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The Pedalshift Project 088: Hot weather bicycle touring tips

On this episode, after a weekend overnight in triple digit heat, we cover some hot weather bicycle touring tips. Plus, followup, a tour to follow and more!

The Pedalshift Project 088: Hot weather bicycle touring tipsHey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 088: Hot weather bicycle touring tips (mp3)

Subscribe to The Pedalshift Project:
RSSiTunes – Overcast – Android

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 pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109.

Pedalshift Tour Journals Vol.8: Western Penn

 

Available now at Pedalshift Plus!

The Journal: hot weather bicycle touring tips + more

How’d that #heatindex ride go?

  • Heat index when I left was 104F!
  • Rode really strong out there. Not tempted to stop at MM16 campsite when in past heat index rides, I usually caved.
  • Collapsable cooler full of good stuff – never did this before, but will absolutely do it again for hot rides. More weight, but to have cold drinks and food when I arrived, it was so worth it.
  • Rain cooling me down but made things wet – how I handled it.
  • Camping and hammocking
  • Let’s be cool with each other when we share campsites?

Hot weather bicycle touring tips

  • Time your riding (early AM or even night riding where appropriate)
  • Hydration + electrolytes (my NP suggested Hammer Nutrition, but these by Lyte Fuel are similar, although with a slightly different balance.)
  • Sun protection (hat, sunscreen, arm sleeves)
  • Frequent breaks (AC and shade preferred)
  • Core cooling (drinks and snacks that are cold)

Followup

Summer Tour to follow…

snoringyogi on Instagram… he’s a buddy from DC who’s touring Scandinavia right now on a fat tired Surly. Looks like a great ride and I hope to get him on the show later this summer or fall to talk all about it. By the way, this is his first really big tour, so for all of you who are new to this, know you don’t have to be some pro-level tourer to do big things!

Flying with your bike

Alaska Airlines appears to be the best US carrier with its new $25 policy for sporting equipment – we covered that last week. There was an open question about Virgin America’s policy since they’re about to merge with Alaska… answer:

Virgin America for the moment has a $50 fee (previously amongst the lowest and still a good deal) but will presumably drop to $25 once the merger with Alaska happens.

Emergency items

From FOTS and PSS member Ethan Georgi:

EMS (& I imagine REI etc) have pre-packaged First Aid Kits with everything you need. This way you don’t have to figure out what to put in it & assemble all the stuff yourself: done for you. They come in various sizes depending on the number of people in your party. I’ve been carrying mine for years.

ICE card: RoadID (dot com) has a ton of great options. Most importantly they are easy to find by First Responders. Expecting anyone to dig through your panniers while you’re bleeding out sounds like an unnecessary hassle.

Another thing I’d add as a “varsity” level comms device beyond the SPOT is the Garmin inReach… added bonus of having the emergency call is the ability to send text messages via the satellite network that’s a little more robust than the minimal messages for the SPOT.

 

Connections

You were *busy* people!
Check out Matt’s blog at 4ranges.wordpress.com. A lot about finding time to bike when you can, especially in cool places he travels to for work!

Pedalshift Society

Help support the show and join the Pedalshift Society with monthly or one-shot contributions!
Ethan Georgi
Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Josiah Matthews
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Seth Krieger
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Noah Schroer
Harry Telgadas
John Sikorski
Richard Killian
Chris Barron
Scott Taylor
Brian Hren
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Paul Mulvey
Stuart Buchan
Todd Stutz
Mr. T
Roxy Arning
Nathan Poulton
Harry Hugel
Ferguson Meek
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Ruth DeVorsey
Michelle Miller
Matthew Lewis
Michael Baker
Billy Crafton
Paul Culbertson
Scott Culbertson
Matt Perry

And all anonymous and past contributors for helping make this show happen!

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. I got news for ya. New. Sunfields. Album. SEPTEMBER 15th. I’ve heard it. It’s top notch.

emergency items for your next bike tour

The Pedalshift Project 087: Emergency items for your next bike tour

I hope you never need (most) of them, but it’s always a good idea to consider these emergency items for your next bike tour… plus some good news from a US airline that might impact your bike touring and previewing my #heatindex overnight coming up!

The Pedalshift Project 087: Emergency items for your next bike tourHey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 087: Emergency items for your next bike tour (mp3)

Subscribe to The Pedalshift Project:
RSSiTunes – Overcast – Android

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 pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109.

Pedalshift Tour Journals Vol.8: Western Penn

 

Available now at Pedalshift Plus!

The Journal

#heatindex ride!

Hoping to get an overnight on the C&O… aaaaand it might be 100 degrees. So there’s that.

Gear Talk: Emergency items for your next bike tour

Connections

Another 5 star… who absolutely gets it.
5 star who gets it
Alaska Airlines now flies bikes for $25 each way! Hat tip to Pedalshift Society member Mr. T for sending that along.

Pedalshift Society

Help support the show and join the Pedalshift Society with monthly or one-shot contributions!
Ethan Georgi
Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Josiah Matthews
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Seth Krieger
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Noah Schroer
Harry Telgadas
John Sikorski
Richard Killian
Chris Barron
Scott Taylor
Brian Hren
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Paul Mulvey
Stuart Buchan
Todd Stutz
Mr. T
Roxy Arning
Nathan Poulton
Harry Hugel
Ferguson Meek
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Ruth DeVorsey
Michelle Miller
Matthew Lewis
Michael Baker
Billy Crafton
Paul Culbertson

And all anonymous and past contributors for helping make this show happen!

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. I got news for ya. New. Sunfields. Album. SEPTEMBER 15th. I’ve heard it. It’s top notch.

The Pedalshift Project 071: Bicycle touring India and Eastern Oregon

An interview with Pedal Dream’s Guthrie Straw on his adventures bicycle touring India, plus his thoughts on adventures in his native Eastern Oregon and keeping your touring bike secure in the land of sunshine and bunnies™, Portland, Oregon.

The Pedalshift Project 071: Bicycle touring India and Eastern OregonHey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 071: Bicycle touring India and Eastern Oregon (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 pedalshiftproject@gmail.com or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109.

The Interview: Bicycle touring India with Guthrie Straw

Guthrie Straw is a native of Eastern Oregon and lives in Portland. He created Pedal Dream as a place to fuel your sense of adventure, gain insight into what it’s like to tour by bicycle, and garner solid advice in the form of equipment reviews. It inspires you to get back out on the road, or if you’re already out there, keep pedaling the world with a perspective made possible by one of his favorite forms of transportation; the bicycle.

The Pedalshift Project 071: Bicycle touring India and Eastern Oregon

You talked about your India trip a little bit on The Sprocket Podcast (which I encourage everyone to go listen to if you haven’t). What was your route and would you recommend it to someone looking at India as a bike touring destination?
What was your experience transporting your gear to India and back? Any issues?
What is your typical gear setup and did it deviate much for India?
You’re from eastern Oregon, which is one of the most beautiful places in the US… and probably the least understood since most people from outside the northwest think Portland takes up the whole state and is a coastal city (like, for real). How would you describe eastern Oregon to an outsider?
What’s your favorite bike tour in eastern Oregon?
You’re working on a bike theft documentary in Portland… bike theft is a thing almost everywhere but it’s seemingly extra pernicious in Portland. What have you discovered in the course of working on the film and do you have any advice for bike tourists rolling into Portland on their trips?
Where can we find you on the series of tubes?

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. Five bucks, two bucks or even 1 helps with the costs of hosting the podcast and the website, and you can do it for a bit and cancel anytime. One-shot support is welcome if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it out and join at pedalshift.net/society. And society members please go to pedalshift.net/stickers and let me know where to send some Pedalshift stickers to you! On to the Society!

Ethan Georgi
Matt Buker
Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Josiah Matthews
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Michael Riscica
Seth Krieger
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Noah Schroer
Harry Telgadas
John Sikorski
Richard Killian
Chris Barron
Scott Taylor
Brian Hren
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Paul Mulvey
Stuart Buchan
Todd Stutz
Mr. T
And all anonymous and past contributors for helping make this show happen!

Music

The Pedalshift Project theme is America courtesy of Jason Kent off his self-titled solo album. Check out his band Sunfields‘ latest release, Habitat, wherever cool music resides. And a little birdy tells me Jason’s recording some new music. More when I know…

flying with your brompton

Flying with your Brompton

A typical Brompton with a rear rack and ez-wheels is a great bike for touring or just using for transportation at whatever destination is on your itinerary. What’s amazing about them is they can also fit in the overhead compartment of most larger aircraft… meaning you can have your bike with you as your carry on. Here are a few tips you need to know when flying with your Brompton.

Download Pedalshift Project #34: Flying with your Brompton

#1 Telescoping seat post FTW

detach your saddle while flying with your BromptonThe telescoping seat post is a real help when you’re planning on bringing your Brompton aboard with you. It lets you easily remove the saddle without tools, making your Brompton more compact to fit into two important places – the carry-on luggage belt and the overhead bins of most larger planes. It’s not that you can’t do this with the standard seatpost, but it requires you to unbolt your saddle… kind of a drag if you can avoid it.

#2 Know your plane

You probably noticed I keep hedging on this… you can get your Brompton in the overhead bins of most larger planes. If your itinerary includes a regional jet, or worse, something with propellers… your Brompton won’t fit on board. You’ll need to gate-check it and that means it goes into the belly of the beast. A lot of times you get the bike back as you exit, but sometimes the airlines make you collect the bike at baggage check along with the masses. If you do gate check the bike, ask to get it right after you land on the jetway to be safe. Sometimes that works, sometimes that doesn’t.

Even if you know you’re on bigger planes with bigger overhead bins, sometimes the world conspires against you… it’s always best to be ready for gate checking. A $5 Dimpa bag from IKEA fits a Brompton like a glove and gives baggage handlers a handle. I also recommend using some velcro straps to ensure your bike remains folded. I had to gate-check my Brompton once because of the volume of carry-ons and the Dimpa bag worked great and the bike came through without a scratch or a dent. Pro-tip: tighten down the frame bolts so they are locked down. This minimizes the chance they can get jostled and break. If things go well, you’ll get the bike in the overhead bin and you won’t need any of this advice. If not, you’ve got it as a backup.

For the record, here are a list of jets with overhead bins that a Brompton fits based on personal experience:

  • Airbus A319
  • Airbus A330-300
  • Boeing 757-300
  • Boeing 737-800
  • Boeing 7771

(there are way more, of course)

#3 Know when to roll em, know how to fold em

rolling Brompton at IADI learned this the hard way as a newbie in the airport so learn from my mistakes! The Brompton rolls like a champ if you have the easywheels and you extend the handlebars or saddle post. I prefer the saddle post for a little more stealth. Problem is when it’s extended and you need to lift the Brompton, it unfolds just when you least want it.

Pro tip – extend the saddle post when you roll, collapse it to lift. Like I did over there at Dulles airport on a trip to Italy…

#4 Stealth mode

stealth mode bromptonI prefer to keep the identity of my bike as secret as I can. It helps to avoid overly officious airline personnel from trying to tag you with a fee or require you to gate check. That’s why I love the Brompton bike cover. It easily slips over the bike and makes it look like an odd piece of rolling luggage rather than a super cool bicycle. I always have the cover on when I’m near the check-in desk and the gate.

Update 12/15/15 — Never has it been more clear that stealth mode is important than now.

Ugh. Wanna know how and why?

#5 TSA/security + boarding tips

Ok, so you’re checked in for your flight, maybe checked your backpack or touring gear and you’re rolling to security. If you haven’t already, remove the saddle before you get too far in the line. Your Brompton is now small enough to go on the conveyer belt. It’s a bit of a dance to get your shoes off, and your other gear binned up but the bike’s pretty easy. Put it folding pedal side down and the shorter side facing the scanner. First time you do it, you’ll swear it won’t make it… but it does. Trust me.

Be prepared to have a security agent give you a knowing smile – the scanner gives away your secret pretty quickly.

Once you’re done with security, it’s best to get in position at the gate as soon as you can. Your best chance of getting your bike in the overhead bin is to be on the plane before as many people as possible. You know all those jerks who hover around the line waiting for their group to be called? Be that person this time.

Keep your cover on and roll your bike so you’re between it and the check-in attendant. This is the first of two human obstacles to the overhead bin, so stealth mode is pretty important here.

Once you get your boarding pass processed, keep rolling to your plane!

#6 Getting down the aisle and in the overhead

So you’re rolling down the jetway like a champ… now comes the tricky part. Collapse the seat post so you can lift the Brompton without inadvertently unfolding. Lift the bike by the top tube and make sure you give the flight attendant a big smile and a hello. On full flights most are trained to discourage larger roll aboards and encourage gate checking. I’ve run into a few that think my “bag” won’t fit. Being friendly and saying you’ve flown with it before and been able to stow it often works. This is where getting aboard early pays back big dividends.

Once past the flight attendant, it’s time to get to your seat and stow the bike above! I always keep an eye several rows ahead in case the overhead for my row is occupied. If it is and there’s a spot before, grab it. Worst case, keep looking past your seat for a spot in a bin toward the rear. It means waiting for everyone when you land, but better to be in the overhead than running out of space and sheepishly needing to gate check your bike after everyone’s boarded.

Congratulations! You’re flying with your Brompton AND you got it on as a carry on! Take that celebratory photo and impress your friends and family…

IMG_4638IMG_4640


  1. The overhead bins on newer jets like the 777 are the style where the whole bin drops down, not just the door. It makes for a heavy close with the Brompton in there and you may need to adjust it on the way up. It fit, but when I first boarded a 777 flight in June 2016 I wasn’t sure it was going to work!