Online outdoor gear stores & special deals & discount coupons for cyclists.
Update: In addition to the special offers and deals from the great and trustworthy online outdoor stores below, there is now also a special online shop for BikeTravellers! Shop at CycloCamping.com for the best brands in the outdoor industry. Check their latest deals out here:
Dear fellow adventurers, for a good and safe cycle trip (or hike/climb) you need good gear. We recommend that you support your local Outdoor Shop if possible, especially if you need advice, fitting etc. But not all have an Outdoor Store near or they overprice their items.
Unfortunately, good gear often means expensive gear and cyclists are not known for their fat wallet 😉 Most people do not realize that the biggest online Outdoor Shops often have cycling departments (and most outdoor gear can be used on a biketrip anyway) and offer big discounts on brand names as The North Face, Marmot, MSR, Patagonia, Arcteryx and many more. Some items and discounts are seasonal and the best deals change constantly.
Instead of searching the web for the best stores and clicking on advertisements for deals, just check this page, we use it ourselves We have done all the searching, all you need to do is check what you need, click the links and buy it online.
Listed below are the current deals and coupons for gear from the following main Outdoor gear specialists we know you can trust, because we know them or used them ourselves:
- Altrec.com Outdoors
- Altrec.com Outdoors Outlet
- Backcountry.com Outlet
On the left side of the page is a short description, with some RSS buttons, so you can subcribe to the feed if you want. If you have no idea what you just read, don’t worry, just clicking the links on the right will get you to the deals
8 February 2009: Pacific Grove (Monterey) – Gorda. 45 + 60km…
After saying goodbye to Diego, we headed back down the ‘17 Mile Drive’ and ended up in Carmel by the Sea, a nice small town, with much better looking houses than the ‘Drive’. We spent some time exploring the old Mission, one of many that were placed here along the coast.
We had some lunch in the windy Point Lobos reserve. We had been told that this was one of most beautiful points along the coast, but for us it was ‘average’. I guess we have been spoilt rotten the past months 😉
Further South it was more interesting as we entered the Big Sur area. Unfortunately with the rougher coastline, came also more hills.. At least the coves and canyons were bridged here (as opposed to Northern California, where you just go all the way down and then back up again, my knee says thanks..).
Just after crossing a large bridge the road steepened up and did not stop for as far as we could see, so we started to push at least 100m up. Just when I reached the top of the hill, I approached a parked car, where a young man had been enjoying the views from the top.
Hmm. We just pushed up this hill, so there should be a nice downhill ahead. Still, Ivana was on her way up, it would be dark in 20 minutes and Big Sur village was still 9km away, so we would probably be cycling in the dark. Also my knee had enough of the climbing.
As the road had barely any shoulder, but plenty of steep drop-offs, we accepted Eric’s proposal and put ourselves and our bikes in the back of his truck.
We told him to stop in Big Sur, but while we were expecting a larger village where we could ask for a place to camp, we passed some motels and before we realized it, we had passed Big Sur. Eric said he would continue South and asked if we wanted to join further. I checked the altitude profiles of the next section and saw 4 hills of 300m (1000ft) each with more in between. Ouch.
I was afraid that my knee would not survive. So far we had taken only one ride and that had been for going back on a stretch we had already cycled. We had skipped the major ferries, but now it felt unavoidable. I could be stubborn and cycle but maybe that would mean the end of the trip, just 50km ahead…
We stayed on the truck…
We ended up in a small village –just a roadhouse- called Gorda (‘fat’ in Spanish!) Eric was taking a room in the motel and after asking around we found a place to camp opposite the road on a nice grassy patch in a small forest. Eric, who is a musician on his way from the East coast to LA, came over for dinner and played and sang some songs for us while we were making pasta in the dark. It was great & ‘gezellig’, but suddenly the rain washed our party away and we went back into our tent while the skies opened up all valves.
9 February 2009: South of Gorda – San Luis Obispo, 100km
Still we managed to stay dry and the next morning we joined Eric for another small ride over the last hill and then said goodbye. Fortunately the rain decided to stop, while we were organising our bikes.
We stopped at a roadhouse for our peanut butter sandwiches and talked with Victor Antonio, who was walking around the US to promote peace through marijuana.
We passed more and more beaches filled with hundreds of elephant seals, some relaxing on the grass and sand, far from the ocean.
We also passed Hearst Castle, made famous in the movie ‘Citizen Kane’.
Though some of the rocks where interestingly white, we actually saw some fresh snow in the hills as well, a rarity in this area.
Thanks to the wind, we were making good speed and we decided to go all the way to San Luis Obispo. We arrived just before sunset after 100km of cycling and were welcomed by WarmShowers Hosts and fellow biketravellers Matt & Rita, who cooked up a great vegetarian Chilli.
10/11 February 2009: SL Obispo – Buellton via Santa Maria, 67km + 69km
After Ivana has tested the recumbent tandem bike, we headed off. Matt & Rita joined us all the way to took us through some nice back roads to Pismo Beach, where we had lunch together before they headed back.
We continued through nice country roads before we entered the large busy city of Santa Maria. It took us a long time to pas the dozens of traffic lights, while dodging thousands of huge trucks…
It was dark before we made it to Bill Korn’s house, another welcoming host that was a rider himself. he cooked up an Argentinean asado and Ivana felt right at home.
The next morning Bill joined us and showed us some more back roads. It is so nice to stay with local cyclists as they always know the best routes to take and this was no exception. Following some steep hills we ended up the ‘Foxen Canyon Road’.
Halfway up Bill said goodbye and turned back using another nice route, while continued our ascent. It was actually longer and higher than the route in our guidebook, but we still felt guilty about our ride with Eric the other day, so it was no problem doing the 30 extra km.
Besides, the slope was much more gentle, we hardly noticed that we went up to 400m altitude until the last steep climb. Then after a nice downhill and another steep climb, it was all the way down to the quaint town of Solvang, passing friendly Los Olivos on our way.
Solvang was the base of a Danish community and their Danish and Dutch ancestry is clearly visible in the buildings and local shops. We even found good cheese, dropjes & pepermunt!
The latter we took as a gift to our hosts for the night: Joe and Carol had invited their best friends and cycling partners and together with their housemate we had a really nice dinner. Carol, who is a painter, had cooked for al 7 people and we had a great time.
It is such a pleasure to meet all the nice US citizens on this trip. Most people are very different in background, but they are all very friendly and hospitable.
The next morning we had a great incentive to leave early and arrive in Santa Barbara. Our hotel was waiting. ‘Hotel? How about that budget?’ I hear you say… the next report will clear all mysteries
Kowalski! Status report!
The knee works quite well. On the bike it feels good, off the bike it is painful. Guess I just have to keep on cycling!
Our bikes are indestructible as ever. Still we are stuck at a few flat tires for Ivana (I think 3) and only one for me, after a total of 7656km so far!
Matt & Rita are avid cycle tourists, having toured by bicycle in Italy, The Netherlands, Germany, Canada, Australia and the US. They actively promote cycling and are members of the San Luis Obispo Bicycle Club and the San Luis Obispo County Bicycle Coalition.
Matt & Rita were perfect hosts. Even though we arrived last minute, they put us up and cooked a great meal to top it. Ivana tested out their tandem-recumbent and it was fun to talk about all our trips together.
The next day they cycled out with us, which was great as they were showing us much better routes and a great fish-tacos bar
Thanks Matt & Rita!
Bill is a great guy. He cooked us a wonderful meal (made Ivana feel at home immediately).
His wife and kids are very friendly though one of the Dachshunds is a bit psychotic, the other makes up for it
He cycles a lot, first out of necessity (as he did not have a car), then out of pleasure (because it is so great).
He helped us with our bikes and cycled a few hours with us, showing us a much better route through the Foxen canyon Road, which we would have missed otherwise.
Thanks Bill, hope to see you on our trip again, else in Argentina or Amsterdam!
Graeme had been living in Vancouver, Canada for a while, but due to personal reasons he decided to cycle south. He has outspoken ideas about people, drugs, books and life and is a strong BikeTraveller…
Barry used to be a national champion in weightlifting when he was young, but nowadays enjoys surfing and cycling a lot more.
He hosted us for a night and we had many laughs together. We set up a free blog for him on http://BikeTravellers.com, check it out here:
Barry is 50 but looks much younger and is very fit. He is cycling from Mendocino, California to Florida, to raise funds for the CRCMC: the Cancer Resource Center of Mendocino County.
“I am a longtime coastal resident and supporter of the CRCMC. My own expenses will be paid by myself, 100% of the money I raise with this ride will be donated to them, so they can continue providing services free of charge to anyone facing cancer in Mendocino County.”
Go Barry and do not stop bringing joy to the world!
Joe Kurmaskie is a famous cyclist as he has written and published many stories about his travels, very recommended for cyclists as well as couch potatoes with a sense of humour and adventure.
He got the nickname “The Metal Cowboy” from a blind person he met on the way… He also met his wife Beth on one of his trips, and it is very nice to see them and their family (3 boys) together now!
Joe is trying to get 1000 1000 Americans to (re)start cycling again before August 9, 2009, see also the news announcement on BikeTravellers.com.
Dan & Nancy are a great couple who enjoy life. They live in the dark woods South of Olympia, but spend the coldest time of the year in Costa Rica. They both love cycling and almost have finished their trip across the USA, even though Nancy has lost a large part of her leg in a motorcycle accident several years ago.
They have prepared a special type of tandem, with one recumbent part and one regular part and have done 3 of the four parts so far, hoping to finish next summer!
In their spare time, they both play the ‘Irish Fiddle’, though they actually master a range of instruments. If you are ever in the Irish pubs in Olympia, check them out during one of the great ‘sessions’ they have there!
It was a pleasure to spend some time with them, thanks Dan & Nancy!
Richard has not only cycled a lot, he is known for having written numerous popular children’s books, some together with his wife Magee. He is a great storyteller and still goes everywhere to capture audiences, though they live in Prince George, the crossing of the Yellowhead Highway, Cariboo Highway and the Fraser River.
Maggee teaches and her kids (she brings them home every now and then) seem to love her, but not as much as Richard does, as he is absolutely crazy about her!
Together they are one of the few households in Prince George that does not own or use a car for transportation. They are incredibly hospitable and wonderful people, have introduced us to their friends and family, helped out with medical problems and took us into their family.
Oh, and take a look here at Romke’s blog to see how happy his kids Kira & Jelte were when they received two autographed books!
Day 53-62: 2-11 Sep 2008: The Cassiar Highway: a wonderful wilderness with hills, gravel, jade, wildlife… and people
Of course we took the road less travelled Highway 37, The Stewart Cassiar Highway, or simply The Cassiar Highway. All names for this infamous road, almost 1000km long, known for the lack of services, bad weather, bears and gravel patches. The latter issue had been solved we had been promised, but the other?
2nd September: Nugget City – French Creek, 58km
The adventure started sunny, but dark clouds appeared, especially on Ivana’s face when she noticed the first set of hills. “is this going to be like that for the rest of the road?” she asked. I truly did not know, but suspected that this was just the beginning…
Fortunately some nice people made our day by donating a full bag of cut-up watermelon, just what the doctor ordered as the sun had come out. Unfortunately the wind had come to and after a week of tailwind, we were not happy to have it in our face again, slowing us down.
Ivana spotted a black bear, right beside the road, I must have raced right past him on the downhill. At least that made her a bit happier and when we also found a nice deserted rest area called French Creek where we -after hanging our foodbags in the trees- could relax near a good campfire.