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pedalshift holiday spectacular bike touring

The Pedalshift Project 038: The Pedalshift Holiday Spectacular

It’s the end of the year and that means it’s time for the Pedalshift Holiday Spectacular! Join Tim and a special mystery guest (no not him… another mysterious guest) as they chat about the best of 2015. Happy holidays one and all!

Hey it’s the direct download link for episode 038pedalshift holiday spectacular (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

  • January — Featured tour, Matt Weiner [PSP 012]
  • February — Gillian Klempner Willman on Annie Londonderry [PSP 013]
  • March — Protecting your food from critters [PSP 015]
  • April — Nathan Clevenger’s cross country kickoff [PSP 018]
  • May — DC to PGH [PTJv2 and PSP 021]
  • June — The epic rant [PSP 023]
  • July — Crossing NY [PTJv3 and PSP 026]
  • August — Transit Aided Tour DC-BOS [PTJv4 and PSP 028]
  • October — Brock + Adele + cool people [PSP 031]
  • Louis the Pug Bicycle Touring experiment #1 of 1

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, The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights – Even The Bikes Are Lit (cc) Joe Penniston
sturdier touring bike touring

The Pedalshift Project 037: Sturdy touring bikes + opening cans without tools

Sturdy touring bikes need to be able to handle weight… on this episode we delve into some of the ways to make your touring bike even sturdier, and maybe figure out a way to lighten the load a bit too. Plus, tons of oddities and good news from the world of bike touring, and some self-described crazy Russians show us how to open a can with our bare damn hands. Because we can! <– see what I did there?


Hey it’s the direct download link for episode 037
Pedalshift 037 Sturdier touring bikes + opening cans without tools (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

  • MJ in Argentina – less than 2 weeks remain!
  • Amtrak expands roll-on service down the east coast. NYC south to Miami, New Orleans, Atlanta and everything in between (Palmetto, Silver Meteor, Silver Star and Crecent routes). $20 and unboxed, just like the Capitol Limited.
  • White’s Ferry goes rogue!
  • Flying with your bike? Check the chart. JetBlue, Frontier and SW are the best (50-75 each way) vs. American and other legacy carriers $150-200 each way!
  • Attention Pacific Coast bike tourists hitting Southern Cal in January — you’ll be hitching a ride:
I just received notice from the U.S. Marine Corps that the Camp Pendleton Bike Path—the only bike access between Las Pulgas Rd. and Basilone Rd. along Interstate 5 (I-5)—is scheduled to be closed for military operations between Jan. 25 and Jan. 29, 2016. Under normal circumstances Caltrans would open the freeway shoulders to bicyclists, however there is a construction project that has closed the shoulders of I-5 in that segment. Caltrans will provide a 24/7 on-call shuttle for bicyclists to pass through the closures in the I-5 corridor between Oceanside and San Clemente. The phone number for the shuttle is (619)385-3267. There will be pick-up locations at the Las Pulgas Rd. parking lot for northbound cyclists, and at the south end of the Old Hwy. 101 bike path at Basilone Rd. for southbound cyclists. Those locations will serve as drop-off locations for the opposing directions of travel. Signs at both locations will include the shuttle phone number. Please share this information and make your plans accordingly. We apologize for any inconveniences in advance.
FYI– The construction on I-5 between Oceanside Harbor Dr. and Las Pulgas Rd. is scheduled to wrap-up in mid-December, so the freeway shoulders in that segment will re-open to cyclists at that time. The on-call shuttle that services that segment of I-5 will cease operation when the freeway shoulder access is re-opened to cyclists.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Sincerely,
Seth Cutter
Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator
Associate Transportation Planner
Multimodal Programs Branch
Caltrans District 11 Planning Division

Gear Talk

Open cans without tools

h/t Crazy Russian Hacker (no really, that’s dude’s handle!)

Weight-limits and sturdy touring bikes

I was a PNWer (Seattle) until I, too, relocated to DC.  Now I’ve moved to Sonoma County CA.  I’m replacing my 2011 Fuji Touring bike (stolen), and I appreciated your reviews of the Long Haul Trucker and the Novara Safari (I like it, but still don’t understand why it’s less expensive than the Novara Randonee, which doesn’t have discs?). The Fuji was OK, but it was kind of kludgey and their newer ones are less committed to touring, so that’s out.

I rode to Cleveland via the C&O canal trail, GAP, and roads through Amish Country when I was 270 lbs and had about 100 pounds of gear (front & rear panniers). That destroyed a wheel and my crank (which was probably a little loose).

My issue right now is that I’m 260 lbs and the Safari says it has a 250 lb weight limit. I’m 6’5”, so I’m trying to evaluate that.

Question:
“What constitutes overloading on a touring bike?  What are the consequences/weak points of the bike that could be beefed up to handle heavier loads? This is especially important for us bigger riders.”  — David


  • Steel frames are close to a must (can handle the stresses of load over distance way better)
  • Consider building sturdier wheels than come stock on the bikes you’re considering.
  • Find ways to reduce the weight of your gear. Usually you can do a round of weight cuts just by leaving things at home rather than spend money on ultralight gear. Maybe ditch the cooking gear altogether? Go bivvy or hammock over a tent?
  • Consider a trailer. Remove that weight from your bike and you might be able to skirt the wheel builds altogether.

Connections

Johnny K brings the leather care knowledge (part 1, part 2), plus kick sleds for winter touring
First Pedalshift Meet up in New Jersey with the legendary PBJar Matt!
PBJar Matt

Five star reviews!

moar5starz

Thanks to all the reviewers! You rock!

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…

thanks bicycle touring bike touring

The Pedalshift Project 036: Thanks bicycle touring

On this holiday week where we in the States offer gratitude for all that is good, let’s take the time to say “thanks bicycle touring” for all it gives us. We also revisit tire inflation and chat leather saddle care. A bounty for your holiday week!

Pedalshift 036: Thanks bicycle touringHey it’s the direct download link for episode 036 (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.

 

Thanks bicycle touring

  • Adventure
  • Community
  • Self-reliance
  • Nerding out
  • Having the physical ability to do it

Gear Talk

Revisiting tire inflation

  • See PSP 019 for the initial talk (including a tire pressure calculator)
  • Laziness led to a nicer ride on the C+O: turns out a really “under inflated” tire on certain surfaces can be better than what you’d roll on asphalt
  • MJ finding the same in Patagonia – “just above pinch flat pressure”
  • For wider tires, softer seems to be better on trails and gravel.

Leather saddle care

  • My first Brooks saddle has me wanting to protect it!
  • Wet leather can make the saddle fail
  • Many (most?) use Brooks Proofide to treat the leather and swear by it (some dissenters, especially in hotter climates)
  • One extreme: protect against any and all moisture… cover it even while riding in rain!
  • Other extreme: my saddle has never been covered and it’s 15 years old and fine.
  • I like the middle… cover at night to avoid rain and dew. Proofide 1-2x per year.

Connections

Twitter

Instagram

Hammerhiker on Instagram letting me know about lighter stoves… yep! Did a segment on stoves on PSP 017! In colder weather I like to bring my “green dragon” as I call the heavy but beastly stove I brought on my recent C+O tours.
FOTS Scottmacs on instagram thinks I would be a fan of Bromptonmafia… right as always sir!

Five star reviews!

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.52.09 PM

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 4.52.22 PM

Thanks to all the reviewers! You rock!

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 harpers ferry

The Pedalshift Project 035: A fall C&O bicycle tour + trying out Amtrak’s roll-aboard service

A recap of a gorgeous fall C&O bicycle tour, a review of Amtrak’s new roll-aboard service on the Capitol Limited line, plus gear minimizing and cold weather camping thoughts.

psp35Hey it’s the direct download link for episode 035 (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

 

  • Halloween Spooktacular Ride
  • Amtrak Roll-aboard service on the Capitol Limited
Amtrak Capitol Limited bike
Loading a bike on Amrak’s Capitol Limited (photo by Amtrak)

The Amtrak press release gives some good info:

Good News for Capitol Limited Customers: Bike Service Begins Aboard Trains 29 and 30

 

Effective September 15, 2015 Amtrak is pleased to announce that starting September 15, passengers can bring bikes on the Capitol Limited for only $20. Before bringing your bike aboard, please note the following:

  • Arrive Early If you are checking a bike, get to the station at least 30 minutes prior to train departure to allow time to get your tickets and take your bike to the baggage car.
  • Bike Reservations Bicycle reservations are required. Reserve your bike on Amtrak.com by selecting “add bike to trip” when booking your train travel. You can also call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) or make reservations at any Amtrak ticket office. Bike reservations cannot be made through Amtrak’s mobile apps. Don’t forget to bring the ticket (travel document) for your bike to present to the conductor.
  • One bike is permitted per person, and only standard size bikes are allowed. If your bike has a large seat/saddle bags, you will need to remove it from the bike before loading it on the train. The seat can either be carried on the train or checked, where permitted.
    Loading and Storing Your Bike Once you arrive at the station, take your bike to the coach/baggage car where it will be stored during your trip. A crew member will open the baggage car door.
  • You must be able to lift your bike onto the train and stow it in the rack. You must also attach the stabilization bar with the strap provided to your bicycle frame. Amtrak employees are not responsible for storing or securing bicycles. Upon arriving at your destination, a crew member will guide you to the car to retrieve your bike once the train comes to a complete stop and it is safe to do so.

Enjoy your journey aboard the Capitol Limited, and thank you for choosing Amtrak.

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Gear Talk

  • Lighten your load and compress your packing
  • Cold camping thoughts

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 034: Flying with a Brompton

What’s it like flying with a Brompton? Can you really get it in the overhead of your plane? On this special edition of the Pedalshift Project, we cover 6 tips (probably a lot more really!) on how to get your folding touring bike onboard as a carryon. Flying with a Brompton is easier than you think, and it opens up a whole new world for bike touring.


psp034Hey it’s the direct download link for episode 034
 (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.

6 tips on Flying with a Brompton

#1 Telescoping seat post FTW

#2 Know your plane

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

#4 Stealth mode

#5 TSA/security + boarding tips

#6 Getting down the aisle and in the overhead

Read more on flying with your Brompton.

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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‘ 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

The Pedalshift Project 033: Cycling Italy with special guest, laryngitis!

A first hand report on what it’s like cycling Italy, well at least in Tuscany, plus can my raspy voice hang on for a preview of my upcoming Halloween weekend ride on the C+O and connections with Friends of the Show from all over the world? You’ll have to listen to find out!

psp033Hey it’s the direct download link for episode 033 (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

Cycling Italy

  • Avoid during hurricane remnants
  • Hills are no joke – steep and windy near Lucca where I rode
  • Roads are narrow but it doesn’t stop people from biking
  • Really good cycling culture – leans a lot more toward road bikes and heavier commuting bikes. Saw a few folders!

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DC-Harpers Ferry Halloween Spooktacular

  • Riding out for the Halloween weekend
  • Less about miles and more about enjoying the ride and bike camping for the first time in months
  • May do a transit fast forward Friday depending on daylight and my desire to camp further out
  • I’m planning on recording the trip and sharing pieces on the next show
  • Trying out Amtrak’s rollaboard service Sunday to max out my biling time out… The bike cost more than me!

Gear Talk bonus next week on Traveling with a Brompton

In the meantime, check out my recent post on flying with your Brompton.

IMG_4638Connections

Caleb in the UK answers the call for international listener checkins:
FOTS and national treasure Johnny K wrote the longest most detailed comment ever in response to my call out on the big crossover… go read it in the show notes for Episode 31. Thank you sir!
FOTS MJ checks in! He’s been holed up during some classic good old South American unrest, streaming Netflix and resting up from the ride. He and his mysterious traveling partner are on taking a fast forward to Chile to cycle the Carretera Austral to Patagonia. Got some more images in the show notes from recent days journeys… again, hope to get them on the show this winter to hear more about the adventure!
south america by MJ
Ho, hum just another insane vista courtesy of MJ
glacierbandits on the GAP
Photo of Paul aka glacierbandits at the confluence in PGH on Instagram
FOTS Paul Mulvey aka glacierbandits is working his way down a soggy GAP… hey, shout out if you’re in Harpers Ferry Saturday night, I should be at Huckleberry Hill campground. Hopefully with dry weather!

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…

bicycle tourists table

The Pedalshift Project 032: Bicycle tourists we love (and the other kind)

Brock and Adele from The Sprocket Podcast rejoin The Pedalshift Project, already in progress! In part two of our chat, we discuss bicycle tourists and people we meet on tour… some of them we don’t connect with so well, and others warm our little hearts. This is also part of a cross-over with Sprocket Podcast episode 259 and Pedalshift Project 031 with our Friends of the Show from the land of sunshine and bunnies.1


psp032Hey it’s the direct download link for episode 032 (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 pedalshiftproject@gmail.com or call the brand new Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109.

The Interview

brock and adeleBrock and Adele are stalwarts of The Sprocket Podcast — Adele being a frequent guest of the show, while Brock has been the co-host since the show’s inception in 2010. Their bicycle tours, and their bicycle tour eff ups, have been the fodder for the podcast and their co-written blog, Brock and Adele go Bicycling, chronicling their 2012 touring adventure to Colorado.

Videos

The flood…

The guys from Massachusetts and their “baby effing whale” — if by some miracle this viral wonder hasn’t hit you yet…

Music

The Pedalshift Project theme is America courtesy of Jason Kent off his self-titled solo album. Check out his band Sunfields‘ new release, Habitat, wherever cool music resides. And hey, a video for Ghost!

Featured image (cc) courtesy of Jason on Flickr.


  1. AKA, Portland, Oregon

The Pedalshift Project 031: Bicycle touring eff ups

Brock and Adele from The Sprocket Podcast join The Pedalshift Project! In part one of a two episode Pedalshift Project extravaganza, we discuss our epic mistakes — our bicycle touring eff ups, if you will.1 This is also part of a cross-over with Sprocket Podcast episode 259 with our Friends of the Show from the land of sunshine and bunnies.2

psp031Hey it’s the direct download link for episode 031 (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 pedalshiftproject@gmail.com or call the brand new Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109.

The Interview

brock and adeleBrock and Adele are stalwarts of The Sprocket Podcast — Adele being a frequent guest of the show, while Brock has been the co-host since the show’s inception in 2010. Their bicycle tours, and their bicycle tour eff ups, have been the fodder for the podcast and their co-written blog, Brock and Adele go Bicycling, chronicaling their 2012 touring adventure to Colorado.

Videos

The flood…

The guys from Massachusetts and their “baby effing whale” — if by some miracle this viral wonder hasn’t hit you yet…

Music

The Pedalshift Project theme is America courtesy of Jason Kent off his self-titled solo album. Check out his band Sunfields‘ new release, Habitat, wherever cool music resides. And hey, a video for Ghost!

Featured image (cc) courtesy of Jason on Flickr.


  1. Except we use the actual eff-word, so listener beware.

  2. AKA, Portland, Oregon

The Pedalshift Project 030: The Mysterious bicycle tour and flipping bicycle pumps

Mysterious James checks in on his South American adventure, plus how to flip bicycle pumps from presta to schraeder and more connections than you can shake said bike pump at…

psp30Hey it’s the direct download link for episode 030 (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 pedalshiftproject@gmail.com or call the brand new Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109.

Followup

Amtrak trainIt’s official…
Roll on service is officially official between Chicago and DC!

Amtrak press release (PDF)

Cycle Oregon rerouted

First time in tour history, due to Oregon wildfires. More from Bike Portland.

The Journal

Mysterious James South America tour update

SPOT updates and messages (nice to get those but a bunch didn’t go through since)
WhatsApp checkin from Salinas, Equador on Saturday and then at the foot of Chimborazo Tuesday
Some gorgeous images from Eduador:

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Gear Talk

Bicycle pumps

Going back and forth from Presta to Schrader:

Connections

New listener Ross checks in

James Hardy’s Amtrak Express success story (original post on Amtrak Express)

FOTS Scott Mcalister Morgan with #statesivebikedin…

Music

The Pedalshift Project theme is America courtesy of Jason Kent off his self-titled solo album. Check out his band Sunfields‘ new release, Habitat, wherever cool music resides. And hey, a video for Ghost!

brooks saddle

The Pedalshift Project 029: Bicycle touring all 50 states?

Takeaways from the recent transit aided tour from DC to Boston, some amazing news from Amtrak plus… have you hit all 50 states bicycle touring?

psp029Hey it’s the direct download link for episode 029 (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 pedalshiftproject@gmail.com or call the brand new Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109.

Followup

Digesting the transit-aided ride – takeaways:
– I love the Dahon (check out the review), but I’m getting a Brompton
– Transit in the NE US is pretty reliable (small sample size!)
– NYC, particularly 8th Avenue is a really challenging place to ride, but awesome.
– Just because you can do it doesn’t mean it’s a good tour
– Lighter and smaller FTW
– Wild camping is fun, but respect the space you choose.
– Not all people are asshats
– Using transit or trains is absolutely #notcheating
– Sleep is really important
– Always be prepared for someone to tell you “no”
– Bringing positivity to things is really important to me
– I’m going to use these lessons in a bigger tour next year

Amtrak brings us some great bicycle news

Amtrak trainAmtrak threw a curveball and is implementing roll aboard service on the Capitol Limited (CHI-DC)
– Unboxed bikes everywhere still not a reality
– What it means for GAP/C+O touring
– Cost is $25, which is about the same as baggage service if you bought a box from them
– “as soon as this week” to “next several weeks”
– Articles from Adventure Cycling, the Post Gazette, and the Herald Mail.

Connections

FOTS Eric Iverson asked me and a few others #howmanystatesivebikedin

My answer (after forgetting a few and amending) was 15: DC MD VA WV DE NY FL SC MT WA OR CA AZ CT PA

Who out there can beat that? And for my international listeners, #howmanycountriesivebikedin is waiting for you too! Chime in on Facebook, Twitter and the comments section below!

Music

The Pedalshift Project theme is America courtesy of Jason Kent off his self-titled solo album. Check out his band Sunfields‘ new release, Habitat, wherever cool music resides. And hey, a video for Ghost!

Featured image (cc) Kevin G. Saunders on Flickr