Has a magazine article inspired a tour? - CycleBlaze

Bicycle Travel Forum

Has a magazine article inspired a tour?

Wayne Estes

I have subscribed to Adventure Cyclist magazine since long before it was called Adventure Cyclist magazine. Over the decades I have read countless articles about bike tours. The articles are interesting, but they seldom inspire me to duplicate the author's tour. I think my only previous tour inspired by magazine articles would be my Idaho Trails tour in 2019.

The Mar/Apr 2023 issue of Adventure Cyclist magazine has an article called Still Beautiful that once again inspires me to duplicate an author's tour area. The author documented a 200 mile gravel route in the northernmost Sierra Nevada mountains in 2021 just before the the region was burned by the largest wildfire in California history, the Dixie fire. Then they duplicated the route in 2022 a year after the fire.

Greenville, California before and after the Dixie fire.
Road before and after the Dixie fire.
The Dixie fire burned nearly 1 million acres in 2021.

I want to tour the area in September 2023, two years after the Dixie fire. My route would be longer and mostly paved, and goes farther west to the city of Paradise which burned to the ground 5 years ago. It was victim to the Camp fire, the most deadly and expensive wildfire in California history.

I have pedaled through wildfire burns many times during bike tours, sometimes still smouldering. This will be my first time to deliberately travel through burned areas. It will be interesting to see how much re-growth and re-building has occurred in the years since the fires. The name of the tour will be Destruction and Renewal: Sierra Nevada Fires.

Here's a map of my planned route. It's so hilly that it would take me 10 travel days and 2 rest days. Most of day 1 is on a rail trail called Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail.

Not all of the route burned, and the burned areas aren't completely devastated. Burn areas have newly opened mountain views in what was previously a tunnel of trees.

I welcome suggestions about things to see and do. I know about Feather River hot spring, Western Pacific Railway trestles along the Feather river, Lassen volcano views from Lake Almanor, Paul Bunyan statue in Westwood, Quincy Heritage Walk, and the Sierra Nevada brewery tap room in Chico.

Who else has done a bike tour inspired by a magazine article?

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2 weeks ago
Gregory GarceauTo Wayne Estes

I cancelled my Adventure Cycling subscription a few years ago, but before that, one of its magazine articles inspired me in a different way.  I read an account of riding the Mah Dah Hey Trail through the badlands of western North Dakota.  I wasn't sure if my rusty mountain bike was up to such a rugged track, so I convinced a friend to backpack a part of it with me for a couple days.  It was great.  Someday I will ride that 100- miles of single-track awesomeness.

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2 weeks ago
Keith AdamsTo Wayne Estes

Not yet, at least.

What I find is that the fodder that seems to be the preferred grist for magazine editors may be an interesting read but in the back of my mind there's a constant refrain: "Boy am I glad I'll never voluntarily put myself in such a situation."

It's true of journals here and elsewhere, too: there's simply no way I'd ever be interested in a multi-year solo (or otherwise) trip around the world, with especial attention to the difficult and possibly dangerous corners.  I've enjoyed reading several round-the-world journals but have no interest at all in attempting to duplicate or emulate them.

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2 weeks ago
Wayne EstesTo Keith Adams

Boy am I glad I'll never voluntarily put myself in such a situation.

I have those thoughts when reading my own older tour journals. As I get older, gradually more things that were once "ordinary adventures"are added to the "avoid at all costs" list. My sense of adventure took a big step down when I quit carrying camping gear. Then down again when I starting booking lodging in advance. Now my tours are shorter, with easier days and more rest days. It's either that or no tours...

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2 weeks ago
Susan CarpenterTo Wayne Estes

It was a 2009 article by Joe Nocera in the NY Times Travel section that got me started on cycle touring. Though I didn't take the Provence tour he chronicled, the article introduced me to the concept of self-guided touring. I convinced my sisters to join me on a self-guided tour in Burgundy later that year, and the rest is history.

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2 weeks ago
Graham SmithTo Wayne Estes

Hi Wayne, I can’t remember ever being inspired to do a specific tour by a magazine article. However reading Rupert McGuiness’s book “The Overlanders” did spark me enough to ride across Australia a few years ago. 

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1 week ago