Thursday, June 26, 2008

Sleep Tight!

The purpose of a sleeping bag is to preserve your body heat, thus keeping you warm. Since you have to carry the bag on your bike or on your back, you'll want it to be lightweight and very compact. It should also "breathe" (allow perspiration to pass through during the night). A waterproof sleeping bag would soak you in your own perspiration! A bag should be able to dry out fairly quickly if it gets wet, and regain its loft (thickness) immediately and continuously after being crushed all day in a stuff sack.

Weight and Size
A good three season (spring, summer, fall) bag should keep you warm (with foam pad underneath and inside a tent) to at least 40 degrees. Any sleeping bag being used for trips should have a total weight of no more than 4.75 lbs., and stuff into a sack about the size of one volleyball but no larger than 2 volleyballs.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

NYM-JN24- Day 1

First day in NYC a success!
We have officially started in New York City at one of the premier hostals in the world. they come from all over the globe, literally, to stay and convive together at this upper westside manhatten meet up spot. among the crowds of internationals and other group progams for youth Teen Treks set out for our first day of biking, and it was great! We took the necessary time to prepare bikes and get to know each other in the spacious back patio and yard of the hostel itself, and then set out for a nice ride through Central Park, about four blocks away, where we had a nice lunch. Then we set out for the Natural Science and History Museum of New York where we hardly even notice the weather system pass over us as we took in all the information about the cosmos, ancient civilizations, human origins, biodiversity and much much much more, believe us when we say the we could have spent days in there!
We spent the rest of the day in typical New York fashion, strolling the streets on foot and shopping! Well, we had to make sure everyone had the proper equipment so we can set out early tomorrow morning on the journey! we'll be in touch with Pictures to come and Adlai is going to post a Face book, so stay tuned!!
Curtis Wilson

Across America- Day 1

After some delays at the airport, Matt, Kelley, Alex, Michael and Amos made it with gear in tow to the Green Tortoise Hostel across from Pike Place Market. We met Annalisa and Ben there, along with their parents, then made it out for a late sushi dinner and check in with our bikes, boxed up and tucked away in the basement. We just enjoyed a free breakfast of waffles, eggs, fruit and brownies and bike assembly and our last trekker, Kate, are in our near future.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Meet our Leaders: Jenny

Hey everyone. This is Jenny from New Jersey (apparently Jenny and Erin were the only names available to girls born in the 80’s…now I’m feeling entirely unoriginal, contemplating a change-of-name, and welcoming suggestions). Anyway, I just learned about this blog yesterday so I figured I’d keep it alive by adding a posting of my own. First off, I want to say that I had a great time at the training. By the end, I realized that I would have been happy with any co-leader pairing and I think that all of our Trekkers are in for a summer with some pretty awesome people.

When I was 18, I took an Outward Bound expedition course which included hiking and white-water rafting through Colorado and Utah. It was an amazing experience and I think that Teen Treks is very similar to Outward Bound in terms of its structure and goals; that whole “promoting personal growth, adventure, and fun” business is the real deal. Biking is, of course, a major part of every trip but there is so much more to the overall adventure; even the minor mishaps are really valuable (no, this doesn’t mean that I’m hoping for flat after flat after flat). I can’t wait to get out on the road with my group and I’m looking forward to working together to reach our destination and to having a ridiculously good time along the way.

Well, that’s about all I have to say for now. Best of luck to all of the teens and leaders!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Shipping your Bicycle

(For all trips, with the exception of the European Phantom Trek)
If you plan on sending your teen by airplane, bus or train you must have their bicycle shipped to the first hostel or hotel. This is a painless task, and far easier (and less costly) then sending the bicycle with your son or daughter. Make sure to ship their bicycle at least one week before the trip departure date. Read on for directions to assure proper shipment:

1. First email the Teen Treks office at to let us know you are shipping a bicycle for your teen and confirm the mailing address.

2. You will need to find a bicycle box. You can often get used boxes from bicycle shops, especially if you call a few days ahead. Bicycle boxes may also be purchased through certain shipping companies. For $15-$50 you can ship anywhere in the US, if you make sure the total dimensions of the bicycle box does not exceed 91” (approximately 55” long x 30” tall x 6” wide). (Boxes come in all sizes, find a small one).

3. Next, you will need to disassemble the bicycle for shipping. Make sure not to disassemble the bike too much so that it will be easy for your teen and their leader to put it back together for the trip… 1) Deflate the tires halfway for more shock absorbing capability. 2) Remove the seat and post as a unit. 3) Remove the front wheel (and possibly the rear wheel). 4) Loosen the handlebars by turning the stem bolt two full turns and turn the handlebars sideways so they lay parallel to the frame of the bicycle. 5) Remove the pedals.

4. To pack the bicycle in the box, put all small loose pieces into a plastic bag (i.e. pedals, screws, etc.). Tape the plastic bag, the seat and post, and the wheels to the bicycle frame. Lower the bicycle in to the box. You may use extra pieces of cardboard or newspaper to secure the bicycle in the box. Seal the box with tape.

5. Call the shipping company of your choice and let them know you have a package for shipment. We recommend FedEx Ground, UPS Ground, or DHL Ground.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


SADDLEBAGS/PANNIERS are the ‘backpacks’ or ‘suitcases’ for your bike trip. In these small bags you can cram your tableware, tools, toothpaste, and clothes. Saddlebags have a low center of gravity on a bike, which helps the stability. They also leave the top of the rear luggage carrier free for your sleeping bag and pad (as well as group equipment-tents, pots, stoves.) Be sure to put the saddlebags on the bike with the pockets in the back. Otherwise you’ll scrape your heels as you ride.

Good deals on saddlebags can be found at We recommend approximately 2350 cubic inches total for both bags.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Meet our Leaders: Jarod

Hi... I'm Jarod and I'm 25 years of age hailing from Baltimore, MD. I live with my sister, my friend Meredith, and my two cats (Gonzo and Gato). I enjoy riding most types of wheel based vehicles and some non-wheeled based vehicles as well... but more often than not, my track bike. I worked as a bicycle courier for a while in Baltimore. I have spent a good bulk of the last couple years of my life traveling, mostly around the U.S. Last summer my sister and myself spent the summer roaming around the country in a '94 volvo until it unexpectedly exploded in Utah. I have a fondness for insects at the moment and am currently studying botany and lepidopteras in my room. I really enjoy all types of music, with a special fondness for Elton John at the moment. I play guitar, bass, and drums and just recently formed a pop-punk band with my friends Pat and Brian. I also really enjoy recording instrumental music by myself. I read all types of books... with a special fondness for authors like Haruki Murikami and Paul Auster. I really look forward to riding bikes with you all this summer.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Packing your Bags

Roll your clothes instead of folding them and pack them into your saddlebags vertically. This creases them less and makes them more accessible. Storing your clothes in plastic bags will keep them organized and dry. Distribute the weight evenly so you're not trying to balance on a lopsided bike. A good place to keep your tool kit and any other items you may want in a hurry is in the smaller outside pockets.


Monday, June 2, 2008

Meet our Leaders: Monica

Hi! My name is Monica and I'm stoked to be a trek leader this summer and can't wait to meet everyone and get started! I went on a trip a couple of years ago and liked it so much I wanted to do it again. From getting lost to exploring bizarre places and meeting new people, this summer should be amazing! I'm going to college at the University of Toronto majoring in political science and religion (not the greatest conversation topics, but I love studying them anyways). Besides hanging out in the global village of Kensington Market in Toronto where you can hear a million different languages and taste strange food, I love to travel; last summer I went to Mexico and tried to learn a little Spanish, and this year I traveled to a bunch of different states to work on the upcoming presidential election. I also love to listen to, and play all sorts of music (I recently started playing the Irish tin whistle, which some people might classify as a toy, but that's a touchy subject) But, most of all, I love biking in the summer (the Canadian winter isn't exactly the friendliest of environments) and can't wait to venture out with you guys!