Sunday, June 19, 2016

GAP Ride Day 0 - Home to Pittsburgh on the Train

Max and I are bicycle touring. We are riding the Great Allegheny Passage trail from Pittsburgh to Cumberland MD, and then continuing on the C&O Canal Towpath to Washington DC.

There are no cars involved with this trip. We are taking the train to Pittsburgh, and back from Washington.

Here we are, ready to go.

I'm carrying all our stuff on the Campeur. We are camping, and I have cooking gear. The bike plus all gear weighs 100 lbs.

Waiting for the MARC train at the BWI rail station.

The weekend MARC trains now include a bike car. This is fantastic. You just roll your bike onto the train and park it in the bike car. You can sit right next to it.

We took the MARC train to DC, then switched to the Amtrak Capitol Limited to DC. The Capitol Limited also has roll-on bike service - there is a baggage section where you can hang you bikes, and pile your pannier.

We wound up sitting by a group of four women who had just completed the same bike ride we are doing. I got to ask them lots of questions. The bike tourist camaraderie has begun after riding only 4 miles.

Here is Max discouraging me from taking pictures in the observation car.

The train gets in to Pittsburgh at midnight, it was an easy 1 mile ride to our hotel room, almost all on bike paths. Except it was midnight and we were sleepy and didn't know where the bike paths started. It's very hard to figure out how to leave the train station.

Here is our campsite for the night at the way too expensive Spring Hills Suite in downtown Pittsburgh.

The MARC and Amtrak bicycle service is first rate and very easy to use and efficient. It should always be like this. Especially the part where we walked our bikes from the MARC train to the Amtrak train, and spent no time whatsoever in check in and security lines. We put our bikes on the train, and sat down in our seats and left. The airlines should take note.

Strava pages are here:

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