Monday, September 14, 2009

We're Off!

Day One: Sunday, Sept. 6, 2009

As many of you know Dave turned 50 this year. He wanted to celebrate in a big way and finally decided he wanted to do a bike trip with some friends and family. But where? After much thought he decided that biking from Pittsburgh to Washington DC would be the perfect way to celebrate his 50 years on this earth. After much planning and preparation the day had arrived.

Maps were ready.

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Bike racks were gathered.

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Bikes stood at the ready.

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Everyone had arrived at our house the night before we were to leave. Dave, Chris (my brother), John (he works with Dave) and Jack (his good friend from Monroe) would be attempting to ride the entire way. I would be driving Chris's car and was hoping to ride part of the trail. Rosie would be driving Dave's car. We didn't have all of the particulars worked out but hoped to work out the kinks as we went.

The first half of the ride would be on the Great Allegheny Passage. After leaving Pennsylvania we would connect up with the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath for the ride into DC. Here is a short description of the trails:


The Great Allegheny Passage Trail is the crown jewel of the Mid-Atlantic Rail Trails. Thanks to this excellent trail and the C&O Towpath National Historic Park, we now have a 335 mile long traffic free corridor between Pittsburgh, PA and Washington, DC!


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In December 2006, the final trail connection was completed linking Cumberland, MD to McKeesport, PA (just outside of Pittsburgh). This effectively extends the 184 mile C&O Towpath (which ends in Cumberland) an additional 150 miles. Over the next few years, additional segments will be added in the Pittsburgh area so that you can eventually bicycle from downtown Washington, DC right into downtown Pittsburgh.

Much of the trail follows the abandoned right-of-way originally used by the Western Maryland Railway. This route offers some really wonderful views as it cuts through the rugged mountainous terrain of Pennsylvania's Allegheny Highlands. Along the way, you will encounter several points of interest including, crystal clear mountain streams, a 1000 foot long trestle, numerous tunnels (including the monster Mount Savage Tunnel), and some really great white water rapids.


Sunday morning arrived bright and early. Chris was in charge of breakfast and he didn't disappoint. The blueberry pancakes were a hit. It was time to load the bikes and hit the road.

Jack and Chris took care of one bike rack

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and Dave and John took care of the other one.

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We were off! Destination: McKeesport, PA.

2 comments....porters always have something to say!:

curlz said...

I'm excited. Can't wait for the next chapter!

Jock said...

That red Trek bike sure is pretty.

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