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The Pedalshift Project 058: Bike touring across America

Ever wonder what it’s like to cross the US by bike? On this episode of the pod, we chat with a guy who’s done it not once, not twice, but three times! Michael Riscica talks about the highs and lows of bike touring across America, including what it’s like to transition to the real world back home. Plus gear talk and more!

Hey it’s the direct download linkThe Pedalshift Project 058: Bike touring across America: The Pedalshift Project 058: Bike touring across America (mp3)

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Gear Talk

Touring Brompton specs: “The Pedalshift Touring Brompton”

Touring Brompton specs
– Boo: no orange for Bromptons! H/T Anna at Clever Cycles for letting me in on that.
– A few things to add: I really like the Brompton toolkit (ingenious storage in the tube) and the third party Off Yer Bike handle. For a lock, I’m experimenting with a folding version that’s a knockoff of the ALBUS ones and I just supported a Kickstarter campaign for a cinching lock by a Portland company called Ottolock. Super lightweight and fairly resistant to cutting.

Bicycling with your dog followup

Based on the advice of fellow dog biker and follower Jim in Louisville, I asked for Outward Hound’s Pooch Pouch backpack for my recent bday… both pups fit in it, Belle Starr a little better than Mookie. Looking to a fall overnight with her to test it all out!

The Interview: Bike touring across America with Michael Riscica

mr-sidebarMichael Riscica is a Licensed Architect in Oregon. He grew up in the New York City Area and moved to Portland by bike in 2007. A veteran of three cross-America bike tours, Michael rode the Transam in 2005, the Northern Tier in 2007 and returned to the Transam in 2016… all east to west, like a boss. He writes at YoungArchitect.com and coast2coastbikeride.com. He’s also on Instagram & Twitter [@BikeTouring999].

  • What was your inspiration to move across country by bike on your first cross country ride?
  • You strike me as a pretty laid back guy, but critics of your ride, your gear or your style, and even how you wrote your blog got under your skin. Frankly as a reader I felt the same way. What’s your take on “backseat bicyclists”?
  • Your dog patiently waited for your return and you could tell you missed her a lot on the ride. Would you consider bringing her along on a future ride?
  • How challenging was it to do work on the road? Was there ever a point when you needed internet or cell signal and didn’t have it?
  • What’s the one thing friends and family got consistently wrong about your rides that you always felt you needed to correct about bike touring across America?
  • What’s the best advice or assistance you got on tour?
  • Favorite gear?
  • You’ve done the northern tier and the Trans Am now twice. Are you thinking about trying the southern tier ride at some point?
  • Three cross-country rides in… what’s changed with riding across country?
  • Did you have a tough time transitioning back into reality when you got back? What tips do you have?

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. 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. AND brand new by popular request… one-shot annual support and “choose your own adventure” one shot support if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it out and join at pedalshift.net/society. On to the Society!

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Music

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!

2 comments

  1. Seth Krieger says:

    Hi Tim. I’ve been listening to your podcast for a month or so and have really enjoyed it.

    The interview with Mike really resonated with me and got me pining to do another trip. Between 2008 and 2013 a friend and I rode from Key West to Seattle in five installments ranging from 9 to 18 days each. We rode a good bit of the Lewis&Clark and some TransAm and some Southern Tier. Although we kept putting off the section across the plains, I found it to be one of my favorites. I was awed by the stockyards and oceans of farmland as well as the race to build out wind power while simultaneously resurrecting the area’s oil industry. The people were super-friendly, and we visited Greensburg KS, home of the worlds largest hand-dug well, and also a town that is rebuilding after being wiped off the map by and F5 tornado in 2007. It was all new to me, and not all all the boring ride I expected.

    Anyway, I thought the interview was great and I look forward to browsing Mike’s blog and website.

    – Seth

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