Thursday, September 10, 2015

GAP / C&O Ride II, 9/8/15, Home

Today's ride was planned to be the longest at around 80 miles or so.  Ohiopyle is the approximate mid point of the GAP.  

I left the hotel at 7:45 and the town was significantly more quiet than the busy holiday yesterday.   

I found a very pleasant little bakery for a fine egg sandwich then hit the trail. 

Again, the ride through Ohiopyle was just beautiful. I encountered no other riders for 13 miles and was just in awe of the quiet and nature. 

17 miles in was Connellsville. 

The next town was West Newton and home was not far.   I stopped for an entire 14" pizza at Mama Pepino's. 

And a reminder of what I had done.  

I'd seen this same type of black snake four times now.  The first time was in DC. I guess that it's possible the NSA was following me. Is there much of a difference between the black helicopters and black snakes?

This is someone's backyard along the Youghiogheny River. 

Pulling into Boston, PA and Downtown Pittsburgh was just a short distance. 

So close to the end on the Southside of Pittsburgh and I had to wait 10 minutes for a freight train. 

Downtown Pittsburgh was now in view. 

And I pulled into Point State Park in Downtown Pittsburgh, the terminus of the GAP. 

Marker of the terminus. 

The bike and the final mile marker. 

Selfies in front of the fountain at Point State Park. 

I rode home to Squirrel Hill from Downtown and pulled into the driveway around 4:45. 

Just absolutely throughly enjoyable and hard to think about being back at my desk. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

GAP / C&O Ride II, 9/7/15, Ohiopyle

Today was all about the climb out of Cumberland.  I'd been anticipating it since I decided to make the ride again. And I'd certainly been concerned about it since the ride began. 

Knowing that I had the 21-mile climb from Cumberland to Mt. Savage / Eastern Continental Divide, I opened the hotel breakfast at 6:30.  It was probably the best breakfast ever to be included with the price of a room (maybe excluding Embassy Suites).   The Cumberland Ramada was a bit outdated but everyone was very accommodating to cyclists. 

I hit the trail and left Cumberland at 7:00 at mile marker 0. 

Since it wasn't a race, no one was with me, no one was watching and frankly no one else cared, why should I rush up the mountain?

Passing bones is one of the early reference points on the ways up. 

I broke up the 21 miles. Pedal 7.5 miles per hour for five miles then stop, get off the bike, drink, stretch and enjoy the view. 

 Repeat at 10 miles. 

Do the same at 15 miles which is a good stopping point at Frostburg.

Now with only six miles remaining it was doable.  The neat thing is that the top is so pretty.  There are wonderful views, the Mason Dixon line, windmills and the Big Savage tunnel followed by the Eastern Continental Divide.  

Mason /Dixon line


Views from 2300 feet 

As I got back on my bike to continue to the Big Savage Tunnel and downhill to Pittsburgh a father and young son rode up from the opposite direction. It was around 10:00 am and the kid turned to his dad upon looking around and said, "You did not oversell it."

The Big Savage Tunnel is cool inside even on a 90 degree day. 

Upon exiting it's a short ride to the Eastern Continental Divide and a photo opp. 

The best thing about coming over the mountain is fantastic downhill riding right into Meyersdale and lunch at Sheetz. 

Passing through Rockwood, PA

The Pinkerton Tunnel is still being renovated and requires a two mile detour. 

Gorgeous riding along the Casselman River. 

On to Confluence (the intersection of the Casselman and Youghiogheny Rivers). 

Staying on track for the Great Allegheny Passage. 

10 miles to the day's stopping point. 

Ohiopyle was very busy on Labor Day. 

This might have been the least of the hotels. It was an old style motel. 

The section of the GAP from Meyersdale to Ohiopyle is just beautiful.  It was a fantastic day. (Although there wasn't any wifi at the 1970s era motel thus this posting is a bit delayed.)