How the Adventure Cycling Association Works

Adventure Cyclist Magazine

One of the benefits of joining the Adventure Cycling Association is that nine times a year, all members receive a treasure-trove of information in the form of Adventure Cyclist Magazine. The publication, available nowhere else, is devoted to bicycle touring and contains articles that inform and inspire devotees of two-wheeled travel.

Most bikers love to follow the latest developments in gear, and editor Mike Deme discusses new and specialty items in a regular column. "Cyclist's Kitchen" is another regular feature -- nutritionist Nancy Clark offers advice for eating right when you're out there exerting yourself on a ride. Columnist John Schubert provides expert technical tips and reviews of touring bikes. Willie Weir, a commentator on National Public Radio, gives readers first-hand accounts of what traveling by bicycle is all about [source: ACA Magazine].

The feature articles in the magazine fall into three main categories:

  • Bike travel basics: What should you take when you head off on a tour? How should you pack? How can you travel light and still be comfortable? What's the best way to get in shape for a tour? Hint: Just reading guide books won't do it.
  • Shipping a bike: If you'll be starting or finishing your tour at a distant location, information about how to box and ship your bike is crucial.
  • Bikes and gear: Articles include annual buying guides for touring bikes and even a history of touring bikes. There are pieces about reading maps, riding in the mountains, and touring on a recumbent bike. You'll also find loads of technical articles about brakes, fenders, seats and derailleurs. Panniers, bike-mounted luggage racks, are an important subject: How do you protect your things and keep your bike balanced?

Not all the articles in Adventure Cyclist are technical. One often-overlooked area that's covered is social skills. Articles discuss the best way to relate to the people you meet on your tour. For example, it might be a good idea to remove your helmet and sunglasses to encourage a friendlier reception. Other articles go into things like planning charity rides, biking across the entire United States and touring by mountain bike.

Probably the most important purpose the magazine serves is to get bicyclists psyched to go out and ride. And that's what the Adventure Cycling Association itself is all about.