Skip to main content

News / Articles

Bike Bits Vol. 14, No. 3, February 1, 2012

 | Published on 2/1/2012
Bike Bits Vol. 14, No. 3, February 1, 2012
This is the 280th issue of Bike Bits, Adventure Cycling's twice-monthly
bicycle bulletin. Bike Bits is delivered to you -- and 43,772 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.


"Travel teaches toleration."
Benjamin Disraeli


Tomorrow, the transportation committee of the U.S. House of
Representatives is set to vote on a long-term transportation bill,
which would eliminate all federal programs dedicated to supporting
biking and walking. A bipartisan group of Representatives is
planning to amend the bill to reinstate a modest and revised
version of these programs, which have made a huge difference over
the last 20 years in boosting bicycling and bicycle travel in
America. Please take a moment to click on the link below and find
out if your Representative is on the committee, and urge him or her
to support biking and walking in the transportation bill. If your
Representative is not on the committee, keep an eye peeled for more
alerts about when the legislation goes to the full House of
Representatives later in February -- hopefully, it will include bike
facility investment for America's future!


The 3rd Annual Ciclismo Classico Bike Travel Film Festival, a benefit
for MassBike, is set to take place at the Regent Theatre in Arlington,
Massachusetts, on Thursday, May 17. The festival's mission is to
"inspire attendees to explore by bicycle. … The festival will increase
awareness and appreciation for bicycle travel by showcasing independent
films that depict the adventure, humor, and growth inherent in
two-wheeled journeys. We seek films that portray a broad range of
experiences -- destinations ranging from small African villages to a
campground 30 miles from home; solo travel or a family reunion on
bicycles; an organized tour from inn to inn or a shoestring jaunt
with tent and sleeping bag." Professional and amateur filmmakers alike
are invited to submit appropriate films ranging from three to sixty
minutes in length; the entry deadline is April 1. Learn more here:


Speaking of bike travel films, have a look at this great little video
of a combined bikepacking/packrafting solo trip made in Scotland last
summer. There are also some outstanding still photos accompanying Nik's
written account; all told, it is guaranteed to make you want to hit
the Highlands on two wheels.


More than 1,650 individuals have made the ultimate commitment to
Adventure Cycling Association by becoming life members. A Life
Membership gives you a lifetime of benefits --and no renewal notices!
-- including a lifetime subscription to Adventure Cyclist magazine,
while providing the organization with a sound financial foundation.
Funds from Life Memberships can be used only for long-term support for
Adventure Cycling. In the past, the funds have helped us purchase our
headquarters building, saving the organization and its membership
thousands of dollars in interest payments. (This year, the funds are
being used for our building expansion.) Money saved on interest
payments goes into programs such as route mapping and reaching out to
potential new members. Learn more at this link:


The following link will take you to an outstanding story from
Smithsonian Magazine about historic Route 66, which is the focus of
Adventure Cycling's newest routing project. In fact, there's this
mention mid-article: "A Montana-based nonprofit, Adventure Cycling,
which produces detailed maps for long-distance cyclists, has begun a
Route 66 project. ‘People have contacted us for years, from all over
the world, asking, "Why don't you have a [map for] Route 66?" Now,
we're going to,' says Ginny Sullivan, special projects manager for
the group." (And Ginny would like to add this postscript directly to
Bike Bits readers: Bicycle Route 66 marks the first time we've
developed a new route that simultaneously will be a component of the
new U.S. Bicycle Route System.)
Perhaps not incidentally, the Smithsonian story's author, David Lamb,
has written articles for Adventure Cyclist in the past, such as this
one (PDF):


Sidetracked Magazine is an online journal featuring a collection of
personal stories of travel, journeys, and expeditions. One of those
personal stories that recently came to our attention is by Michiel
Kroese, who writes of a trip he and his companion Soraya (they "used
to live in the Netherlands but are now currently traveling all over
and have neither a home nor house") made up the Great Divide Mountain
Bike Route, from the bottom of New Mexico to Banff, Alberta. "The trail
became so much a part of us that we felt as if it was ours," Michiel
writes. If you tap into the story (link below), be sure to scroll down
and have a look at the photo of the two bicycles and one person
silhouetted against the sky. The bike in the foreground has at least
two features we would like to know more about: a kickstand mounted in
the vicinity of the rear hub and a pull-behind wheel that appears to
support not a trailer, but a pair of panniers. (He does mention early
on that they were aboard Koga bikes with Rohloff hubs.)


"Bicycling and Walking in the United States: 2012 Benchmarking Report"
was released last week by the Alliance for Biking & Walking. In the
report, you can learn how your city and/or state fares compared to
others when it comes to bicycling and walking. Data from all 50 states
is included, along with stats for the 51 largest U.S. cities in the
country. According to a press release issued by the Alliance, the report
"is an essential resource and tool for government officials, advocates,
and those working to promote bicycling and walking, including data
tables and graphs that show how your state or city stacks up and
providing unprecedented statistics to help support your case for
increasing safe bicycling and walking in your community." At the website
below you can download the report for free or order a hard copy for


Perhaps you read or heard about British TV personality Helen Skelton
and her attempt to reach the South Pole by snow bike, kite ski, and
cross-country skis. The 28-year-old Skelton did indeed pull up to the
South Pole on January 22 -- accompanied "only" by Norwegian explorer
Niklas Norman, a small BBC team, and a logistics crew. Of particular
interest are the specially designed bicycles they rode, featuring
tubeless tires 20 inches in diameter, eight inches wide, and weighing
nearly eight pounds each. At the following link you'll find pictures
of the bicycles, as well as an embedded video showing Skelton and her
companion riding up to the South Pole -- and it really is a pole!


Until next time... click on
to read about a company in Denver whose carbon-fiber belt system could
replace the timeworn bicycle chain.

Copyright 2012 Adventure Cycling Association. See what we are doing at:

If you like Bike Bits, please forward it to your cycling friends!

To subscribe, visit:

To update your subscription or unsubscribe, visit:

News for Bike Bits? Please email

Looking for past issues of Bike Bits? Visit the publications archive:

Read our blog:

Find us on:





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: