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Old 08-25-10, 06:03 PM   #1
iforgotmename
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Allegheny Passage C&O Trail

Next week I am leaving for the Allegheny/C&O from Pittsburgh to DC. I was supposefd to do it earlier this year but weather was an issue. I plan on using my Schwalbe Marathon Supremes for the entire ride but am going to bring a set of back up tires for the mud if need be. I am starting Tue or Wed as soon as I take care of a few responsibilities here at home. Any tips or reccomendations are appreciated...I have read countless post- vids so I have a good idea of what I am in for. The only thing I am unsure of would be the bears as I plan on stealth and h/b camping the whole way, but no worries. If you are on the trail and see a guy with a heavily tattooed left leg on a LHT feel free to say hi, hopefully it will be me
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Old 08-25-10, 06:55 PM   #2
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Have fun. I wanted to do this with Mrs. HandsomeRyan this month for our 3 year anniversary but it didn't happen.

When and how long will you be in DC?
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Old 08-25-10, 07:01 PM   #3
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If you need any help at the Pittsburgh end just let me know. I can help till Friday next week when I am off to Italy. If you need a shuttle or whatever just PM me.

One tip DO NOT camp at Ohioplyle campground. It is only a short distance from the trail but all uphill. straight up!

I would not stealth camp anywhere on the trail. You will be fined if caught. There is no reason for it on the C&O since there is plenty of free hiker / biker sites.

The only free camping that I know of on the GAP is Dravo near the start of the trail. But Connelllsville is only $6.00 or so and is well worth the money. Also Husky Haven in Rockwwod is right on the train and pretty cheap. There is also a hostel in Rockwood for $20.
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Old 08-25-10, 07:37 PM   #4
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Take earplugs. They will be insufficient at many of the campgrounds (Husky Haven was one), but better than nothing. Unless you are able to sleep with a train coming through your tent. More than once it was OH MY GOD THE TRAIN'S DERAILED AND IS COMING IN MY TENT.

Don't get me wrong, I loved it and will return. The train bit is just a bit more intense than expected.

I guess the other thing... if I were single I'd hang out on the towpath.
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Old 08-25-10, 07:42 PM   #5
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Take earplugs. They will be insufficient at many of the campgrounds (Husky Haven was one), but better than nothing. Unless you are able to sleep with a train coming through your tent. More than once it was OH MY GOD THE TRAIN'S DERAILED AND IS COMING IN MY TENT.

Don't get me wrong, I loved it and will return. The train bit is just a bit more intense than expected.

I guess the other thing... if I were single I'd hang out on the towpath.
Don't you know you are supposed to get up at night and open the tent door to let the train pass through???
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Old 08-25-10, 08:54 PM   #6
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Next week I am leaving for the Allegheny/C&O from Pittsburgh to DC. I was supposefd to do it earlier this year but weather was an issue. I plan on using my Schwalbe Marathon Supremes for the entire ride but am going to bring a set of back up tires for the mud if need be. I am starting Tue or Wed as soon as I take care of a few responsibilities here at home. Any tips or reccomendations are appreciated...I have read countless post- vids so I have a good idea of what I am in for. The only thing I am unsure of would be the bears as I plan on stealth and h/b camping the whole way, but no worries. If you are on the trail and see a guy with a heavily tattooed left leg on a LHT feel free to say hi, hopefully it will be me
Hey I'll be heading up that direction on saturday the 28th.I'll be starting in Waynesboro,Pa riding the roads down to Williamsport and getting on the towpath there.I'll be riding up and back hope to see you out there.I'll be on a utility blue surly fully loaded with carradice panniers.

I'll keep an eye out for you.
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Old 08-25-10, 10:08 PM   #7
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After riding the C&O after a lot of rainfall... my only advice is to get fenders if you don't have them.

Make sure to have good lights -- there are a couple of dark, long tunnels.


100_7492.JPG by neilfein, on Flickr

Make certain you have sufficient water carrying capacity. In some areas, it's mighty hard to get water on the C&O if the pumps are closed.

Also, I suggest making an hour or so to see the Great Falls on the Potomac river, a few hours out from DC. Also, Fallingwater near Pittsburgh is well worth seeing if you can get to it (it's a few miles off the trail up a steep highway with a lot of trucks).
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Old 08-25-10, 10:52 PM   #8
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@ Ryan: I should be in DC Sunday or Mon...not really sure as I can get distracted I really don't have a time frame as I was recently laid off so I am taking advantage...no biggie lay offs are normal in my trade.
@Spinnaker: Thanks for the offer but I should be ok getting to Mckeesport I appreciate the heads up about stealth camping and ohiopyle. I am definitely going to use the hike bike sites im MD.
@downtube: After a couple of beers I sleep like a baby
@jdom: I'll keeep an eye out for you also jdom.
@Neil: I have good lights and water carrying capacity and of course fenders. The Great Falls are already on the list.
Thanks guys.
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Old 08-26-10, 06:07 AM   #9
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I believe I'm free Sunday and Monday (those are my days off) and I live close to DC if you want to meet up and grab some food or something. I'll PM you some contact info.
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Old 08-26-10, 07:09 AM   #10
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I'm touring the C&O/GAP next month. Since this post mentioned tires, I'm just wondering what is the largest tire anyone has put on a Trek 520. I'm thinking of trying the tour with a set of these in 37 mm.

http://www.conti-online.com/generato...ontact_en.html

or these in a 40 mm, folding bead.

http://www.schwalbetires.com/marathon_dureme

Comments appreciated. I'll also put this in another post.
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Old 08-26-10, 07:53 AM   #11
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Insect repellant.
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Old 08-26-10, 10:05 AM   #12
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Some of the water pumps on the c&o don't work, so don't leave yourself short of water.

I stealth camped on the alleghaney passage portion of the gap trail due to running out of daylight. Worked out okay for me. Curious what the fine would have been!

I think ohiopyle is worth a visit. Its a touri$t town but the hiking and rafting on the river looks like fun! Also looks like theres tubing/kayaking in harper's ferry if that's your thing.

I rolled into McKeesport at dusk. (slow learner) Mckeesport is a not a good/safe place to be at night,lol. I came in on the montour trail and had difficulty locating the gap trail away from pittsburgh. This probably won't affect you due to the way you are coming into mckeesport, but keep yer head up and give yourself plenty of daylight.
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Old 08-26-10, 10:25 AM   #13
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I figured on the water issue so I am prepared as i have 3 water bottle holders + a handle bar mounted coffee cup holder. I'm also thinking about filling an insulated container with ice if it works into my packing scheme.

Daylight is not an issue as my train arrives at 5am and my first camp is Cedar Creek which is only 30 or so miles from Pitt. The first day will be a short ride due to the lack of sleep that I am sure I will get catching the redeye into Pitt. I also plan on checking out Pittsburgh for a bit...wearing my Browns gear of course.

West Newton looks like a good place to get a good start in the morning and Cedar Creek park is free. As far as where I'll stop and what I'll see who knows.
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Old 08-26-10, 11:58 AM   #14
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...wearing my Browns gear of course.
Now that takes cajones. And I don't mean wearing Browns gear in the Steel City. I mean wearing Browns gear period! (This from a Steelers fan of course.)

We'll see how things go this fall for the Brownies...
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Old 08-26-10, 05:37 PM   #15
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Make sure to have good lights -- there are a couple of dark, long tunnels.
You don't actually need the lights. I just had a "crappy" Petzl headlamp and lived to tell about it (my friend used nothing and he's still around).

None of the tunnels is too long to walk.

I road that tunnel (signs tell you to walk it), slowly, with my crappy headlamp. Riding it is tricky because the path is narrow and fenced in (that is what the vertical bars in the photo are).

You might prefer having a light (you just don't have to be especially worried about having a "good" one).
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Old 08-26-10, 06:48 PM   #16
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Now that takes cajones. And I don't mean wearing Browns gear in the Steel City. I mean wearing Browns gear period! (This from a Steelers fan of course.)

We'll see how things go this fall for the Brownies...
Superbowl baby
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Old 08-26-10, 07:04 PM   #17
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Insect repellant.
+1

Just go ahead and bathe in it.
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Old 08-27-10, 09:03 AM   #18
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I'm riding from Ohiopyle to Cumberland Saturday and Sunday. Look for a fat guy on a red Trek hybrid.
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Old 08-27-10, 10:15 AM   #19
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Superbowl baby
I'm gonna go on the record right now. AFC Championship game this year: Raiders vs. Browns. Browns go on to face the Lions.
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Old 08-27-10, 11:58 AM   #20
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I've ridden the C&O but not the GAP. Still hoping to do that this year.

"Backup tires"? Seems like overkill. Just put on a decently wide set of tires and be done with it. You won't regret it. Fenders are also a great idea.

I rode most of the Paw-Paw tunnel with a headlamp. Probably wasn't the best idea, but I quickly got tired of walking it.

I agree that the train noise along the C&O can be really bad. I took earplugs and was happy to have them, but still woke up occasionally to the trains. I wouldn't even think of camping at Brunswick, for example.

I spent two nights/three days riding the C&O. First night in Hancock at a hiker-biker site, second at the Harper's Ferry hostel.The hostel is nice, but, of course, it's at the top of a big hill. Also, don't count on buying food or dinner around the hotel. There's not much of anything up there (not a good location for a hostel IMO).
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Old 08-30-10, 10:58 PM   #21
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Packed and ready to go. I catch the train at 1:54am tomorrow...red eye will probably cause me to find a nice park in pitt to catch a couple of z's. Thanks for the input.
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Old 08-31-10, 09:57 AM   #22
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Good luck with the ride! You got a CGOAB journal or anything for the trip?
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Old 08-31-10, 04:40 PM   #23
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Packed and ready to go. I catch the train at 1:54am tomorrow...red eye will probably cause me to find a nice park in pitt to catch a couple of z's. Thanks for the input.
DO NOT fall asleep anywhere in the city. Your bike and equipment will not be there when you wake up.
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Old 08-31-10, 05:27 PM   #24
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^ What he said.
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Old 09-02-10, 06:22 AM   #25
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DO NOT fall asleep anywhere in the city. Your bike and equipment will not be there when you wake up.
If he wakes up.
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