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Bike Bits Vol. 14, No. 1, January 4, 2012

 | Published on 1/4/2012
Bike Bits Vol. 14, No. 1, January 4, 2012
This is the 278th issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly
bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you -- and 43,556 other
readers -- because you've signed up for it at the Adventure Cycling
Association website, Bike Bits arrives
in text-only format for quick download and includes links for more
information. We want to inspire you to dream and to live your own
bicycle adventures.


"Bring imagination, will, reason, memory, grit, zest, optimism,
curiosity, social intelligence, self-control, gratitude, and some
extra cash."
--1976 TransAm veteran Bob Brown's advice to those preparing for a
cross-country ride


Happy New Year! That was fun, now let's dream of spring bike touring.
Adventure Cycling is offering two terrific spring tours to work out
those winter doldrums: a wonderful Arizona Road Adventure and the newly
revamped Texas Hill Country tour. Check out the Arizona Road Adventure
(March 10-16) for a cactus-studded desert spin sure to wake up your
spring touring legs. Cycling beneath clear Arizona skies, the group will
also have the chance to visit places like Tombstone's O.K. Corral, while
enjoying plenty of time for more civilized pursuits, such as bird
watching, gallery hopping, and wine tasting.
The Texas Hill Country tour (April 7-13) begins and ends in New
Braunfels, a small town deep in the heart of Hill Country. On this trip,
you'll make your way on quiet farm and ranch roads through a region of
Texas celebrated for its dazzling displays of spring wildflowers -- most
notably bluebonnets, which grow so thickly that they sometimes appear
to be lakes on the distant horizon. This is a tour that has always sold
out, and is not to be missed!
Both of these great spring rides offer luggage transport and catered


According to the website Co.Exist ("World Changing Ideas and
Innovation"), a new company called Spinlister wants "everyone to
post their bike online, choose a price, and then let the collaborative
economy commence. Those who want to see their bike roam free can post
a profile, and accept any bidder who sends in their price and preferred
time... a 'system of reviews, Facebook Connect, and renter credit cards'
are on file allowing Spinlister to investigate any theft or foul play.
Common sense applies: If you break it, fix it, and late fees apply if
you're running behind." Spinlister founder Will Dennis told Co.Exist
that pilot programs will be launched soon in Los Angeles and Santa
Monica, with plans for other cities in the works.


Watch and listen to world traveler Gary Phillips of Washington State
talk about bicycling in China, and why two wheels is such a good way
to go. (Thanks to reader Steven Foreman of MethowTV, who produced
this piece and sent us the link.)


Adventure Cycling Association will cut the subscription cost of Adventure
Cyclist magazine in half when you donate it to a public library or
school. This means that for $20, you can put a year's worth of bicycle
inspiration and excitement in the school or library in your neighborhood
and help inspire a new generation of traveling cyclists. The last time
we included this fab offer in Bike Bits, we received a dozen new library
adopters. Let's double that number this time!


Only occasionally do we feature a product in Bike Bits, but the FitDesk
Pedal Desk really grabbed our attention. Billed as an innovative product
that permits the user to exercise on a stationary bike while working on
a laptop computer, the FitDesk Pedal Desk can help users lose weight while
building strength and stamina. "My invention came to me when I was
preparing to ride my bicycle 100 miles as part of a leukemia fundraiser,"
says FitDesk inventor Steve Ferrusi. "With the event date coming closer
every week, I was not getting in many rides. However, I was spending
lots of time on my new computer, planning business ideas, reading emails,
etc. … Then I had my Aha! moment, and the FitDesk Pedal Desk was born."
You can watch a video of the gizmo in action at the link below. (Perhaps
in the product's next generation, the person's pedaling will power the
computer.) The company also offers the FitDesk PRO, designed to adapt
to any bicycle handlebars, for those who already own an indoor trainer
or stationary bike.


Here are some basic but sound tips on winter riding courtesy of The Gear
Junkie, by way of the Spokane Spokesman-Review. The writer has ridden
year-round in his home state of Minnesota, so he knows whereof he speaks.


Speaking of winter riding, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard invited his
townsfolk to join him on January 2 for the 12.2-mile Polar Bear Pedal.
The idea was to bring in the New Year by celebrating the city's growing
network of interconnected bikeways. It sounds as if Ballard has been
a real friend to cycling since his election in 2007, as detailed in
this story:
And this just in -- despite a snowstorm, the show went on:


If you're a current Adventure Cycling member, you can cast your vote
for nominated candidates to serve on the organization's Board of
Directors. Starting tomorrow (Thursday, January 5) look in your
email in-box for your voting opportunity. Also, Adventure Cycling
will soon be hosting a short annual member meeting in Missoula to
confirm the final vote for the Board and to talk about the expansion
of our headquarters building. The meeting will take place at
5:00 p.m. MST on Thursday, January 26, at Adventure Cycling's office
at 150 E. Pine Street. If you have questions about the balloting or
the meeting, send them via email to


Or maybe that should that be "Around the Bottom." Whichever, BBC
television host Helen Skelton set out January 1 on her attempt to
reach the South Pole via bicycle, skis, and kite. "Don't let her good
looks fool you," it is written at The Province, a blog of;
"she is one tough adventurer. Skelton is not new to completing extreme
challenges that have never been done. In 2010 she kayaked over 2,000
miles along the Amazon River collecting donations for a charity
called Sport Relief." Read more here:
You can also watch this interview with Helen, in which she admits
"I didn't really think this one through."


Until next time... click on to listen to a terrific
interview with our main man Jim Sayer, courtesy of NPR's "Here & Now"
daily news magazine. BTW, Jim swears he's not responsible for choosing
the Queen song that wraps up the segment. And on that note, we can't
resist: for a blogfest of great bike songs, click on the links below.

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Adventure Cycling Association is North America's premier nonprofit
organization dedicated to bicycle travel. Membership is open to anyone
and includes a one-year subscription to Adventure Cyclist magazine and
discounted pricing on maps from our Adventure Cycling Route Network,
which now includes 40,974 miles. To join, go to: