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  1. #1
    Senior Member ken_matthews's Avatar
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    Quick Two-Day Trip on C&O Canal

    It started out just me and a buddy and a few days before we left, it ended up a group of four (I subscribe to the "more the merrier" philosophy anyway). We rode out from Georgetown in Washington, D.C. to Marble Quarry just beyond Whites Ferry for a total round trip of 80 miles. Nobody had done bike-camping (one of the guys cleverly came up with the term, 'bike-packing') before but two of the guys were seasoned backpackers.

    I built up a 75 Gitane Interclub for my buddy Kris and we sent her out on the maiden voyage (same goes for my 70 Raleigh Record). There was no lack of adventure, good weather or bad jokes. I'd love to do more of these trips and gradually work up to four days (and even more one fine day). Is this not considered touring and seen as a close cousin? Is this how one starts and eventually gets hooked into doing cross-country or other trips of the like? Lemme tell, I'm hooked!



    To view more pics of our adventure, click the link below:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2822768...7607986562324/

    KEN
    (vintage velo villain)
    Last edited by ken_matthews; 10-16-08 at 08:52 PM. Reason: bad URL for image - it was broken link

  2. #2
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken_matthews View Post
    It started out just me and a buddy and a few days before we left, it ended up a group of four (I subscribe to the "more the merrier" philosophy anyway). We rode out from Georgetown in Washington, D.C. to Marble Quarry just beyond Whites Ferry for a total round trip of 80 miles. Nobody had done bike-camping (one of the guys cleverly came up with the term, 'bike-packing') before but two of the guys were seasoned backpackers.

    I built up a 75 Gitane Interclub for my buddy Kris and we sent her out on the maiden voyage (same goes for my 70 Raleigh Record). There was no lack of adventure, good weather or bad jokes. I'd love to do more of these trips and gradually work up to four days (and even more one fine day). Is this not considered touring and seen as a close cousin? Is this how one starts and eventually gets hooked into doing cross-country or other trips of the like? Lemme tell, I'm hooked!



    To view more pics of our adventure, click the link below:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/2822768...7607986562324/

    KEN
    (vintage velo villain)
    Anyone who doesn't think this is touring has 19 of their 20 ball bearings loose. It looks like you had a great time with great company. It won't be long before you ride the entire C & O! It's clear you are hooked!

  3. #3
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Ken,

    It is considered touring. But that doesn't matter, what's really important is that you had a good time. I'm glad to hear stories like yours!!!!

  4. #4
    Neil_B
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    Ken, is there anything you think you might do differently on the next tour?

  5. #5
    Senior Member ken_matthews's Avatar
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    What Would I Do Differently

    Yes a couple of things I'd do differently or at least suggest:

    1. My friend Paul pulled a one-wheel Bob trailer - that slowed things down a bit (not that we were on a speed mission). It's just not necessary but I understand the need to get your money's worth out of a purchase. Very cool indeed and great for groceries but not ideal for the C&O Canal Towpath.
    2. Buy smart since the NPS has a carry-your-trash-out policy, you have to keep everything with you. Or use an empty container as a second function (becomes your 3rd water bottle or something...).
    3. Leave the unused items on my list at home next time. For me that was:
    - playing cards
    - candles (3)
    - First Aid kit (survival kit I had contained lots of what my F.A. kit had)
    - extra mess kit and large pot (better to bring 2 sm. mess kits)
    4. I would bring a pair of channel locks to have a second heavy-duty grip besides the vice grips. My Leatherman Juice is great, but there's only so much leverage you can get out of the small pliers that come integrated on it.

    Good question. It's always good to review your pack list to eliminate the unnecessary. I simply enjoyed the problem-solving task we were confronted with.

  6. #6
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Touring is where you ride soemwhere, stay overnight in some place, then ride some more the next day. Anything else makes it longer and more fun, but it's all touring.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  7. #7
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken_matthews View Post
    Yes a couple of things I'd do differently or at least suggest:

    1. My friend Paul pulled a one-wheel Bob trailer - that slowed things down a bit (not that we were on a speed mission). It's just not necessary but I understand the need to get your money's worth out of a purchase. Very cool indeed and great for groceries but not ideal for the C&O Canal Towpath.
    2. Buy smart since the NPS has a carry-your-trash-out policy, you have to keep everything with you. Or use an empty container as a second function (becomes your 3rd water bottle or something...).
    3. Leave the unused items on my list at home next time. For me that was:
    - playing cards
    - candles (3)
    - First Aid kit (survival kit I had contained lots of what my F.A. kit had)
    - extra mess kit and large pot (better to bring 2 sm. mess kits)
    4. I would bring a pair of channel locks to have a second heavy-duty grip besides the vice grips. My Leatherman Juice is great, but there's only so much leverage you can get out of the small pliers that come integrated on it.

    Good question. It's always good to review your pack list to eliminate the unnecessary. I simply enjoyed the problem-solving task we were confronted with.
    A BOB or BOB-knockoff is great for longer trips on the C & O, IMO. I agree it's probably overkill for an overnight.


  8. #8
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken_matthews View Post
    Y I simply enjoyed the problem-solving task we were confronted with.
    I really enjoyed that part, figuring things out. And that's what is great about touring, you can tweak and tryout things and if they don't work, you can always adjust/replace. There's no wrong way or right way of doing touring. Freedom baby!!!

    Just curious, why the vice grips?????

  9. #9
    Senior Member ken_matthews's Avatar
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    Why vice grips...

    Because I have some stubborn bolts and vice grips give you better options on loosening them - especially ones like seatpost, wheel. I can also open the v.g. all the way and they fit around the stem in case I need to adjust or get inside the headset.

    And I've learned the come in handy as a hammer...HA!

  10. #10
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken_matthews View Post
    Yes a couple of things I'd do differently or at least suggest:


    - First Aid kit (survival kit I had contained lots of what my F.A. kit had)
    - extra mess kit and large pot (better to bring 2 sm. mess kits)
    You could probably leave the survival gear at home but I would carry a First Aid kit. It is one of those things you carry and hope to never have to use, Same kind of goes for spare inner tubes and such.
    "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

  11. #11
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Sorry for the OT post but how well do the Trash Free Parks work? It seems to me there is problem enough with people not disposing of trash in receptacles, I would think you would think it would compound the problem by not providing them in the firat place.
    "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
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
    Sorry for the OT post but how well do the Trash Free Parks work? It seems to me there is problem enough with people not disposing of trash in receptacles, I would think you would think it would compound the problem by not providing them in the first place.
    The C & O was pretty clean for most of its length both times I rode it. Perhaps the fact there's no running water in the hiker/biker sites deters the casual camper/litterbug.

  13. #13
    Senior Member ken_matthews's Avatar
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    Trash-Free Parks

    We also noticed very clean areas especially at campsites. Frequent use by Boy Scouts and backpackers who respect nature probably help eliminate trash possibly left behind by the less considerate. All in all, a good policy.
    KEN

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