Take A Reduced Gas Vacation This Summer, Says Nation's Largest Cycling Group
AAA Says: Watch Pump Prices Rise; ACA Says: Watch Travel Costs Fall Wouldn't it be satisfying to travel this summer without the stress of watching your auto fuel gauge or filling your tank with increasingly pricey gasoline? Adventure Cycling Association, North America's largest membership bicycling organization, says that a low- or no-gas vacation is easy to accomplish, by making a bike your vacation vehicle.
Gasoline prices are moving close to their highest all-time level (after Hurricane Katrina hit Gulf Coast wells and refineries last fall). According to the American Automobile Association, the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. is $2.92. Gasoline prices have risen by 18% over the last year. AAA projects that prices will continue to rise at least through Memorial Day.
Adventure Cycling Association, a nonprofit based in Missoula, Montana, says that there are many ways to make the bike your vacation vehicle -- and save gas and dollars. Here are four options:
Take advantage of the Cyclist's Yellow Pages (CYP): The CYP is the top international guide to bicycle trips, gear, and tour companies. It's prepared annually by Adventure Cycling and is available for free online at www.adventurecycling.org/cyp. You can also get the 100 page printed version for free when you join Adventure Cycling by calling 1-800-755-2453 or visiting our Web site at www.adventurecycling.org. The CYP covers everything from low cost to deluxe trips, from Argentina to Zimbabwe.
Check the Web for bike travel resources: There are a host of great Web sites for information about bike travel, including: the National Bicycle Tour Directors Association, which lists tours of three days or longer at www.nbtda.com; Crazy Guy on a Bike, which features journals and photos from bike travelers around the globe at www.crazyguyonabike.com; or Bike Forums, an online interactive Web site, with a special section on bike touring at www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=47.
Learn how to travel by bike: Different organizations offer special courses to help you learn how to travel by bike, whether you want to ride inn-to-inn or carry your own camp gear. Adventure Cycling offers introductory courses, for bike travel on paved and dirt roads. These courses are taught by trained instructors, who are passionate about bicycling and bike travel. In addition, if you'd like to try bike travel in the company of more experienced riders, you can take a supported tour, where the food is catered and your gear is carried. All you have to do is ride your bike along beautiful roads and paths -- and past those gas stations. See www.adventurecycling.org/tours.
Do it yourself! You can organize your own trip by using Adventure Cycling\'s specially designed travel maps. Like AAA, Adventure Cycling produces up-to-date maps, which feature the safest routes for riding, along with services a rider might need along the way. Altogether, Adventure Cycling has mapped more than 34,000 miles of routes from the Pacific Coast to the Continental Divide to Midwestern rivers to the Atlantic Coast. Riders can use the maps to design epic or short trips. For more information, click on www.adventurecycling.org. The CYP covers everything from low cost to deluxe trips, from Argentina to Zimbabwe.
You can also learn about local bicycle travel resources through many state and local bicycle groups. A great place to find the group nearest you is www.thunderheadalliance.org/links. And you can get tips on no-gas bike riding from the League of American Bicyclists at www.bikeleague.org. Another source of information is your local independent bicycle dealer, who has all the inside information on nearby riding opportunities. To track down dealers near you, go to the National Bicycle Dealers Association Web site at www.nbda.com/page.cfm?PageID=32.
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