Touring - Pitt to DC over Labor Day: Fenders?
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05-26-08, 12:30 AM
Doing the C+O from Pitt to DC. Fenders recommended? We are flying from the West Coast to Pitt. If I need fenders, no problem. Any suggestions on visiting Falling Water?
Nobody needs fenders. Some prefer to have fenders. If you live in rainy West Seattle and haven't yet felt moved to acquire fenders, you won't change your mind between Pittsburgh and DC!
05-26-08, 09:03 AM
I resisted using fenders for many years, and can't imagine why I hesitated for so long. They are a pain in the you-know-what because they constantly go out of alignment, and I try to avoid writing in the rain anyway.
But there have been a few times when I have been forced to ride all day in drizzle, or needed to cycle through a downpour. My fenders keep me relatively dry and clean compared to riding without.
Nevertheless, Takara makes an excellent point!
05-26-08, 03:28 PM
Etherhuffer -- they are probably right that if you don't feelthe need for fenders in Seattle you are not likely to change your mind on the C & O. You will get muddy (a lot muddy if the weather turns nasty) but that is the worst that happens.
As for Fallingwater I believe it is a decent length sidetrip and up some fairly steep hills to get there. If you do go you might want to check tour information. I believe early in the morning they give one lengthy in-depth tour and then the rest of the tours are fairly short with much of the house off-limits. So this may affect your decision of whether or not the uphill sidetrip is worth it.
You might also want to check out this Yahoo Group for lots of good info on the Pitt to DC ride: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Great_Allegheny_Passage/messages
So you ask, do you need fenders Pgh to DC?
And I ask, Travelling alone or in a group?
Alone, no fenders needed, except for comfort if it's wet.
In a group, YES fenders needed, especially if you're riding somewhat close in a conversational group. The surface from Pgh to Cumberland is quite fine and gets tossed about a bit.
And, to go further: the front fender is for your own comfort (your rack will contain most of the rear splash) and the rear fender is for your buddy's comfort. Seeing a guy with a front fender and no back fender - - it's almost a shame.
Here's our 2006 trip report (http://thirdwave-websites.com/bike/2006-pittsburgh-dc-c&o-gap.cfm), we're going again June 22 I think, hoping to take advantage of the longest days.
05-26-08, 10:51 PM
I personally prefer to have fenders on all year long.
It's not like they add a substantial amount of weight and, when installed properly, shouldn't go crooked or out of adjustment or cause any kind of problems.
I like to keep my bike (and myself) clean. Even in the summertime, there are areas that are overwatered where you run into puddles/mud/moss etc.
Plus, I love the look of full fenders, so my opoinion a bit biased I guess.
05-27-08, 10:13 AM
Thanks all so much. Will have to talk to our group and see what folks think. I am not really into mud, just a few bugs in the teeth and that it. I am also somewhat amazed, being on the rain washed concrete of Seattle, how quickly dirt builds up in the chains and gears when off road. The Cumberland really looks like a beautiful ride.
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