The first step so you can Leave No Trace on your next bike adventure is to be prepared. Which often means having an assortment of bags to carry out food wastes, trash, etc., Just having balls of plastic bags in a pannier can get a little unwieldy and can cause them to get punctured or torn by your other gear. Here is a simple tip to fold them down neatly so you always have a few in your pannier or jersey pocket!
Clear here to visit our Bicycle Travel Channel and view more bike touring and travel vids!
In this video we take a close look at Porcelain Rocket’s Micro Pannier, an interesting hybrid pannier that combines bikepacking techniques with a bike touring form factor! If you’re in Portland, you can buy them in-store at VeloCult. Interested in more bike travel related videos? Subscribe to our Youtube Channel!
In this video, we show multiple ways to carry a fly rod on your bicycle using simple bungees or our new favorite, ROK Straps (these things are awesome). We also show a simple technique to carry longer rods like switch rods or trout rods that only break down to two or three pieces. Be sure to visit the rest of our Bicycle Travel Channel for more vids!
In this video we compare two popular “feedbag” style bags. One is the original that started it all, the Revelate Mountain Feedbag and another is from an awesome local Oregon maker, Randijo Fabrications. Which one is for you? Watch the vid to find out.
In this video we take a look at ROK Straps, a great alternative to cheap bungees and camstraps. ROK Straps combine the adjustability of cam straps and the elasticity of bungees. Interested in buying your own? Buy them here and help support the site. Interested in more of our video content? Visit and subscribe to our Youtube Channel!
The bad news is that these merit badges can’t be bought.
The good news is that they’re free and you’ll get two of them (more on that a little later).
First, a little backstory.
Ride bikes. Travel. Do good. This is our mantra.
In all our years of traveling by bike, what has stuck in our memory more than breathtakingly beautiful sunsets, screaming mountain descents or (believe it or not) the joy of a well-timed greasy spoon diner … are the people. Traveling by bike affords us the unique chance to interact with both the landscape AND the people in ways the other modes do not.
The bike is simultaneously transportation, adventure-mobile and conversation piece.
We’ll never forget the inspiring fellow riders we’ve met (like a 65-year-old woman touring solo across America with a service dog in her handlebar bag), businesses that went above and beyond to accommodate us (like the KOA in Dillon, MT that saved a cabin for us because it was raining… or the owners of Fall Hollow who fired up the grill before their kitchen was open, to cook us burgers when they saw us hungry upon arrival) and other random acts of kindness or friendly interactions with people while traveling on the road.
We have a large karmic debt to repay, and that is why we have dedicated a large part of our lives the last few years to focus on the “Do Good” part of our mantra. Bicycle travel and tourism has the potential to do amazing good to not only the traveler but the communities travelers pass through.
We want to spread this message.
Think of it as the social equivalent of “Leave No Trace.” Instead of just setting the bar at not leaving a mess, let’s strive to leave things a little better than when we first found them. We want to encourage and recognize people who embody this idea of bicycle travel doing good. While a little woven merit badge is really a small token, it’s a start of a new narrative. We want people to ride bikes, travel and get rad… and also look at the larger picture, because one person’s Outback is another person’s Backyard.
As bike travelers, let’s be better guests. As communities, let’s be better hosts.
The merit badge is available for free to anyone (we do have a limited supply though) who also believes or embodies these ideals. Especially, the “do good” part. We want to give them to businesses who are particularly bike-friendly; to people in the travel and tourism industry who are reaching out to cyclists; to people in the bike industry who are promoting bike travel in a responsible and diverse way; to bike tourists themselves who believe it is important to be a good ambassador for this activity we love; and to anyone else who is positively spreading the love of bicycle travel.
We need your help in finding these people (it could be you or someone you know or someone you met months ago on your last bicycle adventure.) Email us, contact us or tag us on Instagram with the hashtag #ridebikestraveldogood – and tell us about that person.
When you contact us, send us the person’s name, contact information (so we can notify them), photo and three to five sentences about how they #ridebikestraveldogood. We’ll feature this on our site and other social media channels. That person will get two merit badges. One for themselves and another to pay forward when they encounter someone who is a good ambassador for bicycle travel.
After you or the person you’ve nominated receives the merit badge, please send us a photo of you and the badge!
That’s it. We have no intention of selling these. We just want people to look beyond “getting rad” for a second and be more conscious of the landscapes and communities they go through. We only have a limited run and the badges will be given out very intentionally so let us know of someone who should get one today!
Ride bikes. Travel. Do good.
For our last few tours, we’ve been combining fly fishing with bicycle touring. It is a great secondary activity to do on a bike tour and really allows you to see your environment in a different way. It gives you a reason to stay at a beautiful riverside campsite for a few days and explore, rather than feeling the eventual pull of momentum drag you along. In this video, we talk primarily about our tenkara fly fishing kit. Tenkara is a Japanese form of fly fishing that has grown in popularity the last few years because of its lower learning curve. You can literally be taught how to cast and catch fish with a tenkara rod in less than half an hour.
In this short video we share how we make coffee while bike touring and for #coffeeoutside get togethers. If you’re interested in just gear links, our grinder of choice is the Porlex Mini, and we totally dig this Esbit Cook Kit and our favorite brew method is the Snow Peak folding coffee brewer.
In this exclusive never before seen video interview (footage was from 2013….took a while to get to), we visit with Rob Perks of Ocean Air Cycles. He walks us through his Rambler bicycle, which is designed to be the perfect all-rounder. Rob also started the #coffeeoutside hashtag which has taken the bicycle Instagram by storm. Learn the origins in this exclusive interview.
We’re firing up our in apartment “studio” this winter to create a lot of video content for our Bicycle Travel Channel on Youtube. Here’s the beginning of a series of videos covering reviews, tips and trips around bicycle travel! Grab some popcorn and enjoy!