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C&O Canal - One Day, 185 miles.....(7 posts)

C&O Canal - One Day, 185 miles.....GW Rider
Feb 17, 2002 8:45 AM
The idea of riding the full length of the canal trail has been floating around my brain for some time. Well, this year I am planning on finally doing it with a friend. The plan is to ride from Cumberland MD to DC.

I would like to hear from anyone who has ridden the full trail in one day.

Good spots to meet with my Sag Support? (wife is supporting me in my endeavour)

I'm thinking I'll ride my cross bike, did you do it on your road bike or mtn bike?

Any other tidbits of information or know-how would be greatly appreciated...


Keep the shiny side up and the dirty side down.
I might join you ...Humma Hah
Feb 17, 2002 2:47 PM
... MB1 and I were thinking of trying a ride from Paw Paw to DC last fall, but went with a tour of St. Mary's county instead.

I intend to try out the C&O at a few locations to see how fast the surface is. I believe it is ideal for the cruiser, but it would be a real challenge to ride the whole thing from Cumberland in one day. There is a downward grade, but it should be almost too shallow to tell, maybe 700 ft start to finish.
That is one looooong downhill baby!!!MB1
Feb 17, 2002 6:14 PM
I've done 140 of it in one day on my 'crosser. I ran Avocet 700X38 invert tread tires and was quite comfortable. Next time I would take a better light for the Paw Paw tunnel. I'm thinking about doing it on my Street Dog set up as a single speed (less to go wrong).

The path surface is mostly fine, around Hancock I took the Western Maryland rails-to-trails for about 10 miles. You have to detour off the towpath near Sharpsburg and another detour just below Great Falls. For me I averaged with stops 13mph.

I love riding on the towpath and plan to do it again this year.

Need a third or have more questions? Contact me. Also by far the best website for riding the towpath (with lots of detailed course information-the kind riders need) is look for the C&O pages.
SAG SitesNo Excuses
Feb 18, 2002 7:43 AM
Bruswick at mile 55 (from Georgetown) is a good spot for SAG (or takeout if you choose to bail).
Antietam area also has roads that are close to the trail (about mile 70).
Your wife could check out the Civil War Battlefield while you are riding.
re: C&O Canal - One Day, 185 miles.....Tri-State Cycler
Feb 18, 2002 2:12 PM
You could do the ride on the summer solstice (longest day?)
which falls on June 21st this year, to give you as much daylight as possible, if it fits your schedule. Although I have never done the full route myself, I have been through sections and it's very nice from what I can tell.
re: C&O Canal - One Day, 185 miles.....Uncle
Feb 18, 2002 5:41 PM
I've ridden the C&O twice. Both times it took me three days. I wanted to see the sights. BTW I rode on a mtn bike. To be honest it might be a little monotonous to do it all in one day but I suppose it could be done. I loved it. Good sag support would be in Harper's Ferry and Hancock (~60 miles apart) Take a flashlight for the tunnel and remember to have fun. I sure did!
I've ridden double therecyclopathic
Feb 18, 2002 6:52 PM
though we did it from DC and then turned back.

I did it on mnt bike, but crosser should be fine. If you do it on mnt bike put some slicks.

There's no need for sag you can get water alone towpath, and food in major stops (Point of Rocks, Brans etc) just get bare minimum (gue/pwr bars) also don't forget the lights.

Plan for early start (5 o'clock) and maybe drive along beforehand and make a note of stores good luck