I'm glad you had a great trip. Wasn't it fantastic how those little falls 
created small cool pockets, so inviting on a hot day? So many I couldn't 
stop at each and believe I could reach my destination before dark.

Part of the treasure of this trail is the access and ability to pick and 
choose your route to serve your interests and intent along its path. It's 
humbling to have this nearly out of my front door. 

Andy Cheatham

On Thursday, August 9, 2018 at 8:58:24 PM UTC-4, REC (Roberta) wrote:
> Inspired by the writings and pictures of all of you who are so generous to 
> share your rides on this forum, and specifically the post by WETH (Erl) 
> riding the Great Alleghany Passage (GAP) from Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, 
> MD last year  
> *https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/rbw-owners-bunch/weth$20gap$20ride%7Csort:date/rbw-owners-bunch/arfuuD9jF1o/b5b4UdhxBAAJ*
> <https://groups.google.com/forum/#!searchin/rbw-owners-bunch/weth$20gap$20ride%7Csort:date/rbw-owners-bunch/arfuuD9jF1o/b5b4UdhxBAAJ>
> , I decided to do a long ride on the GAP.   Erl was also gracious 
> answering my emails when I was planning my trip.  Thanks to Erl and to 
> everyone else who contributes to this form in the form of ride reports or 
> information or opionions!
> My trip was really just two days of riding to a point and turning back, as 
> I was staying in a hotel outside Pittsburgh.  I started my first day just 
> south of Pittsburgh at the Boston, PA trailhead.  There is plenty of 
> parking, along with a picnic bench and a shade tree which made the 89 
> degree day with humidity in the 80’s seem like “only” 85 degrees.  Some 
> bikers recommended I ride south, as north was towards Pittsburgh and more 
> of an urban ride.  I saw lots of step thru bikes, some mountain bikes and 
> hybrids.  I saw some bike packers and tourers and families.  The racing 
> bikes were few.   The bikers were friendly and helpful.
> The trail is flat and winds, paralleling, around one of three rivers.  It 
> is crushed limestone, which kicked up enormous amount of dust.  After 
> hacking my lungs out for the first 10 minutes because I was mouth 
> breathing, I quickly heeded Deacon Patrick’s recommendation for nose 
> breathing.  Once I got the hang of it, I nose breathed for the rest of 
> the trip and didn’t cough at all.  For this portion of the GAP, I 
> estimate it was about 40% shade even when the sun was high in the sky.  
> Every few miles there was something to see or a place to stop if 
> needed—convenience store, picnic area, bench, water pump, some history, 
> environmental toilet, people to chat with.  I traveled 15 miles south to 
> West Newton, where I stopped at a strategically placed picnic bench under a 
> tree and had a snack and waved hello to the group I met at the start, 
> before starting back to the Boston trailhead.
> The second day, I first visited Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water home 
> (well worth taking a tour).  After that, a short drive to the Ohiopyle 
> trailhead, where there were lots more people at the beginning, but thinned 
> out after the first mile or so.  Again, based on recommendations from the 
> locals, I headed south.  This part of the trip was especially nice 
> because it was almost as hot as the day before but the path was about 90% 
> shaded, midday.  It had rained that morning, so the dust wasn’t nearly as 
> bad (I still kept up my nose breathing, though), and it started raining 
> during my ride, so I turned back after 5 miles, doing only 10 of the 20 
> miles I had planned that day.
> Notes on two of the pics:  the red waterfall between Boston and West 
> Newton.  When you ride by this (it might be 50’ wide), you can feel the 
> temp drop about 10 or more degrees.  It was a marvelous treat for the 
> eyes and body.  For the pic with the river in view, this is one of the 
> few times on the trail that you can see the river and weren’t totally 
> surrounded by trees.  I think it’s the Youghiogheny River.  
> You can see from the many ride reports on the GAP this summer, it is 
> highly recommended.

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