eastern continental divide

The Pedalshift Project 021: Bike touring DC to Pittsburgh

An entire episode about bike touring DC to Pittsburgh on the Chesapeake and Ohio National Historic Park’s towpath and the series of regional trails that is the Great Allegheny Passage.

PSP021Hey it’s the direct download link for episode 021 (mp3)

Reach out to the show via email, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to join the newsletter too.

Who else has some early bike touring overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show pedalshiftproject@gmail.com or call the brand new Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109.

Be sure to tune in for the next episode… it’s the first Pedalshift Book Club interview! Wha? Book club? Yes, I’m interviewing an author so it’s a thing! We’ll be chatting with Peter Rice, author of Spandex Optional: Long-distance bicycle touring for normal people. It’s a quick read, so if you want to pick it up before the interview and have a question for Peter, shoot it my way at pedalshiftproject@gmail.com.

Bike touring DC to Pittsburgh via the C+O and GAP

If you didn’t get a chance to experience the Pedalshift Tour Journals podcast as it happened, it will be released again in the future. I did FORTY (40!) episodes all between 1 and 5 minutes long. You can avoid missing out on the next ride by subscribing to the Pedalshift Tour Journals feed with iTunes or your favorite podcast app. It’s quite the ride….

By the numbers

Pawpaw tunnel390 miles (with detours)
7 days
2 adirondack shelter nights
1 night in a hammock
1 spill led to a few bruises, a cracked iPad screen, a lot of sunblock in my hammock and a pretty scraped up leg.
1 lost and 1 recovered iPhone led to 46 additional miles. some dramatic podcast episodes and a renewed sense of humanity. For now.
1 lost pair of sunglasses, swim suit and bike undershorts
1/2 flask of whiskey and 2 beers… that’s it!
0 flats
0 mechanicals
0 regrets

Highlights + favorites

GAP MM0Completing the ride itself
Podcasting the whole ride and getting real time feedback
#coffeeoutside
Helping out bike tourists in need (Sam and Anthony)
The inspiration of Segway guy
Green tunnels
Human-made tunnels
Turtles
Interviews with turtles… and snakes
Eating whatever I wanted
Biking through the history of the region
Not being beholden to my original schedule
Repurposing of old technology (towpaths and rail ROWs) into bike-friendly routes
Adirondack shelters and trail towns that “get it”

Lowlights + meh’s

Did I mention I lost my iPhone?1
The spill.
The realization that my route could be driven in 4 hours.

Images

A collection of all of the pictures I took on the ride… if you’d prefer to see these with explanations/captions/etc. look for images on the Pedalshift Instagram feed from May 23-29.

DC to Cumberland on the C+O

Cumberland to Pittsburgh on the GAP

Music

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. FOTS Scott Morgan (who I might have called Scoot MacAlister on the show… ugh, I feel another corrections segment!) had a cool tip – make the image on your lock screen include a contact. Great idea!