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Bike Touring Lifestyle

A few years ago (way, way before Pedalshift), I’ll admit I was struggling. I was approaching 40, had an unusual but fulfilling job, a great relationship… hell, I even had a cool dog.

But for some reason, I was missing something. Hindsight being 20/20, I now know I was missing adventure.

When I was a kid, I was probably a lot like other kids… I would devise grand stories in my head and run about in the woods behind my house. Hours would go by and I didn’t need an iPhone or video games to keep me entertained. Later, when I was introduced to my first bike, the world literally opened up. Places that were too far to walk to suddenly were accessible by two legs, two wheels and a chain to make things go.

Then I grew up. Got a car. Got a degree. Got a job. Fell in love. Fell out of love… did all that a few times… Fell back in love again.

Things caught my interest in fleeting ways. I liked snowshoeing for awhile. I tried climbing mountains until what I like to refer to as “the incident on Mt. St. Helens” happened. Nothing stuck, and my childhood sense of wonder of being in remote places by bike seemed a distant memory.

Then I discovered bike touring. Did you know people bungee up their bikes with camping gear and then bike dozens… hundreds… THOUSANDS of miles? Even for a rapidly aging thirty-something, that spoke to me. And so I started. A little at first, and then eventually I began biking weeks at a time, living in my tent off the Oregon coast on my way to San Francisco… or on the C&O trail between DC and western Maryland… it all came back. All of it.

And now… I want more. And I think a lot of people do too. The great part about the adventure and freedom of pointing your bike in a direction and pedaling for hundreds of miles is you can’t do it for more than a few days or – if you’re lucky – a few weeks of vacation time in your standard American life.

Or can you? This is what Pedalshift is all about. What are the things you can do in your life, to allow you to have more time, finances, and ability to seek that sense of adventure on the roads, paths, bike lanes and trails of the world? Gear shifting is a metaphor for the changes we can make in our lives to make this all easier…

Let’s shrink the world by bike

I’m not the most experienced bike touring guy (far from it!), but I’ve been trying a few things. I think they’re working, and I’d like to share them with people who might think the same way as me. And I’d like you to help me create a community around this concept here so we can all learn from each other.

  • How can we make small changes in our lives to support this?
  • What kinds of things can we do to simplify our lives so we don’t need the soul crushing job to pay for stuff we don’t need?
  • How can we work remotely… even when on tour?
  • What kind of resources are out there to help with things like this?

If this all sounds good to you, let’s recapture that sense of adventure we all had when we got our first bike and traveled farther than previous limitations allowed… because it’s that feeling of freedom and adventure that has me really excited for what lies ahead.

The Pedalshift Project

The core of Pedalshift is The Pedalshift Project… a biweekly (fortnightly… depends on where you live) show that explores bike touring lifestyle. From tips and tricks to how to tour more. We do a lot of shrinking the world by bike. The secondary podcast is Pedalshift Tour Journals, which takes you along on the ride for some of my bike tours. If you’re new, dive right in and start the binge. Most of the shows are pretty evergreen, so there’s plenty to take along on your own ride or for inspiring your future tours.

Want more?

Join the free Pedalshift newsletter and get access to even more… monthly musings on bicycle touring plus an exclusive extra podcast every month just for you.

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Pedalshift Plus

Liking the podcast and the newsletter? There’s even more! Archived versions of my past bicycle tour audio journals (Pedalshift Tour Journals) are available for $5-10 each. These bring you along for the ride on some of my favorite rides: the Pacific Coast, across New York state, the C&O/GAP trails from DC to Pittsburgh, and more. Check ’em out!