While most folks are sharing their Spotify Most Played from the past 12 months, we’re sharing our last news roundup of 2023 with a collection of intriguing, entertaining, and maybe inspiring news from the past couple of months. Read (and watch) on for a mini adventure race in Athens, Greece, a book chronicling the life of a cycling icon, wool caps, a (very brief) Pan American Highway history, and more! We hope you finish up this year in good health and with time spent with family and friends. Thanks for reading, and see you in the New Year!
A Year on the Road
My first introduction to the Pan American Highway was reading Alastair Humphrey’s two-part account of his four year round the world journey by bike – Moods of Future Joys and Thunder and Sunshine (highly recommend). Alastair covered roughly 46,000 miles on a budget of only $7,000 in a circuitous path around the globe, and for many years in my mind’s eye, his trip was the pinnacle of adventurous bike riding.
Then while living in Missoula, Montana a few years ago, I came to learn more about the Pan American Highway through Greg and June Siple’s trip back in the 1970s. Over three years they made their way from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego at the southern tip of Argentina, an experience which led to 1976’s Bikecentennial, which in turn led to the founding of today’s Adventure Cycling Association. Talk to any long-distance tourer and inevitably the Pan American Highway will surface as a topic. Though popular with tourers, the route in no way exists explicitly for cyclists. What started as an idea in the late 1800s for a continent-spanning railroad morphed into a highway as the automobile became more prevalent. The route is meant for motorists, but because it has a Guinness designation of being the World’s longest motorable road, it’s a temptation for those who like to travel far, and often, a little unconventional.
Nowadays it’s easy to come across blogs, books, and YouTube channels dedicated to cycling from Alaska to Argentina and beyond. What was once adventurously fringe is now more common in the world of multi-year bike travel, and I find myself spending less time on the topic.
Greg and Victoria have been creating their own version of an Alaska-Argentina tour for the past year, and I’ve found their videos to be refreshingly simple, earnest, and joyful. What seemed to have started as an entertaining side project has rightly earned them a strong following of folks like myself who eagerly await each new video and update. Their video series now totals 14 episodes since beginning in Alaska, with a new release a few days ago recounting their year on the road thus far (linked above). Give it a watch, and keep your eyes peeled in our future roundups, as we’ll be sure to link their videos as they continue down through Central America and beyond.
- Make it Mine Configurator: Check out our new bike customization tool that allows you to select a bike for online purchase while adding your own personal touches with saddle selection, housing color preferences, grips, and more!
- Ironwood Overnighter: Recently released on BIKEPACKING.COM by Tucson’s own Molly Sugar. Excellent loop close to town that could even be ridden from your doorstep 🙂
- BXB Right Height Bag review: More local love – a Tucsonan reviews a handlebar bag from Tucson-based Bags by Bird.
- Winter caps from Toast Tea Threads: A favorite maker for many of us here at the shop. Check out the beautiful and toasty wool caps for your Winter adventures.
- Jobst Brandt Ride Bike: Looking back at the life and riding ethos of a bicycle legend and visionary. This one’s on my Christmas list.
- The Woods Cyclery shop visit: I love shop visits, and I’d love to visit this shop!
- Sour X Tailfin bike build: A little wrenching ASMR for your pleasure 🙂
- Ritchey in a tree: Careful – there’s an incriminating photo in this one.
- 15 years of Revelate Designs: An interesting look back at one of the pioneers of modern bikepacking bags.
- The Athens Divide: A creative doorstep adventure from Athens, Greece. Should we do one in Tucson?
Leaving you with a view from Montezuma Pass in the Huachuca Mountains, looking East towards Naco, México.