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Ride Rating System

The BAC has a Ride Rating system that can tell you what to expect while on one of our rides. Learn more...

Ride Info

Ride Overview

Civil War History Loop

  • Arrival
  • 9/15/2019
  • Departure
  • 9/27/2019
  • Ride Director
  • Richard Gallo
  • Starting Location
  • Leesburg, VA
  • Finishing Location
  • Leesburg, VA
  • Estimated Cost †
  • $1675
  • Deposit
  • $850
  • Number of Riders
  • 22 (min. 14 /max. 24)
  • Space Available
  • 0
  • No. of Pending Riders
  • 2

Ride Rating

3B  Warning - Read the Description Carefully

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† Explanation of BAC Ride Fee – This fee is not included in the Estimated Cost and is non-refundable once submitted. The Ride Fee for US and Canada is $50 and $100 for all other countries, both are per participant.

and you can request to participate in this ride.

Ride Director Comments

There is no one on the wait list and this far out from the start date history indicates a distinct possibility that a wait-listed participant would end up on the ride (and we can always increase the number of participants by two)

Ride Description

OVERVIEW: We start the ride through the rolling countryside of Virginia horse country where Mosby and his raiders operated, then into the beautiful Shenandoah Valley (through the George Washington National Forest), over terrain contested by both the Union and Confederate forces, visiting various battlefields of the Shenandoah and Valley campaigns of 1862 & 1864 including the October 1864 decisive turning point: the Battle of Cedar Creek.

The route follows the path of the Union and Confederate troops as they fought in Maryland and Pennsylvania. We have a full day at the battlefield at Antietam (September 17, 1862 was the bloodiest single day battle in American history - see, a side trip to Harper's Ferry (site of John Brown’s Raid in 1859 – see, and then three days in Gettysburg (see both, and  We will also visit other major battlefields (New Market amongst others) as well as sites of various skirmishes. 

The ride starts with a bicycle path, than travels though Virginia horse country, past ranches with extensive rock walls and several one lane covered bridges. We cycle into historic / quaint towns such as Sharpsburg, Middleburg, Waterford and Thurmont. Our overnights are at Leesburg,Warrenton, Front Royal, New Market, Stephen City, (all VA) Shepherdstown, WV, (our first layover day- visit Harper's Ferry), Hagerstown, MD, Gettysburg, PA (we layover here for 2 days) and the vast battlefields can be toured by bike or tour bus as well as a must visit to the National Park Service's’ new Gettysburg museum.  Many previous participants have worked in a visit / tour to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s home.  Then we cycle through several more one lane covered bridges as we pedal in Maryland (Frederick, MD) before completing the loop back to Leesburg, VA. We will mostly be using local / secondary roads and one paved bicycle path. There is an option to cycle on the C&O Canal towpath, a major artery of the mid-nineteenth century. There are short distances on busy arterial primary roads when getting in and out of towns, crossing rivers, or just when there is no other road available to get from one town to another. Thus, there is the standard urban traffic encountered. Potential participants should be able to function in such conditions.

RIDE RATING: Ride rating is “3B!” - averages per day are 49 miles with terrain gain of 2,725’ (based on the required riding days). The longest day is 63 miles (second longest day is 56); and the day with the highest elevation gain is 3,500’. There are options for more miles – especially when touring battlefields. There are rolling hills on each of the nine days of required riding, and within these days there are two mountain gaps/passes.  Each gap has “normal” grades for climbs. One of the gaps has a short ¼ mile section exceeding 8%.  A list of daily mileage and terrain gain is available upon request.  Rich scouted 4 days of riding this year and will finish scouting tthe remainder of this  course in May of 2019.

WEATHER:  In mid September, the average high temperature is 81 degrees with an average overnight low of 61 degrees.  Average rainfall for mid September is 3.2 inches. In 2017 and 2018 the temperatures for Leesburg, VA (on the starting day of our tour) were: Afternoon High: 2017: 80 degrees; 2018: 57 degrees.  Overnight Low: 2017: 64 degrees; 2018: 42 degrees. The same wide range describes the other towns we visit. Therefore, it is recommended that participants plan to bring arm warmers, wind vests, jackets and of course rain gear.  It is a good idea to review the 10 day forecast before packing and departing from home.

LODGING & MEALS:  We stay in commercial hotel chains, utilizing Holiday Inns, Quality Inns, Hampton Inns, Clarion Inns and Comfort Inns, but start at the Best Western Leesburg Conference Center. There will be 8 breakfasts and 2 group dinners (at a restaurant so any and all options are available) and lunch supplies will be available for each day of riding. 

LOGISTICS:  Ride starts with an evening social and group dinner on Sunday September 15th at the Best Western Hotel and Conference Center in Leesburg, VA. (The group rate is available for the day before if you wish to get in early - 703.777-9400.) If using the free hotel shuttle, reservations must be made 48 hours in advance. The free shuttle is available between 8am to 9pm from Dulles Airport. Vehicles and bike boxes can be left at our starting hotel. There will be a second group dinner in Gettysburg at a period restaurant. The last day of riding, which returns us to Leesburg, is on Friday September 27 – lodging for this night is not included. If a participant desires lodging for that night the hotel will honor our group rate. Rental bikes are available at a local bike shop (contact available on request), however arrangements for renting bicycles must be made directly with the bike shop, and are the sole responsibility of the trip participant renting the bike.  Tandems are welcome.  If you're considering an E-Bike, please talk to the Ride Leader.  They are not available for rent at the bike shop, and while they are allowed on this ride, please note that due to the rolling hills on this tour, the current battery life of most pedal assist bikes will not last the entire day.  In between all of this, enjoy scenic cycling with an enormous serving of Civil War History. 

COST & ADMINISTRATION: Estimated cost per person is $1675, plus the non-refundable BAC fee of $50. At the time of the initial deposit, the BAC ride registration fee is also due. The estimated cost includes 12 nights lodging, 8 hotel supplied breakfasts, reimbursement for ride leader and van driver expenses, luggage van expense, daily well stocked social hours (beer, wine, soft drinks snacks), lunch and snack supplies, maps, cue sheets and gps tracks, 2 dinners (with a possible third).  A deposit of $850 is due at sign up and the remaining payment of $825 is due June 15, 2019. 

NEW MEMBERS:  New members are encouraged to sign up – this tour has been offered more than a half dozen times in the past 15 years, and is being listed late to give new members a chance to sign up for a BAC Tour without waiting.

SINGLES & SOLOS are welcome. It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own, however we will assist. If one cannot be found by the time the final payment is due (June 15, 2019), you will be given an option of paying the single supplement of $680, receive a refund (minus the BAC fee and credit card processing fees), or join a possible rotation of those wanting to go solo on a part time basis. Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office. Checks should be made out to “BAC” with a notation of the tour name included on the check.  They should be mailed to:  Bicycle Adventure Club, PO Box 23998, San Diego, CA 92193.
After paying the solo supplement, a single can continue to seek a roommate up to the time of the start of the tour.

CANCELLATION POLICY: The BAC ride registration fee and credit card processing fees are not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled. Refunds of tour payments will depend upon whether a replacement rider signs up and on costs that can be recouped. The amount refunded will be based on the principle that the tour’s remaining participants will not incur any additional costs as a result of cancellations. If the canceling participant is replaced, a refund may be made at that time. If the cancelling participant cannot be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report is completed. If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the canceling roommate may also be liable for the solo supplement fee of the roommate remaining on the tour. BAC encourages members to purchase trip cancellation insurance.

RIDE PARTICIPANT RESPONSIBILITY:  Please remember that BAC Ride Leaders are volunteers, and that successful tours depend on participants providing much of their own support.  Participants are expected to come to the ride well trained, in good health and ready to accomplish the required daily riding using well-maintained bicycles.  All participants should accept responsibility for a safe and enjoyable tour.  We encourage you to read the ride description carefully and respond to requests from Ride Leader.  While on the ride, support your Ride Leader with offers to help with various tasks such as happy hour preparation and clean-up.  Please do not interfere with the ride by inviting non-participants onto any portion of the ride or tour.  Please keep the Ride Leader informed of any special request you may have and respect the Ride Leader’s decisions.

SIGN UP: To submit a request to join this ride use the "links" displayed above this Ride Description. If you are accepted onto the ride, the Ride Leader will move you from the Waitlist to the Pending List.  At this time, you will receive an email notification to login to the BAC website to sign the release of liability form and pay the non-refundable BAC ride registration fee and the initial tour deposit of $850.00 by credit card.  As soon as your deposit has been processed, your name(s) will be added to the Participant List.  To contact the Ride Leader, "click" the name at the top of this Ride Description.


Bicycle Adventure Club
PO BOX 23998 San Diego, CA 92193
Telephone (858) 715-9510

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