A good friend of mine, Andy Reiman, has set up a three day bikepacking trip that covers the length of the C&O Canal. You hop on the Amtrak at Union Station, taking advantage of their roll on bicycle service. A few hours later you arrive in Cumberland, MD, grab some food, get some sleep, and push off the next morning. The full length of the canal, which is an uneven mix of dirt and gravel and rocks, comes in at just a hair over 184 miles. Very doable over three days, averaging 4-5 hours per day. Eat, drink, drink, eat, ride, relax, drink, repeat. It sounds amazing and I can’t wait to do it. One day.
However! Andy told me that apparently there is an unofficial record for an unsupported ride on the canal – 12:36, done by Paul Gruenberger back in September 1991. I thought Andy was just fucking with me, trying to trick me into going because at the time I was squarely on the fence. He was not fucking with me!
Dubbed “the Nightmare Option” this seems like the least enjoyable, worst way to take in the sights and sounds and history of the canal and towpath. So I am in. Ticket has been purchased. Record will be attempted. Tears will be shed.
I can not wait.