Pittsburgh to DC

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Jacquiedawn, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. Jacquiedawn

    Jacquiedawn New Member

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    I don't even own a bike but heard about this ride from Pittsburgh to DC and thought it would be fun. I want to give it a try but not sure how many miles a day is reasonable. I'm in decent shape and I've heard there's not many hills so I think it is doable. I want to do it in 8 days but not sure if that is possible given my ability and and soar bottom! Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Are you thinking of the Rails-To-Trails route? http://www.atatrail.org/

    If so, yes, it is fairly flat with long, slight grades as it is an old C&O Canal and RR right of way. It's mainly packed, crushed stone and dirt...and unimproved and rough in some areas.

    If you are wanting to ride this trail, you will need a mountain bike or road bike with wider, durable tires and wheels. A flat bar bike would be desirable, I would think. At 335-350 miles in length and given your 8-day schedule, 50 or so miles a day should be a fun and challenging range on the somewhat slower trail surface and getting you through the rougher, unimproved areas without having to push too hard or spend 10 hours in the saddle.

    The Rails-To-Trails organization takes an annual group ride across this trail: http://www.railstotrails.org/index.html

    I have talked to a couple that rode the entire trail and they said is was a nice ride.

    If you don't own a bike now, go to a bike shop and explain your goal and describe the surfaces and terrain you will be traversing. Print some pictures of the trail and of the riders and their bikes that are pictured on the trail and show them what you want to do. Any good shop will sell you a bike suitable for trail use and any equipment you may need to carry the gear you will need while on the trail. Then, get out and ride and get in shape prior to your trail ride.

    ETA trail basic info link: http://www.atatrail.org/tmi/about.cfm#location
     
  3. Jacquiedawn

    Jacquiedawn New Member

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    Thanks Campybob for this information. Yes, I will be taking the trail that you speak of. I am planning on renting a bike when I get there (I live on the west coast) but until then, borrowing a bike in order to get some rides before I go. 50+ miles a day is what I was thinking but just want to make sure I'm not getting over my head. I'm turning 40 this year and I thought it would be fun to celebrate on a bike!!
     
  4. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    I think you will really enjoy the scenery and the small towns along the trail. The GAP and Montour trails in Pennsylvania are pretty spectacular.

    If you join the Rails-To-Trails annual event, they will haul your camping gear to each day's end point and there is some on-trail technical support available from the ride leaders and from other folks doing the event.

    I don't know much about the DC end of the route (that's the canal towpath portion of the route), but that is probably the least improved area.

    Good luck and I hope you have a great adventure.

    Here's a link to 2014 Greenway Sojourn, which uses parts of the Montour, the GAP and C&O Rails-To-Trails route:
    http://www.railstotrails.org/getInvolved/findAnEvent/sojourn/index.html

    Ride with a group or do it solo...you will not regret it!

    [​IMG]
     
  5. CAMPYBOB

    CAMPYBOB Well-Known Member

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    Lots of pictures here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/[email protected]/

    And there's always Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GAPTrail
     
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