Author Topic: C&O Trail  (Read 257 times)

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Offline passandr2021

C&O Trail
« on: September 10, 2021, 04:52:03 pm »
Does anybody know if you can ride a Gran Tourismo trike on the C&O?

Offline aggie

Re: C&O Trail
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2021, 10:23:46 am »
Not very familiar with trikes.  However if yours can handle a trail that is rocky, rough, rutted and has lots of mud holes created by maintenance vehicles you should be fine.

Offline rwinot25

Re: C&O Trail
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2021, 08:59:30 pm »
I just completed the C&O and GAP trail. I would not recommend riding a trike on the entire length of the trail. The early miles out of Georgetown would be suitable. Most of the trail is double track dirt. If you keep your rear wheel in the track your two front wheels would be in the grass, if one front wheel in the track your other two would be in the weeds. I remember reading in the guide book that trikes are not recommended to use the trail.

Good luck if you attempt riding the entire length. Hauling a trike up the detours would not be my idea of fun.

Offline jcostanz

Re: C&O Trail
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2021, 09:18:47 pm »
I did ride with it with a trike years ago, so it can be done.  A Greenspeed GTE 20" tires all around.  It was a van supported tour with Adventure Cycling, so I was not carrying any gear.  The trail had many sections of "double track" the tracks were spaced apart by pickup trucks, so it was a question of either running the front wheels on the high, grass and twig covered ground and the rear wheel in the rut or have the rear wheel and derailleur in the grass and twigs.  Also after the rain on 2 days, the ruts were filled with water, deep enough that the seat was submerged several times.  I did show up in camp much cleaner than several of the other riders.  Imagine the Abominable mud woman!  Due to the 3 tracks on a trike the grass and softer sections were much slower.  Also the trip started in DC so at the locks (only a 3-5 foot climb) I spun the rear wheel on most and had to get off and push up the hill.  Twice I had to lift the trike over a downed tree, (thankfully I wasn't riding fully loaded!!!!).  Many of the climbs at the locks were actually in the lock it self.  The trike is one of the widest trikes and I only had a tough time at the end of the trail with the car barriers and had to run over the larger base of the round barriers.


Offline David W Pratt

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Re: C&O Trail
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2021, 02:56:15 pm »
Just did it on a trad, diamond frame, with no trailer, but I think a trike should be able to do it.  I spent one night in a campsite with a couple on a recumbent tandem with a two wheel trailer.  The man was quite experienced and anticipated no extraordinary difficulties.  BTW, they were on their honeymoon.
Actually, the trail closest to Wash DC seemed the worst, out to about Great Falls Tavern.  If I were doing it, I would take a few garbage bags to cover everything, so the mud did not cover everything.
The Paw Paw Tunnel is really closed, so, with a trike, I would plan on a shuttle, or a road detour around it.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: C&O Trail
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2021, 04:46:09 pm »
Just did it on a trad, diamond frame, with no trailer, but I think a trike should be able to do it.  I spent one night in a campsite with a couple on a recumbent tandem with a two wheel trailer.  The man was quite experienced and anticipated no extraordinary difficulties.  BTW, they were on their honeymoon.
Actually, the trail closest to Wash DC seemed the worst, out to about Great Falls Tavern.  If I were doing it, I would take a few garbage bags to cover everything, so the mud did not cover everything.
The Paw Paw Tunnel is really closed, so, with a trike, I would plan on a shuttle, or a road detour around it.

David, is the Paw Paw really closed - I mean barricaded off? I know there are/were signs but I have read lots of reports with pictures of people going through it this summer. My concern with the Paw Paw was the width of the walkway through the tunnel. With the curved roof I felt like my shoulder was brushing the wall and the rail between me and the 15' drop into the canal seem rickety. I decided I would rather loose my bike than fall in myself. :) I wish we knew the width of the walk way to compare it to the width of the trike wheelbase. The detour up and over will be a beast for a trike. To detour on roads it looks like you would have to jump off at Bond's Landing Road, to Mertens Ave (all gravel) to oldtown Orleans  Rd SE, and then 51 to the Paw Paw Tunnel Campground to rejoin the trail. 6.3 Trail miles and 10.3 on the roads, but roads should be a quicker ride than the tunnel and boardwalks on the one end.
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Offline jcostanz

Re: C&O Trail
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2021, 04:59:47 pm »
many years ago I did the C&O and GAP tour with Adventure Cycling on a Greenspeed GTE Trike.   The max width on the trike is around 35"  at one point we crossed paths in the tunnel with a troupe of kids.  It was a tight squeeze, I rubbed the one hub on the railing and they a had to hug the wall but we were able to pass them.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: C&O Trail
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2021, 05:07:43 pm »
I think the road detour I outlined above amy be a better alternative for a loaded touring bike.

https://gaptrail.org/downstream-access-to-paw-paw-tunnel-restricted-detour-available/

Access to C&O Canal Towpath’s Paw Paw Tunnel Restricted; Detour Available
By Bryan Perry | August 9, 2021
The C&O Canal National Historical Park announced that it resumed work on August 9, 2021 to stabilize rocky slopes along an approximately 1,000-foot length of the C&O Canal Towapath just downstream from the eastern portal of the Paw Paw Tunnel. During this stabilization project, the National Park Service anticipates that the Paw Paw Tunnel will remain open to visitors from the western portal, but that through-access onto the towpath downstream of the tunnel will be closed until the rock fall hazards are ameliorated and the boardwalk repaired. This work is likely to extend into the summer of 2022. Put another way, during the stabilization project, the Paw Paw Tunnel will remain open for visitors to explore from the western end (adjacent to the campground and parking lot), but thru-travelers and those approaching from the east must use the Tunnel Hill Trail, a 1.5 mile marked footpath that is routed up and over the top of the Paw Paw Tunnel with an elevation change of 375 feet. Bicyclists must dismount and walk their bikes, and trailers are not recommended. For more information, visit the website for the C&O Canal National Historical Park.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966