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  1. #1
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Bike Forums Great Allegheny Passage / C&O Canal Tour 2009

    Please keep an eye on this post. It may be updated from time to time along with the attachment below.



    Please read before posting to this thread.


    All posts to this thread should be directly related to the Bike Forums Great Allegheny Passage / C&O Canal Tour 2009.

    Please post general touring questions to your own thread.

    Please post general questions of the trails to your own thread.

    If you want to participate in the tour please PM me, do not post that interest to this thread. Please include your lodging choice (camping or motel or a little of both).

    Please do not post any “find a roommate or car pool” threads to this thread (see below).

    If you have information on the trail you would like to share then please PM me and I will add it to this post.

    Please do not create kudos or praise posts to me for putting this trip together. You can PM me if or simply have a monument erected in my honor.

    Basically, lets just try to keep the thread as clean as possible for others looking for information on the tour.


    Announcing Bike Forums Great Allegheny Passage / C&O Canal Tour 2009 !!!


    A Bike Forums tour of the Montour Trail, Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal trails have been scheduled for June 13 to June 20 2009.

    For those not familiar, these three bicycle trails link Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. totaling approximately 475 miles.

    More information on the trials can be found here:


    Montour Trail

    Great Allegheny Passage

    C & O Canal

    You can also search this forum for GAP, C&O or Great Allegheny Passage for tips on everything from what tire size to use on your bike to what equipment to bring.

    This is a low stress and easy tour. There are no hills on the trail that will exceed 3% with most of the hills under 2%. Our longest day will be 60 miles. There are a few missing links to the trail but the segments are linked by mainly low to no traffic country roads. It is an excellent tour for those that have no experience at touring and for those that have been touring for many years. There will be plenty of options for side trips for those that might want to add a few extra miles to their day.

    In case your are wondering why we are not starting on Sunday and ending the tour on Saturday, this was at the suggestion of the Historian. He said that Saturday can be very busy along the trail. Our group could have a difficult time navigating around all of the other trail users.


    Related threads

    Old Tour thread, some useful information.

    Arrange lodging for the tour

    Arrange transportation for the tour.



    Participating

    Any one that wants to participate in this tour can do so by sending a PM to me (do not post to this thread). There is nothing that says you need to join us for the whole tour. You are welcome to join us for just a couple of days to just a few hours. We will need to contact those not joining us for the whole tour to give them an estimated time of arrival on the days they plan to join us. If I get enough “part timers”, I will ask someone to act as a Communications Officer to keep these folks updated on our progress.




    Departure

    The tour will depart from my home on the morning of Saturday June 13, 2009. I live in Robinson Township, PA, approximately two miles from a Montour trail head. It is an easy low traffic road to the trail head.


    Out of town tourers will probably want to arrive in Pittsburgh on Friday June 12, 2009. I can provide sleeping quarters for four to five people. It will be first come first serve except for the Historian who has legacy guest status. . You will need to provide a sleeping bag and possibly a sleeping pad. Please let me know if you plan to spend the first night, last night or both (for those coming back to Pittsburgh). I can provide a list of nearby hotels for those not lucky enough to make the cut at Ostello Spinnaker.


    Once we get closer to the date I will provide my phone number and address to all of the participants.



    Transportation

    You are responsible for your own transportation to the starting point and from the ending point. You may want to carpool with other tour members. You can make transportation arrangements in the transportation thread.

    Please PM the Historian if you are East of Pittsburgh. He will arrange for a van pool starting in Philadelphia. If you are somewhere on or near the PA turnpike then I'm sure he will not have any objection to picking you up along the way.

    Please PM me for anyone that will be returning to Pittsburgh after the tour (leaving their car here or flying in). You should be able to leave you car in my parking lot for your trip back home. If we get an overwhelming response then I will look into options for overflow.

    Please let me know if you intend to arrive by your own car, a rental car or flying in. You can do so by PMing me or in the transportation thread.



    Lodging

    You will be responsible for arranging your own lodging. There are a number of options for lodging along the trail. There is camping and motels. Camping must be done in designated areas. More information can be found in the links above.

    Someone might want to arrange for lodging for the whole group. The advantage is that we could probably arrange for group discounts and have everyone in one or two places each night. But arranging for deposits could be problematic. If anyone wants to take on this task please contact me.


    More information

    More information on the itinerary, participants etc. can be found in the attachment below. Please keep an eye on the attachment. I will update it from time to time with tips, packing list etc. If you have something to offer, please PM me and I will add it to the documentation.

    Here is an old thread that has some information.


    Hopefully I have covered most of your questions. If you have any questions or comments that directly relate to this tour please post it here. Please stay on topic.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by spinnaker; 02-28-09 at 08:46 PM.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  2. #2
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Well I didn't not mean to scare people off from posting here. Just as long as we stay on topic.

    So maybe I will get things started.

    I was thinking that maybe we should raise some money for something. One worthy cause is the trails themselves. How do people feel about donating say $5-$10 per trail (3 trails) to each of the trails? We could present it in 3 lump sum checks to each of the trails. I know I could get at least one trail manager to show up and we could present the check to him with our appreciation. He might be able to put us in touch with representatives of the other trails. Or we could simply make donations on our own.

    What does everyone think?
    Last edited by spinnaker; 12-16-08 at 04:31 PM.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  3. #3
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    Better yet, why don't we try and solicit donations from other Bike Forums Touring members, request (x) amount of money per mile to go towards the National Rails to Trails Organization and then spend it all on fast women and fast cars when we get to D.C.

    Spin, although your idea wouldn't be as much fun, it does seem a more honorable cause.

  4. #4
    Old Soldier
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    A Break From The C&O

    I'm a volunteer Bike Ranger for the Maryland Park Service whose patrol area is the Western Maryland Rail Trail which runs adjacent to the C&O for a little over 22 miles from the Big Pool area to about 11 miles west of Hancock, MD. If you haven't already done so I'd like to suggest you consider this section as part of your route.

    Every day during the summer months we have groups of tourists riding the C&O who "jump off" to our trail for the 22 miles of smooth, traffic-free pavement which everyone says is a welcome break from the rough surface of the C&O while still allowing the riders to look down on the structures of the Canal from above.

    Depending on how large the group gets to be and should you decide to use this route, it would be a courtesy to contact Lt. Hummer at Ft. Frederick (Trail Administrator at 301-842-2156) who might be able to help you with facilities, rest stops, coordinating with officials in Hancock for use of the park there for lunch/rest facilities, etc.

    In any case, best of luck on your ride and (if they let me out of the house long enough) I might try and join you.

    Mike A.

  5. #5
    Senior Member robow's Avatar
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    All those in favor of Spinnaker riding this bike below on the entire trail so that the group can grill out every night.........


    Please raise their hands



    Well I guess that settles that
    Last edited by robow; 06-24-09 at 09:11 PM.

  6. #6
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by rama_five View Post
    I'm a volunteer Bike Ranger for the Maryland Park Service whose patrol area is the Western Maryland Rail Trail which runs adjacent to the C&O for a little over 22 miles from the Big Pool area to about 11 miles west of Hancock, MD. If you haven't already done so I'd like to suggest you consider this section as part of your route.

    Every day during the summer months we have groups of tourists riding the C&O who "jump off" to our trail for the 22 miles of smooth, traffic-free pavement which everyone says is a welcome break from the rough surface of the C&O while still allowing the riders to look down on the structures of the Canal from above.

    Depending on how large the group gets to be and should you decide to use this route, it would be a courtesy to contact Lt. Hummer at Ft. Frederick (Trail Administrator at 301-842-2156) who might be able to help you with facilities, rest stops, coordinating with officials in Hancock for use of the park there for lunch/rest facilities, etc.

    In any case, best of luck on your ride and (if they let me out of the house long enough) I might try and join you.

    Mike A.
    An excellent suggestion. Thank you.

    Has there been any change to the signage pointing to the WMRT from the C & O? Currently there is none. Just a gate and a dirt road leading up a few hundred feet to the WMRT gate near Pearre.

    Here's a photo of the C & O taken from the WMRT, just about a mile from Pearre.



    And the WMRT:


  7. #7
    Old Soldier
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    An excellent suggestion. Thank you.

    Has there been any change to the signage pointing to the WMRT from the C & O? Currently there is none. Just a gate and a dirt road leading up a few hundred feet to the WMRT gate near Pearre.
    Unfortunately, no, though there is a sign (if you are coming from the east) that directs you to the WMRT just a short way past Big Pool.

  8. #8
    Bicycle Student bokerfest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robow View Post
    You know, I have always wondered what the general populace of this touring forum was like. And now I know you are all the kind of people found at a Living Legends concert and highly into the Underground Hip Hop Scene.

  9. #9
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rama_five View Post
    Every day during the summer months we have groups of tourists riding the C&O who "jump off" to our trail for the 22 miles of smooth, traffic-free pavement which everyone says is a welcome break from the rough surface of the C&O while still allowing the riders to look down on the structures of the Canal from above.
    Agreed on that bypass, but a shame to miss Devils Eyebrow now that it's been cleared. Can't reach that unfortunately from the WMRT.

    http://www.pbase.com/garys/image/99426732

  10. #10
    Old Soldier
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    A Second Eyebrow

    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    Agreed on that bypass, but a shame to miss Devils Eyebrow now that it's been cleared. Can't reach that unfortunately from the WMRT.

    http://www.pbase.com/garys/image/99426732
    There is, however, a second Eyebrow formation that can viewed from the WMRT - it's not as impressive but can be seen (as you approach from the east) off the right of the trail just before you go through the first large rock cut under Round Top.

  11. #11
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    I have made several changes to the documentation in the first post of this thread. I updated the participant list, the itinerary with our Saturday departure date as opposed to Sunday. I also made a few typo corrections.

    Please take special note of the participant list. If you need to be added or removed just PM me.

    The * means you have confirmed you want to go. That status of course can be changed, just PM me.

    No * means you have expressed and interest in going but have not yet confirmed. I have yet to hear from BigBlueToe, bigbadwimp and Aeneas on confirmation. If you would just like to be removed from the list then PM me.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  12. #12
    BTV 75 Seahorse Elwoodab's Avatar
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    I live in Washington, PA. about 40 miles from the trail head (45 min. drive) and am willing to offer 2 vacant bedrooms for 2 to 4 people who are willing to sleep on the floor the night before you leave. I am not participating in the ride, but I know where the trail head is, having participated in the last 2 Montour Trail ride fundraisers. PM me if you are interested.

  13. #13
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Spinnaker, looking at this, had a couple questions. Mainly involving food MMM, I like my food

    Are you thinking that food stops will be at given localities along the trail or are you figuring that the attendees will be charting their own meals/carrying with while touring?

    Thanks!
    Roger

  14. #14
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
    Spinnaker, looking at this, had a couple questions. Mainly involving food MMM, I like my food

    Are you thinking that food stops will be at given localities along the trail or are you figuring that the attendees will be charting their own meals/carrying with while touring?

    Thanks!
    Roger
    I'm not sure if I fully understand your question but you will be responsible for your own food. That is not to say people can't have an organized meal, like sharing a pizza or maybe having a cookout.

    If someone wanted to arrange a catered picnic one night, feel free to look into it but I imagine that would be expensive .
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Naa, I wasn't asking if food was being supplied, I didn't figure that at all.. More of what I was asking was that does the itinerary figure interim meal stops, or is the thought more that you'd leave out in the mornings with your food for the day. Sorry for not being clearer.

    -Roger

  16. #16
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    Hey Crew,

    Not sure what others are planning, but I figure on having first breakfast at camp (most likely oatmeal). Then stopping along the way if a town comes along for second breakfast. Likewise, if a town is available having lunch along the way. Then dinner in camp, but I could quickly be convinced to go into a town for pizzia. I plan for carrying and also restocking along the way for granola bars, fruit, and other snacks. I hopefully will be riding with someone from the group who cycles at my speed, so I would hope there would be many, if not most meals shared with fellow tourers.

    Brian

  17. #17
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by VT_Speed_TR View Post
    Hey Crew,

    Not sure what others are planning, but I figure on having first breakfast at camp (most likely oatmeal). Then stopping along the way if a town comes along for second breakfast. Likewise, if a town is available having lunch along the way. Then dinner in camp, but I could quickly be convinced to go into a town for pizzia. I plan for carrying and also restocking along the way for granola bars, fruit, and other snacks. I hopefully will be riding with someone from the group who cycles at my speed, so I would hope there would be many, if not most meals shared with fellow tourers.

    Brian
    There are usually "towns" of some size or another every 20 miles or so along the trails. The size of the "town" might vary - Little Orleans is four buildings, for instance. (One of them is a bar and store.) Also, some places are located off the trail. For example, Oldtown is about halfway between Cumberland and Paw-Paw, but the only place to eat in town, the Schoolhouse Cafe, is a mile from the trail. Paw-Paw has a small market and a diner, but little else, and then it's 30 miles to Hancock, the end stop for the day.

    I found it best to bring trail mix and lots of bottled beverages for stops on the trail, and then eat like a horse - a Clydesdale - in town. I lost weight despite all the calories I took in.

    You will always find me at the back of the pack, Brian.

  18. #18
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I'm very familiar with the route, just wondering if it was built into the itinerary *where* meal breaks were going to be. Or if you were just stopping as the mood struck

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    You will always find me at the back of the pack, Brian.
    Not if I beat you to it ;-) Looking forward to meeting you Historian, see you in June.

    Brian

  20. #20
    Training Wheel Graduate twodeadpoets's Avatar
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    I think we are planning on attending but am still trying to completely convince my wife. We plan to spend up to three weeks touring out there with at least several days with a friend who lives in DC.
    "Ride Like an Orca!" ~tdp
    "People who enjoy waving flags, don't deserve to have one" ~Banksy


  21. #21
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodeadpoets View Post
    I think we are planning on attending but am still trying to completely convince my wife. We plan to spend up to three weeks touring out there with at least several days with a friend who lives in DC.
    Wow that is a long way to come for our ride! I hope you can make it.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  22. #22
    Training Wheel Graduate twodeadpoets's Avatar
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    The wife may not be able to take off that early into the summer so what might happen is that I ride with you "guy" for that week then return to the starting point (train or bus) meeting the wife in PA then we'll ride back to DC. I could stay out there all summer while school is out (very tempting) if I really wanted.
    Last edited by twodeadpoets; 02-17-09 at 09:33 PM.
    "Ride Like an Orca!" ~tdp
    "People who enjoy waving flags, don't deserve to have one" ~Banksy


  23. #23
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    I started a thread here to discuss transportation.

    I have started a topic on getting back to Pittsburgh. Please comment there. So far no other Burghers have weighed in.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  24. #24
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    Back on the subject of food. Anyone care to share resources? I'll pack some extra food, coffee, whatever, in exchange for use of someone's stove for a quick camp breakfast. Can't see buying and hauling one if there are several around.

  25. #25
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dewaday View Post
    Back on the subject of food. Anyone care to share resources? I'll pack some extra food, coffee, whatever, in exchange for use of someone's stove for a quick camp breakfast. Can't see buying and hauling one if there are several around.
    Maybe we should also talk about who will NOT be cooking. I for one will not be cooking. I will eat at restaurants.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

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