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Photo by Colt Fetters
After a long hiatus, the Brooks Colt saddle is making a comeback, and this time in color. In it's former life, the Colt was a widely popular premium saddle for road and touring bikes. With deep sides that help prevent chaffing, and a very thick hide, this saddle was known for it's durability, and we still spot some older models on touring bikes here and there, so perhaps we shouldn't call it a comeback. The new saddles will have some unique colors (thanks to natural vegetable dyes), which can add some additional flare to your touring bike.
It is ironic that the U.S. is seeing a resurgence in the bicycle as a transportation vehicle, while in China, India, Thailand, and many other countries the bicycle is being increasingly abandoned for the ever more popular scooter.
Lastly, Shimano had their new Alfine 11spd internal hub out on display. It looks to be a great improvement over their 8spd internal hub. The new hub not only gives you a larger range of gears, but improves shifting and rolling efficiency, and even manages to shed some weight over the previous model.
The Dirt Demo portion of Interbike's week long schedule wrapped up yesterday afternoon in Boulder City, NV. For the most part, the touring bikes were being reserved for the indoor show, but we were still able to find some cool stuff to share with you.
The 2010 edition of the bicycle industry expo, known as Interbike, is taking place this week in Las Vegas, Nevada. For the cycling industry, it is a chance for bicycle related manufacturers, dealers, advocates, and members of the media to get together and have an up close and personal look at the current and future state of the industry.
The annual Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival took place this past weekend, with the Chequamegon (“Sha-wa-ma-gon”) 40 race happening on Saturday. Reading about it made me think back 20 years to 1990, when Nancy and I traveled to northern Wisconsin for the 40-mile race — which was shortened to 36 miles that year, due to vast mud holes and flows created by the 11 inches of September rain the area had endured the previous week.
It's hard to beat the efficiency, and nostalgic look, of a frame pump mounted under the top tube of a touring bike. Unfortunately, if you have multiple bikes, such as touring and mountain bike, a frame pump may not fit on both frames, making a pocket sized pump a more economical option.
Thirty seconds max. That's all it took from the time we saw the peloton approaching till the time it had whizzed by.
When I read about tips for climbing better on a bike, rest assured there is almost always some mention of power to weight ratios. This is great if you are trying to beat your friends to the top, but when your bike is loaded with 40 pounds of touring gear, thinking about your power to weight ratio is just depressing, so let's not focus on that.
You might have gathered from my previous nine posts on bicycle camping that a tent is at the top of my "essentials list" for bicycle travel. I know that I am far from alone in this thought. But I bet there are few bicycle travelers out there who have had a song about a tent sung at their wedding.
It's that time of year again: Crisp air, vegetable harvests, colorful leaves ... and a record attempt on Adventure Cycling's popular off-road route, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.
If you've been following our blog for very long, you know that this past spring we announced the availability of maps for our newest route, the Sierra Cascades Bicycle Route. The maps have been selling quickly, with cyclists already out on the road and ride journals beginning to pop up on the Internet. Unfortunately, we have been getting some reports that cyclists are feeling unsafe on portions of State Highway 89 in California.
Respect is something everyone has to earn. As traveling cyclists, that can sometimes be harder to remember — but even during moments of frustration, we should always keep in mind that whenever we are out riding, we're ambassadors for current and future riders. One area where we may forget our duties as ambassadors is when we finish the day's ride and check into the comfort of a hotel or motel room.
For most touring cyclists, camping is a rural experience. A tent comes in handy out in the country. You set it up in a designated county, state or federal campground ... or on farmland, forest or fairgrounds.
Our tent had always remained stuffed in our panniers while we were in the city.