How to Make a Bicycle Travel Video: 6 Expert Posts

In September, Adventure Cycling announced its first Bicycle Travel Video Contest. Since then, we’ve enjoyed a slew of submissions from touring cyclists around the globe. We’ve also had the great pleasure of publishing a series of how-to posts on creating bike-touring videos, contributed by some of our volunteer judges — all experienced touring cyclists and knowledgeable videographers. Their posts covered everything from storytelling to equipment.

We thought it would be fun to offer a round up of those expert posts so you can enjoy them all in one place.

  1. What Makes a Good Bicycle Travel Video? by Blanche van der Meer, moderator of the WorldCycle Video group on Vimeo and co-sponsor of the contest.
  2. How to Make a Bicycle Touring Video by Friedel Grant of
  3. Tripods for Touring by Russ Roca and Laura Crawford of
  4. Bicycle Travel Videos: The Art of Storytelling by Tom Allen, director of the new documentary film Janapar. (Read our review.)
  5. Finding a Balance with Shooting, Editing, and You Know, Cycling by America ByCycle (Michelle Cassel and Ryan McAfee) who have helped Adventure Cycling bolster its video program over the last year. Watch them in action on our YouTube channel.
  6. 10 Tips for Video Post Production by world traveler and 2012 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, Alastair Humphreys.

Our first Bicycle Travel Video Contest closes on February 28, 2013, and we hope to see a few more submissions! It’s not too late. Check out the contest information and then submit your video. Or, take some time to watch the submissions and “like” the ones you think should be contenders for the People’s Choice Award!

Photo courtesy of Blanche van der Meer.

NEWS, NETWORKING, AND NEW MEDIA is posted by Winona Bateman, Adventure Cycling’s media director, and highlights cool media (articles, videos, photos, etc.) and meet-ups related to Adventure Cycling and bicycle travel. Writing a story about bicycle travel or Adventure Cycling Association? You can contact Winona via email: pressATadventurecyclingDOTorg. Visit our media room, view our news releases, or follow us on Twitter.

Posted in How To, News Networking and New Media, Video | Leave a comment

How To Make Your Own Studded Bike Tires – A Video

With snow and ice abounding in Missoula, it would be so nice to ride a fat bike around, to officially participate in Fat Bike February. But the finances for a rad, new bike are just not in the cards this year. (And truth be told, if I buy one bike this year, it’ll probably be this one.)

So to stabilize my bike travel, I made my own studded tires! It was easier than I had imagined and I made a video to share this ever-rewarding do-it-yourself with you.

Special thanks to Josh, Evan, Winona, and Patrick for their collaboration and support.

ART. ADVENTURE. AWESOMENESS. wishes to bring enthusiasm to your every other Tuesday morning. This column is written by Rachel Stevens, a graphic designer at Adventure Cycling Association

Posted in Art. Adventure. Awesomeness., Video | 8 Comments

Update: Better in California, Bittersweet in Montana

Over the last few months, Adventure Cycling has been very busy working to create new opportunities for bike travel in North America, for example by developing new routes like an Idaho hot springs off-pavement route and Bicycle Route 66, and advancing an official U.S. Bicycle Route System. Also, we’ve worked with local and state partners to create better bike travel conditions, most recently in Montana and California. Here’s the latest on those efforts:

In Montana, we worked with the new statewide group Bike Walk Montana and host of other advocates and public officials to update the state’s law pertaining to biking, including a provision requiring motorists to give cyclists five feet of clearance as they pass by. The timing of this legislation was important since the Montana legislature only meets for three months every other year. We were thrilled when the Montana House Transportation Committee approved the bill (HB 257, sponsored by Representative Nancy Wilson) by a bipartisan 9-3 vote. Unfortunately, the full House did not follow suit. There was considerable confusion about what the bill would or would not require, and the legislation was defeated 57-43. This was a huge disappointment but not surprising, given that many “safe passage” bills required several runs through legislatures (and governors) before winning final approval. The good news is that 22 states (and the District of Columbia) have enacted safe passage laws, and advocates in Montana now know what we need to do to persuade legislators of the need for this important law. You can find out more about Montana’s situation and future activities at Bike Walk Montana or on their Facebook page.

In California, things are looking a little brighter. A few months ago, the California State Department of Transportation (Caltrans) abruptly paved 25+ miles of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), an iconic cycling route (and part of Adventure Cycling’s most popular route, the Pacific Coast), between Cambria and Ragged Point in San Luis Obispo County, with jagged, over-sized aggregate that made the road very dangerous for cycling. Adventure Cycling joined a chorus of local clubs and advocates urging Caltrans to re-pave the road with a cycling-friendly surface, especially before the volume of cyclists (and cycling events) picks up this summer. The media and public officials have taken up the issue and Caltrans responded by announcing that it will do a study with the University of California at Davis on preferred road surfaces for cycling. While we appreciate this response (and what it could mean in the long run for better cycling conditions on California roads), it doesn’t solve the immediate problem of those dangerous 25+ miles. So local groups and Adventure Cycling are keeping up the pressure, urging Caltrans and Governor Jerry Brown to re-pave this section of road before June 1. You can add your voice by signing a petition today, even if you’re from outside California. We all benefit when we work together to make North America a safer, more enjoyable place to cycle.

Thanks for your help!

Photo: Members of the Slabtown Rollers Cycling Club put up a sign to fix the Pacific Coast Highway. From left, Erv Rodgers, Bill Hughes and Mike Barnes in Cambria, CA. 

Photo courtesy of L.M “Mike” Evans.

JIM SAYER is executive director of Adventure Cycling Association.

Posted in From the Executive Director | Leave a comment

Guideline Cabo Sunglasses

It’s Fat Bike February, and with the future of fat bikes so bright, you had best be wearing some shades.

When talking about fat bike apparel, there is often a lot of focus on warm layers, and waterproof clothing, however, sunglasses are a pivotal piece of equipment. Whether you’re riding through the snow or along a beach, chances are you’re going to have a lot of surface area around you reflecting the sunlight back up into your face, intensifying it the sun’s effect. This can impair your vision, and believe it or not, squinting does soak up a good amount of energy over the long run, which you would much rather put into pedaling.

As far as eyewear is concerned, there are an overwhelming amount of active sunglasses manufacturers out there. Perhaps a sleeper company moving into the bicycle scene is Guideline Eyewear. They have a strong background in producing sunglasses for water sports, which is perfect as long as we’re talking about reflective services.

For much of this winter, I’ve been riding in their Cabo glasses, with dark polarized lenses. First impression is that these things are crazy light compared to other active glasses I’ve worn in the past. Couple that up with their semi-rimless frames, before I’m even warmed up, I’ve forgotten that I have them on. I have also had no problems with them fogging up, which can be a common issue with fat biking, since it is often done at slower speeds with lots of huffing and puffing… at least I hope that’s not just me.

One very cool features of these shades, and the company as a whole, is that walk the walk on the eco-friendly front. The Cabo sunglasses frame incorporates bio based materials (castor bean oil), and they strive to cut down on the emissions during production. Even the packaging they use for their sunglasses is made from 100% recycled materials.

At $49.95, these are a steal, and unlike many performance sunglasses, they look good off the bike as well.

Photo compliments of Guideline Eyewear

Grab a free issue of Adventure Cyclist magazineTOURING GEAR & TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling’s member services department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead. Look for Josh’s Fine Tuned column in Adventure Cyclist magazine as well.

Posted in Touring Gear and Tips | Leave a comment

A Fatbiking Micro-Adventure in New Mexico

Thank you all for a great first week of Fat Bike February. The following is a guest post from Nicholas Carman. You can find many more fat biking resources, photos, and stories on Nicholas’ blog,

Through all four seasons and twelve months of 2012, I rode a fat bike, exclusively. I commuted through a winter in Alaska, toured south through Canada, followed the Great Divide Route and the Colorado Trail, and eventually settled into New Mexico for the winter — all on big rubber, all on an old, purple Surly Pugsley. But I don’t need big tires for every ride, and I have built a Velo Orange Campeur frame into a capable urban commuter, touring bike, and light dirt-road machine. However, with the opportunity to spend a few days riding out of town this past week I immediately knew which bike to take.

Within range of snowy roads, sandy arroyos, and rough terrain — conditions representing all four seasons — I reach for the big tires of the Pugsley. Here are some images from a recent micro-adventure in the Land of Enchantment:

The Railrunner is a convenient regional commuter train between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and escorts me out of town. Within a mile of disembarking, I am riding on dirt roads into the mountains.

High deserts, river bottoms, forested mountains, hot springs, rich cultural towns, and snow-capped peaks are all within a few hours of each other on a bike. New Mexico is ripe for adventure and exploration in any season.

NONMOTORIZED USE ACCEPTED: Winter road closures in the Santa Fe National Forest ensure I have the place to myself.

Less than ten miles from the Kewa/Santo Domingo train station I am on public land, rapidly ascending to elevation.

The “road” is a stream this time of year. Come summer, the “stream” will look much more like a road. Water plays an important role in New Mexico, even if not always present.

I quickly climb into the clouds on wet sandy roads, and into patches of remnant snow. Wind and rain, and some fresh snow were a constant threat on this outing.

Camping above Cochiti Canyon in January on a closed Forest Service road. My touring bike can’t quite do this, although a mountain bike or a fat bike can.

Wet, melting snow covers the road. Low air pressure in such voluminous tires aids traction in soft and slippery conditions. Slowly, steadily I am able to ride. A standard-width mountain bike may not be able to ride here, although my fat bike can.

Back on pavement for a bit — nothing four inch tires can’t handle.

My maps suggest a route across public land back toward Santa Fe, avoiding a busy highway corridor. This sandy route is an “arroyo”, or a dry riverbed, with a few scattered 4×4 tracks. Most of the year this is just a road, but beware of flash floods when the rain comes.

Here, my options include the undulating pipeline service trail to the left or the broad sandy arroyo on the far right. I sample a little of both.

New Mexico is checkered with public lands, administered by both the BLM and USFS, as well as tribal properties and private property. A good map is essential, but there are many opportunities for route discovery. On big tires, unmapped arroyos and double-track trails become candidates for passage.

A brief ride from Santa Fe, Diablo Canyon requires further exploration. Low pressures are required to pedal in such soft sand, but the rewards come in finding new places to ride and camp.

Back on the road, soft sand and washboard are mitigated by large tires at low pressure. Washboard is a man-made feature created by motorized traffic on dirt roads, similar to the regular wave patterns created along sand dunes by the wind. Each vehicle engages the pattern of bumps in the road, building and migrating the pattern down the road. It is the bane of dirt-touring cyclists. Suspension and big tires help a lot.

These new Surly Knard tires are fast-rolling on hardpacked roads, yet they clamber through all kinds of unexpected conditions especially as I tune the tire pressure to the ground underfoot. It is not every moment of every trip that requires fat tires, but voluminous rubber releases me from the boundaries of normal “touring” routes. To me, this is bike touring at its best.

Photos by Nicholas Carman.

NICHOLAS CARMAN left on a bike trip in 2008, and hasn’t stopped riding. He shares stories, photographs and ideas at

Posted in Bikepacker, Guest Posts | 3 Comments

Give a complimentary issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine

Here at Adventure Cycling, one of our most popular membership benefits is Adventure Cyclist, our inspirational bicycle-travel magazine. Through its insightful stories, compelling photographs, and informative columns, Adventure Cyclist has inspired generations of veteran and beginner cyclists alike.

Did you know that you can share Adventure Cyclist with a bicycling friend? By referring your friends or family members, you’ll also be entered into our Share the Joy contest with a chance to win a Sojourn touring bicycle from Raleigh.

Let us know your friend’s name and address and we’ll mail them a free copy of Adventure Cyclist, compliments of you.

Share the joy of cycling — inspire a friend by sending them a free issue of Adventure Cyclist today.

Not a member? You can request a sample issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine for FREE!

Photo by Aaron Teasdale.

MEMBERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS is typically posted every other Friday by Amy Corbin, Membership and Marketing Coordinator. Membership Highlights spotlights the various benefits of membership,our accomplishments thanks to member support, and even interviews with some of our most passionate and dedicated members, both individual and organizational.

Posted in Membership Highlights | Leave a comment

Why I Like to Bike

“I like biking because you get fresh air and feel the nice cool breeze. I like riding my bike because you can see some nice houses. You even feel very happy. I also like it because sometimes it brings peace to the world.”
—Kira Gardner, 8 year-old daughter of member Todd Gardner

Kira on her bike

The passage above is from an essay Kira had to write in school, describing her favorite activity or sport. With no prompting from her father, she decided her favorite thing to do is ride her bike.

We have to agree with Kira on this one. Biking makes us happy, we love checking out the scenery, and we too believe that it can bring peace to the world. We believe that Kira’s essay really reflects the transformative power of traveling by bicycle.

If, like Kira, you want to make more people aware of the amazing power of traveling by bicycle, you can help eliminate barriers to bicycle travel by becoming a monthly donor or making a one-time donation.

Your support will help us reach out to more would-be bicycle tourists, introduce them to the magic of bicycle travel, and inspire them to get on their bikes and ride. You will help us show others what great things can be experienced from behind handlebars, atop two wheels, fueled by passion, climbing mountain passes, and descending with wind whistling through your helmet and a smile on your face.

To learn more about what your support will help us accomplish, check out our goals and objectives for 2013.

Photo by Todd Gardner

SUPPORT ADVENTURE CYCLING is written by Alex Campbell, development coordinator for Adventure Cycling Association.

Posted in Support Adventure Cycling | Leave a comment