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Messages - bdouglas

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Urban Cycling / hauling child, plus - trailer recommendations?
« on: April 29, 2008, 06:57:10 pm »
Check out Aaron Teasdale's article in Adventure Cyclist magazine titled Trailer Roundup
Trailer Roundup

Happy bicycling,

Becky Douglas
Outreach and Education Coordinator
Adventure Cycling Association

Urban Cycling / commuting by bike
« on: March 30, 2007, 12:09:00 pm »
I wholeheartedly agree with Bruno's advice.

To keep your hands truly warm -

1. Shell (leather or other windproof layer)
2. Fleece (sheep or plastic)
3. Mittens

Just test run the gloves to make sure that you've got room and mobility for shifting and breaking!

I live in Montana and bicycle commute year-round, and have found Acorn's sheep fleece mittens to keep my hands warm in majorly negative numbers.

Happy bicycling,

Becky Douglas
Outreach and Education Coordinator
Adventure Cycling Association

Urban Cycling / Urban Touring
« on: December 28, 2006, 02:58:31 pm »
and speaking of animals, I think that "comtouring", AKA  "commute-touring" is the dog's bark.

We have a rustic cabin 27 miles outside of what Montanans would call an urban center. In the summer, I do my favorite type of touring - sometimes multiple days a week. I wake with the sunrise, pack my bags for a sleepover at a town-friend's home, and pedal the 1/4 century to work. I am awake and engaged when I get to work, spend Q time with friends that night, and after another day of work, get to take a great evening ride home to sleep in my own bed. It is "very tame" touring, but a great way for me to get a summer's-worthy does of exercise, decrease pollution, and have mini-tour adventures. As a result of this slower commute, I have found great swimming holes along one of the best rivers in the country, discovered little know pedestrian suspension bridges, made friends with mergansers, and legitimized a second breakfast of cookies after the great workout. Yum.

And yes, I've also got my partner into comtouring, and he carries our dog Sammy.

Happy bicycling,

Becky Douglas
Outreach and Education Coordinator
Adventure Cycling Association

Youth Bicyle Travel / Help needed
« on: October 23, 2006, 05:21:39 pm »
Don't Give up! For some great articles on bicycling with kids, visit our  magazine archives at Type in "Paula Holmes" in the search field. Paula has written many articles for us on kids and bicycling. Her latest article "Finding Manemones", is a great testament to a key in bicycling with kids - including things that interest THEM in your trip.

It is also very important to include the kids in the planning of your trip, starting with small rides and working up to something longer if you wish. If one of your kids is a big basketball fan, bike to a game. If another loves ice cream, bike to get a cone. Ask them what gets them excited, and plan a trip around that theme (taste testing all of the local cookie joints is a personal favorite). Make sure to discover what sort of bicycling, if that had to do one, they would choose. For example, do any of them like mountain biking or trail riding? If so, try to encourage them to get more into whatever sort of cycling strikes their fancy.

Since your kids are such varied ages, it might be nice to invite some of them to bring along a friend on a ride. You can also set up some system where you track their miles, and offer rewards for when goals are reached (like they pick a movie to rent when they bike to school five days in a row).

I would also recommend touching base with any local or state bicycle groups in your area that work hands-on with kids on bikes, they may have some great ideas on ways to kids even more psyched on bikes. The Thunderhead Alliance has partners in almost every state that work with bikes and kids. Check out who is in your state at

And good luck!

Youth Bicyle Travel / Boy Scouts on Katy Trail
« on: October 10, 2006, 10:58:23 am »
Tulsa John,

So glad to hear that you are headed out on an adventure with the kids. I'm not sure if you have seen Adventure Cycling's newest publication, but Pedal Pioneers: A Guide to Bicycle Travel, aims to not only to lead folks through the process of planning a youth bicycle trip, but also shares over 20 different youth bicycle tour leader's experiences. It is a very valuable resource. Check it out at

Gear Talk / Bike for Petite Women
« on: January 27, 2006, 01:21:49 pm »
I, too, have trouble fitting on frames that are called "small", and recently bought a Surly frame. Since I only bought the frame, I had to buy all of the other componenets to build it up to a full fledged touring machine, which took some time (find an in-the-know friend who might be able to help you out here). Though it was pricier than buying most standard frames (small, medium, large), it is the first road or touring bike I've owned that I can actually put both feet on the ground at the same time. I just did my first tour on it a month ago, and it performed wonderfully. I don't regret the decade that I rode bikes that were too big, but I am thrilled to be riding a bike that is actually my size. You can visit to get your dimensions. This will then help you find your exact measurements and hence search companies' websites while you are abroad. I know that Specialized and Terry make smaller frames as well. Good Luck!

Gear Talk / Newbie on Panniers
« on: January 23, 2006, 03:38:51 pm »
Yes, we rent panniers to Introduction to Touring Course participants.  We also have BOB trailers to rent, but these cost a fair bit more to ship.

Yes, during the course one of the topics covered is Panniers and Trailers and how to pack.  Naturally the participants can ask the leaders questions about their experiences as well.

The Intro to Dirt Road Touring would cover the use of Mountain Bikes for dirt road touring.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

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