General Cycling Discussion - Article on Biking the C&O Canal
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04-16-03, 10:01 AM
Here is an article from today's Washington Post (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A34656-2003Apr15.html). If I put this in the wrong section I am sorry.
I loved the C&O canal, the path was easy,
wide and relatively empty once out of Georgetown.
You didn't really need a MTB to ride it, it was
perfect for cross bike, or roadie with wide tires.
Thanks for the link Cyclochica, brings back more
than a few memories.
04-16-03, 10:23 AM
You're very welcome. I think it's important to post positive articles when I see them. I owe you thanks too Lotek, I was thinking of trading my mtb for a cross bike and wondered if it would handle that type of trail.
04-16-03, 10:23 AM
I shure would like to fit a 184 mile trip up the C & O into my summer schedule. I better hurry and finish that mt. bike I've been building.
Thanks for the link.
04-16-03, 10:27 AM
the c&O was awesome... my friend and i did a 120 mile round trip... geoergetown to harpers ferry, and then back. harpers ferry is great in the summer... you can go out into the river and lie down on the rocks in the water... awesome way to finish a long day :)
i have a horror story to tell... but it has more to do with my stupidity than with the trail itself... more details to follow later :)
04-16-03, 10:33 AM
Thanks that was a good read. I want to do the New River trail first this year and see how 2 ~60 mile days do. I was fine with the Virginia Creeper trasil last year.
P. B. Walker
04-18-03, 11:50 AM
Thanks for that article. This is a great trail. My buddy has done the whole trail over 3 days. Last year, he and I did 105 miles of it on a Saturday in September. His wife met us from time to time at about 15 mile intervals and then drove us back home. I've always wanted to do the camping option, but I've never been big on camping after riding all day.
I want to someday do the entire trail in one day... supported of course :).
04-18-03, 01:19 PM
I live in Maryland, and would love to take a bike trip like that. But this article makes it sound too physically difficult for a person like me.
I am a beginner recreational cyclist, just getting back into the sport after ten long years and a back/neck injury. I want to begin biking again for the pleasure -- not the pain. I'm looking for beautiful scenery like this article describes, but without too much suffering. Long steep grades, and lots of mud may prevent me from enjoying the ride as much as I would like. Ten years ago, the fitness aspect of this kind of tour would be the attraction. Now I want fun - not fitness.
If this is possible with any Maryland ride, let me know?
I just bought my first new bike in ten years. It's a Specialized Crossroads Comp hybrid. The bike I bought new ten years ago was an agressive performance Cannondale mountain bike. I can't ride it anymore because I lean too far forward, and cannot lift my head up far enough to see where I am going
04-18-03, 01:24 PM
Lightyear - You could go at your own pace just ride parts of the trail. Where I ride there are plenty of cyclists of many different abilities out having fun.
I don't know where in Md. you are but the converted
rail trails (like W&OD Falls Church to Leesburg) is a nice
trail, not steep (remember it was train tracks), great
scenery (saw a Deer about 100yds outside of Vienna).
Welcome back to the sport.
04-18-03, 08:40 PM
You guys may be right. I'll take things at my own pace and see how I do. I am excited to be back in the sport.
I will also look into the converted rail trails as you mentioned. Thanks!
04-19-03, 05:58 AM
The Rails to Trails Conservancy has a website called Trail Link where you can locate rail trails in your state, and across the country if you are adventurous. There are a few in Maryland you can check out if you don't feel like driving to Rosslyn or Purceville VA to ride the WOD.
04-19-03, 06:26 AM
I did the C&O with 2 others that gave up in Hagerstowne, what a waste of time & money.
Then I discovered the Great Bicycle Tour of the C&O. If you want a great trip that's fully supported, go to: http://www.sanmarhome.org/tgbt/index.htm . They do the entire C&O over 4 days and I had the best time of my life. You have to raise $300 for the home, plus a registration fee. Chump change compared to doing it yourself. My only comment, raise a lot more than the $300 minimum for them, it's a great cause, they truly deserve it and they treat you like royality the whole trip. I could not believe the orginization and support they had for the ride, very very professional.
Who can do it? I saw people I never dreamed would ride a bike starting on department store bikes that I though would not make it 1/2 mile down the trail, finish the entire 182+ miles. When I went, we only had a couple people not finish the ride. Some people took allllll day to get there but they did it! Just because you train for this doesn't mean you have to look it.
04-19-03, 01:00 PM
I definately will look into that. It sounds great. What king of support is provided?
04-19-03, 01:13 PM
I just checked the website. They can COUNT ME IN! It lookks perfect.
04-19-03, 02:03 PM
From Saturday breakfast through Tuesday lunch everything was provided. Breakfast was a variety, lunch was make your own sandwiches from mounds of turkey, ham, cheese, etc provided by local clubs (Rotary, Lions etc.) on the trail and dinners were grilled chicken with potatoes, vegis, bread and the like. Everyone goes out for Mexican (cost included) Monday nite. Regular sag support with fig newtons, power drinks, clean water and the like. Camp the first two nights, everyone in the hotel the third. Pools all three places. You buy your own beer, sodas, nick nacks if you want. You could do the trip and not spend a dime on the ride. I have no clue how they do it, between the buses, campsites, food, hotel, etc I'd have spent more than the minimum cost. I spent more than that on the busted self supported trip I took and didn't make it. PLUS, you only take what you need on the trail, they truck ALL your extra gear to the next stop. They have a sweep person that can usually fix any problems or contact the truck so if you totally break down, they take care of you.
I took rain gear, tubes, patches, tools, pump and some power gels (stuff I take on any long ride except for the rain gear) on the bike but nothing else. I let them do the rest. What was the most fun, too many good memories to list just one.
But I'll say it again, if you go, raise ALL the money you can (I collected $1,325). They are great people with a good cause who put you first and deserve to be rewarded for creating an awseome 4 day event for everyone.
If you go tell Bruce that Bob from NC said hello and that I will be back. I've been knocked out of going the last couple of years because of family conflicts but will be going in 2004 and hopefully every year after that.
04-19-03, 02:39 PM
I really do appreciate the information you have provided. They should put your last post on their website. Now I have some incite as to what to expect.
I have already spoken to my wife about the ride to ensure that it won't conflict with any other committments our family may have. I will register this week. It would be foolish to miss such a well planned ride. There is no way that I could organize a ride like that for myself, and certainly not for that price. I'll have to work on coming up with some pledges.
I can't imagine how they can put something of this caliber together on donations alone. The thirty dollar fee can only be streched so far.
How much of the trip was easy-going? How much was uphill?
What I'm really curious about is what caused your first experience (pre charity ride) to be such a flop?
Thanks again, and I will pass on the message to Bruce.
04-19-03, 02:41 PM
I checked out the rail trail website you suggested. It is very helpful. I had no idea there were so many trails within just a couple hours away.
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