Are you looking to do some casual bicycling on Rail Trails in the MD, DC, VA, and PA area? If so, this group is for you. If you're looking for a great cardio workout, you may want to look somewhere else. I intend to target Rail Trails, which are bicycle friendly trails that parallel old train tracks. Since trains did not do well on anything over a 3% grade (and neither do I) these trails are amazingly flat. They go through some beautiful areas, quaint towns, and food and drink are plentiful.
The trails tend to be a mixture of asphalt, crushed limestone, and gravel. Just about any bike will do fine, although street bikes with razor thin tires will not fair so well on some of the less maintained paths. This is not a cardio ride, we'll ride for enjoyment, socializing, and always try to find a nice bar, pub, or something similar at the halfway point for much needed refreshment.
I would also like to schedule at least one overnight each year. There are ample camping sites on the C&O Canal and B&B options for those that prefer more civilized surroundings.
Most rides will be about a 20 mile round trip and we'll average about 8 - 12 mph (some of us are slower, some are faster). This will make for a pretty laid back ride and riders of just about any skill level should be fine. We will have riders of every skill level, some fast, some slow. This is not about performance! As we do intend to partake of local refreshments at the halfway point or at the end, riders will need to be at least 21. You cannot be too old to join this group. We are all about enjoyable bike rides in scenic locations. Stop, take pictures, smell the roses on the way.
What do I need to bring?
Obviously, a bike. What kind? Hybrids and mountain bikes work great on the trails we frequent. Street bikes are also a good choice as long as they don't have the ultra thin profile racing tires, those would be fine on some of the more well maintained asphalt trails but those trails are not the norm.
Some other gear that is almost mandatory:
Water (water bottles or a backpack style hydration system) Helmet Snacks Good attitude (we're fun people!)
Other things to consider:
Bug spray Bike tools (a tire repair and patch kit is always a good idea) Sunscreen Sunglasses Wallet (ID, cash) Small first aid kit Bike bag to hold everything Riding shorts and shirt (padded shorts may look strange to the uninitiated, but they sure do the trick)