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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)
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GAP 27 to Confluence + 18.5 to Rockwood, PA (45.5)
|
Cumberland, MD (44)
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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
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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:
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

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.

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…

Bike Touring Gift Guide

The Pedalshift Project 058: Bike touring across America

Ever wonder what it’s like to cross the US by bike? On this episode of the pod, we chat with a guy who’s done it not once, not twice, but three times! Michael Riscica talks about the highs and lows of bike touring across America, including what it’s like to transition to the real world back home. Plus gear talk and more!

Hey it’s the direct download linkThe Pedalshift Project 058: Bike touring across America: The Pedalshift Project 058: Bike touring across America (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.

Gear Talk

Touring Brompton specs: “The Pedalshift Touring Brompton”

Touring Brompton specs
– Boo: no orange for Bromptons! H/T Anna at Clever Cycles for letting me in on that.
– A few things to add: I really like the Brompton toolkit (ingenious storage in the tube) and the third party Off Yer Bike handle. For a lock, I’m experimenting with a folding version that’s a knockoff of the ALBUS ones and I just supported a Kickstarter campaign for a cinching lock by a Portland company called Ottolock. Super lightweight and fairly resistant to cutting.

Bicycling with your dog followup

Based on the advice of fellow dog biker and follower Jim in Louisville, I asked for Outward Hound’s Pooch Pouch backpack for my recent bday… both pups fit in it, Belle Starr a little better than Mookie. Looking to a fall overnight with her to test it all out!

The Interview: Bike touring across America with Michael Riscica

mr-sidebarMichael Riscica is a Licensed Architect in Oregon. He grew up in the New York City Area and moved to Portland by bike in 2007. A veteran of three cross-America bike tours, Michael rode the Transam in 2005, the Northern Tier in 2007 and returned to the Transam in 2016… all east to west, like a boss. He writes at YoungArchitect.com and coast2coastbikeride.com. He’s also on Instagram & Twitter [@BikeTouring999].

  • What was your inspiration to move across country by bike on your first cross country ride?
  • You strike me as a pretty laid back guy, but critics of your ride, your gear or your style, and even how you wrote your blog got under your skin. Frankly as a reader I felt the same way. What’s your take on “backseat bicyclists”?
  • Your dog patiently waited for your return and you could tell you missed her a lot on the ride. Would you consider bringing her along on a future ride?
  • How challenging was it to do work on the road? Was there ever a point when you needed internet or cell signal and didn’t have it?
  • What’s the one thing friends and family got consistently wrong about your rides that you always felt you needed to correct about bike touring across America?
  • What’s the best advice or assistance you got on tour?
  • Favorite gear?
  • You’ve done the northern tier and the Trans Am now twice. Are you thinking about trying the southern tier ride at some point?
  • Three cross-country rides in… what’s changed with riding across country?
  • Did you have a tough time transitioning back into reality when you got back? What tips do you have?

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. AND brand new by popular request… one-shot annual support and “choose your own adventure” one shot support if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it out and join at pedalshift.net/society. 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!