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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here is a report on a three day cycling/camping adventure. Two of us decided to try out the camping/biking thing. A few facts:

Total Days 3
Total Miles 262.5
Longest Day 112 miles
Route Harford County, Md. to Harpers Ferry, WV. to Antietem, Md. to Gettysburg, Pa. to Harford County, Md.
Hot Dogs Consumed 16
Most Flats on one tire 4

The first day there was sun in the sky and spring in my legs. This whole ride consisted of a lot of climbing. The first day, the climbing was like the wedding night of a couple of 19 year olds. There was a whole lot of ups and downs but none of them lasted real long.
The first night we camped on the C and O Towpath. I decided to go upriver two extra miles so we wouldn’t be right by the train tracks. Our reward was a campsite with a hoot owl 200 yards in the woods. I think we were so tired the hoot owl didn’t even keep us awake.


The first night we camped on the C and O Towpath. I decided to go upriver two extra miles so we wouldn’t be right by the train tracks. Our reward was a campsite with a hoot owl 200 yards in the woods. I think we were so tired the hoot owl didn’t even keep us awake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
The second day was filled with several long tough climbs. After the first day, my legs were tired so you really felt the climbs. We went through the battlefields and ended up in a campground near Gettysburg. They told me I had to have a car pass on my car as proof of being registered. I told them I had a bike not a car and they made me put it on the bike.


This was the first time that either of us had tried this camping/cycling thing so some errors in judgement were made. The biggest problem was the undersized tire on the bike pulling the trailer. A 700X23 just doesn’t pass the test when carrying the extra load and riding gravel towpaths. Four flats occurred on that tire with three being pinch flats.

I built up my Soma as an all purpose beater, commuter, tourer bike. I was very pleased with the way it handled on the trip. I also was pleased with the setup. I traveled very light in terms of gear and had extra space on my bike. I loved my campmano setup and the 11/34 rear cogset. I had all the gearing I needed and loved the 53/11 on the downhills. I need better brake pads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Here are some more pictures of the scenes on the ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
MB1 said:
Looks good, did the rain hold off?
Our luck was great with the rain. The first day was beautiful. The second day we were riding North into a big rain cloud. It kept moving and we were riding over roads that were wet from the recent rain but we never got rained on. The second night camping in Gettysburg it rained with thunder and lightning a couple of times in the night. The last day coming home it was overcast and damp but we only felt a couple of light sprinkles, nothing to get us wet.

Funny story. I am reading the cue sheet and we take Gapland Road up to the top of the pass. I told my riding buddy you had it marked as a steep climb on the cue sheet. I wasn't paying attention when we got to the top and didn't realize we went back down the way we came for only a tenth of a mile before we made a turn. We went straight down the other side of the mountain. Needless to say he wasn't real happy when I told him we had to climb back up to the top. After climbing it the second time I told him we did it faster than the first and could probably beat both times if we did it a third time. He saw no humor in my joke. His legs were really hurting at this point in the ride. When he found out that the whole Gapland road thing was just a scenic detour from the road we were on and I didn't say anything about it, I was worried about getting poisoned at dinner that night.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Wonger said:
Nice trip BigRider, I'm hoping to ride the length of the canal in September, these shots reinforce that ambition.

We actually only did around 13 miles total on the towpath. Some of those shots are from the towpath area. My buddy and I were talking about that very subject on the ride. Some people just love it. It is peaceful and serene and being by the water is real nice. I loved the idea of being able to pull off and rough camp along the river.

For me, I don't know if I would enjoy hour after hour on the towpath. I found it to have the green tunnel effect and I know I would probably get bored with it after time. But then again, I get a little bored with real flat rides and long straight roads too.
 

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Yeah, I have the same concerns. A few years ago, I took a few days to myself and walked the top 30+ miles of the canal, thinking I might try to walk the whole length in long-weekend segments over several years, but after the first chunk I decided it wouldn't hold my interest.

I think, though, that riding with a friend over three days would be enjoyable. It is downhill, after all, IIRC the canal drops about 600 feet in 180-something miles...
 

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It is not bad if you do it in one day.

Or take a friend that likes to chat. Some sections have more things to see than others but from mid Spring till the leaves start dropping in late fall most of the tow path is just a green tunnel for mile after mile.

Suprisingly (or perhaps not) the downhill will increase your speed by a mile an hour or so. There is something about being able to coast every so often as you pass a lock that is really encouraging. Either direction there is going to be some climbing as you have to exit the path near Antietam for a washed out section that hasn't been repaired yet.

Good stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'll toss a few more pics in here including a closeup of the covered bridge.
 

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bigrider said:
Here are some more pictures of the scenes on the ride.

I was worried that you would get drenched on the ride. I'm glad to hear that the ride went well. I especially like your last photo. If you had gone north on the road next to the church (i.e., to the left of the church as you were facing it), you would have experienced one of the steepest, most painful climbs in Baltimore County. Thanks for the pics.
 
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