kubotaki from Traverse CIty on 10/15/2018 6:00:15 PM
First off, congrats on having the guts to try. So many others have not even had the dream, let alone saddled up and went for it.
I too tried my first tour on the C&O and Gap, but I allowed 8 days for the trip, and couldn't have done it in a second less.
I cheated and took the unapproved "detour" around the Brunswick washout. I sounds like while it may not be the smartest decision, it saved my legs. I too found that every time I got off the trail, the surrounding "hills" were darn near unrideable due to the grade.
I'm also pleased to hear that at least one other person did the west bound ride into Williamsport. I was convinced I was the only one who didn't get the message. I was lucky enough to have a 29er mountain bike with wide aggressive tires which is the only reason that I made it through, with anything left in the tank.
I too would recommend that if you are using the park service web site for trail status, PLEASE pay very careful attention to the last update date in the corner. When I went 9/29-10/7 I found the site to be completely out of date and unreliable. Found many H&B sites that were unusable due to the flood, but showed as open on the NPS site.
Now for the good, and I want to encourage EVERYBODY to take a bike tour regardless of the location.
First and most important - The people you meet will make the trip, and memories that last a lifetime.
My peeps -
Barry - Durham, NC. Barry turned out to be my personal hype man, offering encouragement at every corner. We shared many meals, some even under the cover of a laundromat while raining.
Bob - Casual at every corner, and yet had experienced the world by bike. Stories to share if you took the time to ask, and listened.
Bonnie, Rose, and Mustache at the Desert Rose Cafe - I met Rose on the trail as she was ferrying a rider around the mud. She offered to come back and check on me, and I passed, but told her I'd see her at her Desert Rose Cafe in Williamsport. Great food, fun conversations, and felt like part of the family.
The owner of the Schoolhouse Cafe in Oldtown who was the Chief Cook, Waitress, Dishwasher, who literally did everything with a smile while taking care of all of us hungry cyclists.
So congrats John on the journey, and to everybody else out there reading this, take the leap and saddle up. The adventure is in the people and the experience. Get out there and ride, and know that however far you make it, take pride in the fact that you did it.