The Pedalshift Project 061: Bike touring Australia and eating on the road

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated with The Land Down Under, so it’s no wonder I’m drawn to bike touring Australia. On this episode of the pod, we take a look at a vintage tour and one that’s happening right now! Plus, cooking and eating on tour and connections!

the-pedalshift-project-061-bike-touring-australia-and-eating-on-the-roadHey it’s the direct download link: The Pedalshift Project 061: Bike touring Australia and eating on the road (mp3)

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The Journal:  Bike touring Australia

Featured Historical Tour

  • Wendy Law Suart and Shirley Duncan circle Australia (1946-1949)
  • 11000 miles/18000 km
  • Planned to bike around Europe, but post WWII was not an ideal time for that
  • So… they decided to bicycle around Australia and do it in 6 months. 3 years later they concluded their epic adventure.
  • This wasn’t a time when women typically traveled alone, much less doing it by bike. Luckily we have a book written by each of them and this *amazing* Movietone News newsreel you can check out on YouTube and in the shownotes. Check out their single speed gear and ingenious drying methods:

Gear Talk

This segment brought to you by a couple of questions from listener Scott Taylor!

Revisiting Stoves

Scott asks on FB:

I was thinking about going “cat can.” But the stoves appear to be less fuel efficient. If I add the extra fuel weight, the cat can ends up cheaper, but heavier. What was your experience?

  • I love tinkering and making alcohol stoves are GREAT for that. Awesome winter work.
  • That said I don’t love the results. For about 15 bucks you can buy an amazing version by Trangia that are bulletproof and easy to use.
  • I also don’t love alcohol for fuel… unless you get the good stuff, you end up with Heet or less than pure alcohol and it burns messily and not so hot.
  • I’m currently loving that Etekcity mini stove I got from Amazon for less than ten bucks. It burns hot and is super frieking small. If you’re flying, you need to get a canister on the far side of your flight… so make time for that. Otherwise? Easy.
  • Second choice… I like the Esbit tab stoves for lightness. The tabs smell awful but they’re light and burn pretty hot. Might take more than one to boil a large pot of water though.

Revisiting food on tour

Scott asks on email:

I’m prepping for my first longer tour and I’d like to get an idea about what food folks carry.

Is it like backpacking?  Carry a week’s worth.  Or more like carry a couple days worth?  Or maybe, just carry a couple meals worth with an emergency back up ration or two.

Food’s a pretty big topic… I’ve talked about it before in the context of dehydration, freezer bag cooking, budgets, critter protection and (yeeg) weight gain.

1 – carry what you like to eat, but know you’re going to change your mind though.
2 – don’t carry more than you need, but always have at least one “backup” meal or bar
3 – if you’re not cycling in back country don’t carry multiple meals “just in case” because it’s a waste of weight and bulk
4 – remember fruits and veggies. Roadside stands are fantastic places. So are berry bushes.
5 – high calorie, low weight: oils, nuts and nut butters
6 – sugar and caffeine are performance enhancers, but use them wisely
7 – are you a cooker or just an eater?
8 – eating out adds up, but it might be worth it (less weight, time to charge gear, time in climate control)
9 – indulge on tour, but remember things change off the bike

By the way, Scott also stuck a fine looking Pedalshift sticker on his ride contributing to a higher orange to bike ratio on this fine planet:

pedalshift sticker


New Listener: Hels and her ongoing tour of Australia

Hi there,
I’ve been listening to your podcast for a few weeks now as I cycle around/across Australia. This is my first bike tour (save for one overnight from the Brisbane area) so I’m really learning as I go and your podcast has been most useful, so thank you very much for the work you do.

I’m listening to back episodes and you often mention you’d like to hear about people’s trips, and when you mentioned in an old episode that you’d like to hear from more female tourers I decided to write and let you know of my trip. You can see the blog at

Keep up the great work,
Kind regards

FB page: “An attempt to cycle around Australia by rooky cyclists Hels and MetroLumberTaudevin” — they recently passed day 200 (!!) of their ride around Oz. Lots of goathead flats but what an adventure… go check it out!

bike touring australia with hels

Listener Fred in Texas: Commuting Champ

I’ve gotten into a Commute/Regular Ride practice. My commute can take from 90min- 3ish hours…but there is a catch. I drive my car to a light rail station, ride the train, then get off and ride into work. This is the 90 minute trip. It’s crisp and clean and included a 7.3ish mile ride into work. Fortunately, there are showers, yay! (I have four potential routes at 7, 12, 20, and 25 miles)

My ride home can be the exact same route in reverse but I prefer the longer 20 mile route that is mostly trails. It’s very nice. This can be easily extended to 25 miles. So, when you add in the driving, the train, and the bike ride: it’s 3ish hours.

I don’t consider this “commuting” even though I am. I consider it going for a bike ride and integrating into into my commute. When I don’t have evening rehearsals mucking up my time, I’ll do this three times a week. It’s much more enjoyable then having to deal with traffic, AND it basically frees up my weekends from miscellaneous rides.

Touring? not yet, but that’s OK. Still, I’ve determined that maybe, someday, I’ll do a cross Texas ride because that where  live.

All the best,


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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!