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Fantasy Friday / Sports Travel / USA Pro Challenge / Cycling / Biking / Colorado Travel / Tax Refund Vacations / Denver Travel / Aspen Travel / Crested Butte Travel / Breckenridge Travel / Colorado Springs Travel / Boulder Travel / → All Tags
Fans of the cycling circuit are no doubt looking forward to this summer's USA Pro Challenge in Denver, when the world's best racers will take on an eight-city route through the Rocky Mountains, including Aspen, Crested Butte, Colorado Springs, Gunnison, Breckenridge, Vail, Denver, and Boulder. The typical spectator might hit one or two of them, but a company called NextGreatTrip has created the mother of all VIP itineraries for the race should you have an extra $9,500 lying around.
Google Maps / Europe Travel / Cycling / Bike Travel / Hamburg Travel / Liechtenstein Travel / → All Tags
Good news for all of you with tickets for summer travel to Europe. Google Maps has recently added the ability to get turn-by-turn directions for bicycling routes in six new countries: Ireland, France, Germany, Poland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein.
As usual, the way to access the maps is by plotting your route and then selecting the little bicycle logo as your means of transport, versus directions for driving, public transport or walking. Cities in the USA first received the ability to display Google Maps bicycle directions way back in spring 2010, so it's about time some of the world's cycling capitals were able to join the fun.
Active Travel / Bike Travel / Cycling / Outdoor Travel / California Travel / Photo Gallery / Tours / → All Tags
You're in California! Get out of your hotel! We yell this doubly loud at anyone staying just off the Pacific Coast Highway and triply so if you're near Santa Barbara, as we recently had a chance to go bike down a mountain in the area and, boy, was it awesome. Over one afternoon with Santa Barbara Adventure Company, we got a suntan, caught the breeze, and glided for nearly 20 miles while hardly breaking a sweat.
The biking itself begins after being driven up (bikes and all) to the the top on one of the higher peaks of the Santa Ynez Mountains. During the drive up the mountain, the guides point out scenic spots as well as evidence from a major fire that devastated the area a few years ago. We noted that many trees were still charred and black, while new plant growth flourished around it. Once we reached the peak, we got our bikes ready and set off down the mountain.
Bicycle Travel / Michigan Travel / Train Travel / Outdoor Travel / Cycling / Active Travel / Photo Gallery / → All Tags
Our roving Midwestern reporter, Lara Zielin, files a report from somewhere in Michigan on a very cool project reusing the country's rusting transportation infrastructure:
My husband recently imagined he was a train. If Iím honest, Iíll admit I felt a little silly witnessing this. I mean, what 36-year-old with a mortgage closes his eyes and pretends heís a choo-choo?
Except, thatís what mid-Michiganís Pere Marquette Trail can do, especially if youíre on a bicycle and youíre speeding up as you pedal over the Salt River, the birds and frogs calling out the way they must have done before loggers and lumber barons arrived in this flat, woodsy place in the 1800s.
Biking / Bike Travel / Cycling / Holiday Travel / New York City / Design Travel / Shopping Travel / → All Tags
A bike from Scottish brand Paper Bicycles
It's crunch time for holiday presents. This close to the weekend, you're either shelling out for 2-day/overnight shipping or just heading into a store to pick up gifts in person. Still stuck for ideas? Just think about what you wanted as a kid, but updated. Luckily our answer to that is "a bike a bike!" and buying bicycles for your friends or family is luckily something easily done last-minute.
As huge proponents of both bike sharing and cycling wherever possible, we admit that our biggest, big-ticket gift suggestion this year (for anyone, really) is a proper sturdy bike with some style. Fortunately one New York City store specializes in such two-wheelers: Adeline Adeline.
If you've been meaning to go watch the Tour de France action live, you have a stateside alternative. The Amgen Tour of California, set for May 15 to 22, is similar to the Frenchie event, though this one distinguishes itself as the largest cycling event in America.
More than 2 million spectators showed up last year to watch pro cycling teams pedal to the finish line. Even if you're not a big bike-racing fan, the tour is a scenic one, covering 800 miles of Cali roadways, coastlines and iconic spots.
Cycling / Florida Travel / Biking / Bike Tours / Key West / Active Travel / → All Tags
November is a tricky travel month, because the onslaught of cooler weather usually puts quite the damper on any outdoor endeavors. Thatís why we say to follow millions of others and head down to Florida. Weíre not going to play bridge all afternoon and then head out for the early bird special; weíre going to ride our bicycles. Thanks to retired police sergeant Bubba Barron, we have the BubbaFest Bike Tour. Itís a 200-mile cycling event from Key Largo To Key West, and you donít have to be Lance Armstrong to do it.
Bikers are encouraged to go at their own pace and make frequent pit stops to swim, snorkel, and snooze away part of the day. The whole course over US Highway 1 is pretty flat, so if you can ride a bike and have some patience, you should have no problem pedaling the approximate 45 miles per day. If you do get a little tired, or just lazy, support vehicles follow the whole time and can give you a free ride. Things kick off on November 7 and wrap up on November 13, with a few layover days to soak in the sun.
Wine Travel / Sonoma / Biking / Bike Tours / Cycling / California Travel / → All Tags
Being fans of the "work out, then indulge" travel routine, we say next month's Healdsburg Harvest Century Bicycle Tour is as good an excuse as any to head to the wine roads. The itinerary is flexible: take a 23-, 37-, or 60-mile spin through one of Sonoma County's most scenic roadswhich Bicycling Magazine called one of the "7 Greatest Rides on Earth"then spend the rest of the day (or weekend) exploring the more than 100 wineries nearby.
The July 18 tour starts at 8am in Heraldsburg, and no matter how far you're biking, should be over by 2pm, giving you plenty of prime afternoon hours to hit the vineyard and reverse all those calories you burned off.
· 23rd Annual Healdsburg Harvest Century Bicycle Tour [Official Site]
· Cali Wine Country Hooks Up Facebook Fans With Freebies [Jaunted]
· Nothing Motivates Better Than The Promise Of A Big Buffet [Jaunted]
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· 70 Cities Around the World: One time during our travels, we had the (mis)fortune of crossing paths with a World Naked Bike Ride. This Saturday, 70 cities in the northern hemisphere (the southern hemisphere does theirs in March) will host bicyclists in the buff to protest oil dependence. To join in or just station yourself along the route, check out the WNBR's Google map featuring all of the cities and links to their wiki pages for information.
There are two approaches one can take to travel this time of year. You can let the snow and the cold get to you and hunker down indoors, or you can just embrace it and hit the road anyway.
A few thousand enthusiastic athletes will take the later sentiment to the extreme this month as they gear up for the eighth annual Worst Day of the Year Ride. The 18-mile cycle race takes place in Portland, Oregon each February 15, celebrating the all-around bad weather that hits the Northwest this time of the year, culminating in the region's most miserable day.
The city flooded on this date 13 years ago, and way before that, recorded its lowest temperature ever, negative 54 degrees. So participants break out their umbrellas and vow to get in a good day of cycling, rain or shine (hopefully rain).
Lest you think this is some crazy endeavor just for tough guys with a masochistic wish for pneumonia, the Worst Day of the Year Ride comes complete with roadside pick-me-ups like hot cocoa, warm cookies, and a raucous finish line party, with special prizes for those who come in costume.
Photo: [Worst Day of the Year Ride]