Brompton Ortlieb pannier hack
Side view, front bag

The Pedalshift Project 043: Flying with your touring bike and an Ortlieb hack

Are you planning on flying with your touring bike this year? We tackle some tips and tricks on the best way to do that, plus a funky (and very, very simple) hack to get an Ortlieb pannier onto a Brompton. It’s gear-a-palooza and much more on this episode of The Pedalshift Project.

The Pedalshift Project 042: Flying with your touring bike and Ortlieb hacks

Hey it’s the direct download link for episode 043: Flying with your touring bike and Ortlieb hacks (mp3)

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Pedalshift Tour Journals

They’re coming back as a part of the Pedalshift Bike Touring Society, a new project for helping to support the show! if you’re a newsletter subscriber you just got Pedalshift Tour Journals volume 4, the transit-aided folding bike tour from DC to Boston this week. Missed out? Stay tuned… details are coming soon. Sign up for the newsletter to be the first to know… or wait til episode 044 coming March 3rd!

The Journal

Ian the Aussie Bike Touring Grifter is back!

As originally reported in Bike Portland:

A con-man named “Ian” who [Bike Portland] exposed for the first time back in 2012 is still at it. And while I don’t support the way he supports himself, I have to admit I’m envious of his lifestyle.

To get you up to speed, we too were initially duped by Ian when we published a story about someone who came to his aid after meeting him in central Oregon in May of 2012. After our story went up, a stream of comments came pouring in from other people who’d met him. They all shared different stories about his supposed hardships and bad-luck and how he just needed a little extra money and a ride to get back on his feet. Readers shared stories about being duped by him as far back as the 1990s and he’s probably been doing this for much longer that that (prior to the ubiquity of the Internet, how would anyone connect the dots!?).

I want Ian reports… Pedalshifters, if you run into this guy I’m dying to do a tour story on him. He’s practically a legend now.

Important bridge opening for cyclists in MD

Beginning July 1, cyclists will be allowed to use the bridge on U.S. Route 40 to cross the Susquehanna River in northeast Maryland, state officials said Feb 10th.

FINALLY. No longer need to do a 20 mile detour. Downside is you have to take the lane on a 45 mph road, but it’s better than having to call a taxi like the signs tell you to do. Curious if this will be something Climate Ride and other organized tours will take advantage of?

Are you young and in the UK? Bike tour scholly!

The Janapar grant eligibility requirements:

  • A permanent resident of the UK,
  • Aged between 18 and 25 at the planned outset of the journey,
  • Planning to begin traveling this year (2016),
  • Planning to travel in parts of the world with which you are not familiar,
  • Planning to travel for at least 6 months,
  • Expecting to travel alone for the majority of the journey,
  • Intending to make full use of the equipment and mentorship provided by the Janapar Grant,
  • Free of contractual or other obligations to other companies or organisations in terms of the journey you are planning.

Gear Talk

Ortlieb pannier hack

April tour on my Brompton requires a new touring setup. I hacked a Brompton bag frame to hold an Ortlieb pannier on the front of my bike. Check out the post with tons of pictures and info on how I did it (spoiler alert… thriftyness, cowardice and zip ties… in that order):

Using a trainer during the offseason

I’m a fan, buuut… It’s not. The. Same. At all. But on a 12 degree day, it was nice to get a ride in. Even the dog doesn’t bark at it and he barks at *everything*. He barks at salad spinners. True story.

Down 6.3 pounds since February 1st and it feels really great. I should hit my goal weight before the April tour and can undo all the caloric damage the holidays did. Ok, I did.

Flying with your touring bike

Mark from Hampton, VA writes in!

Here are some newbie questions for self-supported bike touring.  I have driven to all of the past week long tours I have done.

Can you explain in detail about flying with your Safari?

a.       Do you ship your bike ahead to a bike shop or for the boxed bike as oversized baggage?

b.      If you do bring it on the plane, do you unbox and ride away from the airport or take a taxi, bus, BART type train?

c.       Do you pay extra luggage fees for multiple panniers?

I’m looking for more nuts and bolts stuff on how to do this.  Specifically I’m looking to flying into SeaTac and getting to Vancouver (either bus or train) to start riding south on the ACA Pacific coast ride.  Thanks!

  • I’ve moved my bike in a variety of ways: UPS, private shipping company, flying and Amtrak Express shipping. If cost is no object, I prefer having the bike travel with me. If not, I found Amtrak Express to be good but with some downsides that may be dealbreakers for some.
  • When flying, I’ve used a bike box and a special bike bag. In those instances I’ve usually gotten a ride from the airport, but I did ride from PDX once after landing and in SF I’ve taken BART. Now when touring with a Brompton, I’ll definitely be riding.
  • For other luggage, I try to combine everything into one bag if possible. Get the biggest duffel bag you can get that conforms to airline size limits and stuff your panniers, helmet and everything else in there. Watch the weight limit – 50 lbs adds up quickly!. I also use a rack bag that often becomes a carry-on. I fill that up as much as possible, remembering to keep liquids and other things in the duffel. I usually can get it so I’m checking one bag (the duffel) the bike if I’m flying with it and that’s it. Depending on the airline, the duffel is free (if underweight) and the bike is the only surcharge.
  • Lots of moving parts, but people do it every day!


We can haz more five stars!


Another angel gets her wings thanks to Seattle’s Greatest CPA… ever.[footnote]Possibly true, but my criteria for evaluation being limited to a favorable iTunes review means all of you should question my methodology.[/footnote]


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 this spring!