cold and wet and freezing. For the rest, winter is a time to dream of warmer climates and climbs. Time to plan that next great bike trip that includes less ice and more ice cream.

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December 4, 2009
Rajasthani Portrait
Rajasthani Portrait

The beauty of cycling in India was seeing the country that most tourists and travelers were missing. I met a group of backpackers in Jaipur. They had bussed from Agra and their next stop was an overnight bus to the desert city of Jaisalmer. So much distance covered in the dark.

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November 27, 2009
Romanian Rhapsody
Romanian Rhapsody

I knew this was going to be painful. The violin is one of the sweetest instruments on the planet ... when it is played well. In the wrong hands, it sounds more like a dying animal.

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November 19, 2009
Water Break--Racing in the Andes of Venezuela
Water Break--Racing in the Andes of Venezuela

I've never been a racer, choosing instead to pedal up scenic mountain passes at whatever speed strikes my fancy. But that doesn't mean I can't admire the beauty, the power and the passion of those who fly passed me sans panniers.

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November 13, 2009
The Great Intensifier
The Great Intensifier

But that day I learned the intensity of bicycle travel works both ways. It also relates to the raw, ugly and horrifying scenes this planet has to offer. There was no way to roll up the windows, turn on the stereo and drive quickly away.

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November 6, 2009
Blue Mosque--Last Call
Blue Mosque--Last Call

First off. If you haven't been there, you need to put Turkey on your travel list. I've never met a globe trotting traveler (or cyclist) who didn't love Turkey—great food, amazing history, hospitality that rivals any country on earth, and lots of hills and mountain passes to climb (and descend).
 

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October 30, 2009
Two Giants
Two Giants

Every once in a while you run into a giant. A tree that stops you in your tire tracks and warrants a couple of hours of your life.

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October 23, 2009
Lesotho Serenade
Lesotho Serenade

I wheezed my way up to a small school at about 11,000 ft. I was invited to visit a classroom. The teacher spoke enough English that he could translate for me. I talked with the students and answered their questions about my bicycle journey.

In return, the students decided to sing for me. Now this was not the school's choir. This was a history class.

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October 16, 2009
Greetings and Beisball
Greetings and Beisball

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Willie Weir and I've been a columnist for Adventure Cyclist magazine since 1997. My posts (Sights and Sounds) will mostly focus on international pedaling. A chance for me to dig through photos and sound recordings from a world of travel.

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