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The Pedalshift Project 174: Bicycle Touring Etiquette

We all want to do the right thing, hopefully, and within any community there’s an unwritten code of conduct for proper behavior so we can all get along. On this episode, we cover some of those rules of bicycle touring etiquette!

The Pedalshift Project 174: Bicycle Touring Etiquette

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Next tour

I’ll be through-riding the C&O next week! Pedalshift Society folks, look for an email with the new bonus pod feed!

Pedalshift Live

Be sure to join the show live August 30, 9pm ET! Topics TBA, but we’ll do an AMA so bring your questions or shoot them my way via social or email!

The Journal: Bicycle Touring Etiquette

Thanks to a listener for this recommendation… I’ve managed to lose the email or message from social media that has it


  • Watch your spacing
  • For shared campsites, saying hello and asking if it’s cool to camp there
  • Assess your neighbor’s desire to chat and respect it
  • Don’t brag about your exploits – it’s a bad look
  • Be open with information that can help others, but don’t force opinions and suggestions on people
  • Share stuff if you have extra
  • Respect quiet hours
  • Respect late sleepers as you take off

Leave no trace

  • Think ahead – reduce the amount of packaging and garbage before you roll
  • Always have a garbage bag – doesn’t matter what it is
  • Pack all garbage out and even take some that’s not yours
  • If there are no bathroom facilities learn backcountry techniques (cat hole, etc.) and please respect water bodies.

Speed + Passing

  • Some trails have a speed limit – respect that, particularly in more crowded areas
  • Many trails and some laws require bells for passing – know before you go
  • Use bells or call “on your left” boldly but (please!) in a friendly way
  • Do it every time even if you’re frustrated that the runners are wearing headphones and don’t hear you!
  • It’s so easy to get frustrated, but remember we’re sharing the trails with others
  • Avoid lecturing other trail users, especially if you’re a visitor

Be cool

Respect boundaries with people you meet and other tourists.
Watch your consumption.
You’re an ambassador… act like one!

Pedalshift Society

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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