ArticlesTent Bound

PaddlingLight to Become PedalingLight

bike camping in Wisconsin

After a long debate with our publishing partners, authors and advisors, we decided that PaddlingLight will shut down within a week and change our focus to biking. Our new domain name is PedalingLight. PedalingLight’s mission is to provide information on lightweight bicycle travel, touring and bikepacking while promoting the protection and preservation of our federal, state and local lands. It will continue PaddlingLight’s belief in the DIY culture by providing drawings and free plans for bike frames.

Over the last five months, we’ve been working hard at converting all our articles from sea kayaking and canoeing to articles about biking. All the current content that was relevant to biking has been transferred to the new website and is ready to launch. Our original launch date was today on the first of the month, but we decided to give our readers a few days to say goodbye to PaddlingLight. We really hope that you enjoyed this website.


PaddlingLight started its life as Nessmuking over a decade ago. We wanted to change the culture within paddling from one that believed that weight didn’t matter to one that understood that paddling lighter weight boats with lighter gear not only made it easier to paddle, but also simplified the experience. That simplification also made your trips more memorable and the experience was deeper and more refreshing. Ultimately, we argued:

  1. To reduce our gear choices by taking less, using lighter gear and reducing the gear’s reach to its primary function.
  2. Lighter means a better experience and an easier paddle.
  3. Simplicity allows us to connect to something greater such as joy, the journey, what’s truly important and mindfulness.

We think we accomplished those goals.

We also provided the digital versions of many historic canoe and kayak drawings. Many of those drawings were used to build boats. No one is providing a large number of bike frame drawings for free for the growing number of DIY bike welders out there. We think that by building a new website in part devoted to the DIY frame builders that we can increase the desire of cyclists to build their own bikes and feel the joy that we did when we built our own canoes and kayaks.

With our goals hit, it seems like it’s time to move on. Biking has always been a passion for us — and myself, personally. Before I paddled, I biked. I’ve always loved biking and as the publisher, it’s time to move on to the recreational activity that I spend more time doing.

We hope that you’ll join us on our transition. Until then, please, zen out and have a happy April!

bike pano with prayer flags


Edit: p.s. Happy April Fools.

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  • So are you keeping up as a resource & archive of the articles, drawings/plans, routes etc… that have been shared over the years? Or do you have a different plan for this content?

  • Thanks for all the good info presented here. I’m a paddler, not a biker, and wish you well as I sign off.

  • Great article! I loved every second of it, especially the converting of the websites’ content part :-)

    Keep up the good work and a very happy April 1st *ROFL*

  • This is great news!! I have leftover cedar strips from building the siskiwit lv, and I hope your bike plans might include a cedar strip version – sure to be a very light weight and strong frame. Looking forward to the “roll-out” of the new website!!! Thankyou Bryan!!

  • Thanks for the Paddling Light newsletter. I have enjoyed it.
    I am rather sad and curious, needless to say crapped off. Curious why the switch from water to asphalt and rubber. ( we gonna “protect the roads ” ?
    What percentage of people interested in cycling are REALLY gonna have an interest in “building their own bike frame that will cost much more than than a nicely made high end one off the shelf ” Gimme a break !
    I have a few nice bikes…….and have had them a long time. Now a days the roads are clustered with bikers who act like they own the road. Nothing like hundreds of elderly people in spandex ! Got a visual on that ? In a few years the market will be flooded with used bikes and accessories.
    Bicycle riders do as they please ……..why………the road has laws. So do I have the right to put wheels on my canoes and kayaks and take up a whole lane at 1/2 mph ?

    My guess is that it’s ALL ABOUT THE MONEY, plain and simple. And who are the people (publishers etc. “that you mentioned ? The ones that decided to change the format of the news letter or web site ? Does it have to do with links to advertising ?

    Yes. I am upset. And I truly feel for Bryan. For a number of reasons. Think about it.

    • Or you could just look at the date of the post… April 1st. Better known as April Fool’s Day. :)

    • p.s. that said, I am going to build my own bike frame this year. I’m going to try a bamboo frame just for fun.

  • I do kayak and love it. I built an Aleut style kayak under the direction of Cory Freedman and use it. I am not so young anymore, 64 yo, and love the fact that it is so light I can lift it and carry it. I was born with a defective and leaky aortic heart valve however and have had 4 open heart surgeries to replace it and fix other genetic heart defects. I live on a hill in very hilly Seattle, so, much as I would love to bike, I really can’t so will bid you and your interesting page a fond adieu.

  • ok, you got me, but then I readi it on April 2nd and didn’t look at the date. I am glad it was an april fool joke and not real… btw, most of the bikes you featured did not look homemade…

    • :) Those bikes are mine. They are a Fisher Big Sur, Trek 520 and a Surly Wednesday. And a Kona Sutra. Plus, other bikes that I saw on trips. I think I’m going to make a bamboo bike frame this year, but it won’t be covered on PaddlingLight.

  • Thank Heavens! I’ve been biking light for years (turned 66 yesterday) and love that my gear works so well in and from my Coho. Being light let me build skills that carry well. Whether I’m biking out of the country, hiking the Kumano Kodo, up country, or paddling the Cascadia Marine Trail, the skills translate. If Paddling Light had skuppered, I’d be sunk.

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