Eric Olsen on Bikepacking the EWS (Ep.126)

Racing the EWS for the first time is a daunting prospect, but Eric Olsen decided to spice things up by bike touring between the first three rounds to boot. So right after his return from Europe, we sat down with Eric to talk about where the idea came from and what his goals were for the trip; how things went, including encountering golf-ball-sized hail & (almost) running over a bunch of schoolchildren; raising money for World Bicycle Relief & the idea of bikes as transportation; how his fellow racers reacted; his company, Jank Components; and a whole lot more.


  • Tour de EWS inspiration (3:25)
  • Goals for the trip (6:01)
  • Route & itinerary (9:53)
  • Golf-ball-sized hail & other memorable moments (14:50)
  • People’s reactions (18:20)
  • Packing a bike & gear (25:48)
  • Racing after bike touring (33:37)
  • EWS prep & track walks (35:45)
  • Running over schoolchildren (37:37)
  • Race support & self-sufficiency (43:13)
  • European bike touring culture (44:43)
  • World Bicycle Relief fundraiser (46:56)
  • Lessons learned & teasers for the future (48:50)
  • Jank Components (54:19)
  • Eric’s Big Idea (57:25)