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.
Photo by Colt Fetters
Back in October of 2002 (it was spring south of the equator) I had the pleasure of joining approximately 300 other bicyclists on "2002 Bicycles: An Outback Odyssey." The ride followed South Australia's Mawson Trail, a Great Divide-like mountain biking route that traces two-tracks, dirt roads, and occasional singletrack trails and stretches of pavement. It begins in the state capital of Adelaide and winds north for about 500 miles to the outback town of Blinman, near the spectacular—or, as the Aussies would say, "specky"— Flinders Ranges National Park.
As the touring season is getting into full swing, we often get inquiries from individuals, communities and organizations about how to be more welcoming to touring cyclists.
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.
Pretty much everyone in North America is familiar with rail-trails, which follow abandoned railroad grades and are used by cyclists, hikers, in-line skaters, and other recreationists. Sometimes hard surfaced and other times claiming surfaces of crushed limestone or even dirt, rail-trails run where the tracks used to run, before they and the ties were pulled out. More and more these days we're hearing about rails-with-trails, which refer to recreational trails running alongside, but a safe distance from, active rail lines.
So, perhaps you want to see America from the seat of your bike or maybe you want to tackle to mountains of France, but you can't seem to convince your family, friends or even bike club buddies to join you. If you are an Adventure Cycling member you can post the details of your next thrilling adventure in our Companions Wanted listings.