The Pedalshift Project 137: Fall bicycle touring (Live)

Recorded live from Hedgesville, WV, this episode of the Pedalshift Project includes my fall tour reveal and gear tips for your fall bicycle touring. Plus banter with you… because this was live!

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The Journal: fall bicycle touring announcement

My next tour is… The Great Allegheny Passage by BROMPTON. And maybe more.

Ever see those Megabus ads? The ones that say fares start at $1? Yeah I never got one of those until the other day when I scored a DC to Pittsburgh ticket for a buck.

But… they aren’t exactly that great for full sized bikes. It’s possible, but seems like a real roll of the dice. SO I decided to try the GAP on the Brompton to see if it can handle the off road trail.

Tires

  • I’ve been reluctant to take the Brompton on offload trails for one big reason… I’m used to wider tires off road.
  • I ride 38 mm width tires on my full sized touring bike
  • The Brompton tires aren’t that much skinner… 35mm
  • That will certainly make a difference but not as much as I thought it would

Lessons from the spring

After the Washington trip this spring, I learned a few things that I’m applying to this trip

  • Lessen my mileage expectations – I think this is particularly true with the tire/surface thing
  • Really lighten the load
  • Keep things clean
  • Still bring a lock

New setup?

  • In an effort to lighten the load, I’m going to experiment with a new system that 86s the old backpack on the rear rack trick. It works great for tours involving airline travel, but lessons from this summer’s Oregon travel have me rethinking the need for the big bag on the rear.
  • Still want more waterproofing
  • Solutions:
  • Go back to the Ortlieb pannier on front trick (the OG method)
  • That will contain clothes, food and cook kit.
  • Reduce rear gear to two dry bags on the rear rack
  • Sleep kit bag
  • Tent bag
  • This should be lighter – I’ll do a video and a followup on the pod before the trip with the final shakedown

Just the GAP?

Originally I was going to do PGH to DC, but after my experience on the C&O recently combined with reminding myself that my mileage expectations on the Brompton should be dialed back… I’m relaxing that goal. Here’s the setup:

  • 5.5 days of riding (Day 1 includes the bus day so it’s likely I can only fit in a half day of riding)
  • Connellsville – this is an Amtrak fast forward opportunity if winter comes early and the tunnel at Big Savage closes. It would end the GAP for me because next stop is Cumberland.
  • Cumberland – speaking of. If it takes me 5 days to get there, this is a great place to end. But… what if I get there with some extra time to spare?
  • Martinsburg – This would be quite the stretch, but it’s in the realm of possible (and would require 20+ miles of road riding to catch the train from about MM100
  • Harpers Ferry/Brunswick – This feels like the real outer limit of possible unless conditions are near perfect and my riding is strong
  • DC – The original goal. I would have to do something special if I hit this. That said it’s only averaging 60 mile days… normally that’s right in my wheelhouse…

More coming

This ride feels like it will be super weather dependent. Also with the open end, there’s more chances for last second changes and decision making. So this should be a fun tour journal, coming at you as we start to close out the year (!!)

Oregon Loop Tour Journal Video Series

Gear Talk: Fall Touring Edition

Sleeping bag – go for down (or synthetic if you’re not down with, um… down)

Rain gear – big fan of spending on the jacket, and finding value in other things. Spray trading pants seems to work well for me.

Nonbulky layers – thin wool sweaters, synthetic bottom layers. I tend to warm up quickly on the bike so I get on a little cold so I don’t have to stop and strip

Puffy jacket or vest… crunches super small and gives outrageous warmth.

Do I need to say hat?

Tip: keep a set of clothes in a sleep kit dry bag so you always have something dry for camp.

Post Show

Check out the Brompton’s new touring setup(ish).
This would be the “I know for sure it’s dry” and I’ll describe the mod I’ll make for the fall tour

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Consulting

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