We had the great pleasure of meeting the Sarah and Tom Swallow just a few days after they finished their epic gravel ride across the US. Even though they were still mentally processing the trip, they were nice enough to stop by for an interview. It was our first time interviewing people at our “studio” so there were some technical difficulties and I’m a little rusty with the questions at first, but as we got going we got to the good stuff. I decided the best way to share the vid, would be a sort of Youtube podcast beneath their awesome photos. If you go to the Youtube video page, there are time notations so you can jump to specific topics.
To see their equipment list and their written account of the trip, visit their site here.
We’ve long been dumbfounded that with the popularity of bicycling, bike travel, bike touring and bikepacking that there currently isn’t a single show on TV about it. Clearly, there are far more people interested in cake making and what is sold in Vegas pawn shops. We figured, we could either wait until something magically appears or try to make our own. We’ve had a Youtube channel since the very beginning of our adventures in 2009. The early videos are pretty rough and they are a little embarrassing to watch now, but they capture where we were at the time.
Fast forward to the present and we’ve matured as people, our video production skills have vastly improved and we do professional client work. We’ve made the decision to reinvigorate our Youtube Channel with content we’d like to see. Short well-produced reviews, helpful how-to’s, interviews with interesting cyclists and recommendations for bicycle destinations. We’ve been slowly updating videos the last three weeks (hopefully you’ve noticed!) and have been working out a formula and tenor that suits us. I think we’ve got it to a pretty good place now. Expect some flubs here and there as we try different things, but we feel good enough about it to formally make an announcement.
So, in short, welcome to our Bicycle Travel Channel! Check out the new reviews, tell us what you like and what you don’t and what you’d like to see. Youtube is new-ish waters for us to navigate, so we could use some direction. If you like the vids and want to see some more, show your support by subscribing and share the vids!
Bells are a handy accessory for the bike commuter and bike tourist, especially when you’re riding on paths with lots of pedestrians and other cyclists. If you have multiple bikes, moving a bell from bike to bike can be real fiddly requiring tools, special bands to accommodate handlebars, etc., The Osaka Roadie Bell is a small bell that you can toollessly move from bike to bike. Watch the vid to see how it works!
Merit Badges going in the mail.
Last week, we introduced our #RideBikesTravelDoGood merit badges. The idea was to recognize people who are making the bike travel world a better place, and encourage all of us to keep paying it forward. The response to our call has been incredible, heartening, and encouraging. And we thought we’d share some of what we’ve gleaned so far…
1. There are a lot of people building the bike community.
Even though it’s happening largely under the radar of any big media, you all are already out there, spreading the bike love. From leading rides and supporting new riders, to volunteering on bike-ped committees and hosting travelers – the breadth of work that’s happening to grow a bike-friendly world is astounding.
“Whenever there is a chance to promote biking she is there – with her bike, doing it.”
“His enthusiasm for bicycling is undeniable and contagious.”
“I can’t imagine someone more passionate about bicycle life, including touring and helping others”
2. You all are eager for a way to say Thank You.
In almost every email we’ve received, there’s some variation of “I can never repay them.” You have been inspired, educated, and supported by some truly wonderful people – and there hasn’t been a mechanism to honor their contribution.
“The generosity and friendship shown by these two to me is beyond what I could ever repay or even dream possible. When I see them do the same for strangers, I am humbled and reminded that while we ride to get away from it all, we also ride to build the kind of community in which we want to live.”
3. This isn’t as niche as we thought.
We had this wacky idea to make some patches and offer them up as a merit badge. We thought we’d receive a few responses, probably nominating many of the same folks we want to honor. Instead, our email inbox is full of stories about everyday heroes across the world. We are humbled to learn about and honor these people. But, wow, we need to order more patches!
“Cycling is moving in a fantastic direction and it’s our duty to raise awareness and get more people interested and motivated to bike more often.”
Thank you to everyone who has nominated your personal bike heroes! Please continue to send us stories of the inspirational folks in your lives, so we can continue to honor them. Instructions to nominate someone for a #RideBikesTravelDoGood merit badge are here.
In this video review we look at the Porlex Mini Grinder. Regarded as one of the best portable manual grinders in the market, we take a look at its pros and cons. For a more in-depth, written review, check out this post that we wrote a few years ago.