Our celebration of “everyday cycling” took many forms over 2015, from exploring local rides, local cycling culture and celebrating the people we ride with, to embarking on epic, multi-day bikepacking adventures from California and Washington to Laos and Bolivia. Below are some of the highlights of the past year from Bicycle Times staff and contributors. We hope you enjoyed the photography and storytelling from their adventures!
In January, our publisher and founder Maurice Tierney kicked off the new year with a bike camping adventure via the San Francisco Bay Trail. Then, in March, he gave us insight into what it’s like to be a judge at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Editor-in-chief Adam Newman took us on an exploration of Oregon’s Detroit Lake, a man-made reservoir that is drained annually by the state and leaves behind a unique landscape for riding on.
In the spring, Adam Perry rode Eroica California with Andy Hampsten on a 1980s Torelli 12-speed, and sent us a report. Mark Greiz took us to Laos where he cycled and bushwhacked across a harsh jungle landscape that he believed no one had ever pedaled through before. Our tech editor Eric McKeegan joined the Blackburn Rangers for a multi-day bikepacking camp in California that included a BB gun biathlon, surfing and eating pie. We also met Bixby, a Border-Collie mix riding across the country on a bike trailer with Mike Minnick, visiting animal shelters and aiding a grassroots campaign to support nonprofit animal shelters.
Over the summer, Rocky Arroyo checked out PedalFest, a celebration of cycling, family, music and much more in Oakland, California. Carole Trottere wrote a humorous, emotional letter to her first road bike when, after 20 years, she upgraded to a new ride. Newman wrote a scathing, raw opinion piece about cyclists maimed and killed by cars after several cyclists lives were taken in his home city of Portland.
In September, we celebrated the first-ever Bicycle Times Adventure Fest with 400 friends in the beautiful hills of central Pennsylvania. We also attended Interbike during which a pair of socks made headlines and our new web editor, Katherine Fuller, addressed the misogyny that persists in the bicycle industry.
The following month, Sarah and Tom Swallow wrapped up their 10-week bike ride on the Trans America Trail, a cross-country route from North Carolina to Oregon on mostly gravel, dirt and otherwise unpaved roads. Sean Jansen shared a story of touring Colombia’s coffee growing regions by bicycle and Cass Gilbert offered up his advice—based on extensive experience—for the best bike touring gear for family travel.
Also in October, Fuller, paid tribute to a fallen cyclist who was honored with a 24 hour bike ride up and down the mountain on which he was killed. On a lighter note, McKeegan raced Iron Cross XII, an event with something like 7000 feet of climbing over 64 miles, a half-mile “run up” that averaged 28 percent grade, miles of forests roads, a few stretches of technical rocky singletrack, 50 mph descents, and a wintery mix of sleet and snow. Cass Gilbert inspired many of our readers with his story and stunning photos of “fatpacking” Bolivia.
Rounding out the year, Tierney and his friend Suzette Ayotte embarked on a wine tour by bicycle in California that moved about as slowly as expected. For the holidays, Newman brought you his second edition of “Fastgiving,” or riding fat bikes on sand at the Oregon Dunes. Russ Roca and Laura Crawford took us on a biking, camping and fly fishing adventure on the dirt roads outside of Seattle. On a tour fit for two, Justin Steiner and Emily Walley took off on a tandem adventure through the Allegheny National Forest. Finally, we visited REEB cycles and Oskar Blues brewing to talk Colorado-made bicycles and beer and the obvious combination of the two.
In case you missed it, our most-talked about bike review was of the Trek 920. Newman so loved the dirt-road touring machine that he purchased one after testing it, but the debate still rages on about “why isn’t it made of steel?” We also took the wild and weird Cannondale Slate, a 650b “road” bike with a Lefty suspension fork, for an extended ride on both paved and dirt roads in California, and went on tour with Salsa’s new Powderkeg tandem, a steel bikepacking/mountain/dirt road bike.
Also in 2015, our resident advice columnist and curmudgeonly bicycle mechanic Beardo the Weirdo offered up his sage advice on whether or not you really need to wear Lycra, what to eat while riding, what’s up with cargo bikes and belt drives and how to properly load your panniers (or, more accurately, how to stop worrying about whether or not they’re loaded properly).
Cheers and thanks to everyone who made 2015 a good time. Here’s to continued exploration on two wheels in 2016.
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