The Pedalshift Project 046: Ultralight bike touring prep and emergency fixes

My upcoming Brompton tour of the California coast forces me into ultralight bike touring preparations… maybe “force” is the wrong word, but I’m certainly doing some ultralight bike touring! On this episode of the Pedalshift Project, we dive into the methods I’m using to go light, learn ways to make an emergency fix to a busted rear derailleur, learn Swedish (well one verb at least) and check in with old touring friends. It’s touring season everyone!

Ultralight bike touring prep and emergency fixes

Hey it’s the direct download link for episode 046: Ultralight bike touring prep and emergency fixes (mp3)

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The Journal

Ultralight bike touring:  preparing the Brompton

  • Spring clean (wipe down and chain cleaning and lubing)
  • Front Ortlieb setup (see Pedalshift Project 043)
  • Backpack setup – wooden dowel plus tiedowns (see Path Less Pedaled’s video )
  • Gear:
    • Going no stove or maybe just my titanium Esbit stove.
    • Tent only (no  hammock this time)
    • Lightweight summer bag and fleece blanket – may drop blanket for the mylar emergency blanket depending on temps
    • Inflatable pad
    • “Plane clothes” and one set of biking clothes with two pairs of athletic wicking underwear and two pairs of socks.
    • One pair of sneakers I’ll wear full time… might bring flip flops though. I like airing the feet out at camp!
    • Rain jacket as the “cold weather” gear. The Sweater stays home!
    • Very minimal repair toolkit and one tube. Oddly concerned about flats despite rolling on new Schwalbes!
    • One 100oz water bladder with extended tube that will clip to the backpack. Lighter and easier than water bottles.
    • May amend this if I find I have space, but I like the lightweight gear setup! Nothing I don’t “need.”

Price increase for C&O Bunkhouse in Hancock

Hello Everyone!

My name is Tracy Barnhart and my husband Jimmy and I purchased C&O Bicycle
in November of 2015. We also own Barnhart’s Lawn & Garden (an authorized
Husqvarna outdoor power tools dealership), and have moved Barnhart’s from
its location on Main St. in Hancock to the rear of the C&O Bicycle building
at 9 S. Pennsylvania Ave. The bike shop officially opens on April 1st but
we have been open for limited hours just about every day the past month
(depending on the weather). We are very excited to be the new owners of
C&O Bicycle, and we are keeping the previous employees (who are AWESOME!).
Dennis Hudson, the previous owner (also AWESOME!), will be back with us for
just the month of April to help us during the transition phase. Please
stop in and see him – I’m sure he’d love to say goodbye to all of you in

The bunkhouse nightly rate is now $15 per person, which is still a great
bargain. This rate is published on our website. The bunkhouse holds up to
16 people and is completely screened in to keep the bugs out. The $15 fee
includes a bunk with camp pad, access to a clean portable bathroom, a HOT
shower, and a towel. Electrical outlets are also available to recharge
your gadgets. Contrary to the “word on the street”, we have no plans to
convert the bunkhouse into any other use at this time.

We look forward to serving all of our customers, old and new, at C&O
Bicycle! IN fact, we are currently running a great pre-season special on
all in-stock bicycles. Please visit our website at for
more details.

See you soon!
Tracy & Jimmy Barnhart
C&O Bicycle

The Lab

Busted rear derailleur in the middle of nowhere? Emergency single speed fix!

Recently saw a person on one of the touring FB groups who was in middle of nowhere Arizona and thought he broke his derailleur. Whether it was the hanger or the derailleur I know I’d be screwed because that’s the one thing I have zero competency in fixing. But I know a hack to get me rolling…

I always travel with either a chaintool and with a chain that has a master link that allows for easy removal. One big reason why is I know I can use these to do an emergency roadside fix to get rolling even if my derailleur is toast.

  • Break the chain
  • Shorten it
  • Put it on the middle chain ring up front (or the smaller one if on a double)
  • Run the chain in as straight  line as you can to the cassette. If it’s close, go with the smaller cog.
  • Shorten the chain so it’s tight with a little resistance when you tug. Too tight and it won’t pedal well. Too lose and you’ll throw the chain.
  • Bike to a place you can get help or a fix!

I hope you never need this 🙂

Ideas for avoiding theft on tour

Thanks for the podcasts and website; I’ve enjoyed all the information you are putting out and your skill in presenting it, on your own and with the folks at the Sprocket Podcast (the other biking podcast I listen to.)

One subject I haven’t heard a lot of discussion about is how one avoids theft while on tour, primarily of one’s bike, but to a lesser extent of camping gear. I assume there are times when you can’t have all your stuff with you, for bio breaks, shopping, eating in restaurants, etc. How do you deal with those times? Am I just being paranoid or is this something I need to plan for?

Ray Jackson

Hayward, CA

Great question… a lot of this is situational and location-based. I’m always amazed at how *not* a problem this seems to be generally. In cities, especially ones with bike theft reputations (cough cough Portland) I wouldn’t leave my bike unattended for a second without a good lock. As far as stuff in bags goes, I usually carry a detachable front bag or backpack for the expensive/targeted items. The rest stays in the panniers. For April, I might be wheeling my Brompton inside wherever I go… we’ll see!


It’s an all-international connections segment!


How are you? I’m Max, from Sweden. I found your podcast when I got new (smart) phone and a new job – I just started a PhD in marine fish ecology in the smallest city in Sweden, on the east coast (Öregrund). Since I’m from the west coast, that means I’m commuting a lot for the weekends, which is a perfect opportunity to listen to your show!

Today I caught up with it! I started listening maybe two months ago. I really enjoy it, you seem very sympathique!. Now that I have to wait for the releases on Thursdays I might check out the Sprocket podcast, so thanks for that tip!

I always used my bike for commuting to school, but after me and my girlfriend hosted the nicest Australian couchsurfer from Berlin on his way to Norway, I was immediately hooked (I liked hiking, and biking, but never ever thought about combining them!). Luckily, this project didn’t end at the day-dreaming stage (I can nerd out on things but never fulfill them). We lived in Aberdeen (UK, not WA) last year, and we did an 8-day tour from east to west of Scotland, a loop in Applecross and the outer Hebrides. If I was hooked before I’m even more so no. In fact, neither of us was even the slightest deterred by the (almost) constant raining and hoards of midges (I thought we had a lot of midges in Sweden, but that’s nothing compared to west of Scotland. On the train back to the east coast, people who entered the train apologized for the midges they brought with them onboard!).

Now that I’m stuck in the smallest city in Sweden out in nowhere, I’m planning to do weekend tours, like yourself! Spring is finally here, the sea ice is starting to melt and I got all my cycling gear in one place now.

Anyhow, this is getting long! I’m excited about your future show on flying with a classic touring set-up. One of my supervisors is based at the University of Washington in Seattle, so I am trying to plan a longer vacation and a ride on the pacific coast next summer after I’ve visited him, maybe in June! That’s been a dream destination since I started reading up on bike-touring.

Well, I should finish up here. Thanks for a great show! Glad to hear it is going well for the project!

All the best,


P.S. Haha, actually, I just told Maja (girlfriend) about me e-mailing the show, and she reminded me that “dimpa” actually means something. It’s a verb, and it means something like “plump down”, or you know when a letter “dimps” (swenglish) down from the mail-hole in the door 😉

 Belgium! Hugo mentioned last show, Hugo sends an update!

2016 …. 25 years they pedaling, 1991 began.

Last week I cycled past a newsagent, newspapers were full of pictures of brussels, fuck, why, Belgium, Belgians have been so good, obedient to take within their Muslim brothers and we will get it as much, no this is it, people do think about it does for thou thing, there are simply no words, why ????? anyway, the last day I bought this newspaper and only bad and worse news about Belgium, sorry really sorry, we lose here millions of euros … Bv.japaners have canceled their trip to Belgium …. With me everything is very good, better than I already had good weather, eat, sleep and especially cycling here is better than Excellent, it’s hard to say with words but by the 100 countries that I have cycled thailand is my number one, the biggest reason is that here zoveeeeeel place to ride, my other bike friends agree, have a danish, englishman, taiwanese cycled and loved that too. the future brings me 12april to Taiwan, 10mei to Japan (Fukuoka) and June 7 in Australia (Cairns), then I’m not sure yet … maybe fiji or Hawaii. the main forgotten, Thank you Mr Sonneville, Delhaize, AL employees DELHAIZE owl, THANK yOU, my cook, or my mummy and everyone I’ve forgotten, I also support continue in the following years …. …. never give up, as long as I can keep pedaling I keep kicking. Regards, Hugo, Xuxa and Garfield.


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!