Saturday, September 27, 2014

Great Allegheny Passage 13-16 September 2014

The GAP trail runs from Pittsburgh to Cumberland. It is an old railroad track that has been turned into a hiker/biker trail. The C&O Canal then runs from Cumberland to Washington DC and it was a mule path running alongside a canal. So, you can ride for 5 days from Pittsburgh to DC and not be on a road. Sherry and I were in a group of 6 friends and we did the GAP portion while our friends continued on to DC on the C&O Canal.

Since this is a point-to-point ride, the first challenge was getting 6 bikes to Pittsburgh. The other challenge was having a car ready for Sherry and I when we bailed out near Cumberland. We drove up to Pittsburgh on a Saturday morning, with our Rav4 packed with 6 bikes. Two on the outside, four in the inside. The plan was to drive up to Pittsburgh, spend a day fooling around, and then unload the bikes and drive to Frostburg where we would get picked up by the other four on their way to Pittsburgh. James had a one-way rental minivan from DC to Pittsburgh.

It all worked out and, by Sunday night, all 6 people and all 6 bikes were safely in Pittsburgh waiting to start the ride on Monday.

During our fun day in Pittsburgh, Sherry went to the National Aviary where she participated in the "Flamingo Encounter". Sherry being a Flamingo fan, couldn't wait. She got to spend about 30 minutes in a room with two flamingos and the trainer. They groomed her hair and her socks and did a little dance. Sherry was smiling for the next 24 hours.

 We then went to "Randyland" in the Mexican War Streets neighborhood. Mike is feeding Barbie to the rats and Sherry is with Randy himself.

Finally, it was time to ride. This is Mike's bike - the beast of burden. Sherry's bike is really small and it is hard to put any kind of luggage on it, so we packed really light. All of Mike's stuff is in the handlebar bag, All of Sherry's stuff is in the rear bag, and the group gear and repair kit is in the black bag in the middle. Extra tire is threaded through the rear spokes. 

Waiting in the lobby of the Sheraton for James to drop off the rental car. 

Here is the starting point - the confluence of the three rivers at Three Rivers Park in Pittsburgh. 

Haleh, Keith and Sherry at the start.

Near the end of Day 1 in the town of  Connellsville. 

Jan and James, the primary instigators of this trip.

The large and the small, heading down the trail.