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GAP and C&O Trail - C&V Style

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GAP and C&O Trail - C&V Style

Old 08-05-19, 10:57 AM
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mmcc73
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GAP and C&O Trail - C&V Style

My 13 year old son and I just finished the GAP and C&O Trail, which took us 335 miles from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C. I rode a mid 70s Dawes Galaxy, and he rode a mid 80s Trek 400.

Here are a few photos you might enjoy.




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Old 08-05-19, 01:28 PM
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Good for you- skinny tires. I did that ride in June- how was the C&O between Cumberland and Hancock? I was riding with couple of guys on skinny road tires, and they weren't having fun with the conditions.
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Old 08-05-19, 01:31 PM
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Good on you.
I did that ride from DC to Pittsburgh about five years ago on an 88 Cannondale ST withVittoria Rando tires. Nominal 32's, actual mounted size about 29mm. They worked fine, even through the tortuous/wet areas.
Had a great time, so much beautiful scenery along that route...
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Old 08-05-19, 01:40 PM
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Nice! That's a great ride, and I have about a half dozen almost identical pics from my trip:


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Old 08-05-19, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by aeshultz View Post
Good for you- skinny tires. I did that ride in June- how was the C&O between Cumberland and Hancock? I was riding with couple of guys on skinny road tires, and they weren't having fun with the conditions.
There was a lot of mud in that section but most of it was dodge-able. Our tires aren’t super skinny and have some tread to them.
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Old 08-06-19, 12:32 PM
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I ran 35s, and made sure that I had fenders- ended up riding straight through most of the holes, works better that trying to skirt them.
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Old 08-06-19, 12:36 PM
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Thanks for sharing! Looks like an awesome trip! Really great that you got to do that with your son.
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Old 08-06-19, 01:29 PM
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I stand in awe, amazement and jealousy of this fine accomplishment. I’m sure it is a trip your boy will remember for the rest of his life!
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Old 08-06-19, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by riverdrifter View Post
Thanks for sharing! Looks like an awesome trip! Really great that you got to do that with your son.
Originally Posted by 3speedslow View Post
I stand in awe, amazement and jealousy of this fine accomplishment. I’m sure it is a trip your boy will remember for the rest of his life!
It was a great trip - highly recommended if you have the time and your kid has the inclination. My son was a total trooper. He came down with a nasty ear infection that only got more painful as we rode up to the divide, but he made it. We stopped for antibiotics in Frostburg, and he was a happier guy after that.
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Old 08-06-19, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mmcc73 View Post
There was a lot of mud in that section but most of it was dodge-able. Our tires aren’t super skinny and have some tread to them.
I've done the trip several times. Of course it depends on when and where it rained and how much but I'd say overall the "worst" place along the whole trail for slick mud starts about 7 miles outside Cumberland and ends about 10 miles before PawPaw.. No specific place or reason but that part of the trail just has a large concentration of trail width puddles and soft mud. I don't dodge them, just steady as I go and plow through.


Originally Posted by mmcc73 View Post
It was a great trip - highly recommended if you have the time and your kid has the inclination. My son was a total trooper. He came down with a nasty ear infection that only got more painful as we rode up to the divide, but he made it. We stopped for antibiotics in Frostburg, and he was a happier guy after that.
The trip is a lot of fun, for better or worse all of my CO/GAP have been solo except for one piece for one day near the burgh. One of my friends is gradually building up to more and more each year and he is willing to attempt the whole GAP portion with me in about 6 weeks. I have fun with just myself though but a partner will be nice. Did you go straight up the road or take the zigzag path into Frostburg? That's a HILL

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Old 08-30-19, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
Did you go straight up the road or take the zigzag path into Frostburg? That's a HILL
Ummm.... I called an Uber. I'm not sure which path the Uber driver took
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Old 08-30-19, 11:47 AM
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sweet! i've ridden on it a few times including a trip from Dc to Frostburg. I'm planning to do it with my son as soon as we can, he's currently 10, so maybe we're a little closer to doing it than I thought!
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Old 08-30-19, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by -holiday76 View Post
sweet! i've ridden on it a few times including a trip from Dc to Frostburg. I'm planning to do it with my son as soon as we can, he's currently 10, so maybe we're a little closer to doing it than I thought!
We rode the C&O downhill twice with the Boy Scout Troop that I was associated with at the time. I can tell you, our 12 year olds struggled doing more than 40 miles in a day with light loads (we had van support for bulkier camp equipment). No doubt you'll know when your son is ready, but if you think he's on the edge of it but aren't certain, my advice is to try it the following year.
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Old 08-30-19, 04:26 PM
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Looks like a GREAT trip! Something unforgettable memories are made of.

Did you make your son carry more than you did?

It's pretty good timing. Sometime in the next few years, he won't want to slow down for you. Or even be with you. (But just wait a few years, and he'll be human again....)
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