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The Pedalshift Project 138: Bike touring Canada, designs, and hacks

An interview with Jesse Herbert on his experiences biike touring Canada (and around the world), plus a ton of great ideas, hacks and tips on all things bicycle touring, from lightening your load to braving a chilly night in a hammock.

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The Pedalshift Project 120: Touring Alaska on and off a tandem

Ella Embree is a born and bred Alaskan with a big sense of adventure. Recently Ella was inspired by Lael Wilcox to tackle a new adventure – bicycle touring 1000 miles around her home state, some on a tandem. On this episode we chat on the eve of the first leg!

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The Pedalshift Project 116: A final check-in before riding the TransAm across America

The final installment of this edition of the Pedalshift Beginners Series with James Rosenberg as he sits with me in Washington, DC a few days before he begins his ride across the United States on the TransAm. We cover final prep plans, things you might not think about as a first-timer and more!

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The Pedalshift Project 115: Women Who Dare – seeking stories of inspiring women by bike

Kerry Gross wanted more stories of inspiring women. So, she decided to ride her bike from California to Maine in search of women who inspire others. Now she brings those stories to us via the Women Who Dare podcast, the story of Kerry’s 5,700-mile bike ride and the interviews with these remarkable women.

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The Pedalshift Project 096: Bicycling Oregon to San Francisco – Part 2

My fall 2017 Pacific Coast bicycle tour ended in San Francisco last week… On this episode, part two of my big tour bicycling Oregon to San Francisco featuring all the highlights, lowlights and takeaways from a really fun trip.
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The Pedalshift Project 095: Bicycling Oregon to San Francisco – Part 1

My fall 2017 Pacific Coast bicycle tour ended in San Francisco this week… On this episode, an interview with Daniel, the guy who ended up bicycling Oregon to San Francisco with me!
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bike touring stoves

The Pedalshift Project 067: More bike touring stove tests, intermittent fasting and counterintuitive foot-warming advice

Follow-up on bike touring stove tests, an overview on intermittent fasting for those of us who, ahhh… maybe put on a few pounds since the end of bike touring season? Plus counterintuitive advice on keeping your feet warm on tour and more!

Pedalshift 067 Bike touring stove testsHey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 067: More bike touring stove tests, intermittent fasting and counterintuitive foot-warming advice (mp3)

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The Journal

Another C&O fast forward option: MARC

Maryland’s regional commuter rail system is *finally* adding bike cars to all lines through 2017, which means you have another fast forward option to/from Brunswick, MD and Washington, DC… and it’ll be much cheaper than Amtrak’s Harpers Ferry option just 5 miles away. ($9 vs. $34)

Retrofitting of the first bike rack-equipped cars is expected to start early next spring and will be advertised once work on a critical mass of cars has been completed. Projected completion of this round of bike modifications should be sometime in fall 2017, with the rest of the fleet completed as funding allows. (MTA)

Weight gain and loss – the ongoing saga

My typical post-touring season weight gain rears its ugly head. Need to drop 20 pounds before touring season plus I would like to try to make it more permanent this time.
Trying something new this year: intermittent fasting

Important: I do *not* recommend this while on tour. In fact it could be dangerous if timed wrong. Also, check with your doctor before trying anything like this because fasting is not recommended for a lot of people (the young, pregnant women, etc.)

Combines calorie restriction with regular periods of fasting
Studies show it’s good for a variety of things beyond weight loss
Check out Eat, Fast and Live Longer by the BBC for more

5/2 (5 days at “normal” caloric needs and 2 days at 25%)
18/6 (18 hours fasting, 6 hours feeding)
Results? I just moved to the 18/6 method a few days ago and have continued to see fantastic results from a weight loss perspective. No issues with hunger although you’d be surprised how hard it is to jam all of your calories into a 6 hour window, even if they are reduced!

Reiterating: I do *not* recommend this while on tour. In fact it could be dangerous if timed wrong. Also, check with your doctor before trying anything like this because fasting is not recommended for a lot of people (the young, pregnant women, etc.)

Gear Talk

More bike touring stove tests

bike touring stoves
…and just to further the stove info.  I have an Optimus Svea and a cheap ebay burner for the ubiquitous canisters…both boil 16 ounces of water in under 4 minutes. I tested them both tonight because I can’t ride outdoors….18″ of snow so far and more on the way!  Both weigh around 20 ounces when full of fuel.  It really is a trade off when it comes to weight.  I really like the alcohol option compared to the Svea just for the fact that if I ever spill anything I don’t worry about contaminating the environment.. Same thing for the Ebay burner…if it leaks, it doesn’t pollute the ground….although it probably pollutes the air to a degree….hmmmm….
Continuing thanks to Pedalshift Society member Brian Hren for tackling this!
Counterintuitive advice
A randonneur friend of mine had already convinced me of the counter-intuitive wisdom of sandals for riding in rain. That’s right, sandals. In wet conditions, there is no chance of ending up with shoes full of water. Less obvious is that sandals work well in cold as well because you can easily add layers without fear of running out of room in your shoe. After my experience on Togwotee Pass, more recently I have worn two layers of socks under the SealSkins with my Shimano biking sandals in cold, rainy conditions in Washington, Idaho, and Scotland, and my feet stayed nice and toasty.
Hands are more of a challenge, but for cold I have found that thin smartwool gloves under Thinsulate half-finger convertible glove/mittens work very well. See this link on Amazon:
In all but a drenching downpour these do the trick, as they shed lighter rain pretty effectively and you can easily pull the mitten part back when you need use of your fingers. My only issue with them is that the finger openings on this particular brand are fairly tight, so I should have bought a size larger than I did. I have tried neoprene gloves, but found them to be ineffective and my hands ended up drowning in sweat.

PSS Member Seth Krieger!

The GoTenna

Staying connected when you’re on different cell networks or there’s no signal, or there’s signal for one but not another? Mesh networks using long range radios seems to be an interesting idea.
Since I don’t tend to bike with groups, this might not be for me… but for those who ride in groups that tend to get separated, this is a nice bit of insurance in areas with low or no cell coverage. 4 mile range (less in mountainous terrain I’m sure).

Pedalshift Society

A big thank you to all of the monthly supporters of the show! If you like what you hear, you can help me keep the show listener-supported while expanding the offerings. Five bucks, two bucks or even 1 helps with the costs of hosting the podcast and the website, and you can do it for a bit and cancel anytime. One-shot support is welcome if you’re not into the small monthly thing. Check it out and join at pedalshift.net/society. And society members please go to pedalshift.net/stickers and let me know where to send some Pedalshift stickers to you! On to the Society!
Ethan Georgi
Matt Buker
Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
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Michael Hart
Josiah Matthews
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Michael Riscica
Seth Krieger
Marco Lo
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And all past and anonymous contributors for helping make this show happen!


The Pedalshift Project theme is America courtesy of Jason Kent off his self-titled solo album. Check out his band Sunfields‘ latest release, Habitat, wherever cool music resides. And a little birdy tells me Jason’s recording some new music. More when I know…

Bike Touring Gift Guide

Holiday Bike Touring Gift Guide

Just say no to the bikey pizza cutter. I mean, delicious, but no. This is a bike touring gift guide for the bike tourist in your life (hint: this might be you).  These are (almost all) things I personally use and love.

Bike Touring Gift Guide

Tent: Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 2 person ($125)

This tent saved me from a flood. Like, for real.

Sleeping bagHyke and Byke 32º down sleeping bag ($99)

A newer addition to my gear… works great and super affordable.

Ultrlight StoveEtekcity Ultralight foldable stove ($9.99)
Runner up: Trangia Spirit Burner alcohol stove  ($14.53)

Love the Etekcity, and the Trangia is a great value.

Lights: Portland Design Works Radbot 1000 ($29)
Runner up: Ascher USB rechargeable LED set ($13.99)

I swear by PDW as my rear light, and I just bought the Ascher set for Kimberly.

Bike Touring Gift Guide

Panniers: Ortlieb back roller classic (prices/colors vary)
Ortlieb front roller classic (prices/colors vary)

Look, there are a lot on the market. But Ortlieb stands the test of time for me. Plus: orange.

Dry Bag: Sea to Summit eVent Compression dry bag, large ($42.95)

I think this is one of the most clever items on the list… waterproof but lets air out for easy compression. I use the large size for sleeping kits, but all sizes are great.

Support the Parks: National Park and Federal Land Annual Pass ($80)

I ride the C&O a lot, and while there isn’t an entrance fee, this pass makes me feel like I support the system. Oh, it also lets me in all the others… which is nice.

Water Bottles: Brita Sport Water Filter bottle (2 pack for $16)

Filters built in make this a great way to help less than tasty water sources (it filters out iodine taste too for you backcountry types with iodine pills).

External Battery: Anker Astro E7 ($60)
Runner up: Anker Power Core 20100 ($40)

Anker is my brand for these.. get the biggest battery that makes sense for you.

Rain jacket: Showers Pass Double Century ($159)

Best rain jacket I’ve ever had. Looks nice too!

Tires: Schwalbe Marathon Plus (Price varies by size)
Schwalbbe Marathon Supreme (Price varies by size)

Nearly puncture proof, but more importantly, Schwalbe stands by their product with great warranties.

Tune up: contact your LBS (price varies by service)

Your bike will thank you.

Maps: ACA maps for a future tour (price varies)

For you paper types!

Stocking stuffers:

  • Freeze dried instant meals
  • Caffeine pills
  • Electrolyte pills
  • VIA Instant coffee packets
  • First aid kit
  • Tubes
  • Patch kit
  • Wool socks

For you big spender types… a touring bike: 
Brompton, Pedalshift Style from CelverCycles in PDX (Oregon has no sales tax!) or your LBS… (just no orange)
Runner up: Surly Long Haul Trucker from your LBS

FYI, some of these are affiliate links.