Mind the GAP

Today we’ll be back in the saddle – and now we’re three, with Mike (McLoughlin) joining us for the next three days from Pittsburgh to his house in Columbia just outside Washington. After this three leg stage there is only a tiny 35 mile section to complete before we get to Washington, which is a bit sad really :0( Anyway, we’d better make the most of what we’ve got left. I’m very excited about this stretch as we’ll be travelling on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) – the 150-mile route will connect with the 184.5-mile C&O Canal Towpath at Cumberland, Maryland to create a 334.5-mile traffic and motorised vehicle-free route between Pittsburgh and Washington, DC. We’re only travelling between Pittsburgh and Cumberland today and tomorrow before we switch back to the road as the C&O canal towpath surface is a bit rutted for our bike tyres. The GAP is supposed to be really scenic with the old railroad route weaving its way though wooded valleys, across rivers and under mountains (there are several tunnels including one half a mile long). Mike is a bit concerned about the surface on the GAP trail as it’s mostly compacted limestone not sealed Tarmac, but I think it will be fine as long as it stays dry. We’ve got two shorter cycling days (75 and 77 miles) so we can go a bit slower and still make good time. Watch this space – there could be two daily summaries today if Mike decides to go on the road – because come whatever I’m cycling the GAP!

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