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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    633

    Riding the Great Alleghany Passage (GAP)

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    I hope to ride the GAP this summer; I've been talking about this with two friends who don't ride much, but are interested in riding more and working up to this. Two years ago, I did a C&O Towpath ride (solo) and found the information on bikewashington.org invaluable for that, and hope for a similar resource for the GAP.

    Has anyone here ridden the GAP?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    2,559
    Yes. It's a really nice trail, very well-graded with a smooth cinder surface. If you go from Pittsburg to Cumberland, you'll hardly notice the uphill grade to the divide, but the downhill grade from there to Cumberland is significant, and views at the divide are exceptional. How many days do you plan? Camping or motels? I purchased a guidebook to the trail and camped along the way. Have fun planning, training, and touring.
    Oil is good, grease is better.

    2007 Peter Mooney w/S&S couplers/Terry Butterfly
    1993 Bridgestone MB-3/Avocet O2 Air 40W
    1980 Columbus Frame with 1970 Campy parts
    1954 Raleigh 3-speed/Brooks B72

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Southeast MI/Northern IN
    Posts
    143
    Check out this site for information: Great Allegheny Passage. They have really nice maps. There is a guide book like DebW says. I highly recommend it also. I would certainly ride GAP again if the opportunity presents itself. Most enjoyable.
    Susan

    Try not. Do or do not... there is no try.
    Yoda

    2004 Airborne WASP (road)/Selle An-Atomica
    2010 Bike Friday New World Tourist (commuter)/Selle An-Atomica
    2010 Bike Friday Pocket Rocket Pro/Selle An-Atomica

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Charleston, SC
    Posts
    654
    Quote Originally Posted by owlice View Post
    I hope to ride the GAP this summer; I've been talking about this with two friends who don't ride much, but are interested in riding more and working up to this. Two years ago, I did a C&O Towpath ride (solo) and found the information on bikewashington.org invaluable for that, and hope for a similar resource for the GAP.

    Has anyone here ridden the GAP?
    The GAP is on my list to ride this year. Since Amtrak will be allowing bikes on their trains starting the end of June, that'd be a convenient way to get up to P'burgh and ride south.

    Last October, DivingBiker and I rode the C&O Canal Towpath in 3 days. It was a great time - beautiful weather, scenery, company, and enjoyable time all around.
    Specialized Ruby/Selle Italia Flow
    1991 Specialized Sirrus, steel frame
    Dahon Eco C7
    Surly Long Haul Trucker/Terry Fly RS
    Trident TWIG Recumbent


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    633
    Thanks, all! I'd been thinking west to east, and am glad for the info about the view, and good to know about the guidebook!

    Motels for us. Well, for me, anyway; the other two can do what they want! (Motels, I'm sure. )

    kmehrzad, thanks for the info about Amtrak; that's also good to know.

    One of the husbands wants to train with his wife for this; I think he'd like to come along, too! We've also talked about making our kids come with us. (We met through our sons, who went to high school together. We each have an only child.) I suspect we'd have some difficulty talking the kids into it, and I envision that if they went, we'd be on parallel rides (as in, they'd zoom off and meet us at the end of the day). I think it'd be a great experience for everyone, though.

    Assuming we all lived through it!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Steeler Country
    Posts
    5
    Sorry I'm coming to this late, but wanted to make sure you found http://gaptrail.org/. There's a trail store on the site where you can find TrailBook and other merchandise, such as a GAP or C&O dvd.

    I volunteer in West Newton Station...stop in!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,956
    Quote Originally Posted by owlice View Post
    I hope to ride the GAP this summer; I've been talking about this with two friends who don't ride much, but are interested in riding more and working up to this. Two years ago, I did a C&O Towpath ride (solo) and found the information on bikewashington.org invaluable for that, and hope for a similar resource for the GAP.

    Has anyone here ridden the GAP?
    I just saw this post for some reason, when are you planning on doing this ride? This is on my list for September, hoping nothing interferes with the trip

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    633
    bikingbets, thanks very much for the link; much appreciated! And I'll stop in West Newton Station along the way (hollering, "Hellooooooooo, BikingBets! Where's BikingBets?" ).

    Catrin, this is on the agenda for August. I'll admit I'm tempted to go twice, though, once to scope it out by myself (maybe in June), and once with friends!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    633
    The other two, for various reasons, cannot go now, so I'm thinking of doing this in October rather than in August.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,956
    Quote Originally Posted by owlice View Post
    The other two, for various reasons, cannot go now, so I'm thinking of doing this in October rather than in August.
    As it turns out, I had to cancel this year. We were talking about the same time next year in late September. I would also consider late spring, but that probably would not be the best time to take on a multiple day ride of 50+ miles each.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    633
    Well, poop, I was counting on you for information, hoping you'd be the voice of very recent experience!

    I looked at the expensive way to do this (the 50/40/30 option here: http://www.atatrail.org/pv/hotels.cfm), but two things stop me from signing right up.... the thought of having to negotiate the steps to the sleeping loft when I wake up in the middle of the night to pee, and the cost. I have the money, but wow.... just do not want to pay that much to have to negotiate steps in the middle of the night!! (I think everything else sounds just lovely!)

    So I'm trying to figure out how to get to P'burgh with my bike while leaving my car in Cumberland. I'm thinking of renting an SUV in Cumberland, tossing my bike in the back, and driving to P'burgh. If anyone has other ideas, please share; thanks!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    There's a coTowpath yahoo group, and I think some of the folks there have ridden the GAP. Might be worth a look.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,783
    It wasn't entirely solo. The GAP is a whole lot smoother than the towpath. If they can do 30 miles a day they'll be fine.
    And hi, howyoudoin?
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
    Posts
    8,783
    There is also a yahoo GAP group
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    633
    Hey there, Zen; I've been wondering where the heck you were! And yes, it wasn't entirely solo! How are you? And where are you?

    ny biker, thanks! I'm hooked into the towpath Yahoo Group, but don't want to take them off-topic. At the moment, anyway... may change my mind about this!

    Zen, there's a GAP Yahoo group? Didn't know; will go look. Thanks!

 

 

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