Randonnée famille en vélo, descente de la Loire en vélo, France, Europe

The Pedalshift Project 055: Bike touring with kids and dogs

Bike touring by yourself is awesome, but have you ever thought about bike touring with kids or maybe your dogs? On this episode, we dive into bringing others along for the ride! Also a few new things to check out in gear talk and connections with you!

Hey it’s the direct download link: The Pedalshift Project 055: Bike touring with kids and dogs (mp3)The Pedalshift Project 055: Bike touring with kids and dogs

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The Journal

Bike Touring With Kids

Bike Touring With Dogs

My research as I’m seriously thinking about doing a small tour with my new dog Belle Starr:
  • Challenge 1: Conditions and paying attention to safety for your dog
  • Challenge 2: Weight
  • Challenge 3: Reduced mileage
  • Challenge 4: Altered setup – on bike vs. trailer vs. cargo bike
I plan on doing small tune-up rides to make sure Belle can handle being on a bike to begin with (Louis and Mookie were/are not fans)


And remember… some dogs hate biking.

Gear Talk

Inflatable loungers (aka beach beds) for bike touring?

There are a million of these and they all look the same. Think a giant (and I mean giant) dry bag that you 3/4 inflate by whipping it out and grabbing air, then cinching down the end to trap it in. You end up with something the size of small kayak to lay down in. Would it work for touring?
  • About 2 lbs (not that light). Folds up smaller than most camping pads.
  • Quick inflation.
  • Don’t know… seems like an interesting idea. Paired with a tarp or mosquito netting and it has some possibilities.
  • Prices range 30-200, depending on where you look.
Anyone every try one?

Yet another battery…

Trying out Indiegogo support for the Omnicharge… it’s a 20,000mAh battery with one cool add on… it has a standard North American outlet so it can power anything, computers included. It also has passthrough charging so I can charge the battery while charging it at the same time, which is nice and efficient when you have one outlet and many devices. Assuming this delivers (it’s way, way past its goal) I may have it in time for a fall weekender. More to come.


Thanks for checking in! You can always reach out at pedalshift@pedalshift.net or hit me up in the comments section or on social media.

Cat from Joyride

says hi! Go check out Joyride… great stuff and awesome to have a podcast geared (ha) towards women who bicycle. I dig the show I think you might too.

Mark Van Raam

has some great stuff to say about the Erie Canal tour
Last week (mid-July) I did the Erie Canal organized and supported ride and a pre-ride to the Canada side of the Niagara Falls.  We crossed into Canada over the Peace Bridge and rode up the Greenway to the Falls.  This was my first time going to the Falls.  I was impressed with nature and not so impressed with all the tourist stuff nearby.  Crossing into and out of the USA was interesting getting my bike through the turnstile (and watching the tandems get through it).  The Canadian authorities helped our group of ~50 riders by opening a gate to led us directly on to a city street in Fort Erie.
It rained two of the nights and one afternoon.  Riding some parts of the trail were a little tricky in some muddy parts, but the rain kept the stone dust down. 
Garmin Edge Touring GPS (mixed review)
Showers Pass Double Century jacket.  I liked the way it kept me dry from the rain, but it was wet on the inside from sweat.  Overall, it kept me warm in some pretty heavy rain. 5 out of 5 stars.
My Novara Safari was a great bike to use for this trip.  I changed out the 48mm tires for 35mm tires.
Also a question about what to do with a wet tent on self-supported tours
A: Let it dry the best you can in the morning (in sun, preferably). Worst case, pack it wet but not in a bag and lash it to the back. If it’s still wet on set up (more rain, no chance to dry, etc.) that’s when I use my pack towel on the inside as best I can.

And… Another 5-star iTunes review from Johnny K!

Pedalshift Society

A big thank you to all of the monthly supporters of the show! If you like what you hear, you can help me keep the show listener-supported while expanding the offerings (like the new C&O online guide!). A buck, two bucks or even 5 helps with the costs of hosting the podcast and the website, plus the  Pedalshift Society allows me to do cool new things I’ll be rolling out in future shows. Check it out and join at pedalshift.net/society.

If you’re interested in one-shot support, consider something over at Pedalshift Plus and get something cool in return! If the C&O talk is interesting, consider Pedalshift Tour Journals Vol. 1 my epic Pacific Coast tour with multiple daily podcasts chronicling my ride in 2014. You can get that at Pedalshift Plus. On to the Society!

  • Ethan Georgi
  • Matt Buker
  • Kimberly Wilson
  • Caleb Jenkinson
  • Cameron Lien
  • Andrew MacGregor
  • Michael Hart
  • Johnny K
  • Josiah Matthews
  • Keith Nagel

Thank you for supporting the show!


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 heard Jason’s new album in January and it is AWESOME. More info when that drops!


  1. Paul Mulvey says:

    Maybe not necessarily with kids, but I agree with two of the points since I’m taking my wife on her first GAP tour in September
    1. Keep their gear load to a minimum – they may not be interested in carrying 40-50lbs of gear on the bike. My wife has backpacked with me so she’s used to packing a small load (thankfully). She gets one (rear) pannier for the 3.5 days. I get the other. Her backpack (which we’ll use for the plane trip to Pittsburg) will be strapped to the rear rack. I’m carrying all of the weight which makes it easier for her to ride and enjoy the trip
    2. Keep the distance to their level. I have no problem putting on 70-75 mile days back-to-back, but my desire to “make the goal” may not be hers. She’s more interested in other things, and will want to stop and “smell the roses” as it were. So she needs something to keep her interested in the tour. I planned activities around snack stops, scenic sites, and the like

    And bonus suggestions:
    A. Keep them fed. Always keep snacks around “just in case” – the GAP has a resupply point every 10 miles or so but just in case have something you can pull out of a pannier to keep them fed
    B. Make the trip interesting for them so they’ll want to go riding with you again. Are your riding partners interested in mountains? beaches? Historic sites? Snacks and restaurants are what we’re going for
    C. Have a good night’s rest. This trip is going to be a little more costly since we have a B&B or hotel stay each night. And while I can stealth-camp or campground camp 7 nights in a row, it will make it more comfortable if my wife (first-time tourer) has a good night’s sleep

    • Tim Mooney says:

      Good ideas for touring with any beginner! One more thought — there’s a sweet spot between “challenge” and “fun” that I think makes bike touring such a great adventure. Have a ton of conversations with your friend/family member/loved one/partner etc. and learn together what that spot might be. The instinct sometimes is to carry the bulk of the burden because we think the burden is the unenjoyable part. Paradoxically, it’s a critical part of any adventure. This segment was more kids-centric, but I think it’s true for everyone: make sure they’re getting the adventure (and the challenge) they want rather than assuming what would be best for them. Our experience is worth a lot, but communicating and listening to our kids/partners/friends etc. as first timers is as important as that!

What do you think?