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The Pedalshift Project 084: Bicycling Western Pennsylvania

I had an amazing adventure bicycling western Pennsylvania last week…. and on this edition of the pod, I tell stories all about biking the Great Allegheny Passage, the Montour Trail and the Panhandle Trail. Spoiler alert: it was hot.

The Pedalshift Project 084: Bicycling Western PennsylvaniaHey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 084: Bicycling Western Pennsylvania (mp3)

Subscribe to The Pedalshift Project:
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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.

The Journal: Bicycling Western Pennsylvania

Route

A 5-day adventure that includes the full Montour trail, a hefty helping of the Panhandle Trail and a through-ride of the Great Allegheny Passage. Nearly 300 miles. It was hot.

Highlights

  • Segment riding the Montour to completion
  • Big help from Dave at The Tandem Connection in Hendersonville… huge help with a weird rear flat
  • Through riding the GAP fro 150-0
  • Wildlife, except the rattlesnake
  • Exploring Pittsburgh off the beaten path
  • Hammock lounging every night
  • Camping every night (but getting showers the last 2!)

Lessons Learned

  •  Sugar isn’t always you friend, until it is.
  • Hydrate and block the sun
  • Lighter is better
  • Frame bags are dope

Pedalshift Tour Journals Volume 8: Western Penn… coming soon!

Full gallery of pictures from biking Western Pennsylvania.

Gear Talk

Connections

Another 5 star review from @pedalingpair and feedback on the Ohio route from Pedalshift 082.

Pedalshift Society

Help support the show and join the Pedalshift Society with monthly or one-shot contributions!

Ethan Georgi
Kimberly Wilson
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Andrew MacGregor
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Josiah Matthews
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Seth Krieger
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Noah Schroer
Harry Telgadas
John Sikorski
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Ferguson Meek
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Michelle Miller

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

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for 79 fine episodes. I got news for ya. New. Sunfields. Album. This August.

The Pedalshift Project 083: Tips for Dealing with a Wet Tent

The Pedalshift Project 083: Tips for Dealing with a Wet Tent

On this week’s pod, tips for dealing with a wet tent on bicycle tour… from how to pack a wet tent to drying the tent out, and more.

Hey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 083: Tips for Dealing with a Wet Tent (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.

Gear Talk: Wet Tent Edition

 

If you camp, you probably camp in the rain at some point. But how do you deal with a wet tent on tour? I have tips, many tips… English tips. (late 80s movie reference)
– Make sure the tent is properly waterproofed to begin with. Seam seal that tent and tarp if it’s older than a few seasons. Some do it every year.
– Choose where you pitch if you can. Under trees seems like a good idea at first, but a rain shower that ends overnight continues to drip on you under trees. Ditto if the spot you’re in will have a foggy morning!
– Scenario 1 – it’s not raining in the morning and you’re in no rush. Shake off as much wetness as you can. If you have a camp towel (you should! they’re great!) wipe down the surfaces. Take the tarp off and angle the tent under as much sun and wind as you can get. Put it on its side if necessary. Dry it totally and throughly. If you can’t, roll it up with the wet side out and bungee to the rack so it can dry as you pedal. Pack it up when you get a break and the tent is dry.
– Scenario 2 – It’s raining still. Hard to shake off that much wet, but do what you can. Segregate the wet tent from other things as much as possible. It’s best not to pack a wet tent in a waterproof bag, even in the rain. Exception: If the inside of the tent is still dry and there’s steady rain that would make it wetter if carried outside. Roll the tent up so the dry side touches the dry and the wet touches wet. Keep the dry on the outside if going in a bag, on the inside if there’s dry weather coming that day and you have a shot of airing it out as you ride.
Hammock person? You probably have it easier… pack up under the fly and keep it dry. Worry about the tarp after you shake it out.

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

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

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for 79 fine episodes. I got news for ya. New. Sunfields. Album. This August.

The Pedalshift Project 080: Paring down your gear and keeping things charged on bike tour

Let’s talk gear. If you’re like me, you probably carry too much, “just in case.” On this episode, I talk about my recent attempts to whittle the weight down. Plus, strategies for keeping things charged on bike tour!

The Pedalshift Project 080: Paring down your gear and keeping things charged on bike tourHey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 080: Paring down your gear and keeping things charged on 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 Guide to Bicycling the C&O

More entries… more info… check out the Pedalshift Guide to Bicycling the C&O!

Pedalshift Guide to Bicycling the C&O

Gear Talk: paring down and keeping things charged

Paring down your bike tour gear

Experiment: What’s the bare minimum for me balancing comfort and gear I own? Can I get into fewer bags?
Answer: yes!
tent
sleeping bag
pad
pump
spare tube
multitool
spork
spare shirt
spare underwear
spare socks
toiletry bag (incl. ibuprofin, caffeine and electrolyte pills)
hat
helmet
batteries and cable
iPhone
water bottles or bladder
wallet
Fits in 1 pannier, 1 compression bag (Brompton – NO BACKPACK NECESSARY!)
Fits in 1 compression bag and one rack bag (Safari) – adding a frame bag to try it out
No stove, no kit – all food is grab and go (a stove and kit *does* fit though)
Includes the rack bag so it can be easily broken down and carried/checked
Helmet. Would likely just clip on outside of the rack bag.
All the gear laid out
Brompton packing
Bag to check

Keeping things charged on bike tour

Keeping things charged – beyond batteries and dynohubs, where to plug in?
  • Coffee shops
  • Restaurants
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery store eating areas
  • Outside – look for plugged in things and check behind. Often there’s a free outlet (soda and vending machines, lights, signs, etc.)

Connections

Hey Tim,
     Just wanted to share that the weather and my schedule finally aligned so that I was able to get my first bike overnight under my belt. Not anything super exciting, but did a good 46 mile ride from my house to John Bryan State Park near Yellow Springs Ohio, and then back the next morning. I didn’t really explore the park at all, I was pretty beat by the time I got there, so just cooked some dinner and got a fire going and relaxed at the campground.
Lessons learned:
1. My legs aren’t as strong as I thought they were!  I’m used to fairly flat roads here in central Ohio, but the last 10 miles to the park had some rolling hills coupled with a pretty good headwind, and I ended up having to hop off and push my bike up the last steep climb into the park.
2.  Make sure your bike fit is really dialed in before a loaded bike trip. This was my first real long ride on this bike with it loaded with all my gear, and I started getting some pretty bad knee pain on my way home the second day. After checking some adjustments I ended up tweaking the saddle position a bit, so hopefully that will solve it.
I have some more pictures up on my instagram @goingforabikeride , but here are a couple.

Pedalshift Society

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
Dereck Waggoner
Harry Hugel
And all anonymous and past contributors for helping make this show happen!

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for 79 fine episodes. I got news for ya. New. Sunfields. Album. This August.

Bike Touring Gift Guide

Holiday Bike Touring Gift Guide

Just say no to the bikey pizza cutter. I mean, delicious, but no. This is a bike touring gift guide for the bike tourist in your life (hint: this might be you).  These are (almost all) things I personally use and love.

Bike Touring Gift Guide

Tent: Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 2 person ($125)

This tent saved me from a flood. Like, for real.

Sleeping bagHyke and Byke 32º down sleeping bag ($99)

A newer addition to my gear… works great and super affordable.

Ultrlight StoveEtekcity Ultralight foldable stove ($9.99)
Runner up: Trangia Spirit Burner alcohol stove  ($14.53)

Love the Etekcity, and the Trangia is a great value.

Lights: Portland Design Works Radbot 1000 ($29)
Runner up: Ascher USB rechargeable LED set ($13.99)

I swear by PDW as my rear light, and I just bought the Ascher set for Kimberly.

Bike Touring Gift Guide

Panniers: Ortlieb back roller classic (prices/colors vary)
Ortlieb front roller classic (prices/colors vary)

Look, there are a lot on the market. But Ortlieb stands the test of time for me. Plus: orange.

Dry Bag: Sea to Summit eVent Compression dry bag, large ($42.95)

I think this is one of the most clever items on the list… waterproof but lets air out for easy compression. I use the large size for sleeping kits, but all sizes are great.

Support the Parks: National Park and Federal Land Annual Pass ($80)

I ride the C&O a lot, and while there isn’t an entrance fee, this pass makes me feel like I support the system. Oh, it also lets me in all the others… which is nice.

Water Bottles: Brita Sport Water Filter bottle (2 pack for $16)

Filters built in make this a great way to help less than tasty water sources (it filters out iodine taste too for you backcountry types with iodine pills).

External Battery: Anker Astro E7 ($60)
Runner up: Anker Power Core 20100 ($40)

Anker is my brand for these.. get the biggest battery that makes sense for you.

Rain jacket: Showers Pass Double Century ($159)

Best rain jacket I’ve ever had. Looks nice too!

Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Plus (Price varies by size)
or
Schwalbbe Marathon Supreme (Price varies by size)

Nearly puncture proof, but more importantly, Schwalbe stands by their product with great warranties.

Tune up: contact your LBS (price varies by service)

Your bike will thank you.

Maps: ACA maps for a future tour (price varies)

For you paper types!

Stocking stuffers:

  • Freeze dried instant meals
  • Caffeine pills
  • Electrolyte pills
  • VIA Instant coffee packets
  • First aid kit
  • Tubes
  • Patch kit
  • Wool socks

For you big spender types… a touring bike: 
Brompton, Pedalshift Style from CelverCycles in PDX (Oregon has no sales tax!) or your LBS… (just no orange)
Runner up: Surly Long Haul Trucker from your LBS


FYI, some of these are affiliate links.

The Pedalshift Project 056: Bike touring without camping plus Cat from The Joyride

The Pedalshift Project 056: Bike touring without camping plus Cat from The Joyride

Bike touring means a lot of things, but it doesn’t mean you have to sleep on the ground or on top of a picnic table (although both can be awesome). On this episode we uncover the world of bike touring without camping. Plus I have a great chat with the host of The Joyride podcast, Cat Caperello in which we talk about her take on bicycle touring and more. Also a few new things to check out in gear talk and connections with you!

Hey it’s the direct download link: The Pedalshift Project 056: Bike touring without camping (mp3)Pedalshift Project 056 Bike touring without camping

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

Recommendation

Recommendation: Listen to the latest Bicycle Story podcast on a 1928 bike tour of 5 African American women who were longing to enjoy the great outdoors. “Their three day ride was about personal pleasure and challenge and calls into question our ideas of who bicycled in history and why.” Great story and thanks to Josh for sharing it with us!

The Oregon Coast Tour

oregon coast 2016 bicycle tour

The Interview

Cat Caperello is a NJ native and the creative force behind The Joyride Podcast and Girl Eats Bike. She started Girl Eats Bike started 5 years ago while on a journey tofind fitness and lose weight. 120 pounds later she boldly proclaims the transformative power of the bike, in our personal lives, our communities,and the world at large.

Cat Caperello Girl Eats Bike The Joyride

Read more and listen more at girleatsbike.com.

Gear Talk

Strava Heatmap

A cool way to see most used bike routes globally…

Bike Touring without Camping

Example 1: Viola guy from 2012 CA ride

Perhaps the most classic example I’ve personally met for bike touring without camping (although he did do some). No food, no cooking gear. Incredibly minimal bivy on front handlebars, water bottles and minimal toolkit. Paid for most things by credit card… lodging often in hotels, but not exclusively. Ate at restaurants (or wherever he stopped).

Example 2: A “unique approach”

We ride road bikes without carrying any gear other than spare tubes, water, and food. A few days before our trip, we shipped our clothes, toiletries, and gear to each of our two hotels. The boxes included return labels and with one phone call, UPS will later ship them home. This approach allows us to travel light and cover more road. (Bike Overnights)

Connections

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

Jonathan Rinde

Jonathan shares his #44 from the American Cancer Society Bridge to Beach ride… he’s not only a rider and a fundraiser, but also a chance survivor so good on ya for that. Jonathan and his son are riding the C&O and GAP the week after Labor Day, so if you see them on the trail say hello! THANK YOU Jonathan for listening and sharing this fine #44 with me!
jonathan rinde 44

Greg Towner

Greg tweets out a shot from the Erie Canal in beautiful Pittsford, NY… one town over from where I grew up and training camp home to someday Super Bowl champion Buffalo Bills (dream a little dream). Thanks for the mention Greg and hope the ride was as good as it looked!

Pedalshift Society

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

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

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

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!