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Old 02-21-16, 05:46 PM   #1
Papa Tom
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Great Allegheny Passage Recommendations?

Ya know what? Never mind. I just found a really descriptive site about the GAP and it's definitely not for my wife!

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Old 02-21-16, 09:43 PM   #2
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Ya know what? Never mind. I just found a really descriptive site about the GAP and it's definitely not for my wife!
GAP can be very much for your wife. Park at the train museum in Meyersdale, Pa or possibly even better yet, the small parking lot in Deal, Pa. You could also park in Pittsburgh, Homestead, or West Newton if you can arrange a shuttle to take you up to Deal. Either way, starting in Deal, you are near the top of the continental divide headed downhill to Pittsburgh. Easy 20 mile first day to Rockwood. They have a B&B and rooms for rent through Husky Haven. Day two another 20 miles or so to Confluence. B&B's. Easy 15-20 miles to Ohiopyle, popular with tourists of all modes, outdoor activities, Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Waters, etc. Stuff to see and do on or off the bike. 'Bout another 20 miles to Connellsville, B&B. 25 miles to West Newton, B&B. 25 miles to Homestead, B&B. Into Pittsburgh to finish, turn around at West Newton or Homestead and ride back, arrange a shuttle from outfitter, ride from friend, etc...

Very doable with wife. My wife and I rode from Connellsville to DC, stayed in DC area for 7 days, then shuttled back to Frostburg, Md riding back to Connellsville. We had our 3, 5, 10, and 12 year old kids with us. Self contained, camped all but one night due to storms, and stayed with wonderful Warmshowers hosts in Bethesda, Md. 10 and 12 year olds rode own bikes w/ front and rear racks, panniers, tents, bed rolls, food, water, etc. 3 year old on tagalong recumbent. 5 year old on tagalong trailabike. 6 panniers on each of these rigs. Easy cruising from Deal on in...

Alternately, consider the Erie Canal trail or the Katy Trail in MO. Very plush, easy, B&B's, wine, etc. GAP is very scenic though, good surface crushed granite trail some parts paved, and the route that I described is
ALL DOWN HILL except for return by bike and Ohiopyle area !!!

Great Allegheny Passage - www.gaptrail.org

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Old 02-22-16, 06:49 PM   #3
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Erie Canal trail.

Easy to get to, lot's of towns along the way, lot's of options, flat as can be.
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Old 02-22-16, 06:58 PM   #4
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Erie Canal trail.

Easy to get to, lot's of towns along the way, lot's of options, flat as can be.
Been there. Done some of it. This GAP idea was a mistake, but I couldn't delete the thread once someone saw it, I guess.

Sorry to waste everybody's time.
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Old 02-26-16, 09:23 PM   #5
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The Erie Canal trail is mind numbingly boring compared to GAP. Stay in Confluence, ride to breakfast in Ohiopyle, or Meyersdale for lunch. I plan to do that with my wife, who is no cyclist. The Parker House is a great base of ops, IMO.
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Old 02-27-16, 08:17 AM   #6
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The Erie Canal trail is mind numbingly boring compared to GAP.
+1.

BTW...I recently learned that from the GAP you can easily see the house where "Buffalo Bill" from "Silence of the Lambs" lived in the film. It's in Layton, PA, right across the Yough from Perryopolis. Layton Rd. crosses the GAP and the river. The house is less than a half mile once you cross. 6 Circle Rd. is the address. It's actually been for sale for a long time. Sorry, but the basement dungeon was not really part of the house. "It rubs the lotion on its skin or else it gets the hose again."
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Old 02-27-16, 08:18 AM   #7
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Ya know what? Never mind. I just found a really descriptive site about the GAP and it's definitely not for my wife!
I am curious. Why not?
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Old 02-27-16, 12:59 PM   #8
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Just looks too rustic.
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Old 02-27-16, 01:36 PM   #9
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Just looks too rustic.
We did this ride around 8 years ago. 127 miles long, mostly crushed sand and gravel, About 30+ mostly flat miles a day over 4 days. We spent each night in a different B&B along the route. Our luggage was transported for us, and all meals were included.

| Tourisme Laurentides
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Old 03-01-16, 03:19 PM   #10
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Just looks too rustic.
As noted, there are some B&B's along the way. Did you look at the services guide on the official trail site?

The interesting thing is that Amtrak is now offering roll-on (i.e., un-boxed) bike service on the Capitol Limited. You could drive to Cumberland, leave you car there, catch the train to PGH with you bikes and then ride back to Cumberland.

Heading north to south also means you go down the steepest part of the trail. In actuality, that seep part is not that bad as the maximum grade you encounter for the entire stretch is 1.5%.
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Old 03-01-16, 04:48 PM   #11
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....You could drive to Cumberland, leave you car there, catch the train to PGH with you bikes and then ride back to Cumberland...
Thank you, but we don't want to drive five hours each way to ride as little as my wife can. She's only good for about twenty miles a day, at best. I might do this ride myself someday, but for now, really, thank you all, but you're not going to be able to talk me into it. I'd have deleted the thread altogether if I could have!
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Old 03-01-16, 07:49 PM   #12
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but you're not going to be able to talk me into it.
I don't think anyone was trying to talk you into it. I think some of us were trying to figure out what you were talking about. Saying a trail is "too rustic" doesn't coney the notion that you wife is only good for 20 miles. The SRT in in the Philly area is not rustic in any sense of the word but one would need to go more than 20 miles between lodging options.
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Old 03-01-16, 07:55 PM   #13
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Yeah, I think "rail trails," in general, are a bad option for us as overnights. We enjoy riding them together as day trips, though.

I do several overnighters a year, but this would be our first together. By "rustic," I sort of meant that there seem to be too many trees in between all the 7-Elevens. She is not comfortable enough on a bike to not have an "out" every few miles. That's why the GAP was a bad idea. i guess I just wanted to do it badly enough myself that I was trying to squeeze her into it.

Please don't take offense. I'm sure it's a beautiful ride that I will someday enjoy on my own. For now, if we do an overnighter, it will be closer to home and closer to the Long Island Rail Road!
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Old 03-03-16, 05:33 PM   #14
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Possibly the wrong forum but as long as I'm here.......anyone done it on a tandem? The only rusticity I'm worried about is that of the trail surface. I've never been on the GAP, but have done the C&O on 26x2.0 tires and the Erie on 26x1.25 and 26x1.5 (separate trips), all on a single bike. I never found those tires to be any kind of handicap, even on the very wet Erie trip on the 1.25s, but again, single bike. I have a set of 700x38c cross tires for our old Burley Duet and could fit a tad bigger at the cost of not running fenders.

Just musing here. We'd probably go back to the Erie first and combine it with Niagara Falls, as Mrs. has a thing for waterfalls.
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Old 03-03-16, 05:41 PM   #15
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GAP is fine for a tandem with 38's. Good from Pittsburgh to Cumberland. South of Cumberland on the C&O tow path would be quite a bit more challenging. Particularly with mud and/or downed trees. I have a Bike Friday Triple that would handle the much better trails of the GAP just fine.
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Old 03-04-16, 08:23 AM   #16
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Possibly the wrong forum but as long as I'm here.......anyone done it on a tandem? The only rusticity I'm worried about is that of the trail surface. I've never been on the GAP, but have done the C&O on 26x2.0 tires and the Erie on 26x1.25 and 26x1.5 (separate trips), all on a single bike. I never found those tires to be any kind of handicap, even on the very wet Erie trip on the 1.25s, but again, single bike. I have a set of 700x38c cross tires for our old Burley Duet and could fit a tad bigger at the cost of not running fenders.

Just musing here. We'd probably go back to the Erie first and combine it with Niagara Falls, as Mrs. has a thing for waterfalls.
I rode from DC to Pittsburgh via C&O and then GAP. The GAP is WAAAAAAAY smoother and easier to ride than the C&O. A mountain tandem will be more than adequate for GAP and the only thing that may prove tough for any tandem regardless of configuration might be one short little steep bump part way up Savage Mountain coming out of Cumberland. In fact, even a road tandem with 700x34 or wider touring tires will be fine for GAP. I wouldn't try the C&O with that, definitely recommend some type of MTB tandem if you're going to try and tandem the C&O. Two diferent worlds.

Also, not that you'll need it, but I found that most of GAP gets decent cell reception (with Verizon). C&O is literally you and the woods with no contact for almost the whole thing excepting the occasional town or Harper's Ferry.

-Ed
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Old 03-04-16, 08:33 AM   #17
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EddNog & AusTexMurf,

Thanks for the advice. Having done the C&O on a single, I wouldn't try it on one of our (road) tandems. We don't have a MTB type tandem so 700x38c is toward the upper limit of possible tire size. The isolation is not an issue but I think it would be a jarring ride.
Maybe we will try the GAP, we'll see.
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Old 03-04-16, 08:59 AM   #18
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Just musing here. We'd probably go back to the Erie first and combine it with Niagara Falls, as Mrs. has a thing for waterfalls.
Give some consideration to riding the Greater Niagara Circle Route, if you are going to the Canadian side. You'll need passports, but it's a pretty nice 80 mile circle that parallels the Niagara River, Lake Ontario, the Welland Canal, and Lake Erie. I rode the Niagara River portion and it was a fun ride - historical, tourist, and vineyard things to see and do.

Greater Niagara Circle Route | Niagara Cycling Tourism Centre

Nice video of the route can be found here:
https://vimeo.com/117364978

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Old 03-05-16, 03:13 PM   #19
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Yeah, I think "rail trails," in general, are a bad option for us as overnights. We enjoy riding them together as day trips, though.

I do several overnighters a year, but this would be our first together. By "rustic," I sort of meant that there seem to be too many trees in between all the 7-Elevens. She is not comfortable enough on a bike to not have an "out" every few miles. That's why the GAP was a bad idea. i guess I just wanted to do it badly enough myself that I was trying to squeeze her into it.

Please don't take offense. I'm sure it's a beautiful ride that I will someday enjoy on my own. For now, if we do an overnighter, it will be closer to home and closer to the Long Island Rail Road!
Then definitely take a look at the Quebec option. All the old stations are now cafes and the towns are close enough together that you could take more days and space your stops at 20 miles, or just do a shorter trip and start at Mt Tremblant and take 3 days to get to St Jerome, around 60 miles. Arrange for the B&B's before hand and give your itinerary to the bus company and your luggage will be picked up and delivered to each stop. The food was really good too! Unfortunately the drive from NYC was around 6 hours and coming from the island you could tack on an hour or more to that.

Here's an article I found about the trail.
P?tit train du Nord ? GoBiking.ca

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Old 03-05-16, 06:55 PM   #20
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Dendawg: We love Canada and have ridden a lot in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, but now that I am no longer traveling for business and racking up the air miles, getting there by air will be above our budget. And there's no way I'm going to drive all that distance anymore.

I'm starting to think that a simple ride on Long Island with an overnighter by be a possibility.
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Old 03-06-16, 07:06 AM   #21
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Dendawg: We love Canada and have ridden a lot in Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, but now that I am no longer traveling for business and racking up the air miles, getting there by air will be above our budget. And there's no way I'm going to drive all that distance anymore.

I'm starting to think that a simple ride on Long Island with an overnighter by be a possibility.
Then you already know about and I would recommend either a couple of days in either Greenport or Montauk, with the north fork being the less expensive and easier riding of the two. RT from Greenport to Orient is 22 miles. RT and from Montauk to the Lighthouse is 12 Miles, with hills.
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Old 03-06-16, 08:06 AM   #22
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Yes, I've ridden out to the east end by myself a few times, and we've ridden around that area together.

For this trip, I'm now thinking something goofier, like riding the Bethpage Bikeway from Syosset to Massapequa, staying over (!) and riding back the next day. Or maybe we can do something similar with one of the bikeways in Westchester or further upstate.
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Old 03-06-16, 07:22 PM   #23
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Yes, I've ridden out to the east end by myself a few times, and we've ridden around that area together.

For this trip, I'm now thinking something goofier, like riding the Bethpage Bikeway from Syosset to Massapequa, staying over (!) and riding back the next day. Or maybe we can do something similar with one of the bikeways in Westchester or further upstate.
I've often ridden the North County Trail from Eastview in the South (just East of Tarrytown) to as far north as Lake Carmel but have never noticed any motels in the vicinity though I'm sure there would be at least some B&B's nearby.
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Old 03-07-16, 05:51 PM   #24
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EddNog & AusTexMurf,

Thanks for the advice. Having done the C&O on a single, I wouldn't try it on one of our (road) tandems. We don't have a MTB type tandem so 700x38c is toward the upper limit of possible tire size. The isolation is not an issue but I think it would be a jarring ride.
Maybe we will try the GAP, we'll see.
Just as a "for what it's worth", and this is all based upon a non-tandem:
I've done the Erie Canal from Rochester area to Rome on 28's and wished for wider tires. The limestone rocks are big, and I never felt like I could relax and cruise.


I've done the C&O on 28's, and wished for larger, to deal with the mud, and ruts, and general comfort texture.


I've done the GAP on 28's, and wished for SMALLER. The trail rides like pavement, you can cruise at 20mplh without a care for your footing, and it is nothing like the other two. I would think 28's on a tandem would be fine on the GAP. The only rough patch was the paved sections around McKeesport.
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Old 03-07-16, 07:37 PM   #25
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Also some thoughts are the Delaware-Raritan trail down in the Trenton/Princton area as well as the 2 trails along the Deleware on both sides of the river between Trenton and Milford. This is a very pretty area to ride. The towns are all nice stopping spots. Shouldn't be hard to find a B&B and it's about 2 to 2-1/2 hrs from L.I.
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