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
There are a lot of questions a person can ask about bike touring equipment, but if I were to pick the one question that I get more than any other, it would easily be in regards to bike racks. On the surface, it would seem as though finding a front and/or rear rack for your bike would be a simple task, but as soon as you begin your search, the list of options can quickly become overwhelming.
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.
After completing the daunting task of sorting through over 700 entries for our 1st Annual Adventure Cycling Photo Contest, our diligent publications team has chosen an excellent winner, along with a handful of runners up. But before we show you the good stuff, I want to thank everyone who took the time to comb through their photos to submit their best works from bicycle travel. The response was phenomenal and many of the photos were too. So, now on to the photos.
Even today, more than 30 years after his death in 1982, you're likely to hear the name "Clarence Pickard" mentioned with reverence by a fellow cyclist or two if you brave the crowds, July humidity, and miles of cornfields to ride the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI).
TrackMyTour is an iPhone application written by a bike tourist for bike tourists. Christopher Meyer, the developer of the application is originally from Canada but currently lives in Switzerland. He was bitten by the touring bug in 2004 and has since toured through Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.
Just this week, the US based bicycle component manufacturer SRAM released details on a road component group that may find a good home on touring bikes. The model name will be called Apex, and will cover your full drivetrain with 10-speed front and rear derailleurs, chain, cassette, bottom bracket, crankset, brake calipers, and SRAM's double tap brake/shift lever system.
I received a letter from an Adventure Cyclist reader recently about the sometimes bad behavior of cyclists on public roads, and it got me to thinking, well, more like rethinking.
Oh no you didn't! Valentine's Day is less than 24 hours away, and you're empty handed? If you're reading this, there's a decent chance both you and your sweetheart are cycling aficionados, and that might be all it takes to save the day. Here are some cycling related gifts that require little effort, and don't need to be shipped to your door.
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.
Many of you may not realize that Adventure Cycling offers a membership specifically for bike shops. Local bike shops are key players in getting more folks on bicycles and we want to support them in that effort. We offer benefits that help bike shops connect with our members, stay informed about what's new in bike touring, and share their knowledge with the cycling community.
As detailed in a past "Waypoints" column in Adventure Cyclist magazine, an Adventure Cycling member by the name of Jeff Nussbaumer has researched and mapped a new high-altitude fat-tire route in Colorado. He calls it Ride Along the Divide, or RAD. A guidebook to the route, titled Ride Along the Divide: A High Elevation Mountain Bike Route, was published by Jeff in 2013. (Full disclosure: He asked me to write the Foreword to the book, and I consented.)
You can find disc brakes standard on just about any mountain bike, but slowly, some stock touring bikes are experimenting with disc brakes on a few models. The Jamis Aurora Elite, Kona Sutra, GT Peace Tour are a few companies that are starting to stock touring bikes with disc brakes.
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.
This entry is the second in a series showcasing milestone routes in the Adventure Cycling Route Network. A milestone route is one that is viewed as a notable landmark in Adventure Cycling Association history: a first of its kind or marking an important milestone in total network mileage. The idea of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) was born from a series of discussions between then-executive director, Gary MacFadden, and then-assistant director, Michael 'Mac' McCoy somewhere around 1990. Their idea was to take bicycle travel off road and into the mountains with a route that would roughly parallel the Continental Divide.
Vélo Québec's La Route Verte ("The Green Route") has been described as "The best bicycle route in the world." A bold claim, indeed.