A C&O and GAP bike tour! I rode from DC to Pittsburgh on the C&O National Historic Park’s famed towpath, connecting to the Great Allegheny Passage from May 23-30, 2015.
The Chesapeake and Ohio National Historic Park towpath stretches from Washington, DC to Cumberland , MD. From there the Great Allegheny Passage connects Cumberland to Pittsburgh, PA. That’s about 330 miles of contiguous, car free bicycle touring paradise.
And it was cursed. Well, at least for me. I’ve ridden the C&O multiple times, since it’s southern terminus is practically in my backyard. And I’d ridden the GAP up from Cumberland to the summit of the Eastern continental divide… but I never had time to continue on. And Pittsburgh alway beckoned… like a siren. But we all know what happens to sailors who follow the call of the sirens, right?
In 2014 I finally had a chance to through-ride the GAP and C&O, choosing to start in Pittsburgh and bike home. That failed pretty spectacularly, with a tire blowout and some pretty fierce tendonitis. You can read more about that trip over at pedalshift.net (just search GAP and follow the aroma of failure).
The following spring, I was determined to make it happen. This time I was solo and I also chose to reverse the ride, going from DC to Pittsburgh. And the curse lifted. Sort of. I finished, but I’ll let you be the judge of whether my through rides of the GAP and C&O are cursed.
This route is one to repeat again and again. There’s so much to see, so much history… so much to love about being on a bike and away from cars and rolling deep into the wilderness.
Pedalshift Tour Journals Vol. 2: DC to Pittsburgh – Intro
41 episodes in .mp3 format, 3 hours 28 minutes (includes Pedalshift Project 021)
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