The Pedalshift Project 080: Paring down your gear and keeping things charged on bike tour

Let’s talk gear. If you’re like me, you probably carry too much, “just in case.” On this episode, I talk about my recent attempts to whittle the weight down. Plus, strategies for keeping things charged on bike tour!

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Pedalshift Guide to Bicycling the C&O

Gear Talk: paring down and keeping things charged

Paring down your bike tour gear

Experiment: What’s the bare minimum for me balancing comfort and gear I own? Can I get into fewer bags?
Answer: yes!
sleeping bag
spare tube
spare shirt
spare underwear
spare socks
toiletry bag (incl. ibuprofin, caffeine and electrolyte pills)
batteries and cable
water bottles or bladder
Fits in 1 pannier, 1 compression bag (Brompton – NO BACKPACK NECESSARY!)
Fits in 1 compression bag and one rack bag (Safari) – adding a frame bag to try it out
No stove, no kit – all food is grab and go (a stove and kit *does* fit though)
Includes the rack bag so it can be easily broken down and carried/checked
Helmet. Would likely just clip on outside of the rack bag.
All the gear laid out
Brompton packing
Bag to check

Keeping things charged on bike tour

Keeping things charged – beyond batteries and dynohubs, where to plug in?
  • Coffee shops
  • Restaurants
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery store eating areas
  • Outside – look for plugged in things and check behind. Often there’s a free outlet (soda and vending machines, lights, signs, etc.)


Hey Tim,
     Just wanted to share that the weather and my schedule finally aligned so that I was able to get my first bike overnight under my belt. Not anything super exciting, but did a good 46 mile ride from my house to John Bryan State Park near Yellow Springs Ohio, and then back the next morning. I didn’t really explore the park at all, I was pretty beat by the time I got there, so just cooked some dinner and got a fire going and relaxed at the campground.
Lessons learned:
1. My legs aren’t as strong as I thought they were!  I’m used to fairly flat roads here in central Ohio, but the last 10 miles to the park had some rolling hills coupled with a pretty good headwind, and I ended up having to hop off and push my bike up the last steep climb into the park.
2.  Make sure your bike fit is really dialed in before a loaded bike trip. This was my first real long ride on this bike with it loaded with all my gear, and I started getting some pretty bad knee pain on my way home the second day. After checking some adjustments I ended up tweaking the saddle position a bit, so hopefully that will solve it.
I have some more pictures up on my instagram @goingforabikeride , but here are a couple.

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