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C&O trail DC to Pittsburgh

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C&O trail DC to Pittsburgh

Old 07-23-18, 03:17 PM
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bad211947
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C&O trail DC to Pittsburgh

i have a verve 2 is this hybrid capable of such long distance riding? Just got back into cycling in April this year, and Iím a senior. Comments would be helpful, thanks
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Old 07-23-18, 03:40 PM
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The bike has 45mm tires, and a rear rack mount. Fender mounts, too.

The bike will easily handle the GAP trail, and should be fine on the rougher canal trail.

I considered doing a "credit card" tour, stopping at motels if available, or B&Bs. The B&Bs near the trail need advance reservations, and there's very few motels nearby, so you'll be committed to a specific set of days. You'll need to know how far you want to go each day, and perhaps allow for some rainy weather, too.

Instead, I did a few out-and-back long day rides from different trailheads, driving over to the trailhead. Waiting for a period of nice weather made this enjoyable and simple.

Distance: you have all day to ride, but trails, even the very smoothly packed GAP trail, are slower and take more energy than paved road riding. You'll probably want to go a bit shorter distance than you would do on a long road ride.

On the GAP trail:





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Old 07-23-18, 03:48 PM
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Absolutely! I did GAP and C&O last October on a similar bike (old Hardrock which I swapped suspension fork for rigid one on). You can mount bar ends or even use trekking (butterfly) bars for more hand positions. I brought a tent with me. There are some camping places along the GAP, and C&O has free hiker/biker campsites every 5-10 miles.
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Old 07-23-18, 04:26 PM
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That bike will be fine. I highly recommend that you install fenders. The C&O part of the ride can get very muddy.
Enjoy the ride.
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Old 07-23-18, 04:35 PM
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A group of us old folk (men/women 60+), different touring experiences and bikes, did it last year. It was a credit card tour. All went well on the trail. A couple of problems. I was one of the experience people but my wheel decided to give way. Got to the road, hitched to closest town and found a repair at the Trek store. Another less experienced person had a blowout. He walked about 5 miles and got it fixed. A long way of saying that problems can be overcome and the trail is good for many types of bikes Narrow tires would not be recommended.

As suggested above, I would credit card tour. I have done the trail twice once cc once camping. I think for a person getting back into biking, I would do the tour in a comfortable way. That means carrying less stuff and staying in comfortable places.
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Old 07-24-18, 03:01 AM
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Smile Gap

thank you to all who gave sound advice for me appreciate the information
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Old 07-24-18, 07:11 AM
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I wouldn't touch the C&O right now with a 32 1/2' pole. Lots and lots of rain recently. Also, check the NPS website. There is a washout that necessitates you either trespassing on railroad property by scaling a huge embankment or taking a road detour.
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Old 07-24-18, 09:52 AM
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A Verve 2 will be a fine bike for the task, mechanically. I would definitely recommend some "training" before going. Not in terms of skills, but in conditioning your body for the ride. Make sure you have hand positions that you like and make sure that your saddle is comfortable enough for 30-50 mile days (depending on how long you want the trip to take).

@indyfabz makes a good point about the condition of the C&O trail right now, especially as you get closer to the DC area. This region has experienced a ton of rain earlier this spring (and even more recently, this past weekend), and some sections of the trail are compromised and even closed. If you're coming from the Pittsburgh area, I think you should be good down to about the Hancock, MD, area, but as you get east of there, it's probably more hit and miss.
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Old 07-24-18, 01:48 PM
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There is a major washout that requires a car ride around unless you want to walk across the creek, but water is high now. I biked the C&O a few weeks ago and there are still parts that are very rough with rocks exposed. Also heard that right now several areas are closed due to high water this week.

If you go on Facebook, search "Rivers Edge Trails." They have a video of the major washout near Brunswick MD and Catoctin creek.

Check out current conditions at: https://www.nps.gov/choh/planyourvisit/conditions.htm


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Old 07-24-18, 01:51 PM
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By the way, if you get a chance, do some hiking throughout OhioPyle on GAP. Really nice water falls and views!
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