• Recap of Jeff's Seminar on Minimalist Bike Touring

June 13, 2019 0 Comments

Jeff Valodine, an experienced cross-country touring bicycle rider about to embark on his 12th west to east ride, joined us in the Everyday Cycles Shop on June 5th for a personal look at minimalist bicycle touring. A robust crowd engaged Jeff with thoughtful questions and even very experienced bicycle tourers learned valuable information, especially about how surprisingly little Jeff takes in his panniers on 4100-mile trip!

Topics included:

  • What do you want to get out of bicycle touring?
  • Fully-loaded, bike packing, credit-card, minimalist, what's the difference?
  • A thorough look at Jeff's touring bike, how he packs and what he takes.

milwaukee bike touring seminar at everyday cycles

Jeff's Notes from the talk:


  • Practical—Time Away (touring takes time); Effort (physical + mental); Linear (unidirectional); Disconcerting*
  • Locations—choosing the route, starting/ending, choosing nightly stops, days off?, sightseeing?, goals?
  • Timing—Southern in winter; Northern in summer, Key West in May—Bar Harbor in July, etc.
  • Cause(s)— bucket list? adrenaline junkie? fund raiser? discipleship?
  • Needs— (real needs vs felt needs) + physical concerns (Waldorf-Astoria vs minimalism)
  • Finances ($—$$$$$)— from bikes and gear to accommodations and electronics to choice of foods…


  • Flight(s)—BikeFlights for shipping your bike; airline tickets (choose airport wisely)
  • Accommodations—Warm Showers, Couch Surfing, churches, strangers, parks, stealth
  • Communications— (cell phone, social media, business cards, etc)
  • Resources— credit cards (NOT debit), cash, passport, (backed up on cell phone)
  • Equipment
  • Bike— tour bike* with proper setup* (rack(s)/panniers/trailer), water bottles, lights, tubes, patch kit
  • Clothing— jerseys*, shorts*, socks*, shoes*, off-bike clothing, off-bike shoes
  • Gear— skull guard, lights, mirror, multitool, sleeping bag/pad, towel, toiletries, creams*
  • Personals— meds+Advil, music/books/apps on iPhone, misc electronics, sunglasses, extra eyewear


  • Daily Riding— keep your junk packed!, keep moving (avoid wasting time); be efficient, do not hurry!
  • Daily Rhythm— break the day into 10, 10-mile rides;
  • Resting— take several SHORT rest breaks (breathing, stretching, water) throughout the day
  • Eating— water (6-7 gallons/day), coffee, carbs… eat lightly throughout day; eat heavy at night. No veggies…
  • Sleeping— you MUST sleep well; brown liquid, ear plugs and Benadryl help
  • Stretching— especially: quads, hamstrings, upper and lower back and neck


  • Recording the Tour— Take 1M pictures & videos; record every significant stop, get names/addresses/email
  • Resting while Biking— on-bike stretching; inner/outer quad use; up-pulls;
  • Animals— Respect big game!, out sprint dogs, do not litter… ever!
  • Barren Areas— carry extra H2O and food; change your mindset to endurance mode*
  • Weather— Heat (bike at night*); rain (continue; T-storm (wait);
  • When Riding— NO music; NO double-riding*, NO expectations, NO demands, NO long contact with family*
  • Valuables— keep your bike with you at night, know the location of your $$/cards/passport at all times
  • Respect— farmers, truckers, police/sheriff, firefighters, hosts, baristas… EVERYONE
  • Managing Resources— “frugality pays” (i.e. save $$ on regular things; spend $$ on special things)
  • Shopping/Security— take turns in convince store (saves on locking); eat by the bikes; bikes in eye contact

jeff gives a bike touring thumbs up at everyday cycles

Resources and websites:

Tentative Upcoming Events

  • July - Backcounty First Aid and Survival
  • August - Back to School
  • September - Urban Street Survival
  • October - ?
  • November - Fat-bike Primer
  • December - ?

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