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Sometimes it’s all too easy to snark on our fellow cyclists. You’ve probably seen several variations of the BikeSnob site or this none-too-subtle video or even had a good laugh over bike fashion disasters like these. (Hopefully, you’re not wearing them yourself!)
But in truth, most of the cyclists we ride with are really wonderful people—and in the spirit of showing our appreciation, we’d like to acknowledge a few of our favorite bike personalities here. Recognize yourself or someone you know—or even one of our Bicycle Adventures guides? Let us know in the comments!
This is the guy you never knew you needed—until he shows up, that is. Struggling with a flat? Slipped your chain? He’s right there fixing it up “because I can do it faster and get you back on the road sooner.” If you’ve ever ridden with Mr. Fixer, you know how indispensable he can be.
The Happy Host (or Hostess)
We’ve all ridden with this person before—the one who always has a friendly welcome greeting for everyone in the group. This person just radiates positivity with cheery salutations like “Beautiful day for a ride!” or “Isn’t this the most glorious sunshine you’ve ever seen?” And if your energy is flagging, you really appreciate the encouraging “You’re doing great!” the Happy Host tosses your way.
No one likes to be surprised by a rider approaching from behind. The Non-Sneaker takes care to always alert you he’s there with a few chimes of his bell, a considerate cough, or even a happy “Hey-o! On your left!” After a few rides with a sneaker or two, you’ll appreciate the Non-Sneaker even more.
The Fender Friend
On a wet or rainy day, have you ever ridden with someone who doesn’t have a bike with fenders? Then you know why we appreciate our Fender Friends so much—no one likes to be sprayed with brown street gunk! And bonus points for our Fender Friend: No unsightly brown “racing stripes” up the back of his bike shorts (ick!).
Don’t you hate that awkward moment when you encounter another rider going the opposite direction and it’s like you’re invisible? The Cheery-O always acknowledges you with a friendly wave or a nod in your direction.
Just a little gesture to let you know he appreciates the kinship of the bike. You’ve both made a choice to be outside, facing the elements (not overtaking cyclists like you in a car) and just a quick nod and a smile enhances that feeling of community. It kind of makes your day, doesn’t it?
The Light Show
There’s something reassuring about riding with the Light Show—visibility is always a good thing! Plus, it actually makes everyone more safe. And we salute our riders who use a tail light all the time, even during the day. Kudos to them! We’re all about safety on our rides.
The Snappy Dresser
Everyone likes to ride with the Snappy Dresser. He’s got a great kit and all the best accoutrements—a little bit of eye candy for the ride. Best of all, though, he’s got rock-solid bike shorts (because this is one place we really don’t need great visibility, if you know what we mean).
Even if you’re not on a racing team, you’ll love riding with the Domestique. Struggling a bit? She’ll let you tag onto her back wheel to help you catch your breath. She’ll even share a snack when you need a boost. Every group appreciates the Domestique—she’s got everyone’s best interests at heart.
The Fabulous Foodie
This rider is one of our favorites—because we’re all big fans of great food. The Fabulous Foodie has a knack for knowing where to find the perfect snack, whether it’s a freshly baked oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookie or an ice-cold craft beer from a local brewery. And if you’re going to stop for a meal? You’ll definitely want the Fabulous Foodie’s recommendations for where to find the best burger you’ll ever have. (Trust us, he never disappoints.)
The Regional Expert
This is the rider who knows your route like the back of his or her hand—how to avoid a killer climb and where to find the five-mile add-on loop with a refreshing dip in the lake along the way. Riding to a new favorite destination? Try to include the Regional Expert in your group—you’ll be glad you did.
The Consistent Companion
This rider never lets you down—she’s as reliable as the sunrise. You know she’ll never fail to show up (ready and on time) for your weekly ride, rain or shine. And she’ll ride at your pace with you because that’s what the best cycling companions do. Need a little boost preparing for your bicycle tour? She’ll help you with that, too.
The Face Saver
OK, we’re all grateful for the Face Saver in our group. He or she’s the rider who kindly alerts you to the dirt mustache you’re sporting (you know, the one you got riding behind the guy with no fenders!) before you saunter into the brewpub after your ride.
Ready to Go?
Thinking about your next bicycle adventure? I bet you’ll find more than a few of these cycling personalities on your ride. Why not sign up to our email course – How to Plan Your Perfect Bicycle Adventure – it’s a totally free 6-part series that will get you thinking about all aspects of your next vacation.
And if you’re ready to speak to us about your next cycling vacation, get in touch. We’d love to help you find the tour of your dreams.
Sure. We understand that your first question may be, “Why would I go on a hiking tour with a company named Bicycle Adventures?” The answer is simple.
Bicycle Adventures has run dozens of hiking tours in the past and our current series of tours is better than ever. They are hand-picked, planned and led by our staff naturalist and experienced guide, Chad Maurer (24 years at Bicycle Adventures).
Of course, each of our hiking tours offers fantastic scenery, but are you inclined to wonder: How did that mountain get there? What was this place like 25, 100, 1000, 10,000, a million years ago? Who lived here? How did they survive? What tree, plant, bird or animal is that? Why is it here? What is its role? How does it survive? Is it edible, medicinal, useful, poisonous, or dangerous? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then Bicycle Adventures’ Hiking Tours are for you! Explore these fascinating mysteries while admiring the spectacular beauty for which the Pacific Northwest is famous. We guarantee you will come away feeling connected to the area in a way that no mere “walk in the woods” can deliver.
OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK HIKING TOUR
The Olympic Peninsula is the home of the largest of the four North American species of elk, the Roosevelt elk, named after Teddy Roosevelt. So revered were these elk that the park was almost given the name “Elk National Park.” It is also the home of the Blue Glacier, the lowest glacier in the contiguous United States. This tour encompasses the most variety of any of our hiking tours: temperate rainforests – inland and coastal – wild beaches, lowland lakes, alpine lakes and snow-capped mountains. Each of the lodgings has accessible walks and trails nearby, providing opportunities for self-exploration.
Since its establishment in 1938, the Olympic National Park has become the 6th most-visited of our National Parks and continues to attract travelers from all over the world. In 1976 it was designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and later a World Heritage Site as well – recognizing that it is older than any nation and thereby in a sense belongs to the entire world. True to that spirit, it remains virtually undeveloped by comparison to our other National Parks and truly wild at its heart. This is evidenced by the fact that to this day not one single road, paved or unpaved, crosses this 1500 square mile wilderness.
Concerned about the weather? It is a rainforest after all. The good news is that, while up to fourteen feet of precipitation falls here every year, the area averages less than four inches per month during the summer. July is a good time to visit, and there’s no better way to do it than staying at two of the National Parks Lodges along the way!
MT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK HIKING TOUR
Mt Rainier was the 5th National Park to be established in the United States. To the Pacific Northwest native tribes, the mountain was Tahoma, “the mountain that was God.” To the current residents of Puget Sound she is reverently acknowledged as simply “The Mountain.”
The August tour is scheduled to be after most of the snowmelt to improve trail accessibility and still catch the tail end of the wildflower season. In September you should enjoy spectacular fall color! We operate this tour during midweek-only to avoid the weekend crowds from the city.
COLUMBIA GORGE HIKING TOURTruly one of the world’s mighty rivers, the Columbia is the largest in western North America. The New York Times describes the Columbia Gorge as being “like Europe, only better.” Hailed as one of Oregon’s Seven Wonders, the region’s fleece-capped mountain peaks, primeval forests, abundant wildflowers and waterfall streaked highlands whisper of the Swiss Alps.
Learn about the rich natural history of the region as we visit each of these diverse environments up close, including a whitewater rafting trip down a spectacular gorge. From Multnomah Falls to Hood River to Mount Hood, easy to reach trails abound, making this the ideal location for a hiking tour!
Bicycle Adventures is back with our second-annual #BikeBlackFriday event! Paying homage to REI’s #OptOutside, we are claiming a space for cycling on the day after Thanksgiving. We hope you’ll go for a ride, or better yet, go for a group ride with friends or the family that you see only once ayear at the holidays.
The act of cycling is uniquely suited to building community. Hailed as “the new golf” in business, riding in a group fosters communication, facilitates sharing and helps us see how dependent on each other we really are. I’m not sure if it’s the fresh air, the departure from our office desks into wide-open spaces, increased circulation or the shared experience of cycling through a beautiful spot – riding bikes with someone is uniquely special. Whether you are truly teaming with other cyclists in a full-on peloton, out for a casual ride to the coffee shop, or playing Bike Bingo – you are actively creating community.
And this is a great time to do just that, on the week that we give thanks for what we have, our friends, our families, our health…and the gift of time with each other, breaking bread, and having fun on bikes.
– Jennifer Schofield, Manager, Tours & Guest Services
Jessica Lah is a California native who loves to cook, paint, and explore new places on her bike. A few years back, she bicycled across the US, spending three and a half months—and over 4,000 miles—biking from Washington state to New York.
Where are you from?
From Southern California (Orange County, but I’ve lived all over California) – then China, and now Seattle.
How did you get into guiding?
I had just finished riding my bike across the country on a self-supported, solo trip when I moved to Seattle. In the first weeks of moving, I met someone who was a tour guide for Bicycle Adventures. Until then, the only kind of bike touring I knew of was carrying my own tent and peanut butter, I had no idea that luxury bicycle tour even existed. The concept that a company would take care everything—the riders, their luggage, hotels, and meals—took me by surprise. I was instantly intrigued.
What was your first “serious” bike?
My first bike was a Novara Carema Pro that I bought off a friend for $250 two days after I moved home from China. I had an unrealistic goal of riding my bike from Santa Barbara to San Francisco—the wrong direction to ride—but was I was determined. I reached the start at Santa Barbara and realized that I didn’t know how to change a tire, that my bike was all wrong for touring, and that carrying only a backpack was probably not a good idea. I decided to take time to learn about bike mechanics and touring. One year later, I had myself and a touring bike together and cycled the correct direction, San Francisco to Santa Barbara, successfully.
Where is your favorite place to cycle in the whole world and why?
Before my cross-country tour, I had dreams of an open road, a broad horizon and an endless sky. I met my dream in Wyoming. Wyoming is one of the last remaining states in the US where the urban sprawl hasn’t settled in, cattle ranchers ride on horses and are humbled by nature, and sitting on the back porch to watch the stars is a common pastime.
In addition to guiding, what else do you do for work or with your time?
I cook, paint, and sew. I just moved into a new home, so gardening has just be added to my hobbies. Mostly veggies, herbs and some hops for home-brewed beer I make with my partner.
Why do you like to bicycle? Why did you get into bicycling as a guide?
Because there’s always ice cream at the end of the ride? At least after all my rides.
So many of life’s nuances like eating, showers, and sleep are heightened after a good ride. The pace is perfect to see everything from the seat of a bicycle and the views are never taken for granted. Every moment to feel the road, the sun, and wind in your face feels so much better. I’m not a racer, I’m a joy rider. When I crest a hill on San Juan Island, sharing a perfect view with a guest is the greatest way to share that joy.
Where’s the one place in the world that you’d like to explore on bike but haven’t yet?
Slovenia. Part of my unknown ancestry is from there and I hear the country is stunning.
After a hard ride, what do you like to do to unwind?
Usually a good beer and some salty fries.
What’s your favorite cycling memory? OR Is there a cycling experience of yours that’s very vivid and stands out?
A memorable moment was at the end of cycling tour across the US. I finished my tour New York City the same weekend of Hurricane Sandy. The day the city mandated business, and road closures, I road the length of Manhattan to George Washington bridge with no cars on the street. Winds picked up and blew crisp fall leaves in my path unobstructed.
Do you have any tips or tricks on how to host a great cycling tour?
Something that I really like to do? Well, for me it’s in the touches. The little touches. I make my own cycling jerseys out of Hawaiian shirts, and I really like to do everything that I can to bring something special or unique to the tour. On one tour, I made my own pickles out of cucumbers from my garden as a snack – and once I brought fresh tomatoes from my garden. I made Hawaiian leis for the guests on a Big Sur tour. On almost every tour, though, I do watercolor paintings each day and by the end of the trip I am able to share our memories of the trip through paintings.
Browns Guides’ Fred Brown chatted recently with Bicycle Adventures’ Vice President and co-owner Brad Barnard. Who are your customers? What are your most popular trips? Is there a ‘biking season’? What’s your favorite tour?
Read on for his answers. http://brownsguides.com/the-ultimate-bicycle-ride-10-questions-with-bike-tour-outfitter-brad-barnard/