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Old 07-09-07, 12:40 PM   #1
MichiganMike
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First of my summer trips

Leave Thursday to drive to Pittsburgh. Starting Friday, I'll then ride the Allegheny Trail and C&O Trail to DC. Weather is iffy, but I am going to go ahead and go. I have spent the past few weeks doing a lot of riding, so I am ready. Had to make a trip out to DC two weeks ago so I got to ride some of the trail around Frostburg MD, then did the Mt. Vernon Trail in DC which was kinda nice.

I am so looking forward to the ride. No cell phone, no blackberry, no IPOD. Just my bike, the trail, and me. I am shipping a couple of boxes of clothes, my laptop, and all the above since I will be out there for two weeks.

Everything fell into place. Got a cheap round trip ticket from South Bend IN so my wife is flying out to spend a weekend with me while I'm out there.

All I am waiting for is my extra foldable tire to come in tomorrow. I have the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes so I am not worried about tire problems. Makes my wife a little happier though, and that's important!

Yee haw.
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Old 07-09-07, 01:50 PM   #2
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I wrecked a Marathon on the tandem after 2,000 miles when it punctured so judging by this trip- Keep the Tyre in its wrapper so you can return it. Sounds a great ride and keep us informed.
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Old 07-09-07, 01:53 PM   #3
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Have a wonderful trip!
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Old 07-09-07, 02:08 PM   #4
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Have a great trip. Don't forget to wave as you pass my town in Ohio
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Old 07-09-07, 02:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganMike
Leave Thursday to drive to Pittsburgh. Starting Friday, I'll then ride the Allegheny Trail and C&O Trail to DC. Weather is iffy, but I am going to go ahead and go. I have spent the past few weeks doing a lot of riding, so I am ready. Had to make a trip out to DC two weeks ago so I got to ride some of the trail around Frostburg MD, then did the Mt. Vernon Trail in DC which was kinda nice.

I am so looking forward to the ride. No cell phone, no blackberry, no IPOD. Just my bike, the trail, and me. I am shipping a couple of boxes of clothes, my laptop, and all the above since I will be out there for two weeks.

Everything fell into place. Got a cheap round trip ticket from South Bend IN so my wife is flying out to spend a weekend with me while I'm out there.

All I am waiting for is my extra foldable tire to come in tomorrow. I have the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes so I am not worried about tire problems. Makes my wife a little happier though, and that's important!

Yee haw.
I sent you a PM
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Old 07-09-07, 02:15 PM   #6
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Have a great trip. Don't forget to wave as you pass my town in Ohio
Two weeks ago on my way back from DC I came across on I-70 for a change of pace. Saw your exit and the Metro Parks sign. I was tempted to stop and ride as it was about 4 or so in the afternoon. BUT, right about then the sky opened up and it rained like you wouldn't believe. I believe it was Thursday, June 28.

Stopped at an exit or two down the road and ate myself an Arby's Roast Beef instead!
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Old 07-10-07, 07:03 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by MichiganMike
I am so looking forward to the ride. No cell phone, no blackberry, no IPOD. Just my bike, the trail, and me.
Yee haw.
That is a wonderful way to ride and you are going to have a great trip. Part of the allure is that you will be out of touch with the rest of the world. In the unlikely event you have a serious mechanical problem, it won't be too long before someone comes along who has a cell phone. My main concern on the trails is that a stick could flip into the spokes and make the wheel unrideable. If you can't avoid one then ride over the centre rather than near the end.

There is an excellent bike shop in Hancock MD that is worth a visit even if you have no problems. The previous owner decided to sell it by lottery, and asked people to submit essays about why they would like to own a bike shop, along with a $200 entry fee. The best essay got the shop, including stock, but not the building. The winner is a great guy, and I ended up dropping $75 even though I just went to window-shop.
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Old 07-10-07, 07:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichiganMike
Two weeks ago on my way back from DC I came across on I-70 for a change of pace. Saw your exit and the Metro Parks sign. I was tempted to stop and ride as it was about 4 or so in the afternoon. BUT, right about then the sky opened up and it rained like you wouldn't believe. I believe it was Thursday, June 28.

Stopped at an exit or two down the road and ate myself an Arby's Roast Beef instead!
Too bad it rained. The Englewood Reserve is a nice place to ride if you like hills and shaded trails. The trail has a couple 8-10% grades and the park roads have 10-14% grades. They're all those short steep hills you find in this area.
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Old 07-10-07, 07:19 AM   #9
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I've looked at the info on those trails and they really look like they'd be a lot of fun. Is it too late for me to tag along? I'll be looking forward to some sort of trip report when you get back.

I also saw that there is an outfit operating out of D.C. that has organized tours along both of those trails (small groups, like 8 - 10 riders). Of course, they take care of the details like setting up accomodations along the way and providing lunch stops and sag service. It looks like something my wife and I might like to try someday. She wouldn't want to ride all day every day, so could opt to ride in the van on a given day.
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Old 07-10-07, 07:45 AM   #10
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Is the PA government shutdown going to have any impact on your plans?
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/09/us/09cnd-penn.html?hp

I've seen some discussion on one of the Yahoo groups about possible problems.
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Old 07-10-07, 08:26 AM   #11
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I follow a Yahoo group of trail users and there is no problem. Only part of the Pennsylvania section is operated by State Parks and I guess the only thing that could happen is that maintenance might stop. There are no reports of closed campgrounds. Someone reported "But for anyone feeling like there is nothing fun left to do in
Pennsylvania, the state government was very kind to us by leaving us
at least three recreational opportunities: the slots casinos, the
state lottery and the liquor stores all remain open . . . I wonder
what that says about our lawmaker's priorities ;-)
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Old 07-10-07, 08:37 AM   #12
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Have a fantastic ride Mike!
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Old 07-10-07, 09:02 AM   #13
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Sounds like fun. My old stompin' grounds are in Morgantown, WV, just a few miles down the road from where you'll be. I'm planning to be in that area come the end of July. Should be a beautiful ride, and at least the temps are cooling down.

I usually take my cell phone, just to use in case of an emergency. But it's not a hassle for me to have it, as it almost never rings. I've only received 2 calls on it in the last month (since I don't always carry it on me, it has trained everyone to not expect me to answer if they call - so they quit calling it).
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Old 07-10-07, 09:09 AM   #14
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What are the trails like around Frostburg? I usually go over to Frostburg / Cumberland during my trips back East. I would expect them to have a lot of elevation change, given how the mountains rise up between Frostburg and Cumberland. I really like western Maryland - may end up retiring to that area.

Have you ever visited the Penn Alps Artisan Village, just outside of Grantsville, MD? Very nice.
http://www.pennalps.com/
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Old 07-10-07, 10:56 AM   #15
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What are the trails like around Frostburg? I usually go over to Frostburg / Cumberland during my trips back East. I would expect them to have a lot of elevation change, given how the mountains rise up between Frostburg and Cumberland. I really like western Maryland - may end up retiring to that area.
When I rode out of Frostburg a few weeks ago, I went uphill to beyond the Mt. Savage Tunnel. It was uphill, but not all that bad the whole way. I passed some guys pulling BOB's and they were puffing a little. Of course coming back to Frostburg it was all downhill. I rode a little bit beyond going towards Cumberland, which again is downhill then came back to Frostburg. I stopped in Cumberland to get some things at a bike shop there and ran into some guys I had met at the Hampton Inn. They couldn't get back to Frostburg so I took them back in my car, along with their bikes. Nice area.
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Old 07-10-07, 02:14 PM   #16
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Have a good time Mike, sometime when your in my area give me a call. I was wondering, do you ship your bike, or do you drive and have it on a rack, thanks.
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Old 07-10-07, 02:20 PM   #17
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Have a good time Mike, sometime when your in my area give me a call. I was wondering, do you ship your bike, or do you drive and have it on a rack, thanks.
Usually a rental car. This particular trip will be two one-way rentals. One from St. Joseph to Pittsburgh and the other from DC back to St. Joseph. About $100.00 each way which isn't bad. Plus, I don't have the close to $40 per day parking charge at the hotel for the whole time. I rent so much that I generally get a free upgrade which means a big enough car to put the bike in the back, or on a rack if I want to. Sorry to say, I don't have Texas. I have all or parts of Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Michigan.
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Old 07-10-07, 04:11 PM   #18
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What are the trails like around Frostburg?
Here is the elevation chart. Looks scary, but it is an exaggerated scale.
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Old 07-10-07, 04:22 PM   #19
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That's the chart of the trail? It does look worse because of the compacted scale. From Ohiopyle to the highest point climbs 1100' or so, but that's over 40 miles.

My concern would be if the trail has a lot of up & down to it, like roads in that area.

I've driven through this area at least 50 times, had picnics & hiked at various points, so I'm very familiar with the elevation changes. Frequently it is 10-12 degrees cooler around & above Frostburg than it is in Cumberland.

One of my college roommates was from Paw Paw, WV.

When I'm back in Morgantown, I'm hoping to ride the rail trail along the Monongalia River down to Prickett's Fort. My ancestors helped to build the original fort there in the late 18th century, when it was still western Virginia.
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Old 07-10-07, 07:14 PM   #20
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This is a rail trail west of Cumberland and a canal towpath east of Cumberland, so there is no up and down. Trains can not go up steep grades, and the canal is flat except at the locks. In the vicinity of Frostburg it is about as steep as a rail trail can be, but it is still moderate compared to roads. The only serious climbing is if you leave the trail to go into a town such as Frostburg, but it is a short distance. The total length of continuous trail is 316 miles from McKeesport to DC, but there are plans to extend it into downtown Pittsburgh over the next couple of years.
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