Tuesday, August 4, 2015


With promising weather and some free time I made a last minute decision to ride the GAP.  I purchased the Trailbook in advance which gives you valuable information and history about the trail along with a separate vinyl map. It is worth $16 with shipping.  The logistics and being a linear route has made it difficult to ride the entire 150 mile trail so I decided to do an out and back from Cumberland, Md. I arrived at the Ramada Inn around dinner time on Saturday leaving me time to explore this quaint town.  The trail head provides free overnight parking and after a bountiful complimentary breakfast I was on my way at 7:30 on Sunday.  The first 24 miles is uphill to the Eastern Continental Divide and then a gradual downhill to Pittsburgh. It was a constant grind to the top and took me a little over 4 hours. There was just a few scenic overlooks but for the most part it was like riding the never ending Pennsylvania Turnpike. Crossing the Mason-Dixon Line and riding through the 3300 ft Big Savage Tunnel was a treat but reaching the Eastern Continental Divide was a relief. There is a map on the wall showing mileage and elevation.

Nice room at the Ramada
Ready to go

Only 20 more miles of climbing

Mason Dixon Line

Big Savage Tunnel

The top, relief!

 My plan was to stay at The Husky Haven Campground in Rockwood just 43 miles from the start. It was a  relatively easy 20 mile pedal to the campground but remember this is hard packed gravel which is not always so packed. Having 3 tracks of a trike makes things more challenging at times. I arrived about 2:30 with mixed feelings. It was $10 to camp but I was offered an entire house for just $50 so I took it. Unfortunately it's a tinny town with few services and being Sunday in Pa didn't help.
My stay at Rockwood
I originally planned to pedal 50 miles the next day to one of the free shelters at mile 90 but the thought of pedaling back uphill, over the same terrain was not appealing. I decided in the morning to just pedal back to Cumberland. I must point out I have never been a fan of bike trails, especially non-paved. They are fine for people who want to pedal car-free but I find them boring.
The ride back was an easier uphill but it was still uphill for 20 miles. I always wanted to know how it felt pedaling 24 miles down hill. Being on packed gravel slowed the decent and with light pedaling I was only able to manage 15 mph, still, very nice. After breaking down the trike and a quick chicken sandwich I was off for the 4 hour trek home.

The trail has some interesting sites including long tunnels, high trestles, winding rivers, wildlife, quaint towns and history. It is well managed and maintained and is a great asset to the cycling community. There are many trail heads in the middle with parking that have a much smaller grade variant for easier out and backs. There are many B&B and Hostels if you choose not to camp. For me I would have enjoyed it more had I started in Cumberland and finished the 150 mile trek in Pittsburgh, but that would have required an expensive shuttle and more planning. The C&O Canal and GAP were on my "Bucket List" but being a trike only guy the C&O is out and as far as the GAP I can cross that off with just what little I've done.

Enjoy the photos.

Notice the windmills

That little boy passed me uphill on his single speed BMX

Meyersdale bike repair station

Ride down into Cumberland

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A Decade Of Riding

For the past 10 years I have been logging my miles on Bikejournal.com. I just noticed I have almost 50,000 miles, 35,000 on trikes. My ICE T has the most with more than 29,000. 5,000 per year is a lot to some and not to others but considering it represents more than half the mileage I put on my car it is quite remarkable. I traveled around the Earth's equator 2 times.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Plenty Good

Pedaling almost everyday since GOBA.
I am working the next 2 days so I added 10 to today's ride.
Love Summer!

My reward

Sunday, June 28, 2015

GOBA 2015

Weather predictions all week were rain. In fact I almost went home the first day. From the moment I got there all the Ohioan's were talking about was the massive amounts of rain and flooding they had over the month. In fact they were concerned the fields we parked out would be flooded on our return. Everyone had a constant check on their weather app. It rained from the moment I hit Ohio to about 60 miles before Van Wert, the starting point. I was so excited, the 650 mile trip seemed minimal. I pitched my tent and immediately began cruising looking for old friends and already acquiring new ones. We had the usual bike parade to town and then opening ceremonies with a band and all the towns people. One thing for certain, Ohio people are warm welcoming folks. Of course, it helps when you bring 2,000 people worth of money too. The weather showed 50-80 percent chance of rain and thunderstorms all week, not unusual for Summer especially in Ohio. The first night at about 2 am, I heard light rain on my tent. At 5 it was raining hard and the wind was strong. I began to doubt my ability to ride a week in rain. I got up, grabbed some coffee and headed indoors to decide. A half hour later the rain had stopped and there were breaks in the clouds. I decided to commit and there was no turning back. This ride was advertised as flat and we were fortunate to have no rain and the wind at our backs for an easy 50+ miles to Bluffton. Although the riding on GOBA can be anticlimactic as to scenery,(riding through fields off corn, wheat and beans), it's small towns are quite charming and welcoming and Bluffton is no exception. Ohio is hot in the Summer and being a slow rider I am never back early enough to find a shaded spot to pitch my tent. My trike however provides a rolling chair and I have no problem striking up conversations. The next day was again any easy trip to Defiance for our 2 day layover. Many people on GOBA are not avid cyclists and train just a few hundred miles prior to coming, so it was no surprise that some chose not to ride the layover day. I ride all days and this day was another 55 but 40 had to be in head and crosswinds. Although it was a beautiful day, it was a grind, and I was having a hard time recovering. The next day was again beautiful for our ride to Bowling Green, another College town with lots of bars and restaurants. It was another great choice for our next 2 day layover. The weather changed a bit on my layover ride and I only managed 32 miles, 10 of which was in the rain. Fortunately, it cleared later in the day so we could enjoy the town. It was the Century ride and many people did it including my buddies Gary and Terrie from home. They said they rode about 70 miles in rain. Big kudos to them and it was their first GOBA. The next days ride, which was to be my last, was a supper easy and fast ride to Ottowa. It was a beautiful morning but the afternoon promised rain and heavy winds for the night and next day. Many people decided to ride on through back to Van Wert to pick up their car.  In hindsight I would have done the same. Some local riders were able to bail by calling friends and family, but, many remained toughing it out for the last day. Luck was on my side and I was offered a ride to Van Wert to pick up my car. By the time I got back to Ottawa is was raining hard. The last nights festivities and song contest was moved inside, upsetting for us and the town. I decided to spend the rainy night in my tent and get an early start home in the morning. At 2 am the winds were fierce and my tent was failing so I packed up and took shelter in the school. It was no surprise to see many riders huddled wondering how they would manage the days ride. I later learned they cancelled the ride at the lunch stop and shuttled people back to their cars in Van Wert. Unfortunately, they had to drive back to Ottawa to get their bags. I was surprised GOBA organizers did not have a better plan. They always have safety in mind and do a great job protecting 2,000 riders. I only know of 3 injuries on the ride. One cyclist fell off his bike, one tripped while walking and one pedestrian hit by a GOBA cyclist on a bike path. It's a shame the ride ended on a negative note but for me it was another fantastic trip and I look forward to next year. If it is not on your "Bucket List", it should be.

First night, Van Wert Fairgrounds

Tim's 700, Bentrider buddy

Loading baggage truck first day

Home Defiance 2 day layover

Gary and Terrie from New Jersey

Carl, Sam, Rosie, JJ, Marybeth, me,Joe and Ron

Salt lick

The Miller's

Gary and his 700

Paul, Barb and his gang

Van Wert party

GOBA parade into Van Wert

First day loading luggage trucks


Typical rest stop





Greg riding 559 self contained

Last day Saturday ride courtesy of Tim