For just $2.00 USD and the cost of a postage stamp, you can get yourself a copy of Shawn Granton’s fantastic little Urban Adventure League Cycle Touring Primer.
This small, handmade guide for bicycle travelers not only contains a number of great tips and tricks for traveling with your bicycle, but also contains some fantastic little drawings of situations you are bound to encounter while out on the road.
With the Primer measuring only 4″ x 5.5″ and containing a mere 46-pages, it is far from extensive. It covers the basics of bike travel, which will be fine for some people, but will leave others itching for more.
Some of the highlights contained in the Primer include a recipe for making your own energy bars, an entire section devoted to winter bike travel, and a great tip for when and where to patch your tires (should you get a flat while out on the road).
One of my favorite drawings inside the Cycle Touring Primer is shown below. The image depicts the two extreme types of bicycle travelers you are bound to run into while on your adventures. As Shawn describes on page 3 of the Primer, “Some (people) tour on the bougy side. These are generally folds in their middle ages from comfortable living situations and good jobs. They can afford to take a good amount of time off from work, use only the best (and priciest) equipment, and stay at hotels and bed and breakfasts rather than camp.”
“Some tour on the punk side. They’ll use janky bikes because that’s what they have, spend time dumpstering food rather than buy it, and stealth camp because they’re broke and/or don’t agree in the philosophy of paying to camp. Some will tour as minimally and ascetically as possible. I’ve heard of someone who lived off a diet of couscous and quinoa while touring.”
While Shawn Granton’s Cycle Touring Primer may not be the most complete guide to bicycle travel ever produced, it is a great little handbook for anyone looking to get their start in the world of bicycle touring.
You should be warned however, that a large portion of the guide focuses on traveling with your bicycle in the Pacific Northwest (Cascadia) region of the United States and Canada. That said, I believe the tips, tricks, and concepts covered in the Primer will work just about anywhere in the world – although they may have to be slightly adjusted for differing weather conditions, societal norms, etc.
To get a copy of the Urban Adventure League’s Cycle Touring Primer, all you have to do is send cash or check in the amount of $2.00 USD to the following address:
tfr Industries / Urban Adventure League
PO Box 14185
Portland, OR 97293-0185
Canadian orders can be paid in Canadian or U.S. funds, plus an additional $1.00 per every 3 zines to cover the increased postage. For shipping costs to anywhere else in the world, please contact Shawn for prices.