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The Pedalshift Project 095: Bicycling Oregon to San Francisco – Part 1

My fall 2017 Pacific Coast bicycle tour ended in San Francisco this week… On this episode, an interview with Daniel, the guy who ended up bicycling Oregon to San Francisco with me!
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The Pedalshift Project 088: Hot weather bicycle touring tips

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

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

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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.

Pedalshift Tour Journals Vol.8: Western Penn

 

Available now at Pedalshift Plus!

The Journal: hot weather bicycle touring tips + more

How’d that #heatindex ride go?

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

Hot weather bicycle touring tips

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

Followup

Summer Tour to follow…

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

Flying with your bike

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

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

Emergency items

From FOTS and PSS member Ethan Georgi:

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

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

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

 

Connections

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

Pedalshift Society

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

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

Music

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

emergency items for your next bike tour

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

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

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

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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.

Pedalshift Tour Journals Vol.8: Western Penn

 

Available now at Pedalshift Plus!

The Journal

#heatindex ride!

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

Gear Talk: Emergency items for your next bike tour

Connections

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

Pedalshift Society

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

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

Music

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

The Pedalshift Project 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
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Josiah Matthews
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Seth Krieger
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Noah Schroer
Harry Telgadas
John Sikorski
Richard Killian
Chris Barron
Scott Taylor
Brian Hren
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Paul Mulvey
Stuart Buchan
Todd Stutz
Mr. T
Roxy Arning
Nathan Poulton
Harry Hugel
Ferguson Meek
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Ruth DeVorsey
Michelle Miller

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 082: Biking Lake Erie to the Potomac

The June tour I was supposed to do and the June tour I’m going to do… two very different things! On this week’s pod, we explore a draft spur to the Eastern Express for biking Lake Erie to the Potomac River: Cleveland to DC! Plus, the trip I’m actually tackling next week!

The Pedalshift Project 082: Biking Lake Erie to the PotomacHey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 082: Biking Lake Erie to the Potomac (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: Biking Lake Erie to the Potomac

An update to Episode 079 on the Eastern Express!

– The route has changed to take advantage of some better routing (check it out)
– I discovered an alternate spur I was *going* to try out this week that started literally on the shores of Lake Erie and ending in DC… but some work stuff popped up and I needed to postpone. But let’s talk about it!

PLEASE NOTE: this is a route I have not personally ridden. For the road portions, please be aware the route could, in fact, suck.

Cleveland
|
Ride with GPS routing
|
Bridgeport Quarry Trailhead Massilion, OH (65)
|
Ride with GPS routing
|
Tappan Lake SP (53)
|
Ride with GPS routing
|
Cecil Henderson campsite (70)
|
Ride with GPS routing
|
GAP 43.7 to West Newton + 26 to Connellsville, PA (69)
|
GAP 27 to Confluence + 18.5 to Rockwood, PA (45.5)
|
Cumberland, MD (44)
|
Hancock, MD
|
Harpers Ferry, WV
|
DC

For Cumberland to Hancock, check out the Pedalshift Guide to the C&O!

Thoughts: the tricky and question mark sections I was willing to be a guinea pig for are the road sections between the Ohio and Erie Towpath and Tappan Lake, and then from Tappan Lake to Steubenville. Apparently Steubenville is a bit of a hot mess, so much so that the Eastern Express now avoids it. That said, it connects so well with the Panhandle Trail, avoiding a lot of miles, I was going to give it a shot.

Ohioans? Any thoughts?

Next week’s alternative tour

I have fewer days than I’d like, but I want to get a gander at the Steubenville situation… so I’m taking a train to Connellsville, biking to Steubenville, then turning back and taking the GAP back to Cumberland and possibly the C&O from there. Depending on how long all of this takes I’ll be getting another fast forward home.

Intentions
– Creating the beginnings for a Pedalshift Guide to the GAP!
– A daily checkin for newsletter subscribers (look for an email Sunday for details)
– Recording more than the checkin with the possibility of a new Tour Journal
– Pics and more on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Next week…

How to deal with a wet tent on tour… hopefully the advice isn’t prophetic for my ride 😉

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
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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.

eastern express route

The Pedalshift Project 079: The new Eastern Express Route alternative to the Trans Am

Planning for a June tour… someplace… I stumbled upon a brand new tour option: the Eastern Express Route is an alternative eastern spur for the Trans Am route, starting in DC. It includes the C&O, the GAP and Katy trails and we chat with the person who did the heavy lifting (and cue sheet creation!) for this amazing new option.

The Pedalshift Project 079: The new Eastern Express Route alternative to the Trans AmHey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 079: The Eastern Express – a new Trans Am bike touring alternative route (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.

Followup

Hey, the C&O Guide has *lots* more in it now!
  • Segmented into about 10 mile chunks
  • Adding descriptions over the rest of the spring
  • Embedded maps
  • Embedded campsite video reviews
  • More to come!

The Journal

  • West coast touring options for June?
  • Vancouver Island
  • Multimodal Oregon/Washington tour
  • Brompton or no?
  • Eastern Express as another option? C&O->GAP-> and beyond. Hooks up with the Katy eventually. Hmmm…
Reached out to the originator to get him on the show!

The Interview: The Eastern Express Route with Frank Mortiz

Frank Moritz, originator of the Eastern Express RouteFrank Moritz, is a veteran Adventure Cycling tour leader, instructor and board member, and completed the initial research to create an “eastern express route” addition to the legendary TransAmerica bike route. This new route provides a welcome option for TransAm cyclists to bypass the severe mountain climbs and nasty dogs that confront cyclists in southwestern Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and southern Missouri on the eastern half of the existing route. It also replaces three major high-altitude climbs in Colorado with one gradual and scenic climb to the Continental Divide. Amazingly, almost 600 of the 2,100+ miles of this route are on dedicated bike/pedestrian paths, towpaths, or rail-trails.

Questions

  • Your background in bike touring, including your work with ACA
  • Your thoughts on the Trans Am route as it currently is routed in the east
  • It’s one thing to develop an alternate route, but quite another to do ALL of the great work with cue sheets etc. for the Eastern Express… what motivated this?
  • What is the plan for the route – it feels like this is a “public beta” and you’ll be doing some refinements after comments this year.
  • What can Pedalshift listeners do to help with this process?
  • Any other recommendations that might be different from “the usual” routes out there in the US?
You can learn more about Frank and the Eastern Express Route at easternexpressroute.com.

Connections

Where are you listening?
I hope you are well! I listened to a podcast where you where curious about from which countries your listeners are from. Well, I’m from Sweden (Stockholm) and I really enjoy listening to you. Keep up the good work!  – Paula in Stockholm
Data!
Perhaps not too surprising… most of you are in the United States. All 50 states listen (even Wyoming – someone has to be last, but you’re beautiful and windy Cowboy State listeners!) and the top states are:
  • Oregon (wonder why?)
  • California
  • New York (Empire State!)
  • Illinois (biggest surprise?)
  • Texas (everything’s bigger)
International
  • UK (about 25% the US DLs)
  • Canada (about 7% – c’mon Canada!)
  • Australia (4%)
  • Sweden (1.4%)
  • Ireland (my people! 1.3%)
  • New Zealand
  • Germany
  • China
  • Netherlands
  • Japan
Also hear from members of the US military who listened while stationed in Afghanistan and elsewhere… hey, if this dopey little show about riding bikes helped pass the time while you were serving, trust me when I say it is literally the least I can do.
Thank you all for listening! If you’re listening from exotic spot (well and exotic spot for me) drop a line or leave a note in the comments! Bonus points for calling the Pedalshift voicemail!!

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.

The Pedalshift Project 077: Bike touring differently

Jeremy Mendelson joins the show to talk about his take on bike touring differently: from a bike touring focused lifestyle to vegan touring to riding  little clown bikes and much more.

The Pedalshift Project 077: Bike touring differentlyHey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 077: Bike touring differently (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 Interview: bike touring differently with Jeremy Mendelson

Jeremy Mendelson is a transit planner, geographer, traveler, bus driver, advocate and co-founder of TransitMatters in Boston. He’s currently working in Colorado for the winter season and as we’ll talk about in the interview, that’s more of a means to an end in his bike travel oriented life setup. Living a more nomadic life that serves his bike touring is just the tip of the iceberg for how Jeremy tours differently. He’s a longtime vegan, which we chat about, and a fan of touring on the little clown bike itself, the Brompton. Such a great discussion…

Questions

  • So much to chat about, but I think we should start by talking about your lifestyle… you describe yourself as living a semi-nomadic lifestyle. What was your journey to end up there?
  • How did you get into bike touring differently?
  • How does your perspective being a geographer inform your bike touring? Do you think you tour differently because of that?
  • Let’s dive into the vegan thing. I find everyone who is fully plant-based eaters or trending in that direction have a good story to tell about how they got there. What’s yours?
  • My experience is it’s not hard to eat totally plant-based almost anyplace, but in parts of the country (and the world) the tradeoff tends to mean having to eat a lot of processed stuff or sugary foods I would rather avoid. What’s your experience like and what do you do in “food deserts” on tour?
  • Having just finished a weekend tour, I found my ability to stick with my eating plan was always battered by (a) my sudden intense caloric needs, (b) my weird cravings and (c) availability. What’s your general plan when you tour to eat plant-based?
  • One of the big benefits I see with plant based eating on tour is cost savings… can you chat a bit about that?
  • Let’s shift gears and chat about your adventures touring on a Brompton. What’s your favorite part about touring on “the little clown bike”?
  • What gear do you tend to leave at home or pare down on when on the Brompton and how do you split it all up on the bike?
  • You’re a bus driver and transit enthusiast so you’re a natural to chat about fast forwards. How do you use them and what’s your favorite one you’ve ever done?
  • What’s next for you?
  • Read and listen more at criticaltransit.com.

Resources

If you want to hear more about touring on a Brompton, check out Pedalshift Tour Journals Vol. 5: California Coast. Can a loaded Brompton handle the hills of Big Sur? An hour and 46 minutes of touring stories for 10 bucks… and it helps support the show! Here’s a preview:

Connections

Another 5-star review over on iTunes!

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!

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for 77 fine episodes. I got news for ya. New. Sunfields. Album. This August.

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)

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.

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)

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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…