This is a multi-day bike trek I’d been thinking about for at least a year or so now. The GAP extends from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington, DC. From Pittsburgh to Cumberland, MD, it’s a rail-trail — a railway bed that’s been converted into a recreational trail. From Cumberland MD to Washington DC, it’s the tow-path of the ill-fated C & O Canal. 335 miles total, end-to-end. 150 miles or so on the rail-trail, 185 miles on the tow path.
I drove to Rockville, MD. and left my car with my niece. Took the Amtrak “Capitol Limited” from Rockville to Pittsburgh. Set out back toward DC, on bicycle, the following morning. I camped on the trail for four nights. Spent one night in a motel, and one night in a hostel in Harpers Ferry, WV.
I rode my trusty Novara hybrid bike, approaching 20 years old now. I had to buy all sorts of new gear for it, like panniers, a bell, a tiny headlamp, and repair tools, which I never used (Hallelujah!).
It was a wet trip — rain on five of the seven days I was out. The ride began on the morning of May 11 (Wednesday) and ended the morning of May 17 (the following Tuesday.) Thanks to Jessica in Rockville for her hospitality and help in making the whole plan work.