Author: Tim Mooney

The Pedalshift Project 234: Route Scouting II: Attack of PA Route S

Hey, it’s still winter… so with snow on the ground and actual touring on hiatus for at least a few more weeks, why don’t we continue scouting Pennsylvania Route S? On this episode, the second edition for four, we hit the road and scout the second day of the ride to New York between Chambersburg and York.


The Pedalshift Project 234: Route Scouting II - Attack of PA Route S

Hey it’s the direct download link for  The Pedalshift Project 234: Route Scouting II: Attack of PA Route S (mp3).

Subscribe/Follow The Pedalshift Project:
RSSiTunes – Overcast – Android – Google Podcasts – StitcherTuneIn – IHeartRadio – Spotify

Reach out to the show via email, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to join the newsletter too.

Have some bike touring or overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show at pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109

Housekeeping

Hey, new music!

Brock Dittus – Most Important Thing

Sunfields new album Late Bloomers drops 3/12 and the first track – Got Some (But it Ain’t Enough)  is available now…

Scouting Pennsylvania bike route S

  • Part of the route mentioned in Pedalshift 228 
  • Be sure to check out Part 1 from Pedalshift 230 (Episode I: The Phantom Bike Route).
  • We’ll be scouting this route through the next several episodes… some surprises and a lot of insights

Click the map for the PDF… then click on those numbers for links to detailed sections. Source: PA DOT

Penn Bike Route S

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 pedalshift.net/society.

Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Harry Telgadas
Chris Barron
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Mr. T
Nathan Poulton
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Greg Braithwaite
Sandy Pizzio
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Joseph Quinn
Drue Porter
Byron Paterson
Joachim Raber
Ray Jackson
Jeff Frey
Kenny Mikey
Lisa Hart
John Denkler
Steve Hankel
Miguel Quinones
Alejandro Avilés-Reyes
Keith Spangler
Greg Towner
Dan Gebhart, RIP
Jody Dzuranin
Lucas Barwick
Michael Baker
Brian Bechtol
Reinhart Bigl
Greg Middlemis
Connie Moore
William Gothmann
Brian Benton
Joan Churchill
Mike Bender
Rick Weinberg
Billy Crafton
Gary Matushak
Greg L’Etoile-Lopes
James Sloan
Jonathan Dillard
John Funk
Tom Bilcze
Ronald Piroli
Dave Roll
Brian Hafner
Misha LeBlanc
Ari Messinger
David Gratke
Todd Groesbeck
Wally Estrella
Sue Reinert
John Leko
Stephen Granata
Phillip Mueller
Robert Lackey
Dominic Carol
Jacqi McCulloch
John Hickman
Carl Presseault
David Neves
Patty Louise
Terry Fitzgerald
Peter Steinmetz
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Michael Liszewski
Hank O’Donnell
David Zanoni
David Weil
Matthew Sponseller
Scott Angelo
Chad Reno
Daniel Gregor
Spartan Dale

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields has a new album in 2021, AND Jason has a new solo album in 2021, AND his first solo album is now streaming on Spotify, including America, the Pedalshift theme. Go listen!

The post The Pedalshift Project 234: Route Scouting II: Attack of PA Route S appeared first on Pedalshift.

The Pedalshift Project 233: Rando Pannier Full of Followups and More

You know how a few days into a tour you have a pannier full of rando things in no particular order? Welcome to the 233rd edition of the pod, then! Odds and ends, followups and a Black History Month recommendation with a bike touring twist!


The Pedalshift Project 233: Rando Pannier Full of Followups and More

Hey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 233: Rando Pannier Full of Followups and More (mp3).

Subscribe/Follow The Pedalshift Project:
RSSiTunes – Overcast – Android – Google Podcasts – StitcherTuneIn – IHeartRadio – Spotify

Reach out to the show via email, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to join the newsletter too.

Have some bike touring or overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show at pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109.

The All Rando Pannier Episode

Odds and ends on my mind, inbcluding follow ups and a suggestion for some Black History month learning with a bike touring twist.

Followup on closures and detours

Hey, Whites Ferry has a chance after all! New owner of the ferry is negotiating with the VA landowners. 
 
Other C&O closure… Paw Paw tunnel is closed (sort of) until next year. I have thoughts. 
 
Highway 1 – road is still closed but CalTrans is on it but there’s no timeline.
 

Followup on bikepacking setup

FOTS Reinhart Bigl… how about replace that fork with a new one with proper brazons and get those fork cages?
 

Followup on the route scouting trip

FOTS Todd Grossbeck brings some knowledge!
 
short rail trail through Chambersburg that you can pick up before you get into downtown Chambersburg (confirmed!)
There are a fair amount of Amish folks on bikes north of Chambersburg, so people expect to see a bicycle on Rt 11.
30 east out of Chambersburg is as rough as I thought it was.  The shoulder appears again one town over in Fayetteville and there is a campground in Caledonia state park (right off of 30), and the park is beautiful.
 
RockWilliam2 does the same…
 
I just listened to your podcast about your DC to NY trip. I live in Mont Alto, Pennsylvania and frequently bike on both route 11 and route 30. I’m sure you have seen this, but if not Maryland 63 might be a “less traveled” route that would still support bikes. By using this you could go from Williamsport MD and connect with route 11 outside of Greencastle PA. This route is mostly rural and avoids riding through the center of Hagerstown.
 
Good luck! Let me know if you need anything when you are up this way!
 

Little Clown Bike love

Aloha Tim, 
Have enjoyed your show and tales of adventure for a few years- especially the fables and foibles of your Brompton upgrades and travels.  I ride a Bike Friday as far as I can…2020 limited me to an island in the pacific. 
Thought you may like to read of a couple that rode from Greenwich and back on their folders!  Great pictures too!   Don’t let anyone say a Brompton  can’t compete with the big wheelers! 
 
Aloha,
Scott Gilbert

Some Black History Month watching and reading

 
The 25th Infantry’s bicycle trip from Missoula, Montana, to St. Louis, Missouri in 1897. 2000 miles on steel tires, averaging about 60 miles per day! The Black infantry was “volunteered” to test a theory that the bicycle would replace the horse in transporting men for the army. Fascinating look at the amazing feat these Black soldiers accomplished, despite the obstacles.
 
Bicycle Corps: America’s Black Army on Wheels (PBS)
 
 

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 pedalshift.net/society.

Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Harry Telgadas
Chris Barron
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Mr. T
Nathan Poulton
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Greg Braithwaite
Sandy Pizzio
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Joseph Quinn
Drue Porter
Byron Paterson
Joachim Raber
Ray Jackson
Jeff Frey
Kenny Mikey
Lisa Hart
John Denkler
Steve Hankel
Miguel Quinones
Alejandro Avilés-Reyes
Keith Spangler
Greg Towner
Dan Gebhart, RIP
Jody Dzuranin
Lucas Barwick
Michael Baker
Brian Bechtol
Reinhart Bigl
Greg Middlemis
Connie Moore
William Gothmann
Brian Benton
Joan Churchill
Mike Bender
Rick Weinberg
Billy Crafton
Gary Matushak
Greg L’Etoile-Lopes
James Sloan
Jonathan Dillard
John Funk
Tom Bilcze
Ronald Piroli
Dave Roll
Brian Hafner
Misha LeBlanc
Ari Messinger
David Gratke
Todd Groesbeck
Wally Estrella
Sue Reinert
John Leko
Stephen Granata
Phillip Mueller
Robert Lackey
Dominic Carol
Jacqi McCulloch
John Hickman
Carl Presseault
David Neves
Patty Louise
Terry Fitzgerald
Peter Steinmetz
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Michael Liszewski
Hank O’Donnell
David Zanoni
David Weil
Matthew Sponseller
Scott Angelo
Chad Reno

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields has a new album in 2021, AND Jason has a new solo album in 2021, AND his first solo album is now streaming on Spotify, including America, the Pedalshift theme. Go listen!

The post The Pedalshift Project 233: Rando Pannier Full of Followups and More appeared first on Pedalshift.

The Pedalshift Project 232: Handling Bike Route Detours & Closures

Detours and closures are a part of bike touring, but how do you handle it? On this edition, five things to think about on how to handle bike route detours and closures without losing your cool.


Pedalshift Project 232: Handling Bike Route Detours & Closures

Hey it’s the direct download link for The Pedalshift Project 232: Handling Bike Route Detours & Closures(mp3).

Subscribe/Follow The Pedalshift Project:
RSSiTunes – Overcast – Android – Google Podcasts – StitcherTuneIn – IHeartRadio – Spotify

Reach out to the show via email, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to join the newsletter too.

Have some bike touring or overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show at pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109.

Handling Bike Route Detours & Closures

Me in the trees in 2016 just south of the outage, then the 2021 outage:

trees off CA Hwy 1
CA Hwy 1 outage

  • The C&O will sometimes have issues (MM52 washout, Big Slackwater)
  • My experience on the OTET near Akron (unannounced detour)
  • This is common. What’s the best bet?

1 – Attitude
Routes are not sacrosanct. They are also subject to evolution, so don’t go into any tour with the feeling that it’s ruined if you can’t roll every single inch the way it’s been done in the past.

2- Your ride is the experience, not the map
Folks who through hike major trails deal with stuff like this all the time. Even if the route deviates from past years, one still is hiking the AT. Fires, floods, etc. make the trail a dynamic thing… think of it that way for bicycle touring too

3 – To prep or not
This gets into philosophies… I prep, others ride what the road gives them. Neither is superior… a preparer may know what the options are ahead of any issue, but a ride what the road gives you type may be more mentally prepared for outages. Embrace who you are!

4 – Ask locals
There may be far better options than what you can tell from a map. Ask folks in the area… you may be surprised at the outcome (better route than you planned… an offer for a fast forward around the outage, etc.)

5 – Keep safe
There may be a temptation to YOLO your way through an outage. That might be ok. Or it might be reckless and a real risk to your safety, and then the first responders’ safety to haul your ass out. Be reasonable and remember outages generally mean you are trespassing if you barrel through them.

Thoughts on the specific outages

C&O

  • not a lot I can recommend for lodging on the MD side
  • look into shuttles to hotels semi-nearby the trail (there might be a lone B&B or Airbnb option nearby?)
  • Consider revamping your miles so your lodging straddles the Leesburg night
  • Hope public pressure gets the VA farm folks to take the money for the easement 😉

Hwy 1

  • CalTrans is on it… more of the road opened recently
  • It will be fixed, just a question of when
  • Pacific Coast route season seems to be narrower than ever… road closures from mud slides in rainy season and then smoke closures from fire season.
  • Be flexible, optimize your options (know your fast forwards, towns with transit options, ability to ship your bike, etc.)

Bottom Line

  • Our next tours are going to have a lot of energy behind them since we had so many plans scuttled due to COVID.
  • Remember outages happen and they are not ruining your trip, just throwing a curveball and maybe making it more memorable

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 pedalshift.net/society.

Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Harry Telgadas
Chris Barron
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Mr. T
Nathan Poulton
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Greg Braithwaite
Sandy Pizzio
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Joseph Quinn
Drue Porter
Byron Paterson
Joachim Raber
Ray Jackson
Jeff Frey
Kenny Mikey
Lisa Hart
John Denkler
Steve Hankel
Miguel Quinones
Alejandro Avilés-Reyes
Keith Spangler
Greg Towner
Dan Gebhart, RIP
Jody Dzuranin
Lucas Barwick
Michael Baker
Brian Bechtol
Reinhart Bigl
Greg Middlemis
Connie Moore
William Gothmann
Brian Benton
Joan Churchill
Mike Bender
Rick Weinberg
Billy Crafton
Gary Matushak
Greg L’Etoile-Lopes
James Sloan
Jonathan Dillard
John Funk
Tom Bilcze
Ronald Piroli
Dave Roll
Brian Hafner
Misha LeBlanc
Ari Messinger
David Gratke
Todd Groesbeck
Wally Estrella
Sue Reinert
John Leko
Stephen Granata
Phillip Mueller
Robert Lackey
Dominic Carol
Jacqi McCulloch
John Hickman
Carl Presseault
David Neves
Patty Louise
Terry Fitzgerald
Peter Steinmetz
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Michael Liszewski
Hank O’Donnell
David Zanoni
David Weil
Matthew Sponseller
Scott Angelo
Chad Reno

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields has a new album in 2021, AND Jason has a new solo album in 2021, AND his first solo album is now streaming on Spotify, including America, the Pedalshift theme. Go listen!

The post The Pedalshift Project 232: Handling Bike Route Detours & Closures appeared first on Pedalshift.

Lobbying Series Part 3 – Grassroots Lobbying

On this episode, our third in our ongoing lobbying series, we’ll focus on grassroots lobbying for public charities that have made the 501(h) election. 

Attorney Co-hosts 

Natalie Ossenfort  Jen Powis  Quyen Tu 

 

Recap of the 501(h) election 

Recap of the 501(c)(3) lobbying limits 

501(h) election allows you to calculate your lobbying limits 

Grassroots limit is 25% of overall lobbying limits 

 

Defining Grassroots Lobbying 

 

1. Communication 

2. with the General Public (not a legislator or member of the organization) 

3. that Expresses a View about Specific Legislation  

4. and contains a Call to Action 

 

There are 4 specific types of calls to action.  A call to action must comprise one of the following actions:  

  1. tell the recipient to contact a legislator; 
  2. provide information on how the recipient can contact her legislator, such as providing the phone number or address; 
  3. provide a mechanism for enabling the recipient to contact her legislator, such as a postcard, petition, or email form; or 
  4. identify a legislator who will vote on the legislation as being opposed to or undecided about the organization’s view on the legislation, a member of a legislative committee who will vote on the legislation, or the recipient’s legislator. 

     

 

Examples of Grassroots Lobbying: 

  

Examples of Non-Grassroots Lobbying: 

 

  

Resources 

Being a Player: A Guide to the IRS Lobbying Regulations for Advocacy Charities 

What is Advocacy? 

Worry-Free Lobbying For Nonprofits: How To Use The 501(h) Election To Maximize Effectiveness 

Public Charities Can Lobby: Guidelines for 501(c)(3) Public Charities (Factsheet) 

When Does Your Activity Become Lobbying? (Factsheet) 

Communicating With Your Members (Factsheet) 

501(h) Lobbying Limit Calculator 

Best of Pedalshift 081: Bikepacking Adventures

It only took 81 episodes to finally talk about bikepacking on Pedalshift… better late than never, right? On this best of episode, Rob Knapp joins us and chats about what it was like to pick up bikepacking as a racer and how that informs him in how he bikepacks when not trying to come in first. Originally podcast May 25, 2017.

Best of Pedalshift 081: Bikepacking Adventures

The post Best of Pedalshift 081: Bikepacking Adventures appeared first on Pedalshift.

The Pedalshift Project 231: Exploring Bikepacking in 2021

I’ll admit, I’ve been bikepacking curious for awhile. As my touring continues to expand and evolve I’m thinking more about bikepacking options for 2021 and I thought I’d share the process on the pod. Join me, won’t you?


The Pedalshift Project 231: Exploring Bikepacking in 2021

Hey it’s the direct download link for  The Pedalshift Project 230: (mp3).

Subscribe/Follow The Pedalshift Project:
RSSiTunes – Overcast – Android – Google Podcasts – StitcherTuneIn – IHeartRadio – Spotify

Reach out to the show via email, Twitter and Instagram. Don’t forget to join the newsletter too.

Have some bike touring or overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show at pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109.

Photo: ECR by Surly.

Exploring bikepacking options

  • Evolving gear – what is touring and what is bikepacking? Does it matter?
  • Expanding gear to suit tours best
  • Slimmer profile
  • Less gear for low or no camping touring
  • More trails and gravel (hi WV!)
Option 1 – modify what I have
  • fork cages + dry bags (10L x2) = 1 ortlieb
    • EXCEPT… new fork doesn’t have brazons
  • handlebar roll
    • EXCEPT current brake cables block ability to tighten
  • dry bag on rear rack or saddle bag
    • This is currently doable
  • Saddle bag?
    • With a rear rack this doesn’t do much.
 
Option 2 – Reduce gear in and get into 2-3 dry bags?
  • Ding ding. An option I’ve done before.
  • Particularly easy for no-camping trips.
  • For camping: Hammock? Bivvy or smaller tent?
Option 3 – New bike?
  • Probably where I’m heading. Surly ECR looks amazing.
  • COVID continues to limit availability, and also Surly has slimmed down its bikepacking line (pour one out for the Ogre, not to mention the non-disc LHT!)
  • Then add bikepacking bags.
  • Build: go all out or frugally? I think my next bike might be more the former, but it really depends. This option gets very expensive, very quickly.
 
Where do I land?
  • I’ve been threatening a new bike for a while, but it’s a big outlay.
  • I would need to justify its purchase by actually using it, or I’ll feel dumb/wasteful.
  • Biggest thing working against this is the substantial overlap between my Safari and the ECR. When I ride one and could use the other, I’ll be thinking of waste.
  • My spring tour is almost certainly on the Safari, it’s just a question of where…  probably close to home again because it seems prudent to wait on the vaccination and summer for a longer ride
  • Much more to think about!

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 pedalshift.net/society.

Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Harry Telgadas
Chris Barron
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Mr. T
Nathan Poulton
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Greg Braithwaite
Sandy Pizzio
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Joseph Quinn
Drue Porter
Byron Paterson
Joachim Raber
Ray Jackson
Jeff Frey
Kenny Mikey
Lisa Hart
John Denkler
Steve Hankel
Miguel Quinones
Alejandro Avilés-Reyes
Keith Spangler
Greg Towner
Dan Gebhart, RIP
Jody Dzuranin
Lucas Barwick
Michael Baker
Brian Bechtol
Reinhart Bigl
Greg Middlemis
Connie Moore
William Gothmann
Brian Benton
Joan Churchill
Mike Bender
Rick Weinberg
Billy Crafton
Gary Matushak
Greg L’Etoile-Lopes
James Sloan
Jonathan Dillard
John Funk
Tom Bilcze
Ronald Piroli
Dave Roll
Brian Hafner
Misha LeBlanc
Ari Messinger
David Gratke
Todd Groesbeck
Wally Estrella
Sue Reinert
John Leko
Stephen Granata
Phillip Mueller
Robert Lackey
Dominic Carol
Jacqi McCulloch
John Hickman
Carl Presseault
David Neves
Patty Louise
Terry Fitzgerald
Peter Steinmetz
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Michael Liszewski
Hank O’Donnell
David Zanoni
David Weil
Matthew Sponseller
Scott Angelo
Chad Reno

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields has a new album in 2021, AND Jason has a new solo album in 2021, AND his first solo album is now streaming on Spotify, including America, the Pedalshift theme. Go listen!

The post The Pedalshift Project 231: Exploring Bikepacking in 2021 appeared first on Pedalshift.

Lobbying Series Part 2 – Direct Lobbying

On this episode, our second in our ongoing lobbying series, we’ll focus on direct lobbying for public charities that have taken the 501(h) election.   

For an introduction to lobbying and more on the 501(h) election for public charities, see part 1 of the series

 

Attorney Co-hosts  

  • Jen 
  • Shyaam 
  • Leslie 

  

Not all advocacy counts as lobbying 

  • Communications aimed at executive orders or special purpose bodies like school boards (even though they are elected, those school boards don’t make new laws!). 
  • Example: asking the incoming Biden Administration to rejoin the Paris climate agreement or ban fossil fuel production on federal lands through Executive Order. 
  • Example: The incoming Biden Administration might be able to take executive action to dramatically expand the number of gun sellers required to do background checks.  

 

What counts as direct lobbying under 501(h) 

  • Remember that 501(h) is an expenditure test so it only counts what the organization spends on the communication that is lobbying (including staff time and overhead).  
  • If you are an all volunteer organization, you should keep track of your time for your own purpose but unpaid volunteer time wouldn’t be counted on the 990 at the end of the year. However, any expenses to facilitate volunteer lobbying (e.g., reimbursements for meals or travel associated with lobbying) would need to be tracked and reported.  
  • Typically, the types of expenses you need to track are direct costs (e.g., travel costs), staff time, and overhead expenses.  

  

The three-prong defintion of direct lobbying 

  • A communication 
  • To someone who formulates legislation (like a legislator, or city council member) or their staff or committee staff 
  • Expresses a view about a specific piece of legislation 

  

Communication 

  • Tweets, emails, letters.  Preparation for those communications too.  
  • One on One meetings (when we can do those!) 
  • Or good old fashioned phone calls? 
  • What does the communication say? 

 

  Legislators (and their staff) 

  • The legislator that can make the decision needs to be the target of the communication. And it’s at any level of government – city, county, tribal govt., state, federal, even international.  
  • It can be broader though to include his or her staff because those staff (like the policy director, or the chief of staff) are normally authorized to represent the views of their boss (the elected official).   
  • What about staff of the Committee on Appropriations when the nonprofit public charity seeks to ensure a line item in the budget to buy new land for a new state park? 
  • What about public testimony at the committee hearing when a bill is being considered and the nonprofit says “we support this bill in its entirety?” In a later episode we will talk about some exceptions, including being invited to give testimony.  
  • Executive officials in certain situations, too.  
  • Are members of the public ever considered “legislators”? Yes when voting on public questions, referenda, constitutional amendments, bond measures. Anytime voters are asked to vote “yes” or “no” in an election, may constitute “legislators” for the IRS for your organization’s advocacy work. 

  

Specific legislation 

  • The easy case is when the bill has a number, like HB 270.   
  • How about a piece of model legislation that your nonprofit public charity is trying to get adopted in your state? Or asking for a law to be enacted that was recently enacted in a neighboring state? 
  • Harder is when you’re working with a champion, an elected official that supports your mission, for example, to end homelessness.  Is working with that officials’ office to highlight policy changes, perhaps discussing opportunities to revise statutes, or look for additional funding, is that lobbying? In some cases, you might just be educating legislators and not expressing a view on any specific legislation.  
  • What about just an idea?  The We Want World Peace bill where we’ll teach about peace instead of war? We want you to address climate change. We want you to prioritize arts in the budget. The context is important.  

    Examples    Southerners on New Ground (SONG) a 501(c)(3) . 

The Montgomery County Public School Board is holding a public hearing to discuss renaming Lee High School and the issue of Confederate statues. SONG shared this Instagram post.  Does the post constitute Lobbying, what if SONG’s followers took these signs to the school board meeting? 

  An example from the state of Texas.  In Texas, the legislature meets every odd numbered year. This year, there’s a bill by Representative Johnson that removes the Confederate Hero’s Texas State Holiday from the code.  

Generally, if an Executive Director met with their local state representative to tell them to vote for removing this day, then that would be direct lobbying.  Because , you have a (1) communication, (2) to the legislator, (3) on a specific bill.     

 

When to start tracking expenses 

  • Almost always has to be you or your organization specifically sending something to a sitting official asking them to support a bill or ordinance.   
  • Examples?  Let’s say your E.D. has an appointment with a city council member who historically has not supported funding for LGBTQ homeless shelters.  The staff prepare a report that the ED will use with the opposing city council member and the ED intends to specifically ask for the city councilmembers support for a new ordinance creating a shelter for LGBTQ kids.  What is the cost of the expenditures? 
  • Staff time on report? Travel and lunch of ED?  Printing?  ED time?  Overhead?   

 

 Resources  

Being a Player: A Guide to the IRS Lobbying Regulations for Advocacy Charities  

What is Advocacy?  

Worry-Free Lobbying For Nonprofits: How To Use The 501(h) Election To Maximize Effectiveness  

Public Charities Can Lobby: Guidelines for 501(c)(3) Public Charities (Factsheet)  

When Does Your Activity Become Lobbying? (Factsheet)  

501(h) Lobbying Limit Calculator  

 

The Pedalshift Project 230: Scouting a New Bike Touring Route

A new year, a new bike route! On this episode, we hit the road and scout out a new bike touring route to see if it looks as good in person and it does on the screen.


The Pedalshift Project 230: Scouting a New Bike Touring Route

Hey it’s the direct download link for  The Pedalshift Project 230: (mp3).

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Have some bike touring or overnight stories to share? Send your pics, audio or a quick tweet – all welcome. Email the show at pedalshift@pedalshift.net or call the lightly-used Pedalshift voicemail line at (202) 930-1109

Scouting a new bike touring route

 
  • Part of the route mentioned in Pedalshift 228
  • US Highway 11 and US Highway 30
  • Apologies for the rough audio in parts of this!

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 pedalshift.net/society.

Kimberly Wilson
Caleb Jenkinson
Cameron Lien
Andrew MacGregor
Michael Hart
Keith Nagel
Brock Dittus
Thomas Skadow
Marco Lo
Terrance Manson
Harry Telgadas
Chris Barron
Mark Van Raam
Brad Hipwell
Mr. T
Nathan Poulton
Stephen Dickerson
Vince LoGreco
Cody Floerchinger
Tom Benenati
Greg Braithwaite
Sandy Pizzio
Jeff Muster
Seth Pollack
Joseph Quinn
Drue Porter
Byron Paterson
Joachim Raber
Ray Jackson
Jeff Frey
Kenny Mikey
Lisa Hart
John Denkler
Steve Hankel
Miguel Quinones
Alejandro Avilés-Reyes
Keith Spangler
Greg Towner
Dan Gebhart, RIP
Jody Dzuranin
Lucas Barwick
Michael Baker
Brian Bechtol
Reinhart Bigl
Greg Middlemis
Connie Moore
William Gothmann
Brian Benton
Joan Churchill
Mike Bender
Rick Weinberg
Billy Crafton
Gary Matushak
Greg L’Etoile-Lopes
James Sloan
Jonathan Dillard
John Funk
Tom Bilcze
Ronald Piroli
Dave Roll
Brian Hafner
Misha LeBlanc
Ari Messinger
David Gratke
Todd Groesbeck
Wally Estrella
Sue Reinert
John Leko
Stephen Granata
Phillip Mueller
Robert Lackey
Dominic Carol
Jacqi McCulloch
John Hickman
Carl Presseault
David Neves
Patty Louise
Terry Fitzgerald
Peter Steinmetz
Timothy Fitzpatrick
Michael Liszewski
Hank O’Donnell
David Zanoni
David Weil
Matthew Sponseller
Scott Angelo

Music

You’ve been hearing about Jason Kent and his music for many fine episodes. Sunfields has a new album in 2021, AND Jason has a new solo album in 2021, AND his first solo album is now streaming on Spotify, including America, the Pedalshift theme. Go listen!

The post The Pedalshift Project 230: Scouting a New Bike Touring Route appeared first on Pedalshift.

Best of Pedalshift 126: The Katy Trail

After sitting with it a few weeks since my return from bicycling the Katy Trail, I shared my thoughts on everything about the ride… the heat, the rain, the trail surface, and much more. Where does the Katy Trail stand up to other tour routes in the US? I have some thoughts on that! Originally podcast June 28, 2018.

Best of Pedalshift 126: The Katy Trail

The post Best of Pedalshift 126: The Katy Trail appeared first on Pedalshift.

Lobbying Series Part 1 – Introduction to Lobbying

On this episode, we begin a multi-part series on lobbying for 501(c)(3) public charities — the limits, the definitions, the exceptions and much more. If you’re advocating on federal, state or local public policy in 2021, this is the podcast you’ve been looking for. 

Our Attorneys

Tim MooneyNatalie OssenfortQuyen Tu

Intro – Why are we talking about public charities and lobbying? 

  • It’s still worth a listen for 501(c)(4)s, private foundations, and others. 
  • Underscore that not all advocacy is lobbying (which is why we’ll spend several episodes on defining lobbying) 
  • Lobbying limits as a function of tax treatment and deductibility of contributions to 501(c)(3) 
  • Is this a 1st Amendment issue of speech being curtailed? Not according to the Supreme Court of the United States 

 

The Insubstantial Part Test 

  • This is the default measurement system for 501(c)(3)s 
  • Very little IRS or legal guidance on this 
  • No “substantial” part of a public charity’s activities can be lobbying 
  • No definition of lobbying 
  • No definition of substantial 
  • All activity is counted, whether it costs money or is done by volunteers 
  • Most practitioners go with 5% but that is not an IRS rule! 
  • Report lobbying on Schedule C of Form 990 

 

501(h) Election 

  • In the 1970s Congress passed reform legislation that included another choice for most charities 
  • 501(c)(3)s must “elect” this option 
  • Available to most charities, but not churches or auxiliaries (controlled by) of churches also referred to as houses of worship 
  • This is an expenditure-based test 
  • Clear limits based on organizations exempt expenditure 
  • For most 501(c)(3)s that’s 20% of their annual exempt expenditures but this limit does go down as the organization’s exempt expenditures go up 
  • Max cap is $1 million for organizations with exempt expenditures $17 million or more 
  • Clear, bright-line definitions of lobbying 

 

What Are the Advantages 501(h)? 

  • Clarity of what is lobbying 
  • Organizations ca pay excise taxes for going over limits rather than risk losing their tax status 
  • Easier to plan for lobbying activities 
  • Easier to report 
  • No additional risk of audit (perhaps less?) 
  • Example: AFJ and many other 501(c)(3) public charities 

 

What Are the Advantage of the Insubstantial Part Test (IPT)? 

  • Vanishingly small 
  • Very large organizations with budgets $100 million or more maybe able to lobby more with IPT than under the 501(h) election despite the IPT’s lack of clarity 
  • These organizations can afford to hire lawyers! 
  • Example: The Nature Conservancy 

 

Bolder Advocacy strongly recommends that public charities make the 501(h) election 

How do you know if your organization has made 501h? Look at your Form 990 Schedule C. 

How do you make the 501(h) election? File IRS Form 5768

  • Backdates to the beginning of the organization’s tax year 
  • You only have to make this election once 

 

Resources 

Being a Player: A Guide to the IRS Lobbying Regulations for Advocacy Charities 

What is Advocacy? 

Worry-Free Lobbying For Nonprofits: How To Use The 501(h) Election To Maximize Effectiveness 

Public Charities Can Lobby: Guidelines for 501(c)(3) Public Charities (Factsheet) 

Lobbying Rules For Houses of Worship 

501(h) Lobbying Limit Calculator