global bike touring

The Pedalshift Project 039: Global bike touring with Mysterious James

Happy 2016! We kick off the year talking about global bike touring with the one and only Mysterious James in the first of a two parter. 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.

global bike touring with mysterious jamesHey it’s the direct download link for episode 039 (mp3)

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

Have some bike touring or overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show at or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109.


We’re kicking things off in 2016 with weekly shows… to start. Last year I promised biweekly/fortnightly shows and did more than that. This year I hope for even more episodes than last year and tour journals as well. Exciting things on the way!

New for 2016… if you want more Pedalshift Project the monthly newsletter will be essentially a bonus podcast. Sign up  and get the members only show every month!

The interview with Mysterious James is in two parts: Pedalshift 039 and 041. Sandwiched in-between? A full episode of connections, gear talk and more as Pedalshift 040 drops next week!

The Interview: MJ and global bike touring

global bike touring mj
Mysterious James on one of our first tours in Oregon
  • MJ’s “bio” at
  • How we met
  • Learning which bike was for him (Surly LHT eventually)
  • Early tours
  • West coast
  • How he ditched me for greater glory
  • Alaska
  • The Great Divide
  • Epic injuries and rescues
  • A year of healing up
  • South America
  • Touring at elevation
  • Expedition touring
  • What’s next
  • What you get out of bike touring

Look for part 2 on Pedalshift Project 041, coming soon!


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:

    Hmmm all these mysterious characters on this podcast. I am beginning to think all these characters are one in the same. You, Shifty, Your Wife, and now MJ are all one and the same person at least that is the current theory and I am sticking to it lol…

    BTW you and other podcast producers always worry about the quality of the audio or broadcasts but really as a listener I just want to hear it no matter the quality it makes it more real for me. The audio does not have to be studio quality for me to enjoy and learn something. I would rather hear messed up audio/video than to not get to hear it at all. So stop worrying about the quality I love the show and listen no matter what.

    Yeah rain and cold are no fun to ride in. It’s really hard for a Fla boy to ride in such weather. I can ride in the cold or in the rain but when it is cold and rain that’s just no fun. You just want to push through and get the ride done. I will say that now with my rain cape it’s a bit more bearable but my legs still suffer and here in Fla. our roads don’t drain well so there is always water splashing up on you which make you cold. I normally will use hand and feet warmers especially for my toes.

    It’s funny that you say that about the bandanna my underwear of choice is thin boxers they are made of material similar to bandanna’s. I love them. They reduce the chafing. I know many women like to wear silk but it is not easy to find silk boxers that can stand up to the punishment cycling puts on them.

    At the end of 2014 I fell on a 100 mile supported charity ride and messed up my shoulder a little but luckily I didn’t break anything and was able to complete the ride. I was going really slow that day anyway because it was really really hot over 100°F and the heat was getting to me. So TIP if your going to fall tuck and roll. All those years on the horse ranch breaking young horses taught me how to fall. It takes practice and is not natural. Most people tend to tense up when they fall and either lock their arms or some extremity of their body. I suggest you practice falling. Start by sitting in a normal chair or the edge of a bed and purposely fall off of it. Make sure you don’t put your hands out, tuck your elbows in and roll with the fall. I would suggest you put some kind of padding down on the floor until you get used to falling. If you practice this then you will fair better when you actually fall because you will have the muscle memory. You may still get hurt but it will not be as bad and this may make it possible for you not to break important parts of your body. This may all sound stupid but it may save you lots of pain.

    Awesome episode I loved it and yes he should have drank from the lake.

What do you think?