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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Trail Ride Report

Kevin, Carolyn and I decided to try our hand at the Allegheny Passage and C&O. Ashley was supposed to ride with us, but he hurt his knee a few weeks ago and he had to bow out. Ashley and I rode from West Newton to Frostburg a few years ago for a total of 104 miles each way. I am so glad I went ahead with this ride. Last year's rides were fun, but I never took the time to do an epic ride like this, especially with friends like Kevin and Carolyn. : )

We started out in Meyersdale, PA at the old train station. But, we decided to head north to ride across the Salisbury Viaduct. We turned around at the cemetery and then headed south. Visible for miles are the wind farms on top of the hills. Next highlight is the Keystone Viaduct which is shorter than Salisbury but still cool. It is a slight rise to the Eastern Continental Divide which is the point where water runs to the Chesapeake Watershed or the Gulf of Mexico. Onto the highlight of the trip for more than one reason, the Big Savage Mountain Tunnel.

As we passed out of the 3294" long tunnel the vista is amazing. It is about 20 miles across the valley to Cumberland, MD. We stopped to take pictures. I was fumbling with the camera until I noticed Kevin kneeling down in front of Carolyn. He proceeded to ask her hand in marriage! Carolyn said no, took the ring, and kicked him off the mountain. Just kidding! She accepted. I was honored to be a part of his proposal ceremony.

We regrouped and headed down to Frostburg crossing the Mason-Dizon line. We stopped for a moment at the trailhead and continued on. The train runs from Frostburg to Cumberland and the trail follows the rail. Video of the train passing is on Flickr. We stopped at Cumberland. MD for lunch at the Baltimore Street Grill. Good food and beer. I had the crab cake sandwich with fries and a porter to wash it down. Unfortunately it was not enough to hold me until the end. Kevin and Carolyn need to fill in their food choices.

From Cumberland south the trail becomes the C&O Canal trail. One word - boring! It is double track through the woods separating the canal and the Potomac River. Much more wildlife on this section. We passed deer, varieties of birds, beavers, turtles, a weasel (looked like a ferret), rabbits and a lot of fish in the canal.

We arrived in Hancock around 8pm and checked into the America's Best Value Motel. The motel was ok. At least they offered a hose to wash off our bikes. All the service people in Hancock were horrible. We called Fox's Pizza at 9pm and the guy yelled that they hadn't had an order in an hour and proceeded to hang up. The Pizza Hut staff was bad and the service was slow. I ate an entire 12" pizza. The Sheetz service was pretty bad in the morning.

Mileage down was 100 miles and we averaged around 13mph.

The C&O trail was pretty horrible shape. I experienced a flat within 10 miles of leaving Hancock. It became tiring to constantly yell out "root, rocks, water, rut, branches" for 67 miles. If I were to do the trail again I would only ride one way and drive back from DC. Or, do only the Allegheny Passage section which is crushed limestone and has great views.

We stopped at the Crabby Pig in Cumberland, MD. The restaurant sits on the trail next to the bike shop and across from the train station. The train pulled into the station for the last run as we sat down for lunch. I had the soft shell crab platter and a martini. Very good on both counts. I will have Carolyn and Kevin fill in the blanks for their food.

The climb from Cumberland, MD to Big Savage Mountain is only 1-2 percent, but it is 23 miles long. Whew! My thighs ached for three days after that section.

We arrived back in Meyersdale around 7:30pm after 96 miles.

Pics and videos
Great Allegheny Passage Website
Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park

2009 Tour de France - photos

The link is here...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lance Armstrong to race for Team RadioShack in 2010 - Velonews

Lance Armstrong’s new team will be Team RadioShack for the 2010 season and beyond.

RadioShack Corporation will form an American ProTour team, and, beginning next year, Lance Armstrong will compete for Team RadioShack "as a cyclist, runner and triathlete," the company announced in a press release.

Armstrong will continue to promote his LiveStrong foundation with RadioShack. more...

Team site is here

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Local Bicyclist Dies After Hilliard Accident

A local bicyclist who was critically injured in a weekend accident died from his injuries Tuesday night.

Unfortunately, the story...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Berlin brothel offers discounts for cyclists - Reuters

BERLIN (Reuters) - A Berlin brothel has come up with a novel way to negate the impact of the global economic crisis and target a new group of customers at the same time -- offering a discount to patrons who arrive on bicycles.

"The recession has hit our industry hard," said Thomas Goetz, owner of the "Maison d'envie" brothel.

"Obviously we hope that the discount will attract more people," he added. "It's good for business, it's good for the environment -- and it's good for the girls."

Customers who arrive on bicycle or who can prove they took public transportation get a 5-euro ($7) discount from the usual 70-euro ($100) fee for 45 minute sessions, Goetz told Reuters. He said the environmentally friendly offer was working.

"We have around 3-5 new customers coming in daily to take advantage of the discount," he said, adding the green rebate has helped alleviate traffic and parking congestion in the neighborhood.

Germany is one of the few countries in the world where prostitution is legal. It has about 400,000 prostitutes who, since 2002, have been allowed to enter formal labor contracts.

(Reporting by Caroline Copley; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

original story

Free bike helmets no longer available - The Dispatch

City fire stations have run out of free bicycle helmets, according to the Division of Fire.

The Dispatch and local TV stations reported last week that fire stations would begin giving away 3,000 helmets today to help young riders comply with the city's new bike-helmet law

story is here...

Biking in Sweden can be dangerous!

Swedish man attacked by tattooed girl gang

Police in central Sweden are on the hunt for a gang of tattooed women who sexually molested a 50-year-old man as he was riding by on his bicycle.


BMX bike splits in two.

Five iPhone Apps That Replace Bike Hardware - WIRED LABS

The iPhone has proved to be rather adept at replacing other pieces of hardware. The combination of portability, a big screen that allows it to mimic any interface and an open (ish) App Store means that we are continually surprised at what people can make it do.

Today, it’s the turn of the bicycle. It turns out that many of the geegaws you might buy at the LBS (local bike shop) are already available as downloads from the iTunes Store. Here are our favourites.

the rest of the story...

Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Trail Ride Pics

I have been criticized for taking too many pictures. Click here for thumbnails.

I added several videos as well...