An Epic Ride: Part 3- Cumberland, Ho!

Bike Wash
Day 3
Rockwood, PA to Cumberland, MD
44.75 miles
154.89 miles from start

We woke up to fog and a sudden drop in temperature. The last couple mornings were around the 60s F; this morning was 42F. I was prepared for the colder weather, but I think it took some of us by surprise.

I was a little concerned about my endurance. This would be the first time I would ride a 40+-mile ride three days in a row. Would I be able to keep up? I did a mental check– I was feeling good, no more tired than usual. My legs were a little stiff, but not sore. My neck, lower back, and butt felt just fine. Well then, I thought, I’m in good enough shape to ride today.
Continue reading

An Epic Ride: Part 2- to Rockwood

Dawson River Guest House
Day 2
Dawson, PA to Rockwood, PA
53.51 miles
110.14 miles from start

The GAP Trail, which was made from a former set of railways, parallels the current CSX Railroad line. Throughout our ride, we could hear the train clacking on the rails and its whistle sounding shrilly to announce its presence. The trains traveled even in the middle of the night, which meant we’d hear them wherever we stayed.
Continue reading

An Epic Ride: Part 1- Pittsburgh

At Point State Park.
Day 1
Pittsburgh, PA to Dawson, PA
55.63 miles

Although I had been excited about this ride when we had planned it several months ago, I had too many other things on my mind the week leading up to the ride. I just started my first class of the fall and had a paper I had to write. I had a regional chapter meeting that I had needed to prepare for. And I was told I was being put on furlough because the federal government was shutting down. I was a little stressed out when I got to Pittsburgh.

The meeting went well. I eventually wrote up my paper and turned it in (although not without some technical difficulties), and then I got ready for the ride.
Continue reading

An Epic Ride: The Set-Up

bike with rear panniers, rack bag
One more preparatory post before I launch into our journey. We planned on a 7-day bike ride in the beginning of October, staying in hotels along the way. My friends and I thought it would be useful to provide a checklist of things we brought for the trip. These are suggestions– depending on how long your trip will be, the time of year you travel, and your accommodations, the items will vary.

I’ve also included in the list things I brought that I ended up not needing, and things I wished I had brought. Some annotations are included. Brand names supplied are not paid endorsements.
Continue reading

An Epic Ride: Preamble

Bicycle Artwork
I consider myself fortunate to have friends in my profession who share my interests outside the job. There is a tradition after our annual chapter business meeting to gather for a casual bike ride, usually a short ride in the area just for fun. It’s a nice way to enjoy some time together after a meeting.

When we heard that the meeting would be held in Pittsburgh this year, some of us had mused over the idea of bicycling from Pittsburgh to DC. Schedules were compared, routes were planned, and the idea became reality.

A 334-mile bike ride is challenging enough as it is. Challenges we didn’t foresee were the government shutdown, and the aftereffects of a tropical storm. Through sheer determination, we overcame those challenges– and had a great time doing it.

Follow us through this journey here.