Dec 06

Add a Trail & Get Beetlebag Discount

Beetlebag Offers Discount for Trailsnet Subscribers & Contributors


Beetlebag Daypack

From now until Christmas, Beetlebag bike bags is offering a 10% discount to Trailsnet subscribers (old & new) who add a new trail to It’s really quite simple. All you have to do is share information about your favorite trail, and you get a great discount on our favorite bike bags. If you’re not familiar with these fabulous and convenient bicycle bags/daypacks, have a look at the Beetlebag product review on Trailsnet. Beetlebag is an ingenious combination of bike bag and daypack in one handy product.

How to Get Your Beetlebag Discount

It couldn’t be easier. To get your 10% Beetlebag discount, all you have to do is:

image of bike bag holiday gift

Beetlebag bike bag

  1. Visit the add-a-trail page on Trailsnet to add your favorite hiking trail, snowshoe trail, bike trail…
  2. Share your information about the trail.
  3. Once your trail has been submitted & approved (usually w/in 24 hours – often w/in four hours) you will receive a special code for receiving your 10% Beetlebag discount.
  4. Visit the Beetlebag website and pick your favorite Beetlebag color.
  5. Order your Beetlebag using the Trailsnet special code and you will get a great product for a fantastic price.

Beetlebag Makes a Great Gift for Bike Riders & Trail Enthusiasts

Christmas gift for bicyclist

gift for bike enthusiasts

If you have a bicycle enthusiast on your holiday gift-giving list, they’ll love the ease and convenience of the Beetlebag bicycle bag and daypack. Since Beetlebag is a relatively new product, it’s a pretty good chance that they won’t already have one but an even better chance that they’ll be surprised, delighted and grateful to receive such a thoughtful, unique and useful gift. If you want to make it an even more special gift, here’s a gift-giving suggestion. Fill the Beetlebag  with fun bike-related gifts such as trail snacks, bike repair tools & maybe even a gift card to their favorite bike shop. You’ll turn an amazing gift into a bicycle gift basket. Add a bow and it will be their favorite holiday gift of the year.


Free Shipping on Beetlebag Bike Bags Through December

But wait… There’s more. For a limited time, there’s free shipping on Beetlebags. So enter your favorite trail on Trailsnet, get a 10% discount AND get free shipping. You’ll love the bike bag; you’ll love the daypack, you’ll love the discount and you’ll love the free shipping. And your friends and family will love getting such a thoughtful gift for the holidays.


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Nov 10

Beetlebag Trail Product Review

bike bag


Bike Bag & Day Pack In One

How many times have you gone on a bike ride and wanted to go on a side hike? Where do you put your water, snacks & other stuff? Beetlebag has solved your problem. They have created an ingenious bike bag that doubles as a daypack. So you can use it to store your normal bicycle paraphernalia while riding, then carry it with you for side trips. It’s great for packing trail essentials, but it’s also nice for safety and security. With a normal bike bag, you risk getting your stuff ripped off if you leave it on your bike. But with the Beetlebag, despite sage wisdom to the contrary, you CAN take it with you when you go. (Note to Beetlebag marketers: That would make a great tagline.)  (-:

Attaching Beetlebag to Your Bike


Bike Bag

The Beetlebag attaches easily to your bike using their three secure mechanisms:

  1. Drape the Beetlebag over the crossbar of your bicycle.
  2. Snap the rear strap to hold the rear portion of the Beetlebag.
  3. Snap the front strap to hold the front portion of the Beetlebag.
  4. Loop the velcro straps around your front handlebar mount to hold the Beetlebag securely in place.

Now you’re ready to hit the trail on your way to the store, the beach, the mountains or wherever your legs want to pedal you.



Using the Beetlebag as a Daypack

To convert the Beetlebag from a bike bag to a daypack is simple. Just reverse the steps listed above to remove the Beetlebag from your bike. It only takes a couple seconds. Next, unzip the two zippers on the bottom side of the bag. This allows you to pull out the shoulder straps. Now put your arms through these straps so that the Beetlebag rests on your back. Adjust the straps to suit your needs and comfort level. And that’s it. You now have a daypack for your next adventure, and you have no worries about leaving valuables behind on your bike. Be sure to lock your bike to something secure. (With the bike lock you had stored in your Beetlebag of course.)

Suggestions for Using Beetlebag on the Trail

Beetlebag makes a great addition to your biking gear and can be used in nearly all trail conditions. It would be ideal for rail trails, urban trails and mild-to-moderate mountain biking trails. It may not be perfect for extremely rigorous mountain biking conditions, but I haven’t tested out that theory yet. As far as what types of bikes, the Beetlebag should be fine for road bikes, trail bikes, mountain bikes, cruisers, hybrids and electric bikes. One of my favorite features of the Beetlebag is the bottle-holder in the middle of the pack (on top when mounted on a bicycle cross-bar) for easy access to your water supply. Beetlebag comes in four different colors and is easy to use and to mount on your bike. Visit the Beetlebag website if you’re interested in purchasing a Beetlebag of your very own.


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Oct 21

US 36 Bikeway: Boulder to Denver? Update

sign on US 36 bikeway

US 36 Bikeway Sign

Trail Signage is Very Good

From what I could see, the US 36 Bikeway is nearly complete. That’s part of the good news. The other good news is that  the trail is very well marked with clear signs pointing the way to Boulder & Denver. The trail also goes beyond Sheridan Blvd. now too. So that’s the third good news. It is also very wide and smooth with some fun hills and corners to keep it interesting. As of October 20, 2015, the Bikeway only goes as far as Cherryvale Road going west, but it probably will go all the way into Boulder soon. Another positive aspect of the trail is lots of side routes to explore including plenty of exits into Louisville including both the town center and near the top of Davidson Mesa.

Why the Change from Boulder to Denver Bikeway to US 36 Bikeway?

US 36 Bikeway Denver to Boulder

US 36 Bikeway Ends?

For those of you who have been following the Trailsnet blog, you’ll remember that this bike path was originally being called the Boulder to Denver Bikeway. Now it is called the US 36 Bikeway. I wondered why the name change… until I got to the east end. You’ll notice I didn’t say “until I got to Denver.” Because the bike trail doesn’t seem to go to Denver as originally promised. Before you get all the way to Denver, you will reach a sign that says Bikeway Ends… in the middle of a neighborhood. Huh? Whatever happened to the bike trail between Boulder and Denver? If anyone knows the answer to this, please feel free to leave a comment below. First Boulder County lost out on the promised commuter rail and now Boulder County residents don’t have their trail between Boulder & Denver. And let’s not even talk about the toll scheme on US 36. Talk about taxation without representation.

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Oct 14

Trail Snack Review For October

snack out loud trail food

Snack Out Loud Products

Trail Snack With Protein

Finding a good snack for your trail excursions can be tricky under any circumstances. You want something that tastes good but is also healthy. In addition, it would be nice to get some protein in our trail snacks. Last month, Trailsnet featured some meat-based trail snacks that provided lots of protein. That’s fine, as long as you’re not a vegetarian or a vegan. But what about if you want a more traditional trail snack without the meat? Fortunately the folks at Snack Out Loud Foods have created some fantastic bean-based snacks that provide great taste, convenience and lots of protein. Their two signature snacks are Power Puffs and Crunchy Bean Snacks.

Power Puffs

Power Puff trail snacks

Power Puffs

Power Puffs snacks are taking the puffed snacks category by storm. Rather than the traditional corn oil and corn-based puff snacks, Power Puffs are made with navy beans, brown rice and coconut oil. This provides significantly more protein, vitamins and fiber for active trail hikers, bikers and backpackers. Power Puffs come in the following flavors:

  • White Cheddar
  • Sweet & Tangy BBQ
  • Sea Salt & Vinegar

See below for a full list of Power Puffs benefits.

Crunchy Bean Snacks

Crunchy Bean Snacks are a totally unique addition to the snacking world. As their name implies, they are a substantially crunchy snack food.  Not only are they fantastic as trail snacks, but they also make a great crunchy topping for salads
and soups. Made from nutrient-packed pinto beans, they are a unique alternative to nuts. With the same amount of

trail snacks made with beans

Crunchy Bean Snacks

protein (per gram) as almonds, they actually have half
the calories and fat. They come in two sizes, the 1.2 oz bags are great for day hikes and short bike outings. For longer trail excursions, you’ll probably want to pick up the 6 oz esealable bag. The larger size is perfect for backpacking trips and for sharing with your trail buddies. The Crunchy Bean Snacks come in the following flavors

  • Sea Salt
  • Tomato Basil
  • Ranch (snack size only)
  • Jalepeño Cheddar
  • Smoky Chipotle BBQ



Benefits of Snack Out Loud Foods

nutritional information about pinto beans

Advantages of Pinto Beans

For years, trail snacks have been dominated by options such as beef jerky, candy and trail mixes that usually contained nuts and more candy. Thank goodness we now have more options for healthy trail snacks. Snack Out Loud Foods is one of our new options. Some of the benefits of Snack Out Loud Foods include:

  • Good source of protein & fiber
  • Non-GMO
  • Allergen friendly
  • Vegetarian and vegan friendly
  • Low glycemic complex carbs
  • Taste delicious

Suggestions for Improvement

As with all Trailsnet product reviews, I like to provide suggestions for improvements. At this point, I can only think of one. The current lineup of Snack Out Loud Foods is entirely dominated by savory snacks. I’d love to see at least one sweet option. We’ll call it our trail snack dessert. Something along the lines of a cinnamon sugar puff or sweet pumpkin bean snack would be good. Not only would it compliment the savory snacks, but it would also make a wonderful topping on oatmeal or yogurt.

Where to Buy Snack Out Loud Trail Foods

So now the only question is, “Where can you purchase Snack Out Loud Foods for your next trail excursion?” Once again, you’ve got lots of options:

Now that you’ve had a chance to read about our trail snack suggestions, we’d love to hear what you think. Have you ever tried Crunchy Bean Snacks or Power Puffs? What are your favorite trail foods? Feel free to leave comments on the website.

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Sep 18

Best State for Bike Trails?

trail sign

A CO Network of Trails

Colorado Governor Shares Plan for Bike Trail Network

At Interbike in Las Vegas, Governor John Hickenlooper shared his vision for improving Colorado’s biking and hiking opportunities. According to the plan, over $100 million will be spent over the next few years to increase both recreational and transportation alternatives for Colorado bicyclist including a much more connected system of trails in the state. Governor Hickenlooper has long been a supporter of bicyclists in the state, often speaking at biking events such as Bicycle Colorado’s annual gathering in Denver.

Improve Bicycle Transportation in Colorado

Governor Hickenlooper, along with key transportation officials and bicycle groups, has unveiled the Colorado Pedals Project, a four year mission to integrate bikes into the state’s transportation policy. And for a change, they’re talking about more than just the same old worn-out “solutions” such as bike lanes and bicycle education. Those components have a place in the overall plan, but they do not meet the needs of everyday bikers who have a healthy fear of mingling with automobiles.

Cataloging and Connecting Trails

Finally someone is talking common sense. “First on the Colorado Pedals task list is cataloging and connecting trails –

bicyclist on road

Life in the Bike Lane

natural, paved and bike lanes – statewide.” The idea of building more bike trails and connecting current ones is absolutely fantastic. But the first step in Colorado and the entire country should be to inventory existing trails. And why reinvent the wheel. Nearly every trail falls under some local, county, state or federal entity. Why not just connect an EXISTING website like with an EXISTING entity like the Forest Service, city of Louisville, National Park, etc. and catalog every existing trail. This is a chance for Colorado to be a pioneer. Governor Hickenlooper, bike czar Ken Gart and Bicycle Colorado leader Dan Grunig should set that as their very first goal. Let’s start by finding out what we already have. Then let’s build on that by connecting existing trails. We’ve had bicycle summits. It’s time for a Colorado trails summit. Bring all interested parties to the table and let’s work as a team to build the greatest and safest cycling infrastructure in the world. While we have a bicycle-friendly governor and an active bicycling community, it’s time to start the revolution. We’ve tried the bicycle lane model for too many years. It’s not attracting new bikers… just the same old two or three percent of people as have always been biking. It’s time to reach out for the other 97% of potential bikers. It’s time to reach out to the people who have the common sense to realize that bicycling on the road is and always will be dangerous. Let’s go with dedicated bikeways for transportation, recreation, exercise and safety.


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Sep 13

Epic Bar Trail Snacks Review

Healthy Trail Snacks

I recently had the chance to sample a wide variety of trail snacks from the folks who make Epic Bars and Epic Bites. From the start, I was impressed by the long list of healthy attributes that accompany the Epic products. All of their foods are:

trail snack food

Epic Bars

  • Gluten Free
  • Soy Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Low Glycemic

And they taste great. I was surprised at the wonderful smoky flavor, especially considering that their meat-based bars and bites have no added nitrates or nitrites. This is highly unusual in meat products of this nature.

Products Available From Epic

Epic makes four basic types of products:

  • Epic Bars – Shaped much like a nutrition bar or very thick slice of jerky, these products contain meat, fruit & nuts and have a chewy (but not stiff) consistency with a slightly smoky flavor. The individual taste of each ingredient is quite evident since there is no overpowering sugary flavor.
  • Epic Bites – These tasty treats are shaped more like a fruit snack or lozenge and are wonderful for sharing with your trail partners.
  • Hunt & Harvest Mix – You’ll love the packaging on this Epic product. It contains small pieces of jerky on one side with nuts, seeds & dried fruit/berries on the other side. It’s up to you if you want to mix these bite sized treats or eat them separately
  • Epic Bits – These are smaller than the Epic Bites but still have the same great taste. Although they can also be eaten trailside as a hiking or biking treat, I preferred them mixed in with my camping meals such as in a salad or scrambled eggs. A hickory smoked Uncured Bacon Bits omelet is absolutely heavenly!!

So the Epic line of meat products is extremely versatile and allows hikers, bikers and backpackers to carry unrefrigerated meat products on the trail with them. They are not only versatile in their shape and texture but also in their flavor. Some of the flavors they offer include:

  • hickory bacon

    trail snacks

    Epic Bits

  • chicken sesame
  • maple bacon
  • berry blossom
  • coconut carnivore
  • honest harvest
  • mountain medley
  • chicken sesame BBQ
  • uncured bacon
  • beef steak

    trail food

    Epic Bites

  • bison bacon cranberry
  • beef apple bacon
  • turkey almond cranberry
  • beef habanero cherry
  • chicken sriracha
  • pulled pork pineapple
  • lamb currant mint
gluten free trail snacks

Epic Hunt Harvest

High Quality, Humane Meat Products

Epic Bits, Bites & Bars are not only healthy and delicious, but they are also humane. They come from animals that are:

  • vegetarian fed
  • humanely treated
  • antibiotic-free
  • hormone free

For example, their turkeys are raised on small family farms and are provided shelter and sufficient space so that they are able to live a good turkey life.

Trail Snack Suggestions

I would highly recommend Epic Bars, Bites and Hunt/Harvest Mix as trail snacks. They are especially good for day hikes and bike rides. They are also good for both snacks and meals when backpacking with one caution. If you have plenty of water available, Epic snacks make a great source of protein on your epic backpacking trips and long-distance bike tours. However, the sodium content would make them a little less desirable if water is scarce. A good example is on my recent Colorado Trail bike, hike and trail maintenance trips. Epic snacks would be great for camping on Colorado Trail segment 1, 3 & 8 of the Colorado Trail due to a dependable source of water. But I would be less inclined to take them on Colorado Trail segment 2 because of limited water.

Where to Buy Epic Snacks

The best place to buy Epic products is from the Epic online store.Their food products are available in reasonably sized boxes that range in price from $30 to $49.99. They also sell shirts, hats and bandanas online. Since they have so many great flavors, I would recommend starting out by trying one of their sample packs. You’re sure to find a flavor that you love.

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