icy C+O

The Pedalshift Project 015: Gearing for dummies and critter protection

Breaking news in the bike touring world… no really, there was breaking news… learning to protect your food from raccoons and other critters, a brief overview on gearing ratios and how to make your bike more (or less) climby, plus catching up on a backlog of connections with listeners like you!

Hpedalshiftproject015ey it’s the direct download link for episode 015 (mp3)

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Good news for C+O tours for the near future – the NPS will almost assuredly NOT be charging for camping anytime soon FOTS @simpletouring will be happy to hear that! Read more from WABA.

Maybe good news on roll-aboard service on all Amtrak trains? The Lipinski Amendment passed today in the House and would standardize roll-on service for bicycles on rail. Read more from League of American Bicyclists.

The Journal

Updating the Lake Ontario tour
Bell Canada and their 30-day pass for tablets

The Lab

Protecting your food from critters

  • Panniers in tent (fail)
  • Panniers and smell proof bags
  • Use bear boxes at campsites when they’re available!
  • How to elevate your bags “PCT style”

Gear Talk

Hope you got a chance to read part 1,  part 2, and part 3 of my favorite touring bikes series. If not, check ’em out!

Use this calculator and compare what you have with a swapped out crankset or cassette. I like using gear inches.
  • The higher the gear inches the “higher” the gear (i.e. the biggest chainring on the smallest cassette gear  means you’re at your fastest, harder to pedal into, for speed on flats gear)
  • The lower the “lower” the gear (i.e. your smallest chainring on the biggest cassette gear is your climbing or granny gear)

Learn more from this very smart math guy:


The United Nations delegation checks in: Hugo is at cyclelover.net.

FOTS Johnny K – all over the 3 part series on touring bikes

New listener Tony from MD: read Jesse’s CGOAB journal and did the TransAm back in ’91… looking to do the C+O with his family

New listener Eric Iverson: Binge-listening to @pedalshift eps 1-007 while on @Amtrak staring at my @BromptonBicycle wondering where to take it next.

FOTS Scott Morgan liked the 90s era Bill O’Reilly DOING IT LIVE!

FOTS Tony (from NY) shared an article When President’s Day was Bicycle Day from The Atlantic about the commercialization of Pres Day in the States and how that meant bikes back in the day rather than autos today.


The Pedalshift Project theme is America courtesy of Jason Kent off his self-titled solo album. Check out his band Sunfields‘ new release, Habitat, wherever cool music resides. And hey, new video for Ghost!


  1. JohnnyK says:

    The park service charges for many of the campsites here in Florida especially if there is park rangers that are on staff there. Believe it or not there is very few places to camp in Florida without having to pay these days so you should count yourself blessed if you don’t have to pay to live outdoors.
    That is good news about Amtrak. I have not used Amtrak to travel yet but I would like to do so. I have been wanting to take a train ride for a while. I think to go cycling in another state would be fun. Taking a train to get there would be even more of a treat.
    Here in Florida I have not had to think about Bears much but there have been more bears here in the past few years so I will keep this in mind. Now we do have to worry about raccoons. In the past when traditional camping we used to take ratchet straps to keep the lids on our coolers and our food away from raccoons.
    I just love Sheldon Browns website. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I have learned from that website. Wonderful man and wonderful family to allow his knowledge and wisdom to stay online for later generations to keep. Anyway another fine episode Tim. I just love your podcast man. I learn something new every episode. Keep riding and Godspeed my friend.

    • Tim Mooney says:

      Different regions seem to have different general expectations on camping and access. It’s interesting to see the differences as you’re rolling on tour… some towns are super welcoming to camp for free in their town parks, others have big problems. You’d expect consistency in larger systems but I found (for example) California to be wildly divergent from park to park. One park ranger would be very welcoming and wave me in and say “pay tomorrow” rather than wait in line for one car (!) while I got accused of trying to camp without paying for dropping gear off at the campsite on the way between the rear entrance and the front pay station at another. Some have specific check-in times, others don’t. Some put huge pressure on check-out, others don’t. What was striking was the rangers at most of the “stricter” ones tended to have the attitude that everyone knows the particular nuances of their park. I mention this because I suspect these measures are meant to categorically discourage people between homes from making use of the hiker/biker sites rather than enforce standards of behavior at the sites. You hear a lot of “there’s lots of homeless people there” as code for “those dangerous people.” I am positive there are dodgy people filtering through some of the campgrounds who happen to be between homes, but being between homes is not what makes them dodgy.

      Sheldon Brown’s people do his legacy good by maintaining the info in that website. It’s A+.

      Godspeed Johnny K!

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