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Ride Details

*     Dates: August 3rd to the 7th, 2015
*     We will gather at the trail head in West Newton Monday morning at 8:45 AM for press, preparation and a parting prayer. We will arrive in Georgetown Friday afternoon at 4:00 PM.
*     300 miles total, average ride of 60 miles per day
*     Rest stops every 10 to 15 miles
*     Lunch stops and dinner options will be planned for the group. Meals are at the rider's expense.
*     Double occupancy motel and B&B reservations prearranged. The average cost per night per rider is $50 including breakfast. It is anticipated that total trip expenses will average no more then $500 per rider including Friday night stay in DC and weekend plans. Please see the fundraising incentive schedule below that can reduce your cost to zero.
*     There will be support vehicles available to: provide transportation to riders in the event of urgent needs, carry rider's overnight gear, provide general support of the group as may be needed. Use of these vehicles will be limited by trail access.
*     Each rider needs to carry with them on their bike repair equipment/tubes, etc. as may be needed for their own bike as well as first aid supplies and daytime food and hydration as may be desired.
*     Riders will be provided with a list of suggested items to pack for the trip as well as suggested gear to make their bike trail worthy.
*     There will be cyclists experienced in cycle repair on the ride to assist participants with repairs.
*     There will be medical professionals on the ride that can assist in the event of an emergency health concern.
*     As with the American Red Cross in their operations we are making every attempt to be efficient in our fund raising efforts by minimizing the use of Red Cross staff and allowing the riders the freedom to experience the ride safely yet mostly unassisted.
*     A popular choice is a hybrid or touring bike with slightly knobby hybrid tires or a mountain bike with semi-slick tires instead of off-road knobby tires. A cyclo-cross bike can be ideal especially if different tires are desired for use on the GAP and on the more rugged C&O Passage.  A 'Hobson Easyseat' and double padded, multi-grip handlebars make a lot of difference. Guidance will be provided to help you make your bike more comfortable for this ride.
*     Trail grade and surface- The Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) to Cumberland has a packed crushed limestone surface for a smooth ride. Built mainly on abandoned rail beds, the trail is nearly level with the average grade of less than 1%. The steepest eastbound grade - 0.8% - is from Harnedsville to Markleton and Garrett to Deal. From the Eastern Continental Divide going east, the trail drops 1,754 feet in 24 miles to reach Cumberland.
*     From Cumberland to Washington, DC, you drop 625 feet to sea level on the C&O Canal towpath.  The towpath is overall much less improved than the GAP (improvements are ongoing), as it was built for mules and not railroads.  Be prepared for ruts, tree roots and mud.
*     Together the GAP and the C&O take riders on a delightful tour of historical, geological, and architectural landmarks and marvels. Experiencing this ride with a small group of likeminded riders can be a ride of a lifetime!
*     Rider returns to Pittsburgh will be via car pooling with other riders friends and family.
*     Bicycle transport back to New Stanton is provided by the generosity of United Parcel Service.  Bikes may be picked up at the New Stanton UPS customer service office the week of August 10th.
*     Due to the length of the ride, trail access, and lodging opportunities this trip will be limited to 20 riders.