Tuesday, May 19, 2009

GREAT Cycling trip!

Just returned from a GREAT cycling trip with two friends--biology professor Burt Webb and political science professor Kris Pence. We started in Pittsburg on the Great Alleghany Passage—a rails-to-trails route—to Cumberland Maryland. The GAP is a gravel route that never rises above 1 ½% grade, but it does rise a couple thousand feet to the Laurel Highlands over 50 or so miles. In Cumberland Maryland we got on the C&O canal towpath, a National Park route that is mostly dirt & puddles, and rode that right down into Georgetown-DC, 335 miles in all.

This was a test trip for me—last year I hammered my knees on 500 miles of the Appalachian Trail in may—they never recovered. I tried cycling to see if it would have less stress on my knees. Sure enough my knees are fine, thanks mostly to an awesome bicycle—the “Salsa Fargo” whose designers had a mission of “designing a bike to ride the Continental Divide Route, which is my real dream—and something I’ll probably start to tackle next summer—a route right down the backbone of the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico paralleling the Continental Divide Trail.

I’m returning to the GAP-C&O in July to ride it again, that time with Sharon. Until then I’m looking at re-riding with Sharon some of the off-road trails radiating from Xenia, Ohio and maybe the White Pine Trail in Michigan. I love cycling!

Click here for a video of our recent trip.