The Pedalshift Project 187: Bicycle Touring NY and the First Tour of 2020 (Live)

Once again, and for the final time in 2019, we are live baby live for a Pedalshift Project! In this session, we revisit bicycle touring New York state, unveil my very first tour of 2020, and answer your questions AMA style! Originally streamed live December 7, 2019.

The Pedalshift Project 187: Bicycle Touring NY and the First Tour of 2020 (Live)

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Hey, I’m presenting at the National Bike Summit’s Active Transportation Leadership Retreat in March. National Bike Summit is the biggest collection of bike advocates and it happens in DC. This will be the first time I’m lawyering it up in the bike advocacy space, so it’s going to be fun. Look for a DC meetup for attendees and generally Pedalshift-inclined types in mid-March.

Bicycle touring WNY

Erie Canal
Rode most of it in 2015
Check out Tour Journals Vol 3 and episodes 024 and 026
  • Want to see NYS? Do this.
  • Don’t expect canal the whole way. Lots of road sections.
  • Lots of small towns with charm.
  • Fascinating infrastructure.
  • Great history.
  • Biking quality – pretty top notch. Trails are in excellent condition. The worst parts are still pretty great.
  • Access to water/food – easy, but there are long stretches where there are no water sources directly on the trail. Didn’t carry food – picked up a spare meal as needed.
  • Camping – more expensive generally than other options (C+O and west coast) and wild camping availability was a bit overstated in my opinion. Free camping on the lock properties was excellent.
  • Good encounters – not a ton of bike tourists (although there were 600 two days behind me!). The ones I met were great.
  • Prime time – Summer was a good time, but upstate NY can be muggy. The ideal time may be in September for warm days and cooler nights or October for foliage.
  • check out this amazing Erie Canal cycling resource from FOTS and Pedalshift Society member Paul Mulvey.

My First 2020 Tour

  • Tour Journals Volume 17 is…. The Kessel Run.
  • What?
  • Last year’s FL tour (Pedalshift 153, 154, 155, & 156) with a decidedly Star Wars twist
  • Fly down and enjoy a day nerding out at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge flying the Falcon and enjoying a day
  • THEN a tour on the Brompton from the Orlando area to the Tampa airport over two days
  • Why? I wanted to center a bike tour around something cool so that the fun was front loaded and then the tour is the cherry on top
  • Wanted to check a different route out of the Orlando area
  • Doing all hotel and Airbnb stays (less gear)
  • Shorter than I’d like but I’m hoping to get a longer tour in this spring
  • What the heck’s a Kessel Run? What you’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon? It’s the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs. Go see Solo to see what the Kessel run is.
  • Challenges: new route, west to east (against the wind), little clown bike with limited shoulders
  • No, I won’t be biking on Disney property, ARE YOU INSANE? It’s literally the least safe biking in the country. Never seen a bike on the roads there and don’t want to be the vanguard.


Have you come across a good/recommended water filter system for making river/lake water potable? Something suitable for hiking would be great. – Quyen

Sawyer Mini

If you were to get a new bike, what would you get? Would it be in addition to or replacing either one you have?

Something more trail-oriented that can take wide tires like a Surly ECR?

What do you think about e-bikes?

Love the idea, think the execution is close but not quite there for touring unless your miles are lower and you’re hoteling each night to charge up. Love that increases accessibility!

Cross country trip in the cards?

Sort of. I turn a round number in 2021 and I think I’d like to have completed a bike trip across the US the wide way (I already did it north-south on the west coast in 2014) at least in segments by then. Next year I intend to connect up Cincinnati to St Louis so I’d have DC to KC completed. No specific plans yet.

Episode 200 plans?

Not specifically… I know ETA is early April, so open to ideas. I liked doing the meetup in PDX for 100, so maybe something like that. Oh by the way, Sprocket 500 is coming. Just thought I’d mention that.

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

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You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields’ latest album may be their best yet. Go get it.

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