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Topics - PNWRider92

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Routes / GAP and C&O Canal Towpath Trip Report
« on: October 19, 2018, 09:38:46 pm »
Completed my GAP and C&O ride last week and thought I'd share my experiences.

I took Amtrak from Denver to Pittsburgh with a transfer in Chicago. It was $100 for the ticket and then $20 for the bike roll on service ($10 for each train). 30 hours but cheaper than flying and didn't have to deal with the hassle of dismantling my bike.

I had a lot of time so it was nice relaxing. My longest day was only 60 miles.

Day 1: Pittsburgh ----> Buena Vista: The GAP starts at Point State Park, a short distance from Amtrak. Camped at the Dravo Cemetery. Free hiker/biker sites with well water and vault toilets. Fire rings with free firewood also available. They had 3 or 4 wooden shelters for tents and plenty of grass/trees for tents/hammocks.

Day 2: Buena Vista ---> Ohiopyle: Camped at Wilderness Voyageurs. They offer free camping for hiker/bikers in the pavilion behind their business. I used their pavilion to hang my hammock .They have a bath house with free hot showers. It's open 24 hours but they don't have electricity. If you're going east it'll be on the right BEFORE you cross the pedestrian bridge into town. If you cross the bridge you can turn left onto the highway and cross the auto bridge and it'll be on your right as soon as you cross the train tracks... Speaking of which, if you're a light sleeper I wouldn't stay here. The camping is 10 feet from very busy train tracks. They run all night long and blow their horn 4x and it's on a curve so their wheels screech. It didn't bother me though.

Day 3: Ohiopyle ---> Meyersdale: Camped at the Maple Festival Grounds in town. $15/night. Hot showers, bathrooms with electricity, pavilion for hammocks and a huge yard for tents. The pavilion and stage have lights and electricity. Free firewood as well. WiFi works but not the strongest signal. This place is only available when the grounds are hosting the Maple Festival or other local events so be sure to check the calendar or call ahead.

Day 4: Meyersdale ----> Cumberland: Camped at the YMCA, a mile off the route on a busier road. $12/night. You have full use of the YMCA until they close at 10pm. Showers, bathrooms, pool, basketball courts etc. WiFi is pretty crappy. Pavilion with electricity and poles to hang hammocks. Large grass area for tents. Much like Ohiopyle, this is right next to the train tracks BUT they don't run as often and they're much quieter.

That's the end of the GAP. The trail was amazing... That's where the nice trail ends and the C&O begins.

Day 5: Cumberland ----> Hancock: Camped at C&O Bicycle. $15/night gets you a hot shower, WiFi, outhouses, a place to wash your bike (you'll need it if it rained recently), lights, power outlets and a bunk in their "chicken coop" behind a locked gate right off of the trail. Their "chicken coop" is a screen off area with ~20 beds (10 sets of bunks). Mattress pads provided. The C&O was really muddy this day.... We rode the paved Western Maryland Rail Trail (WMRT) the last 10 miles to Hancock. They're building more access points on the C&O to the WMRT so soon you'll be able to ride the last 12 miles to Hancock.

Day 6: Hancock ---> Harpers Ferry: Rode the WMRT until about a mile before it ended (the last access point to the C&O) and dealt with the mud until Williamsport. I wanted to see Antietam Battlefield so in Williamsport I jumped onto local highways to get to the battlefield. It was a nice change of scenery and vehicle traffic was minimal. A bit hilly and shoulderless in places but a great ride. Stop by the visitor center in Brunswick for detour directions if it's still closed. I got back onto the C&O at Dam #4. The C&O between Williamsport and Dam #4 was, at the time I was there, one of the worst sections. That played into skipping that section too. The last miles to HF were nice and not too muddy. I spent 2 nights at the Harpers Ferry/Civil War Battlefields KOA. It was extremely expensive. $65/night. Nice for hammocks but their tent sites are on a hill. They don't enforce quiet hours and overall it was a miserable experience. I spent my day off touring the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. $5 entrance fee for pedestrians. It was worth the day off.

Day 7: Harpers Ferry ---> Leesburg: Rode the C&O to Brunswick where the trail was closed. The official detour to Point of Rocks was along hilly country roads (nothing more than a 5% grade) with okay shoulders and minimal vehicle traffic once you leave the city. The C&O from Point of Rocks to Whites Ferry was the best section of the trail IMO. At Whites Ferry I took the ferry across the Potomac ($2 cash only fare for pedestrians) to Virginia. It runs 365 days a year unless the Potomac is flooded from about 6am to 10pm. Highway 15 was a nice ride into Leesburg until it spilt to the regular highway and the business route. The shoulder here disappears and the fog line becomes the shoulder for about 500 feet in the VERY heavily used stretch of highway. I waited until there were no cars coming and gunned it. Stayed the Red Roof Inn on Market St. $75/night in a newly remodeled hotel within walking distance to everything the town has to offer.

Day 8: Leesburg ---> Washington DC: Part of the reason I chose the Red Roof Inn was because the Washington & Old Dominion Trail (W&ODT) runs right behind it. The W&ODT is a paved trail that runs between Purcellville and Arlington. I rode this to Arlington and it was great. It's heavily used and towns are no more than 10 miles apart. In Arlington where the train ends you have to cross the street and go to your right. From there get onto the Four Mile Run Trail and follow the signs for the Mt. Vernon Trail. Once you're on the Mt. Vernon Trail follow the signs for Washington DC. It'll take you across the Arlington Memorial Bridge and drop you off right next to the Lincoln Memorial. A friend of mine lives in Dupont Circle in DC and that's where I stayed for 2 nights before flying home out of BWI.

Happy to answer any questions etc!

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Routes / GAP and C&O Canal Towpath
« on: July 29, 2018, 09:50:20 am »
Who here has done the GAP and C&O Canal Towpath?

I was thinking about doing it this October and was looking for some feedback. Which way did you go, how long did it take you, etc? Would you recommend it? Did any of you hammock camp without any problems? I'd be more interested in doing it if I could use my hammock instead of my tent.

I read somewhere that October is the driest month (and May the wettest) on the route. Cannot remember where I read that though....

I was looking to take about 10 days off of work... 1 day on each end to travel and then 8 days of the tour while taking a single day off. So it'd end up being about 50 miles/day.

Are there any other week long routes you think I should consider doing instead? I live in Colorado and want to get out of the state.


3
Classifieds / Complete set of Route 66 maps ($30)
« on: July 04, 2018, 06:27:41 pm »
Complete set of Route 66 maps for sale.

Newest set available

Used from April 7th until May 27th for tour. Great condition.

$36.70 ($30 + $6.70 for USPS 2-day Priority Mail)

Ships from Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80214

International shipping available at additional cost.

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Gear Talk / Cooking set up while on tour?
« on: March 08, 2018, 06:53:05 pm »
What's your cooking set up while on tour?

In the past I used the JetBoil Flash but recently upgraded to the JetBoil MiniMo. Everything you see in the photo nest inside of the stove. Comes in at 14oz without the fuel canister. I stick to foods that only need boiled water.

Would love to see what others use and if anyone has the MiniMo some reviews about it would be good too since it's new to me.

Happy Touring! :D

7
General Discussion / Anyone know how much this Giant rear rack weighs?
« on: December 25, 2017, 01:41:50 am »
Does anyone have any idea how much the Giant Alloy Rear Rack 26”/27”/700C weighs? I’ve searched for hours and couldn’t find any website with the weight. Tried contacting Giant and Topeka but no luck.

Wondering if it’s heavier or lighter than my Transit Rack. It’s listed at 590G (1.3lb) on their website.

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Classifieds / Washington Parks Route Maps 1 & 2 (New)
« on: December 13, 2017, 10:03:44 pm »
I purchased these earlier this year with the intention of doing the ride this summer but wasn't able to do it due to an accident. They're new still. Will ship with updated addenda as well.

Non-member price is $29.50
Member price is $20.50

Asking $20 with free shipping

Ships from Denver, Colorado

Pick up available if you're in the area - I live in Wheat Ridge

https://www.adventurecycling.org/cyclosource-store/route-maps/washington-parks-route/sp/adventure-cycling-association-washington-parks-map-set/

Sedro-Woolley to Elma to Sedro-Woolley, WA (869.5 mi.) These two map sections offer a variety of options for creating the ultimate loop tour in Washington State from the Olympic Mountains, across the Cascades, down into the Columbia Basin and back again with multiple ferry options in Seattle to round things out.

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Routes / Southern Tier 2017 Thread
« on: November 28, 2016, 02:31:39 am »
If you're doing the Southern Tier in 2017, post about it here!

I'm heading West ----> East
Departing San Diego on February 15, 2017
Will post my Instagram etc here as the date gets closer
Riding with one possibly two other riders
We'll be averaging somewhere around ~60 miles a day
Not trying to race
This isn't my first tour (did 5,177 miles Portland, OR ---> Portland, ME this summer) but will be the first for one of the riders

When do you leave? Solo/group? Blog links etc?

Hope to see you all out there!

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Looking for a riding companion for the Southern Tier in 2017. Looking to depart San Diego in February or March. Will be buying my Amtrak tickets down that way soon.

I'm a mid 20's male who has a lot of tour experience. I've done 5 long tours before. Most recently a 5,177 mile trip from Portland, OR to Portland, ME from May to August 2016.

I had company on all of them except for my tour this year. Rode solo for all but about 5 days of the trip.

I travel pretty light. Eat at campgrounds. Only stay in hotels in emergencies. 

Average 10-15 mph and do about ~60 miles a day.

I have the Southern Tier maps from the ACA 

Please PM me or look me up on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tyjames0604

Would love to talk if you're interested!

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General Discussion / Thank you to the ACA!
« on: May 12, 2016, 10:04:06 pm »
A huge thank you to everyone at the ACA who makes everything possible! Especially to the staff who've interacted with me the past two days during my layover here. It's been a lot of fun :)

Anyone who's interested in following me or checking out my progress can do so below. I'm 11 days into a Portland ---> Portland ride.

https://give.everydayhero.com/us/portland2portland#/


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

12
General Discussion / Portland2Portland
« on: April 05, 2016, 12:31:47 am »
Last year I brought up a ride I'm doing to raise money for cancer awareness and several people asked for the route and link to my blog/donation page. They're both below. Absolutely no pressure to donate but I welcome words of encouragement. Feel free to post on my website and follow my ride. I'll be blogging on the website as well.

A little about the route: It's planned as such for several reasons and cannot be changed at this time. Those reasons include meetings with cancer centers, visiting family I've never met, visiting the place my father's ashes were scattered etc. I understand the route is pretty unconventional but it's very personal to me and am therefore sticking to the route as best as I can.

Originally I was scheduled to leave this coming weekend but decided to postpone it a month in order to run a marathon on the one-year anniversary of my mothers death in her memory. The dates you see on the route are rough dates and will likely change as I make my was across the country. The destinations listed are my intended destinations but under each one I have two or three alternate destinations before/after my intended destination. These are private and cannot be viewed by the general public.

If you're in the area and would like to tag along on any section or want to meet up for any reason feel free to PM me!

Thanks everyone for taking a look.

Questions/Comments/Concerns welcome


My itinerary can be viewed here: http://www.travellerspoint.com/member_map.cfm?tripid=845732#/tripid/845732/stopid/5790722 - Ignore the directions on here. They're not accurate and look nothing like my directions.

The main website about my ride can be viewed here: https://give.everydayhero.com/us/portland2portland

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I have a set of Trans America Bicycle Trail maps from ACA. I am missing Section 8. Not sure where it went but will keep looking for it.

FREE! You pay for shipping - All or single maps. Mailed from 97003

PM me

They're a 7 on a scale of 1-10 in terms of condition.

Section 1: 2010
Section 2: 2010
Section 3: 2010
Section 4: 2012
Section 5: 2012
Section 6: 2012
Section 7: 2012
Section 8: Missing
Section 9: 2011
Section 10: 2011
Section 11: 2012
Section 12: 2012

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For those of you who have blogged while on tour, what did you use? I was considering getting a tablet but thought I would use my phone and libraries in towns that have them, which I assume would be most of them. If you used a tablet can you point me in the direction of a cheaper one that'll work well enough for blogging while not weighing a lot?

Thanks :)


15
Gear Talk / Front rack that will work without eyelets
« on: November 06, 2015, 09:13:30 pm »
I'm back with another question.....

I was trying to put on the front rack on my bike tonight when I realized there's no eyelets on my fork. Despite the fact Nashbar only sent half the instructions and said they'd work with no eyelets, they don't work without eyelets. They wont take them back either.

Do they make front racks that don't require eyelets? Even if so would it be cheaper just to buy a new fork with eyelets?

My fork is carbon so eyelets can't be welded on.

Any suggestions?

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