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.
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Bikerafting with Maggie Lonergan
- 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?
As always we like to close out the show with a special shoutout to the Pedalshift Society! Because of support from listeners like you, Pedalshift is a weekly bicycle touring podcast with a global community, expanding into live shows and covering new tours like this spring’s DC to Cincinnatti bike tour! If you like what you hear, you can support the show for 5 bucks, 2 bucks or even a buck a month. And there’s one-shot and annual options if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it all out at pedalshift.net/society.
You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Their latest album may be their best yet. Go get it.