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)

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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
Helping out bike tourists in need (Sam and Anthony)
The inspiration of Segway guy
Green tunnels
Human-made tunnels
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.


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


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!


  1. Chris Gonzalez says:

    Losing your shorts is never a fun thing to do! After losing a rain jacket from a bungee while touring, and promptly backtracking 10 miles that day for my shower’s pass jacket, I started running the bungee through an arm or a leg hole. I’ve never lost a thing after that now. And that’s after 1500 miles! Loving your podcast Tim, keep it up!

    • Tim Mooney says:

      Hey, thanks Chris… I appreciate you listening! I am also staggered at the genius and simplicity of your solution! Looking at all my photos I’m coming to the conclusion that I want to ride with a cleaner look (i.e. not have stuff randomly strapped on) if possible, and I think your solution is a great way for all of us to avoid losing more gear to the roads and trails of the world… thanks!!

      • Chris Gonzalez says:

        The other thing I have now started doing is a mesh bag, sometimes you just need to have your laundry drying as you ride. The mesh bag works great for sudo-concealing your underwear from hanging out to dry.
        On another note, I was mid e-mail about to ask about your portable audio set-up only to hear you explaining! It’s like you’re in my head!

        • Tim Mooney says:

          Heh, yeah I planned that? I’m a big fan of the Tascam IM2W mic… it was stupid cheap because it uses the 30pin connector to old iOS devices, and I just so happen to have an old iPhone 4 that has been an amazing field recorder ever since. In studio, I use a Behringer condenser mic that’s about 10 years old, but still rocks like a champ.

What do you think?