Looking for companion(s) for a slow and low budget, roundtrip cycling tour Wash. D.C.-Pittsburgh-D.C in June. One way on the C&O Canal/Great Allegheny Passage trails is about 334 miles, so the roundtrip is about 668 miles. My plan is to complete the cycle (pun intended) in one month, making the average mileage per day, weather permitting, about 22 miles. At a leisurely pace of about 5 miles per hour that means travelling for only about 5 hours per day, not including side trips for supplies and sights. This situation means that you don't need a high dollar bike or be in great shape (though you should doing daily rides and prep your bike before leaving). I hiked/biked (mostly hiked) the first 62 miles of the C&O last summer (Aug/Sept), so I know a lot about what to expect. The C&O is very interesting historically, so look forward to checking out that aspect.
As for the 'budget' part ot the trip, the C&O has 30 free campsites; the G.A.P. has 4. I'm planning on stopping at 3 campgrounds that charge a fee, avoiding any that allow RVs. Though I may occasionally stop at a restaurant, I plan on packing about one weeks food with me and resupplying at grocers along the way. As far as hotels/motel & B&Bs are concerned my only plan for one is near Pittsburgh - kind of a reward and respite before the return trip. Once again, inclement weather could change my tune. My trip last year had only about one hour of rain in one week, which I slept through in my tent. Hurricane Irene had come through the area the day before. Since a hurricane takes all the 'bad' weather with it, I expected 4 to 5 sunny days and less trail congestion in the DC area.
DC elevation - 72 ft Pittsburgh elevation - 720 ft
Eastern Continental Divide (highest point on the trail) - 2392 ft
The toughest climb will be on the way to Pittsburgh.
On the PA side of the ECD the slope is much more gentle, with a nice decent on the return trip. There are websites devoted to both sites. Check 'em out.
As far as age and gender go, I'm open. I'm male, last time I checked, and 65. My most memorable moments on the trail last year were with people, ages 20-70, that I met at campsites.
As far as dates are concerned, I'm planning on being back to DC before the opening ceremony of the Olympic games - July 27th. (Yes, it'll be hot but the C&O at least is quite shady.) So right now I.m thinking about leaving on a weekday sometime between June 6th and June 20th.
If interested or have questions my e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
. Leave your phone number if typing too much is a pain. I can help with equipment questions.