Wednesday, June 22, 2016

GAP RIde 2016 Day 3 Confluence PA to Cumberland MD

Day 3 was an amazing day. We overcame hills, storms, bonking meltdowns, to complete the GAP trail and Max's first metric century!

Breakfast was at Sisters Cafe in Confluence. Very tasty.

This section of the GAP is more remote, and full of feats of engineering to get coal trains over the Allegheny Mountains. There are lots of bridges and tunnels. This is the approach to the Pinkerton Tunnel, where the Casselman River goes around a bend, and the Western Maryland didn't.

We had showers most of the morning, and we broke out the rain gear. This picture is on the amazing and vertigo-inducing Salisbury Viaduct right before Meyersdale. The severe thunderstorm and torrential downpour started right after we got off the bridge.

We rode through the storm three miles to Myersdale, where we stopped for pizza after drying off with paper towels in the bathroom. This is Take 6 Pizza, it really hit the spot.

The historic bridge-fest which is the GAP trail includes a Bollman Truss right after Myersdale. Bollman Truss bridges were a B&O thing - the big feature of these bridges is they could be manufactured off site, loaded on a railroad car, and assembled in place. They were manufactured at the B&O shops in Baltimore, where the railroad museum is now. The GAP trail is a rail trail following the Western Maryland right of way, this bridge was relocated to it's current location.

Looking like a piece of bark doesn't help if you're sitting on my bike seat.

Here is the Eastern Continental Divide. I had been talking up Big Savage Tunnel all day to Max, and how it is all downhill for 20 miles after the tunnel.

Max: "This is Big Savage Tunnel, isn't it?  These guys said it's all downhill from now on."
Me: "It's not as long as I remember."

Here is the actual Big Savage Tunnel, which is 3000 feet long.

A couple miles later, we cross the Mason-Dixon line, and we are home to Maryland.

It is all downhill after Big Savage Tunnel. 22 miles, 2%. What we learned is even though my T-Bone recumbent can coast down to Cumberland effortlessly at 16 mph, the Campeur is not so efficient and can only coast at 11 mph. But Max's bike is even less efficient, and he had to pedal. Life is pretty unfair sometimes.

But we were very happy at the end. Twenty miles of downhill and no more rain will do that. We only had one brief cloudburst.

Here we are at the Mile 0 marker.

Dinner was at the Crabby Pig, where Max was happy to finally get some plain pasta, and I was happy to get Margaritas, steak and fried oysters.

We are at the Ramada in in Cumberland, which has laundry. All clothes are clean, and all is well.

Today was 64 scenic miles. Here's the Strava page.

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