Monthly Archives: September 2011

Publishing From The Road: Bicycle Traveler Magazine

Dutch writer and bicycle tourist Grace Johnson launched a new online magazine this month called Bicycle Traveler. The free (and advertisement-free) digital publication is, as you’d imagine, focused on stories and photography about bicycle touring.

The content in Issue #1 is a bit of a mixed bag. Several of the articles appear to be excerpts from bicycle touring blogs and they read that way. But, the feature article more than makes up for it. It’s about Eric and Jack Attwell, two South African brothers who rode the length of Africa then all the way to London in the 1930s. It is well written and provides a fascinating snapshot of both 1930s bike touring and Africa itself.

I’m looking forward to future issues of the magazine. It’s a respectable and ambitious project, made all that more ambitious by the fact that Johnson and her husband Paul Jeurissen are in the midst of their own world-wide bike tour. The two of them sold their house in the Netherlands in 2010 and set off on the road.

Go check out the Bicycle Traveler site, download the first issue, and explore the magazine for yourself.

Tara Alan and Tyler Kellen Came Slowly Home

Tyler and Tara cruising San Francisco their first week back in the U.S.

In April 2009, Tara Alan and Tyler Kellen set off from Scotland (via Minnesota) to spend two years pedaling their way around a sizable chunk of the Earth on a bike tour they named Going Slowly. In December 2010, after the duo had ridden through Europe, into north Africa, back up through eastern Europe, and driven across Russia, I interviewed them for The Bicycle Story. Since then, Tara and Tyler finished their tour in Southeast Asia and made their way back to the United States. I spoke to them again now that they’ve started to settle back in to see how the rest of the tour went, what it’s like to transition back into the “normal” world after two years of travel, and what their plans are for life off the road. They responded with both words and an amazing array of photographs that do a wonderful job of complementing the stories they tell.

Continue reading

Fat Biking at its Best

Image by Mike Curiak. From

Fat bikes are taking off in a big way. Once predominately the domain of Alaskan adventure racers tackling Iditasport, fat bikes are now being used for everything from mountain biking to bike packing to urban exploration. But at their heart, fat bikes still seem best suited as wilderness adventure machines, ready to tackle terrain long after the roads and trails have ended.

Mike Curiak, Eric Parsons, Dylan Kentch, Doom Fishfinder, and Roman Dial did just that this summer. The crew biked and packrafted along Alaska’s Lost Coast from Yakutat to Glacier Bay.

Curiak put together a beautiful video from the trip that does a great job of capturing the Alaska’s rugged, wilderness coastline. Watch it and enjoy ten minutes of vicarious adventure.

Lowell Smoger: the Mechanical Engineer’s 5,000-Mile Job Hunt

Lowell and his Troll. Picture stolen from Facebook.

Fall 2010, Lowell Smoger finished his masters program in engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology and found himself–like many young Americans–high on smarts, degrees, and skills, but low on that all important, job-landing element, experience. Unlike many young Americans, however, Lowell didn’t move back in with his parents and start scouring Craigslist for job openings. He started planning a bike tour that would introduce him to America and maybe introduce him to a few bike industry folks along the way, as well.

I met Lowell this Labor Day weekend while he was stopped in Seattle. A college friend of mine, Hannah, had ridden with him for the first few weeks of the tour and had sent me a message telling me to meet up with her tour partner when he got to Seattle. Lowell, my girlfriend, and I spent an afternoon exploring nearby Bainbridge Island by bike. On the ferry ride over to the island, Lowell and I talked about his reasons for touring, his life on the road, his take on the kindness of strangers, and more.

Continue reading