Touring - D.C. to Pittsburgh
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05-24-11, 12:15 AM
I am planning a trip from D.C. to Pittsburgh, all along the trail. I am wandering what the trail is like - how much of it is paved? How rough is the unpaved parts? What is the grade like generally?
I will be riding a LHT, however my friends coming with me have standard road bikes. Should they be able to manage the trail?
05-24-11, 05:29 AM
This recent thread is a pretty good review of trail conditions.
05-24-11, 06:05 AM
Try searching this forum for GAP or "C&O" and you will get so much information you won't have time to ride.
Also, try www.atatrail.org
FYI - the only paved area is a 20 mile section centered around Hancock, MD
05-24-11, 06:17 AM
I love riding the towpath and Gap on my LHT. There are Yahoo groups for each with detailed info. I think you will enjoy yourself. I plan to head out from Williamsport, MD for a day ride this weekend.
05-24-11, 06:18 AM
Here's links, Jack
05-24-11, 06:12 PM
I can attest to the fact that both of the Yahoo Groups have people with good advice. As I plan for my ride, I found that they are good place es to get up to date information on the trails. -- Tom
05-24-11, 06:53 PM
You will be fine with the LHT on all parts of the C&O and GAP. But I would not recommend a standard road bike on any part of the C&O with except the first few miles near DC. You really need a minimum of 32 width.
On the GAP the road bikes should have a minimum of 28 width tires but you could probably go a little narrower.
And it it rains you will be glad you have wider tires on both trails.
I live at the Pittsburgh end of the trail right near the Montour Trail which connects to the GAP. Let me know if you need any help at this end.
05-24-11, 08:17 PM
Towards the end of my ride going the other way, I came across a guy with a road bike with panniers and a taco'ed wheel. He had just started out. I would recommend a sturdy wheel on any road bike. I also agree that a 32 tire would be a good base number on a wheel with a decent number of spokes on the C&O. Obviously a LHT will be fine.
05-25-11, 06:16 AM
Just finished both trails last week on Vittoria Randonneur 700x35 in muddy conditions. Rear panniers only and no camping equipment. Could have run 32mm without a problem.
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