Thursday, April 1, 2010

Rough Riders Rally featured at

Wow! We are so excited! There is some fantastic coverage of Rough Riding and our Rough Riders Rally in the 4/1/2010 weekly email newsletter (#436) from

Many thanks to RBR's Ed Pavelka for the exposure. His free weekly newsletter for roadie cyclists is an incredible and entertaining resource. If you ride a bike, you should be a subscriber! (I mean that sincerely.) Meanwhile, check out the Rough Riders Rally coverage in this week's edition (which is featured on the front page of the site), and also be sure to participate in his Rough Riding poll! (I hope some of my fellow Rough Riders will help bring those numbers up in favor of Rough Riding!)

This "movement" is gathering momentum! Here's an excerpt and a preview (this is the lead story!):

Ed's notes: "Rough riding" is not new but it's becoming cool and gaining devotees. RBR's Coach Fred Matheny has been championing what he calls "adventure rides" for years.

It's all about riding a road bike on any surface that 2 wheels can negotiate -- pavement (of course) as well as gravel roads, dirt roads, trails, paths, singletrack and so forth.

In California (where mountain bikes were born, remember) AdventureCORPS is promoting the concept. The company is known for its ultra-endurance events, but it contends that rough riding should be considered more mainstream than extreme.

This week AdventureCORPS announced the inaugural Rough Riders Rally, a multi-surface cycling festival. It will celebrate the "Any Bike, Anywhere" ethos in Marin County on July 23-25.

Company chieftain Chris Kostman explains, "Rough riding is a state of mind, a riding style with limitless freedom and an all-pervasive sense of adventure. The goal is to tackle any and all possible combinations of surfaces, all within one ride on just one bike.

"Rough riders do not choose between road biking and mountain biking and let the bicycle determine the route and terrain. The rough riding goal is to see it all and do it all, to truly have an adventure."

Chris has been riding a road bike off road for some 20 years. Through AdventureCORPS, he's given the practice a capitalized name -- Rough Riding -- and a 3-day event to celebrate it.

"Rough riding is nothing new," he acknowledges. "The oldest known mixed-surface cycling club is the Rough Stuff Fellowship, formed in the United Kingdom in 1955. Before 'mountain' bikes, cyclists routinely rode all manner of bicycles on all manner of riding surfaces."

Will rough riding become more prominent?

My guess is yes.

Randonneur Jimmy Williams, a friend in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has been busy designing a 200-km (124-mile) route called a permanent that includes as much unpaved riding as he can piece together.

"I saw your poll a couple weeks ago and how low dirt road riding tallied," says Jimmy. "Maybe that's one reason why the few of us like it. We're out there enjoying nature and soaking up the tranquility."

Jimmy has 2 bikes especially suited to rough riding -- a new Gunnar and an old Trek. He sent the two snapshots shown here.

An important point, though -- emphatically emphasized by Chris -- is that you don't need a special bike to be a rough rider. Your regular road rig is just fine. The game is to develop your riding skills on unpaved terrain rather than rely on technology.

In other words, when you see an enticing departure from your paved route, take it on the bike that brung ya.

Ed Pavelka
Editor, Publisher, Riding Rougher Than Ever

Read the Full Story on Click here | Visual Preview:

Check out's poll, which asked "How much road bike 'rough riding' is in your future? Over 54% said anywhere from "a little" to "a ton"! Click here for the full results!

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