_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Monday, September 12, 2011

C&O Canal

Over Labor Day weekend, I biked the length of the C&O Canal Towpath -- Aron organized, and Dave, Colleen, John, and Becca also joined. In its day, the canal ran from Washington to Cumberland, MD, and the towpath is now a national park. It's about 185 miles long, and with our various detours and side trips, it was about 200 miles over four days -- not too intense, but with the rough and muddy surface, it still felt like an achievement. I'd done the whole towpath in the opposite direction on our way to Pittsburgh two years ago, but this was the first time I'd done the whole thing in the opposite direction. One highlight of the trip was that, unlike my previous C&O trips, we camped at two different places that gave us opportunity to swim in the Potomac, which feels great after a sweaty, muddy day of biking. I did the ride on my folding bike, which allowed me to bring it on the Amtrak to Cumberland as carry-on luggage, which is pretty cool.

I put a few pictures up on Flickr.


hannah said...

Teague, how was doing a longer ride over several days on the folding bike? Was it comfortable? Hard to keep up with those tiny wheels? I'm curious!

Teague said...

Riding the folder was fine -- it even handled the rougher terrain of the towpath well. I switched the leather saddle from my Surly to the folder, which was helpful.

I do still prefer a standard bicycle, for a couple reasons. The steering is twitchier on a folder, because of geometry and the reduced gyroscopic effect of the smaller wheels. Also, although this is not an inherent shortcoming, folders are a niche product and tend not to have the high-quality components you find on a decent normal bike, so the shifters, hubs, etc. can be less than what you're used to.