The Pedalshift Project 164: Bikerafting

Inflatable rafts plus touring bikes equals bikerafting! On this episode I chat with longtime friend and bike adventurer Maggie Lonergan about her recent foray into bikerafting the Colorado River near the Hoover Dam, plus more on converting from being a racer and future Scandinavian adventures.

The Pedalshift Project 164: Bikerafting

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Bikerafting with Maggie Lonergan

Maggie Lonergan
Maggie Lonergan lives in San Francisco, still holding onto her New England ways. She’s spent the last decade learning to balance big adventures with explorations in daily life. She spends her work weeks exploring the bay area in the water and by bike, occasionally taking a long hike up a mountain that is too daunting to ride up. 
She named her website after her yoga teaching business “Hiccuping Yogi” as a nod to her chronic hiccups. She treats it as a frequent reminder that sometimes things happen that we can’t control. Although she doesn’t teach much these days she’s kept the name because her adventure background started with thousands of hours on the mat and it’s a good reminder to that everything comes back to the breath.

Questions covered

  • Your adventure background is pretty fascinating… we’ll focus on bikerafting the Colorado in Blackwater Canyon on this show, but you’ve got a pretty eclectic background from races up towers to racing bikes. What’s your arc been like?
  • Would you consider your touring to be more bikepacking-centric? What’s an ideal trip for you?
  • I know you were into racing for a bit – are you still doing that? How does that contrast with the adventure bicycling for you?
  • Let’s talk bike rafting. What was the genesis of the idea?
  • First I wanted to ask about getting the gear from CA to Vegas… did you fly? How did that Dogsbody bag work out?
  • What was the Vegas airport like assembling your gear? Any side eye from tourists with a different take on Vegas?
  • How was the ride to the pickup spot?
  • That morning you inflated the raft before being picked up by the outfitter… how big is it deflated on the bike and what kind of pump do you use to inflate it?
  • You’re plunked down on the river as impending storms are about to hit (nice… rain in the desert, right?). Before it’s getting the raft on the bike… how do you secure the bike to the raft?
  • Do you need much paddling experience or training to pull off a trip like this? Is it more stable than a traditional hard kayak?
  • You hauled a bunch of food with you and I know you did a little alcohol stove cooking and a little cold soaking. Do you decide what you’re doing based on mood or do you have more method to the madness?
  • On the ride back, you experienced some bright line transitions from wilderness of the canyon to Vegas Baby Vegas… did that surprise you more than you expected?
  • This was a shakedown for some bike rafting in Europe this summer… what were your takeaways?
  • How can folks follow your adventures and writing?

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