Touring - Middle of GAP/C&O Ride
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05-16-11, 05:32 PM
I don't usually gush but I can't resist right now. I'm in the middle of my 5 day ride and have arrived in Hancock, MD. You can see some info at http://trackmytour.com/4555. I made reservations at the Riverrun B&B based on the web site and no additional information so wasn't sure what to expect. This place is fantastic. Not only is it brand new with great southern exposure but the little things stand out.
For example, the walkout basement is the bike storage area (and the owner's studio). After hosing my bike off outside I wheeled my bike in only to find a bag marked "clean bike rags." As those of you who have ridden the towpath know, mud is your closest companion in the spring. Next to the rag bag is a beautiful floor pump waiting for your top off pleasure. Oh, and the washing machine was offered up at not charge.
I just met the owner today so no vital interest in the B&B but would love to see him do wells he got many of the little things right.
Always good to hear about a business owner helping trail riders out. I passed the place on a day ride a couple weeks ago and it did look like a nice place to stay
Enjoy your ride
05-17-11, 03:13 PM
I've also realized that I don't really like trail touring. While I haven't been rained on very much, which is amazing given the weather conditions (thunderstorm at Harpers Ferry but I'm already at my B&B), the trail has been sticky, muddy and wet. I reckon I lose 30% of my effort.
But that's not really the issue. It's boring! If I didn't have the 25 mile downhill into Cumberland, the brief ride on the WMRT and a last minute road detour I decided to take from Williamsport to Sharpsburg I would have gone bonkers. I get off at Whites Ferry to ride to a relative's house, deciding whether to avoid the towpath and take surface roads.
05-17-11, 04:48 PM
To avoid the muddy towpath, take Whites Ferry across to VA, then pedal just over 4 miles to get into Leesburg. It's an unpleasant ride on a busy route 15, but I believe it has a decent shoulder. But in Leesburg, you can pick up the W&OD paved trail which will basically take you all the way to DC. In Arlington, you branch off to the paved Custis Trail to take you to Rosslyn across the river from Georgetown. You can either cross Key Bridge into Georgetown, or continue on a trail on the VA side of the river to cross into DC over Memorial Bridge which takes you right to the Lincoln Memorial.
05-17-11, 06:47 PM
Yup, I know the area and I think I'm going to cross at Brunswick instead and catch the W&OD earlier. It's only 13 miles from Brunswick to where the trail crosses Rt 9. Stopping at my brother in laws place in Herndon anyway so I'll lop off an extra 20 miles from the towpath.
05-18-11, 09:27 AM
Hey QueueCT - Do you think you'd be having a better time with some company? My brother, friend and I plan on riding the GAP & C&O trail early next month. I know the tour won't be as scenic as our pacific coast highway tour, but with some company I think it will be enjoyable.
We're hoping for a nice dry week! Best of luck as you continue on!
05-18-11, 07:11 PM
I usually like riding alone. It's really a selfish thing, wanting to set my own pace, distance, etc. Plus it's just nice to be by myself for a while. Having said that, I think you're right. Friends would have been the focus rather than the ride in that case. Although, if it wasn't muddy, it might be a different story.
I'm sure you'll have a great trip with friends and don't be afraid to get off the trail and onto surface roads if it gets tedious. Hope your weather is good. Truthfully, I got rained on for only 20 minutes total. It was all the rain that hit the towpath that made things interesting.
05-18-11, 08:39 PM
John, Thanks for the report and web site link. I am going on the same tour in late June. The B&B sounds great. I am planning on staying in the Hancock bike shop when passing thru.
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