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Photo by Colt Fetters
Every so often, I get an email asking whether or not a person should move from a 700c road wheel to a 26" wheel for touring. My touring experience has predominantly been aboard 700c wheels, but there are some good reasons to give a 26" wheel some thought.
The route we were following in Idaho by compass was the Hudspeth cutoff. This route was supposed to save over a hundred miles over the California trail. But that was in 1849!
Now, I’m not trying to steal the thunder from my friend and colleague Jenn Milyko, who one of these days might want to write about the Utah Cliffs Loop in her “milestone routes” series. Among other nice things she does, Jenn occasionally supplies me with packages containing two of my food groups — Twizzlers and CornNuts — so I definitely don’t want to make her mad.
One of the first things I do before setting out on my bike, whether it's for a day ride or a full blown tour, I always check my tire pressure. Over time, your tubes naturally leak air, so it's always a good idea to have them topped off to help prevent pinch flats, and improve the tire's rolling efficiency. One piece of equipment that can take that process out of your routine is the Pump-Hub.
That's me. On my bike. On Earth.
The artist is Zak and he attends a primary school in Washington state where I presented an assembly entitled "The World's Greatest SUV". It introduces kids to the magic and wonders of bicycle travel.
The New World Tourist is Bike Friday's loaded touring specific bike, which can handle racks and panniers or a trailer, depending on your preference. The small folding frame geometry lends itself well to touring in the sense that it provides a super low step over height, and can be adjusted to fit a wide variety of rider types.
What a sight? A thin ribbon of a road, snaking its way down to a green valley below. No traffic, unless you consider goats and sheep traffic. Blue skies. The warm sun on my face. This was a downhill well earned.
Last winter I received an email message from Nicole Catalano, communications manager for the environmental organization Pacific Environment “Protecting the Living Environment of the Pacific Rim”). The reason Nicole wrote was to tell me about an (at the time) upcoming expedition on which a group of five hardy snow bikers would attempt to circumnavigate Lake Baikal in Siberia. The expedition, she said, was set to begin in late February.
While the most rewarding feature of bicycle computer is tracking the accumulation of miles over a long span of time, there are plenty of other good reasons to mount one to your bike. For extended tours on unfamiliar roads, they can help you orient yourself on your map, and give you some confidence that you didn't miss your last turn, and that it's only a few more miles up the road. Just about any bicycle computer will have average miles per hour, giving you a chance to calculate your estimated time of arrival.
I had leaned my bike against a tree to fix a flat in a little town in Colombia. A small boy wandered up and watched my progress. I glanced up and was taken aback. He wasn't laughing or poking at my bike, or doing any of the typical things kids do. He was just looking at me. Through me. His peaceful facial expression didn't change when I smiled at him. People talk of old souls. This kid had one.
This entry is the fourth 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. During the first week of April 2010, we were happy to announce the release of the Sierra Cascades Bicycle Route.
Where in the world is the best place for bicycle travel? Tough question, no doubt, and anyone’s answer would have to be subjective — I mean, who on Earth has cycled everywhere?