Max's Tales from the Trail - Volume 1
Max Hepp-Buchanan, Director of Bike Walk RVA, is currently riding his bike from Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C., on the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath trails, a 334.5 mile route free from traffic and motorized vehicles. He is chronicling his journey, and below you’ll find his thoughts, observations, musings, and menu selections (note: when you are biking 334.5 miles, maybe stay away from gravy-covered sandwiches).
Today (Thursday, Sept. 11) I got a late start leaving Pittsburgh and made it to Connellsville, PA, by about 6:00pm. The total distance from the hotel was about 65 miles, the vast majority of which was on a hard packed dirt trail. The Great Allegheny Passage is a former railroad bed, so it’s pretty flat. However, the direction I am heading is ever so slightly uphill, which though I couldn’t tell much while I was riding, I can feel afterwards. There was essentially no coasting involved, so my legs were moving the whole time, and my bike probably weighs 100 pounds.
The trail itself was very pretty. There was no noise, aside from the grinding of my tires in the dirt and the occasional nearby train. The leaves are beginning to change and it’s chilly at night along the river. I stopped in the small town of West Newton, about 35 miles in, for lunch at Gary’s Chuckwagon. I don’t know what I ate, but it was some kind of sandwich with a liter of gravy poured on top. I tasted that all the way to Connellsville. Tonight I am sleeping in a wooden shelter with three walls and a roof alongside the trail. It’s free and there’s only two of them, so it’s first come, first serve. Sam is the guy in the shelter next to me. I don’t know how far I’ll go tomorrow, but at least to Rockwood, PA – assuming I can move. (Editor’s note: Max and Sam had a peaceful night; they each had their own shelters).
Max will be sending regular updates from the trail, so be sure to check back often. Visit www.sportsbackers.org for more information on the Sports Backers and Bike Walk RVA.