bike touring lessons with mysterious james

The Pedalshift Project 041: Bike touring lessons with Mysterious James

A chat about our bike touring lessons learned with Mysterious James. MJ returns for the “bourbon soaked” after hours dance party (most of those things were not a part of the podcast) where we chat about our bike touring lessons and experiences. If you missed part 1, go check that out… Mysterious James and I started bike touring together, but he’s taken it to a whole new level with trips to the remote corners of western Canada, Alaska, the Great Divide, South America and more.

Bike touring lessons with Mysterious JamesHey it’s the direct download link for episode 041: Bike touring lessons with Mysterious James

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The Interview: MJ and bike touring lessons learned

global bike touring mj
Mysterious James on one of our first tours in Oregon
  • Part one of the interview on global bike touring
  • MJ’s “bio” at
  • Santiago’s bike district (!)
  • Memories of small places on big tours
  • How long is your limit for touring? Expectations.
  • Mongolia vs. Norway for 2016?
  • First time tourers in Patagonia
  • The accessibility of bike touring
  • The age demographics of bike touring?
  • Working from the road
  • Internet connectivity in South America
  • Using a GPS with no maps in South America
  • Power saving MJ mode
  • Connected vs. disconnected touring
  • Dynohub vs. extra batteries
  • Sun and heat are our enemies
  • Touring your lineage
  • Should vs. want to tours in North America
  • US Bicycle Routes + NYS/PA bicycle routes


The Pedalshift Project theme is America courtesy of Jason Kent off his self-titled solo album. Check out his band Sunfields‘ album, Habitat, wherever cool music resides.  I just heard Jason’s new album and it is AWESOME. More info when that drops this spring!


  1. JohnnyK says:

    So are you guys saying that bike tourist today don’t need dynamo’s we can get away with long lasting batteries? I have been seeing all kinds of neat technologies that are starting to show up for cycling or can be used and adapted for cycling. Here is something I found that is along these lines It harvests power from your dynamo hub and stores it in a smart battery which can be used to change and power all sorts of things. Also there is this product called BioLite which converts the heat from a camp stove into electricity. Also I found this product that looks really cool that allows you to collect rain water Anyway some really cool stuff out there if one just looks around.

    • Tim Mooney says:

      Yeah I think for a typical tour you can carry 20 or even 30,0000 mAh batteries that aren’t too bulky and handle all of the recharging you’ll need. If you do something bigger like MJ was talking about in Mongolia? Dynohub would be a good idea, even if you’re as stingy as him with power consumption.

      Both MJ and I have something similar to that German gizmo you link to. There are a ton on the market and they all tend to do a nice job. Might need it if I lose power this weekend! 😉

      That BioLite thing… I read mediocre reviews. Apparently it’s just ok. The rain water collector is a great idea though!

      You know me, I love me a good gadget for bike touring!

      • JohnnyK says:

        Well I tend to listen to podcasts while also using google maps and take the occasional phone call while riding unless I am on a long ride because I burn up the batteries especially in this Fla environment it seems to eat through batteries pretty fast. I thought about just getting one of those fold up solar panels but I don’t know how well they would work on a moving, bouncing, vibrating, soaking wet one min. burn hot and humid the next. So this topic is something that I have thought about for a while and am still researching it. I will probably end up with some combination of dynamo, battery, solar system but for now I just shut it off and listen to the birds unless I am next to a really busy highway then I fire up one of my fav. podcasts like PedalShift.

        • Tim Mooney says:

          I’m the same… I burn through an iPhone battery’s worth about every day with all the stuff I do. For 20 bucks you can get a battery that will recharge you a few times without having to plug in anyplace. Take a long lunch or dinner someplace and recharge everything up and you’re good for another 2-3 days minimum. That’s my advice these days!

          Thanks Johnny K! As always, you’re an American treasure.

What do you think?