DC/MD/VA Adventures Message Board › Biking the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O

Biking the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O

A former member
Post #: 8
Hey guys,

I just made a significant investment in a new bike and feel obliged to put it to major use. I think the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) fits the bill. This is a continuous, paved path which goes from the Pittsburgh area to Cumberland, Maryland (about 150 miles). From Cumberland you connect directly into the C&O Canal Towpath which goes another 185 miles into Washington, DC. (Most, if not all this route, is car free!)

I'd like to bike all of GAP and a substantial part of C&O, if not the whole way back to DC. I thought it might be cool to share this adventure with someone or a small group of someones. This will take a week to do and we'd be averaging about 60-70 miles per day. I don't consider myself a "high octane" cyclist and usually ride at a somewhat casual pace (though of course long distance rides do require a certain amount dedication, fitness and maintaining some minimal speed). There's also the challenge of figuring out how to get you and your bike to Pittsburgh.

Anybody interested? Let me know and we can talk about potential logistical and planning details.

A former member
Post #: 86
Chris, I've done the Cumberland to DC part twice as a 3 day camping trip, fully self-supported and I'm doing the full Pittsburgh to DC part as a 6 day trip this year with a couple friends. While my trip is at its capacity, I have a lot of knowledge on doing this, so if you have any questions, please feel free to send me a private message. I can recommend a very good shuttle service for you and your bike that I've used every year (who will also serve as an emergency point of contact in case you need a pickup or bike parts or just need to know where the nearest bike shop is).

user 3913077
Arlington, VA
Post #: 20
Chris, I have always wanted to do this!!! Will you be riding a road bike? I believe the C&O portion is a combination of paved vs gravel paths.

Keep me in the loop!

A former member
Post #: 2
I'd be interested to do at least part - any idea about when? I don's usually do such long distances, but this sounds like a good challenge.
Bethesda, MD
Post #: 28
I would like to do the C&O as a 3 day camping trip (downhill). I know of a group doing that every July but I am afraid I'd die in that heat. I'd definitely wont have time to do the whole thing to Pittsburgh.
Who would do the short, at leisurly 15mph?
A former member
Post #: 13
I just posted a new announcement to have a BBQ for people to hang out and talk about the possibilities of the biking trip I proposed. To address some of the questions on this thread:

@LeeAnn - thanks for offering your advice! we can definitely talk, but if you're available on May 14, you and your biking friends are invited to our planning BBQ. we could give you a 5 minute spotlight to share your experiences. :)

@Lauren - I am riding a road bike (which also happens to be a recumbent). but my tires are not ultra thin and I'm pretty sure it could handle hard gravel (more or less). The Pennsylvania portion is all paved.

@Christina - I don't know when this will happen, but that's why I'm organizing a get together to get interested people to talk about it and make decisions. I hope you can make it, let me know.

@Nazzarena - I will be coordinating with cyclists who cannot begin this trip in Pittsburgh and would prefer to instead meet the main group midway, presumably somewhere on the C&O. You should join us at the BBQ.
A former member
Post #: 87
While the GAP would be fine on a road bike, the C&O, especially out towards Cumberland is full of roots and nearly as well maintained as the section near Georgetown. I would at least swap out the tires for something knobby or hybrid tires for this trip... when it rains, its sheer mud and muck. I actually do this trip on a mountain bike, but I've seen a lot of hybrids do it too. I'd just take whatever you plan to use out for a test run somewhere out past White's Ferry so you can see for yourself.

Unfortunately, I have a practice triathlon on May 14... if I still have some juice left, I might try to stop by.
Powered by mvnForum

Our Sponsors

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy