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The Pedalshift Project 076: Bicycle touring’s for the dogs plus the Katy Trail by bike

Two great tour journals in one pod! First, I tell the tale of my C&O ride with Belle Starr and then I read a great submission from a listener about her adventures on the Katy Trail. Plus, you never know when emergency fixes can come in handy…

Hey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 076: Bicycle touring’s for the dogs plus the Katy Trail by bike (mp3)

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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.

Followup

The Big Sur bridge is OUT. Rumors of bike crossings clearly not relevant 😉 UPDATE: set to reopen in September!

Newsletter subscribers… my dog’s name is Belle STARR with two R’s. Autocorrect is the bane of my existence and clearly I am simultaneously a poor editor and a bad dog daddy.

Alan Leopold got his day saved by one of the emergency fixes on ep 046!

Hi Tim, I started listening to your podcast a couple weeks ago. Today i was riding our local trail, 400 Trail, and listening to podcast 046 when my rear derailleur broke just as I was listening to your advice. I carry tools and within 15 minutes I was heading back to my truck with a fixed gear bike. I would say that is one of the craziest coincidences I’ve ever ran into. I love your podcast and I’m binge listening to get caught up. Keep up the good work!!
emergency fixes from Pedalshift

The Journal: C&O plus the Katy Trail by bike

  • Trail conditions
  • Much harder with extra weight!
  • Paw Paw Tunnel update
  • Bypass starting in June – Check out Preston Paige’s video as a how to. I ran into him minutes before he recorded this. You can catch a brief glimpse of me and Belle Starr sitting at a distant bench at about 14:10!
  • Hotel night
  • Less daily mileage – normally do 60 loaded, but super loaded I’d do the whole trail in 4-5 days rather than 3. Much more fun that way.
  • Don’t mess with dog’s food too much. She didn’t like the freeze dried stuff on the trail, even though she was fine with it at home.
  • Safety first always. I tested and retested this setup a lot. There were tradeoffs for her comfort and her desire to watch me the whole time (seriously… she wouldn’t ride in a trailer because of that!)
  • Definitely will ride with her again on multiway trips, but will absolutely dial back my riding expectations!
Outside Paw Paw Tunnel
About to go into Paw Paw Tunnel
Smiling pretty in her bag
Kicking off at Mile 0, Cumberland
Belle Starr loves the tent
Water break selfie with Belle Starr
One of the dams gets Belle’s attention
Breakfast in Hancock
Belle Starr says, no worries, I got this flat…
Potomac River over the flood wall, kissing the trail
Break time on the trail

Katy Trail Tour Journal

katy trail bicycle tour

More photos from Ann’s tour!

Good Morning. I stumbled upon your podcast about 9 months ago and have been catching up on past episodes. I began listening to episode 62 during this mornings 20 minute commute to work.Thought I’d shoot you a quick note to tell you about my recent tour since it relates to two topics discussed on this episode.

I just finished a semi-self supported tour with my dog on the Katy Trail. I’m a Special Education Teacher and my dog, Harley Sue, is a certified service dog. This was our Spring Break adventure. (March 18-26). Harley is a border collie mix, so she weighs a bit more than your pugs. Therefore, my best option for taking her on bike tours is using a bike trailer. We did 60 miles on the Katy in July using a Schwinn children’s bike trailer with the children’s harnesses removed, but the floor is fabric and slanted, giving me concerns about it’s comfort on a a long distance tour. Therefore, I purchased an Aosom Elite Pet Bike trailer on Amazon. I put a nice padded bed in the the trailer and she seemed really comfortable.

The Katy Trail is crushed limestone. It’s a great trail and is typically very well maintained. I live about two hours from the trail so I’ve experienced it in all weather conditions. Spring is one of the tougher times to bike the trail because the winter thaw and spring rains tend to keep it a bit mushy. During the summer the trail dries out enough that it is almost like riding on pavement.

Harley Sue and I started our adventure in Clinton, Mo and finished our first day of biking in Sedalia. (36 miles). I had a friend drop us off in Clinton. She then took our stuff to Sedalia where a few more friends joined her to bike out to meet me in Green Ridge. I typically bike 5 or 6 miles and then let Harley Sue out to run for a mile or so. I typically use a bungee leash to attach Harley’s harness to my seat post. When we were away from roads, and by ourselves on the trail, I let her run beside me off leash. (against the rules)

The beginning section of the Katy Trial is mostly surrounded by grasslands and prairie. The first 9.1 miles are close to a highway before heading into the trees for another 7.5 miles. The recent rains made the trail soft, and crosswinds kept my average speed around 8 mph. (Without carrying all of my own stuff) The marker for the highest elevation on the trail can be found between Windsor and Green Ridge. I did encounter some loose dogs at Windsor. They chased us from the moment we got to town until we arrived at the trail-head and I got off of my bike. Thankfully, Harley was in the trailer during this chase.

The trailheads on The Katy Trail are really nice. They have great descriptions of the history of the area and give a preview of trail highlights that riders should look for as they bike. They have a bench and a roof that provides a bit of protection during mild rain. From November to mid April all of the water is shut off along the trail and many of the bathrooms are closed. They do put portable toilets at most of the trailheads. Also, most restaurants are closed on Monday’s and during the winter season many are only open on Thurs, Friday, Saturday.

The remainder of our tour went well. We battled a headwind ranging from 16 to 27 mph for the first 6 days. Temperatures on our trip ranged from 41 degrees to 87 degrees. We managed to outrun a thunderstorm arriving to the Tebbets Shelter (only one on the trail) moments before the down pour and hail started. I was extremely excited to find that the hostel was stocked with coffee and a coffee pot! I cannot recommend the Tebbets Shelter enough. It has 40 bunk beds, showers, bathrooms, a bicycle repair shop, a kitchen stocked with peanut butter, jelly, bread,coffee, coffee pot, cups, microwave, hot plate, toaster oven, grills, cooking, and eating utensils. All of this for a $6 donation.

I learned that it takes a lot of energy to haul 115lbs on a bike. Way more than I anticipated. Carrying and eating enough food was a challenge. We stayed mostly in hotels or bed and breakfasts so I didn’t carry a tent. But I did carry 4-6 litters of water each day, food for both of us, and clothes for every weather. I even ran out of water on my 42 mile day in 87 degree heat. Thankfully, Cooper’s Landing (campground, small store in Easley) was open so I could purchase water and snacks for my remaining 9 miles.

Harley Sue was a trooper through the whole adventure. However, on day 6 she just seemed off. She didn’t really want to get out of the trailer and run. Thankfully, a friend was meeting me at the trail-head 16 miles away. We battled a 27 mph headwind for 3.5 hours. I’d eaten most of the food I was carrying (1/2 banana left) and arrived at the trail-head with blurry vision, and dizzy. Harley was so excited to see my truck that she ran straight to it and refused to get out for the rest of the day. My friend got me something to eat and took me to a trail-head farther East so that I could finish that days remaining 18 miles with the wind. Harley was feeling better by the next morning and biked with me for all but 6 miles. I spent two days exploring in St. Charles, so Harley could rest and I avoided biking during a day of thunderstorms. We finished the last 12 miles to Machens (end of the trail) on Sunday morning and then made the 4.5 hour trip back to Kansas by car. We biked 241 miles and spent 42 hours on the trail.

It was a memorable experience, but I don’t think I’ll bring Harley on another LONG bike ride. She’s getting up in age (9) and I think the long days on the bike are just a bit too much for her. While she loves going places and being with me; I think she just couldn’t relax enough to get good sleep while I was biking. I took a pop-up kennel with me so she could sleep better at night, but she continues to be tired. She also didn’t want to eat her dog food, but was willing to eat some of my food. I was able to get her eggs at some of the hotels.

Live life to the fullest and enjoy the ride!

Ann Wilhelm and Harley Sue
Lawrence, KS
cyclingthroughlife.com (work in progress)

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
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
Roxy Arning
Nathan Poulton
And all anonymous and past contributors for helping make this show happen!
2017 Pacific Coast bike tour

The Pedalshift Project 075: Previewing a spring tour of the C&O plus how to handle bridge outages for your 2017 Pacific Coast bike tour

Springtime tours are kicking into gear (bike humor). On this episode I preview my C&O bicycle tour with Belle Starr, the bike touring pug, plus how to handle 2017 Pacific Coast bike tour disappointment and work around that bridge outage in Big Sur. Plus connections!

The Pedalshift Project 075: Previewing a spring tour of the C&O plus how to deal with bridge detours for 2017 Pacific Coast bike touringHey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 075: Previewing a spring tour of the C&O plus how to deal with bridge detours for 2017 Pacific Coast bike touring (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 Journal: C&O and 2017 Pacific Coast bike tour

Preview: A spring through tour of the C&O with Belle Starr the touring pug

  • Bike to Union Station
  • Train
  • Ride direct to YMCA (rain likely)
  • Camp at YMCA under the shelter to minimize wet gear
  • Rain should end overnight and be dry for the remainder of the ride
  • It’s going to be chilly each night, but manageable
  • Probably not going to do a tour journal for this one but will do some recording for one of the upcoming episodes
  • Going to be doing more writing up of the new Pedalshift Guide to Bicycling the C&O, which now has a featured spot over at pedalshift.net! Breaking the towpath up into 10 mile segments so you can read up on things ahead of any tour.

2017 Pacific Coast tour route closure: “dude.”

From the ACA:
(Feb 2017) TRAVEL ADVISORY AND DETOUR: There are multiple closures on SR 1 due to mudslides and the failure of Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge just north of Big Sur (on map 47) and south to Ragged Point (on map 49). It is unknown when then bridge will be replaced. Due to a lack of nearby roads, an extensive detour is required. The Salinas Valley Detour is 147.9 mi. and can be found at this RideWithGPS link: ridewithgps.com/routes/19189649 It is about 30 miles longer than the Pacific Coast route. It begins on map 46 in Marina and ends on map 50 south of Cambria. Services are limited for the 60 miles between King City and Paso Robles. Note that the roads around Lake Nacimiento can carry heavy traffic including pickup trucks pulling boat trailers. Also, because this detour travels inland, the weather will be significantly different than that on the coast. It will typically be drier and up to 20 degrees hotter.

To follow the status of the SR 1 closure, check Caltrans Current Highway Conditions at www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi For more information, see also The Big Sur Blog at www.thebigsurblog.com and their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/BigSurInformation/?fref=ts and our Forum discussion at forums.adventurecycling.org/index.php?topic=14377.0

  • Inland route looks like craaaaaap. Sorry, it does.
  • Curious how this impacts bike touring numbers on the coast this year? Less overall?
  • More from Canada to SF? Less south of Big Sur?
  • My recs for handling this if you’ve planned a Pacific Coast tour this year
  • It’s going to be there again. Do not despair. The bridge will return and so will you.
  • I strongly recommend Vancouver or Victoria to SF at minimum.
  • A full coast ride may still be possible with a fast forward:
  • One-way car rental from Monterey to someplace south of Big Sur (SLO?) uising inland roads (101, etc.)
    • Amtrak isn’t super helpful here unless you bail on a lot of the ride south of SF.
    • Transit doesn’t appear to be an option (Line 22 for Monterey-Salinas Transit goes to Big Sur, but the bridge being out kills that).
    • Wouldn;t be surprised if some enterprising types do some shuttles for hire, but havent heard anything.
  • TL;DR – this sucks. There are ways to continue on, but they are far from ideal. Vancouver to SF is plenty awesome.
  • ADDENDUM TO THE SHOW: The bridge is super not there, so nevermind with stealth crossings!! Not that you should have done it anyways you reckless malcontents! 😉

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
Roxanna Arning
Nathan Poulton
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…

Pedalshift 074 fast forward your bike tour

The Pedalshift Project 074: Fast forward your bike tour

On this topic show, we tackle one of my favorites… how to fast forward your bike tour. It’s your ride… make it the best you can by bypassing parts you don’t want, catching up on a schedule or accommodating an extra day in a cool spot!

Hey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 074: Fast forward your bike tourThe Pedalshift Project 074: Fast forward your bike tour (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.

Fast forward your bike tour!

Fast forwards – it’s not cheating, it’s your tour
WHY? Why the hell not?
  • Avoiding weather
  • Avoiding climbs
  • Avoiding dodgy roads
  • Making up for zero mile days or staying on track during one
  • Skipping boring stretches to get to better ones
What works for fast forwarding?
  • Mass transit agencies
  • Regional rail
  • Amtrak
  • Intercity busses
  • Hitching
How?
  • Plan ahead – download all the schedules and store on your phone or (gasp!) print them out. Many transit agencies still print their maps and schedules and either post them at stops or you can pick them up in town.
  • Pro tip: know when some transit modes restrict bikes (hint: usually rush hour)
  • Ask around! You’ll learn a lot from transit pros in any given town.

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
Roxanna Arning
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…

The Pedalshift Project 073: Yoga for bike touring

How do I class up this podcast? Easy… ask my better half to come on the show and chat up how great yoga is for bike touring! On this episode of the pod, we discuss yoga for bike tourists with Kimberly Wilson, founder and owner of Tranquil Space yoga studios in Washington, DC. Plus connections and more!

Hey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 073: Yoga for bike touringThe Pedalshift Project 073: Yoga for bike touring (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: Kimberly Wilson on yoga for bike touring

Kimberly Wilson is the founder of Tranquil Space yoga studios—named among the top 25 in the world by Travel + Leisure, designer of  TranquiliT lifestyle line, director of Tranquil Space Foundation, and author of five books {Hip Tranquil ChickTranquilistaTranquilologie,Tranquility du Jour Anthology52 Weeks of Tranquility Journal}.

Learn more at kimberlywilson.com and listen to her podcast, Tranquility du Jour wherever cool podcasts are podded.

Kimberly Wilson yoga for bike touring

Yoga resources

Pedal Stretch Breathe by Kelli Refer is broader than yoga for bike touring, but it’s the best yoga and bikes zine out there!

A short sun salutation practice by Kimberly herself:

sun salutations direct download (mp3)

Something we didn’t talk about but is super awesome for bike tourists is understanding the six movements of one’s spine. Check out this video Kimberly did on that:

And, finally… a nice yoga practice lead by Kimberly from my WV cabin! (I don’t think I’ve ever shown it on the site before?)

Connections

Turns out we tied!

42-42-16 tie for Pedalshift and Sprocket

Bike oasis

Brock recommends this awesome GoFundMe to support the revamp of Newton Bike Shop’s bike touring hostel The Oasis in the Grass Desert:

https://www.gofundme.com/buildtheoasis

Cool pods and pics

Jeremy of Critical Transit shared a bunch of images and podcasts from his tour of New England… check them out! He’s also a big Brompton tourer, with plans to repeat that ride with his “little clown bike” as I like to call them!

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
Roxanna Arning
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…

The Pedalshift Project 070: The magical mystery winter bicycle tour

A winter bicycle tour on the C&O is a rare treat for me… but warm February weather in the DC area made it impossible to resist. Come along for the ride with Belle Starr and me!

The Pedalshift Project 070: The magical mystery winter bicycle tourHey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 070: The magical mystery winter bicycle tour (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 Journal: The magical mystery winter bicycle tour

  • Washington, DC to Swains Lock
  • Check out the campsite review:

Gear Talk

The Omnicharge… first impressions:
  • A relatively large battery (20.400mAh 100W output). 
  • That said, it’s way heavier than comparable 20.4mAh batteries and bigger too.
  • 2 USB ports with smart charging tech that maximizes power and minimizes charge times.
  • Flow through charging – power devices while charging the battery (great for one outlet situations)
  • The difference (and reason for the bulk) is the ability to charge AC power with a “regular” plug (3 prong for US and similar countries; European and other outlets available too)
  • I love the screen that gives detailed battery data so I know precisely how much juice is left
  • The weight makes it more of a “camp” battery – wouldn’t keep it in a handlebar bag.
  • I think this is great if you are doing a longer ride with (a) spotty access to AC, and (b) AC powering needs.
  • If you’re only in need of USB power, this is not the battery for you. There are cheaper and lighter/smaller batteries.

Connections

  • More 5 stars
  • Hey, how’d you find the show?
The gentlemen over at Sprocket Podcast started the question… did you find Pedalshift first or Sprocket first? Or did you find both someplace else? Go over to pedalshift.net/whofirst for a quick 1 question survey. We’ll tally it up and we’ll know! Between you and me, I think more of you can from them… but let’s use this nonscientific poll to illuminate the subject!

Next week!

Guthrie Straw joins the Pedalshift Project to chat about touring in India and Eastern Oregon. Awesome chat… and the following week we’ll be talking about a hypothetical bike tour where you’re constantly chasing ideal weather. Got a great three weeks of shows coming!

 

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…

bike touring stoves

The Pedalshift Project 067: More bike touring stove tests, intermittent fasting and counterintuitive foot-warming advice

Follow-up on bike touring stove tests, an overview on intermittent fasting for those of us who, ahhh… maybe put on a few pounds since the end of bike touring season? Plus counterintuitive advice on keeping your feet warm on tour and more!

Pedalshift 067 Bike touring stove testsHey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 067: More bike touring stove tests, intermittent fasting and counterintuitive foot-warming advice (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 Journal

Another C&O fast forward option: MARC

Maryland’s regional commuter rail system is *finally* adding bike cars to all lines through 2017, which means you have another fast forward option to/from Brunswick, MD and Washington, DC… and it’ll be much cheaper than Amtrak’s Harpers Ferry option just 5 miles away. ($9 vs. $34)

Retrofitting of the first bike rack-equipped cars is expected to start early next spring and will be advertised once work on a critical mass of cars has been completed. Projected completion of this round of bike modifications should be sometime in fall 2017, with the rest of the fleet completed as funding allows. (MTA)

Weight gain and loss – the ongoing saga

My typical post-touring season weight gain rears its ugly head. Need to drop 20 pounds before touring season plus I would like to try to make it more permanent this time.
Trying something new this year: intermittent fasting

Important: I do *not* recommend this while on tour. In fact it could be dangerous if timed wrong. Also, check with your doctor before trying anything like this because fasting is not recommended for a lot of people (the young, pregnant women, etc.)

Combines calorie restriction with regular periods of fasting
Studies show it’s good for a variety of things beyond weight loss
Check out Eat, Fast and Live Longer by the BBC for more

5/2 (5 days at “normal” caloric needs and 2 days at 25%)
18/6 (18 hours fasting, 6 hours feeding)
Results? I just moved to the 18/6 method a few days ago and have continued to see fantastic results from a weight loss perspective. No issues with hunger although you’d be surprised how hard it is to jam all of your calories into a 6 hour window, even if they are reduced!

Reiterating: I do *not* recommend this while on tour. In fact it could be dangerous if timed wrong. Also, check with your doctor before trying anything like this because fasting is not recommended for a lot of people (the young, pregnant women, etc.)

Gear Talk

More bike touring stove tests

bike touring stoves
…and just to further the stove info.  I have an Optimus Svea and a cheap ebay burner for the ubiquitous canisters…both boil 16 ounces of water in under 4 minutes. I tested them both tonight because I can’t ride outdoors….18″ of snow so far and more on the way!  Both weigh around 20 ounces when full of fuel.  It really is a trade off when it comes to weight.  I really like the alcohol option compared to the Svea just for the fact that if I ever spill anything I don’t worry about contaminating the environment.. Same thing for the Ebay burner…if it leaks, it doesn’t pollute the ground….although it probably pollutes the air to a degree….hmmmm….
Continuing thanks to Pedalshift Society member Brian Hren for tackling this!
Counterintuitive advice
A randonneur friend of mine had already convinced me of the counter-intuitive wisdom of sandals for riding in rain. That’s right, sandals. In wet conditions, there is no chance of ending up with shoes full of water. Less obvious is that sandals work well in cold as well because you can easily add layers without fear of running out of room in your shoe. After my experience on Togwotee Pass, more recently I have worn two layers of socks under the SealSkins with my Shimano biking sandals in cold, rainy conditions in Washington, Idaho, and Scotland, and my feet stayed nice and toasty.
 
Hands are more of a challenge, but for cold I have found that thin smartwool gloves under Thinsulate half-finger convertible glove/mittens work very well. See this link on Amazon:
 
 
In all but a drenching downpour these do the trick, as they shed lighter rain pretty effectively and you can easily pull the mitten part back when you need use of your fingers. My only issue with them is that the finger openings on this particular brand are fairly tight, so I should have bought a size larger than I did. I have tried neoprene gloves, but found them to be ineffective and my hands ended up drowning in sweat.
 

PSS Member Seth Krieger!

The GoTenna

Staying connected when you’re on different cell networks or there’s no signal, or there’s signal for one but not another? Mesh networks using long range radios seems to be an interesting idea.
Since I don’t tend to bike with groups, this might not be for me… but for those who ride in groups that tend to get separated, this is a nice bit of insurance in areas with low or no cell coverage. 4 mile range (less in mountainous terrain I’m sure).

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
And all past and anonymous 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…

The Pedalshift Project 066: Bike touring locks and America’s longest rail trails

Kicking off 2017 with a bang, we cover lightweight bike touring locks, the longest rail trails in the US and an overview of what’s to come on the show in 2017!

The Pedalshift Project 066: Bike touring locks and America's longest rail trailsHey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 066: Bike touring locks and America’s longest rail trails (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.

Happy New Year!

2017 is going to be a great year for Pedalshift… a few things:
– Last year we had more shows than ever. This year we’ll top that. My intention is to have the 2017 Holiday Spectacular be Pedalshift 100.
– That means we have to have 3 episodes per month, SO…
– The Pedalshift Project will continue as is with episodes every other week, and
– There will be a 3rd episode every month on one of the off weeks covering a single topic… sometimes gear, sometimes tips, but always something useful… whether you’re a beginner or more seasoned.
– I’m also going to try to expand into more interviews… last year I did more than the year before, and I hope to do the same this year.
– Pedalshift, like bike touring, is an escape from the rest of the world… what would you like to hear? Shoot me ideas and topics to pedalshift@pedalshift.net.
– Oh yeah, new logo too! Seems to be tradition around here to update the look every year… still orange. Because, of course.
What about 2017 touring?
– 2017 will continue 2016’s emphasis on shorter, more accessible tours.
– I hope to mix in a few new spots this year (more on that in a bit)
– A longer (more than 1 week long) ride is hopefully in the cards, but I don’t want to plan anything substantial this winter so I can spend my time more flexibly later as opportunities firm up
– I’m definitely going to integrate Pedalshift Tour Journals and maybe Pedalshift AM into the future rides… more to come when those get going later this year.
– I hope to interview more people who are tackling bigger, more adventurous rides so we can all learn from those too

Gear Talk

Did you get anything good this holiday season? If you got loaded up with gift cards or cash and want some ideas, go check out the holiday gift guide… I listed a lot of my favorites in case you’re in the market for some new gear.

Lightweight bike touring locks

I tend not to tour in spots that have high security needs, so the locks I use in DC don’t tend to come with me. Still, I like to have the peace of mind to lock up outside grocery stores and other spots when I’m leaving my bike outside.
Some people are good with just cable locks on tour… I used to be ok with them, but I think they’re SO easily defeatable with simple tools that I prefer something more secure.
No lock is foolproof… all can be defeated. The trick is to find the right risk management.
New folding lock styles are interesting. I really like my Inbike folding lock as a touring lock option. Only downside is TSA sees it as a multitool every time so you should pull it out of your carry on separately or risk the (often lengthy) wait. Better yet, check it.
I have a new lightweight cinch lock on the way I’m excited to test out (Ottolock) – I hopped on their Kickstarter so hopefully should have it soon. May be a great touring option.

The Journal

Here are the longest rail-trail conversions in the US, as calculated by Rails to Trails Conservancy:
1. Katy Trail State Park — Missouri: 286 miles
2. John Wayne Pioneer Trail — Washington: 253 miles
3. Cowboy Trail — Nebraska: 195 miles
4. Great Allegheny Passage — Maryland & Pennsylvania: 150 miles
5. Soo Line Trail – Northern Route — Minnesota: 148 miles
6. Columbia Plateau Trail State Park — Washington: 130 miles
7. Paul Bunyan State Trail — Minnesota: 121 miles
8. Flint Hills Nature Trail — Kansas: 117 miles
9. Soo Line Trail – Southern Route & Saunders State Trail — Minnesota & Wisconsin: 114 miles
10. OC&E Woods Line State Trail — Oregon: 110 miles
11. George S. Mickelson Trail — South Dakota: 109 miles
12. Blue Ox Trail (Voyageur Trail) — Minnesota: 107 miles
13. State Line Trail — Michigan: 107 miles
14. Wild Rivers State Trail — Wisconsin: 104 mile

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…

FEATURED IMAGE,ONE-SEVENTY-NINE/THREE-SIXTY-FIVE (CC) LAURA BITTNER

The Pedalshift Project 065: The Pedalshift Holiday Spectacular 2016

It’s the end of the year and that means it’s time for the Pedalshift Holiday Spectacular! Join Shifty the Elf and Tim for a showcase of the best of Pedalshift in 2016!

The Pedalshift Project Holiday Spectacular 2016Hey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 065: The Pedalshift Holiday Spectacular 2016
(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 Pedalshift Holiday Spectacular 2016

The Pedalshift Project 065: The Pedalshift Holiday Spectacular 2016

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…

FEATURED IMAGE,ONE-SEVENTY-NINE/THREE-SIXTY-FIVE (CC) LAURA BITTNER
Thanksgiving ride

The Pedalshift Project 063: A Thanksgiving ride on the C&O

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the States (sorry, a bit late for you Canada!). On this episode of the Pedalshift Project, let’s go for a ride! I recorded this week’s pod in the saddle while I rode a portion of the C&O Canal Towpath, including some stories, some gear talk and more. Take a break from the holiday weekend and join me for a Thanksgiving ride on the trail!

The Pedalshift Project 063: A Thanksgiving ride on the C&OHey it’s the direct download link: The Pedalshift Project 063: A Thanksgiving ride on the C&O (mp3)

Reach out to the show via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube 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.

The Journal: a Thanksgiving ride on the C&O

Thanksgiving ride
Chilly 35F wake up temps
Thanksgiving ride
Banks of the Potomac
Thanksgiving ride
Fall on the C&O
Thanksgiving ride
Sled dogs pulling a fatbike
Thanksgiving ride
Ride to see the cows
Thanksgiving ride
Ride to see the pigs
Thanksgiving ride

Gear Talk

Let’s talk tools Tim.  In episode 22 of The Pedalshift Project you speak with author Peter Rice; and by extension, Jerry the Dirtbag Bike Mechanic.  Peter makes a valid point when he says that we willingly climb into our cars and take them across the desert without fear or concern of them breaking down.  And by extension, without any knowledge of how to fix them if they did breakdown.
 
So why oh why does every touring gear list include the tool set-up of a basic bike shop?  In 40+ years of riding bikes I’ve never popped a spoke.  Never had reason to remove a sprocket.  Never re-packed a bottom bracket.  Never had a chain break.  Never had to replace my own brake/shifter cable on the road.
 
No day rider, even long distance day riders, go out with these concerns.  And even if I did break a spoke, I’m not certain I would know how to fix it properly anyway.  And most certainly not in a timely manner.
 
Tubes, tire levers, patch kit, pump, hex wrenches to tighten bolts and adjust parts.  I get all that.  But when you think back on your years of bike riding and touring, what is the actual and practical tool kit that you think the average ACA route bike tourist realistically needs?

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, and you can do it for a bit and cancel anytime. One-shot support is welcome too… annual or “choose your own adventure”  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
  • Johnny K
  • Josiah Matthews
  • Keith Nagel
  • Brock Dittus
  • David Kolb
  • Michael Riscica
  • Seth Krieger
  • Marco Lo
  • Terrance Manson
  • Noah Schroer
  • Harry Telgadas
  • John Sikorski
  • Richard Killian
  • Chris Barron
  • Scott Taylor
  • Brian Hren

Thank you for supporting the show!

Music

The Pedalshift Project theme is America courtesy of Jason Kent off his self-titled solo album which celebrated its TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY this week. Congrats Jason! 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!

The Pedalshift Project 062: Colder weather bike touring

As the temperatures dip, I test out a new sleeping bag… how does it handle colder weather bike touring? Plus, my dog Belle Starr joins me for an overnight, plus connections and more!

The Pedalshift Project 062: Colder weather bike touringHey it’s the direct download link: The Pedalshift Project 062: Colder weather bike touring (mp3)

Reach out to the show via email, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube 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.

The Journal: colder weather bike touring + more

Riding with Belle Starr

  • Last night of DST
  • 5 miles down trail to Leopards Mill H/B campsite (one I hadn’t stayed at before)
  • Outward Hound backpack did great and so did BelleFound she likes to stick a paw out – still was stable and fine
  • Check out the video!
  • Had a battery issue with my phone so did an extra RT to get my charge cable
  • Cold but not freezing night went well with Belle… have a review in gear talk about the new sleeping bag
  • She did great with “distractions” like trains and deer
  • We’ll try it again! Want to test the trailer option and see how long I can ride with her before fatigue sets in… assume I’ll need more frequent breaks.
  • I have a video up on YouTube plus newsletter subscribers got a Tour Journal as the bonus pod this month!

Katy Trail

FOTS Todd Tillinger from Helena, MT

Just wrapped up my first self-supported bike tour, an 8-day 7-night trip across Missouri with my old friend Mark who lives in Kansas City. Our goal was to ride through urban KC to the rural town of Pleasant Hill, where the new (and not quite completed) Rock Island Trail begins and runs to Windsor, MO. That’s where the RIT intersects the well-known and well-traveled KATY Trail, and where we would turn and use the KATY to cross the rest of the state. It took two full days and over 103 miles to reach the KATY, and given the urban and rural detours it was an adventure. Luckily the weather was fabulous and we were soon on the KATY. The next 5 days were on the KATY, all the way to the very eastern end at the old rail stop of Machens, MO, just a stone’s throw from the Mississippi River and Illinois. We caught the Amtrak out of suburban St. Louis in Kirkwood, rolled off the train at Union Station in KC, and rode the last 16 miles to Mark’s house to finish the tour. All told, it was 8 days, 7 nights, 383 miles. We camped 5 nights, friends put us up 1 night, and we camping cabin’ed it at a County Park on the night after our one rainy cold damp day’s ride. I am attaching a few pictures for your information, and to let you know that the 237-mile long KATY is a great way to introduce someone to touring and a great way to spend a week if that is all you have. Towns are reasonably spaced, supplies and way are easy to come by, there are restaurants and inns if that’s your thing, and camping is easy to find off-trail at city parks, nature areas, or RV parks near the trail. The KATY itself is a long, linear state park so they don’t allow camping on the trail but that was not a problem at all.

One more thing: the 47 mile section of the Rock Island Trail is scheduled to be complete after this winter. But there are still some impassable sections, such as bridges over streams that are missing or surfacing that is nonexistent. That 47 miles from Pleasant Hill MO to Windsor MO actually took 60 miles, and two hours longer than expected. The lesson: be flexible, be self sufficient, and always carry lights. We ended that day (and three others) needing to use our headlights to ride and to set up camp. Good old fashioned type 2 fun!

We left downtown Kansas City last Friday Oct. 21, and returned Friday night Oct. 28 via the Amtrak River Runner (with roll aboard service). Thanks to your tips, I knew to buy the train tickets in advance and make the bicycle reservations. That was essential, and I am glad we did!

Followup

Shelli Snyder is doing much, much better. Her fund is over $100k and we played a small part in that…

Go read more about her progress on the GoFundMe page.

Gear Talk

Hyke and Byke Sleeping Bag

  • 32 degree down bag for under $100? Gave it a shot!
  • GREAT footbox
  • Stayed warm at about 40 degrees using it as a quilt so I think 32 is legit.
  • Seems well built and compacts nicely. Will do my best to keep it lofted and use it in some colder weather this winter.
  • If you’re in the market for a winter bag, this seems like a good value.

Electronics on tour

Rob Pupke from the great Empire State of New York…

One subject I’d like to hear covered on a podcast would be electronic equipment. Phones, computers, GPS, cameras…? What is absolutely necessary? What is nice to have? What about charging? Apps? Maps? How do these things work when your cell signal is gone? I hear you mention various things about electronics while covering other subjects, but I feel it is assumed that everyone is fully up to speed on these subjects when I listen. I’m not a Luddite, but I don’t know the ins and outs of traveling with electronics, and how they can be helpful in remote areas.

Connections

Follow up on alcohol stove fuels

Hey there, I started listening a few months ago and enjoy your podcast. I am a fellow cyclist, however have yet to ride a bike packing tour but I will in the future and find your podcast helpful. I am an avid backpacker though and have done several backpacking trips. Just a quick note for your alcohol stove that you were fueling with the “Heat” made for cars, this product is Isopropyl alcohol and has additives for automotive use, you are correct it does not burn very good at all in an alcohol cook stove. The ideal fuel for an alcohol backpacking stove is “denatured alcohol” which can be found at hardware stores in the paint and finishes department (used for cleaning brushes etc.) This very pure form of alcohol will burn super clean and a small stove will boil 2 cups of water an under 10 minutes easy. I carry this kind of setup for backpacking and t is very light, yes I do the minimalist thing.

Chip Lang
Troy, NH

Followup… I was in WalMart the other day getting epoxy for an unrelated project and lo and behold there was an enormous can of denatured alcohol for 4 bucks! Now I know where to get it I might do some more experiments… thanks for the heads up!

Pedalshift Society member Chris on riding in Ohio

Just thought I’d send you a note and say thanks again for the podcast, it has been a huge motivator for me to start getting things together to start touring and bike camping. Here is a photo of my old mountain bike after being re-purposed into my first touring bike. Ditched the flat bars for drop bars, switched the knobby tires for some Schwalbe Marathon Pluses, and got the rear rack and panniers on there. Took it for a 20 mile test ride today on the Ohio to Erie Trail (which is conveniently only two miles from my house), just to get a feel for riding a loaded bike with the extra weight. Other than a 15 mph headwind on the first half of the ride, everything went great! … The weather and lack of daylight is working against me getting any trips in this fall, but I’m already looking forward to planning for next spring. Thanks again for the show and the website!

Chris in OH

modified mtb as touring bike

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, and you can do it for a bit and cancel anytime. One-shot support is welcome too… annual or “choose your own adventure”  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
  • Johnny K
  • Josiah Matthews
  • Keith Nagel
  • Brock Dittus
  • David Kolb
  • Michael Riscica
  • Seth Krieger
  • Marco Lo
  • Terrance Manson
  • Noah Schroer
  • Harry Telgadas
  • John Sikorski
  • Richard Killian
  • Chris Barron
  • Scott Taylor

Thank you for supporting the show!

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!