† 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.
OVERVIEW: The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) and the Chesapeake and Ohio Rail Trail (C & O) are the longest rail trail east of the Mississippi. The two trails, 150 mile GAP trail from Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD connects to the 185 mile C & O trail in Cumberland, MD and continues to Georgetown/Washington DC for a total of 335 miles. This 10 day tour is rated a 1C with 7 riding days (luggage will be transported each day for riders) plus an easy pedal day around the National Mall in DC. The ride leaders rode and scouted the trail in October of 2019. The trail system is fantastic and a must do for people who like to ride rail trails.
RIDE DESCRIPTION: This 10 day tour will start and end in Cumberland, MD where the two trails meet. Participants will need to arrive in Cumberland by Saturday, October 9, 2021 for happy hour and a group dinner. On Sunday, October 10th, riders will begin pedalling the C&O TowPath heading southeast toward Georgtown/Washington DC. Luggage will be transported for participants. Three days later, on Tuesday, October 12th, participants will arrive in Georgetown/Washington, DC, after lodging in Hancock and Harpers Ferry along the way. (If the Harpers Ferry pedestrian bridge is still closed in Oct. of 2021, lodging will be in Brunswick instead of Harpers Ferry, 8 miles further down the trail.) There will be a two night stay in Georgetown/DC with plenty of time for relaxing, and sightseeing around Georgetown as well as the sights of DC and the National Mall. There are several bike paths in the area that can also be ridden on the off day(s). At 4:00pm, on Thursday, October 14th, participants will catch the Amtrak train, at the Washington Union Station, to Pittsburgh. The train will arrive in Pittsburgh at midnight and participants will pedal 1 mile to the hotel. After sleeping in and a nice breakfast, riders will start the GAP trail. Three days later, on Sunday, October 17th, participants will arrive back in Cumberland where the fun began after spending nights in Connelsville, and Rockport. Lodging has been secured in Cumberland for Sunday evening, October 17th, with the tour officially ending on Monday, October 18, 2021.
Participants only have to cycle ONE WAY! Amtrak will be utilized mid-trip to transport riders and bicycles (included in cost) from DC to Pittsburgh. Luggage will be transported daily by our trip driver.
This ride will be an ADVENTURE! It will be a CHALLENGE! It will take you BACK IN TIME! It will be FUN! Participants must understand that although the riding surface of the GAP is mostly crushed granite and the C&O is hard-pack dirt, it can be uneven and there are exposed tree roots and rutted tracks. Riding this trail is different than riding on the road. This trail is multi-use; you will be going slower than you normally do and there might be walkers, hikers, horses and tourists to navigate around. If the trail is wet or if it is raining, you must use proper caution traversing through puddles and mud. There could be short sections where you might want to walk instead of ride. Lights are necessary to navigate through tunnels and when riding from Amtrak to the hotel in Pittsburgh.
For more information about the history of this trail system click the following links: https://gaptrail.org/about-us/trail-history https://wilderness-voyageurs.com/history-co-canal-towpath/
LODGING: Lodging has been secured as close to the trail as possible. The list of hotels can be found below under “Logistics.” There is one night that participants will be sleeping in a 3 room hostel and 3 bedroom apartment. Linens and towels will be provided and showers will be available. This arrangement will help keep mileage resonable, keep us close to the trail, and add to the ADVENTURE!
BICYCLES: Because this ride is on multi-use trails, thin road tires are NOT recommended. For your safety, your bicycle (road, gravel, mtb, or e-bike) should be outfitted with a tire that has a minimum width of 1.25 inches or 28 millimeters as stated on the sidewall; preferred tire width would be 1.5 inches or 36 millimeter as stated on the sidewall. While "knobby" tires are not necessary, be sure your tires have some tread patterns on them and they are not road slicks. Tandems and E-bikes made for off road terrain are welcome. If your bike can be outfitted with fenders you'll get significantly less dirty on those days when the trail may be messy. Sound devices (bell or horn) are required per C&O Canal rules. Lights are also necessary for tunnels. Speed limit on the trail is 15 mph. At an additional cost riders may make arrangements to rent bicycles from Cumberland Trail Connection, Cumberland, MD. 21502 (301) 777-8724.
RIDE RATING: The ride leaders rode this trail in October 2019 on a tandem built for gravel. This tour is rated as a 1C even though the average is 56 miles per day and a daily average feet of climbing is less than 1500ft. The roughness of the riding surface along with consecutive riding days definitely adds to the challenge and the fun! There are 4 riding days at 59-62 miles, 2 days 44 & 47 miles, and 2 sightseeing days in DC. DC has miles of paved bike paths to explore. The big key factors for the ride rating are the nature of the riding surface and the potential effect of bad weather on the trail. The riding surface of the GAP is well maintained crushed limestone and the C&O Canal Trail is an even, hard-packed dirt trail. The trail can be very muddy following a heavy rain. The weather will play an important role regarding the trail’s condition and will impact the difficulty each day. This ride is scheduled during the historically driest time of the year, but weather patterns are unpredictable, so prepare for the worst and hope for the best! Participants should understand that if it rains, both they and their bikes will get dirty and muddy, and that the ride will require greater effort! Riders must be able to address their own mechanical issues. Access points, for vehicle support to the trail, can be miles away.
WEATHER: The average temperatures in Pittsburgh and DC in October range from 45-69 degrees with 6 days of rain. Cool weather gear: Arm warmers, knee warmers, shoe covers and inclement weather gear (rain jacket) are necessary.
LOGISTICS: This tour will begin in Cumberland, MD where the two trails meet. Parking is available at the hotel at no additional cost. Participants who choose to fly, may utilize Pittsburgh International Airport (97 miles) or Washington Dulles (86 miles). There is also a regional airport in Cumberland. Public transportation options: Amtrak and shuttle services, are available from the airports to Cumberland and can be secured online.
COST & ADMINISTRATION: The cost for this tour is $1750 plus the $50 non refundable BAC ride registration fee. The first deposit will be $500 plus the $50 fee, with two additional payments of $625 each due on October 5, 2020 and May 3, 2021. Participation numbers are based on accommodation availability. Included in the price: 9 nights of lodging, 4 group dinners, 9 breakfasts, at least 7 happy hours, Amtrak ticket, luggage transport, leader, co-leader, and driver expenses, RWGPS links and cue sheets. Free parking has been secured at the hotel in Cumberland.
SINGLES and SOLOS: It is recommended that singles who want a roommate try to find their own. However, after receipt of the initial deposit, a single without a roommate will be placed on the ride and given until October 5, 2020 to find a roommate. If they are unable to find a roommate, they will have the option to receive a full refund (minus the BAC fee and payment processing fee) or pay the $1050 solo supplement and stay on the ride. If a single pays the supplement, they may continue to seek a roommate, but must plan to participate without a roommate if necessary. The Ride Leader will assist by attempting to match singles who apply for the ride. Solo supplement payments need to be sent to the BAC office by October 5, 2020. 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.
CANCELLATION POLICY: The BAC ride registration fee and payment processing fee is not refundable unless the entire tour is cancelled due to participation below stated minimum requirements. 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 cost as a result of cancellations. If the cancelling participant is replaced, a refund will be made at that time. If the cancelling participant can't be replaced, any refund will be determined after the ride and final expense report are completed. If a single participant cancels and another roommate cannot be found, in addition to other costs that cannot be recouped the cancelling 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. When you are accepted, 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, $550 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 firstname.lastname@example.org