The Pedalshift Project 109: Bicycle travel with Russ Roca of The Path Less Pedaled

Russ Roca joins the Pedalshift Project to talk about his work on The Path Less Pedaled and using photography, video and storytellng to advocate the joys of bicycle travel.

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Opening ramble 

Pedalshift Live

Big thanks to everyone who turned out for last week’s Pedalshift Live! Totally fun and we’ll plan on doing another one in early spring. Fill out this 1 question survey so you can tell me what topic you’d like. Super fast and helpful to make the show better.
NEXT WEEK… we continue our beginner series, checking in with James plus an update on the Puget Sound Brompton tour. In fact, about the time ep 110 drops, I should be in a tent within a stone’s throw of the water, resting up for the first day of riding!

The Interview – Bicycle travel with Russ Roca of The Path Less Pedaled

Russ Roca
Russ Roca is one half of The Path Less Pedaled, one of my favorite resources for bike travel. Since the early aughts (as Russ calls em) he has used photography, video and writing to advocate the joys of bicycle travel. From extended bike tours across the US and New Zealand, to making Bromptons work for bike touring, and working with state and local agencies to promote bicycle travel, Russ has been a real leader in this field.

Bonus… we did this as a video too, so if you want to watch some more thrilling mic technique, go to Pedalshift on YouTube to check it out. While you’re there, susbcribe and like everything in sight and then do the same for The Path Less Pedaled. Without further ado, here’s Russ!

My question list…

In 2009 you and Laura Crawford sold your stuff and began a three year bicycle touring journey in the US and New Zealand. Bring us back then… how did you get from your life before the big tour to making the leap?

How has your writing and video work evolved since that first trip?

Over the years you’ve built PLP into an amazing resource for bicycle travel, often partnering with state tourism boards. How have you found working with big tent organizations that are interested in promoting bike tourism, but is probably a small part of their overall mission?

One of the things that makes your work so much more dynamic is the ability to weave in storytelling. Do you go into a trip with an idea on how to weave a story or do you mostly let it come to you through the lens?

I spent about 3 months in an RV on a 19,000 mile book tour with my girlfriend and found the dynamics to be really eye-opening. You’ve ridden with Laura for a lot longer than that! What kinds of advice do you have for bike travel with your partner?

We have to chat Bromptons. I’m a full-time believer in the touring capability of these bikes, and I’m going to do a short tour of Puget Sound a few days from when this pod gets cast. Back in 2011 you and Laura did a big tour on Bromptons and ended up writing The Unauthorized Brompton Touring Guide.

What’s the future of bike tourism looking like from your vantage point? How about Path Less Pedaled?
Path Less Pedaled YouTube channel for stories and eye candy. New on the channel is a bikes and bourbon series which is awesome.
Path Less Pedaled Podcast – interviews with a lot of bicycle-oriented people. Check out the Lael Wilcox interview in particular.

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