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Photo by Colt Fetters
We get tons of emails at Adventure Cycling about riders' various adventures around the world — upcoming, in-progress, and "it's a wrap" alike. Below I'll share four examples of what I'm talking about, all of them involving one of our mapped cross-country routes.
While you can usually fit all of your touring gear in panniers, or a trailer, we see many people adding a small backpack into the mix. For some riders, this incorporates a hydration bladder that either replaces water bottles, or adds some hydration range between refill stops. For others, it can sometimes replace a set of panniers, if you're in between the need for two and four panniers. I like to haul a small pack along to keep some small items on hand for quick, off-the-bike excursions, such as my camera, wallet, some food, maps, and a book.
We explained our plight. There was a campground several miles down the road, but we didn't feel safe on the road. We asked if we could pitch our tent on her land.
She pondered a bit and then nodded "yes". She pointed out back.
In December this last year, I made an offhand comment about riding from Eugene, Oregon, to Washington, D.C. Less than a month later, the plan moved off my “joke” list onto my “actively pursuing” list, coupled with a research project on bicycle tourism as an economic development vehicle for rural communities.
Changing handlebar styles can significantly change the character of your bike. Sometimes a change is needed for comfort, while other times you simply want to spice up your ride a bit. Here's a brief look at four of the most common handlebar styles that we see roll through the Adventure Cycling office -- might give you some ideas for any upcoming retrofits to your touring bike.
New Zealand is an outdoor person's dream come true. I spent the first three weeks traveling with a childhood buddy and the remaining four months pedaling solo.
My bike and my gear had never been heavier. But I didn't mind. Inside of my rear panniers were hiking boots and a full-sized backpack in a compression sack.
Contact points on the bicycle (handlebars, saddle, and pedals) are areas that can often lead to discomfort when riding long distances, or stringing multiple days together. To some extent there is a natural break-in period, for both your equipment and your body, and only way to work through this period is to put in the time and miles. I have had good luck with saddles in the past, but for the feet, I have always found myself drifting towards a quicker fix, as hot spots while riding has been an issue for me over the years.
Cuba. The beach. A resort hotel. At $75 a night, not a bad choice, especially when the package deal includes meals and drinks.
Then there is the frugal cyclist's alternative. A tent. Pitched not far from the resort hotel. Cost? Free.
Velocity DYAD rims are hard to beat for touring. They sit a little wider than most rims at 24mm, which helps prevent pinch flats when running wider tires, such as a 700x32 touring tire, and offers a sturdy and comfortable ride. The rims lack spoke eyelets, which on the surface can appear as a weak point, but the V-profile adds more than enough strength near spoke nipples to eliminate the need of eyelets. In fact, if you were to cut a cross-section of the rim, you would see a reassuring amount of material near the spoke holes.
The humble tent. A budget extender if there ever was one. If I had stayed in hotels throughout my bike trip in South Africa, my journey would have lasted three weeks ... tops. But through the magic of poles and fabric, my journey lasted five months.