"Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live." -Mark Twain
Every year I try to find something that pushes me further or at least gets me out of my comfort zone for a bit. This year I finally convinced/found a friend who would bike the Pittsburgh-D.C. 334 mile Rail Trail! I've been intrigued by the idea for the past 3 years or ever since I got back from my European adventures. However, life, work, and not wanting to do the trek alone delayed it until now.
Planning: We honestly did basically no preparation. We got the TrailBook. I looked up restaurants and good snack food because biking an average of 60 miles a day and going through many small towns, we had the opportunity to try local restaurants and pack fantastic snacks. My friend picked the walk-off campsites for us as a loose estimate for daily mileage. Then we met once to at least pretend that we were being formal about it all, packed extra tubes, met in the morning and were off for our 6 day Jail Rail Pell Mell Porta-Potty Trippin Trail week of fun! [The book does give suggested trip lengths etc. for how fast or slow you would like to do the trail.] Oh, I guess I did make myself bike panniers out of some backpacks because I was not about to spend an arm and a leg for the ones for sale in most bike shops. Also I road my mountain bike and my friend took her hybrid. And I did go to the Jack White concert the night before too. (Oh to be young and full of energy.)
Day 1: Rain. It was a constant drizzle for about 5 hours of the day's 6 hour trip. We dragged our bikes and packs around three fallen trees and pulled into our camp in Connellsville with dirt caked to our tires and pretty much soaked to the bone. But what's an adventure without a good story.