23 December 2012

It's Almost That Time Of Year

Well folks, it's almost that time of year to spent time with family and friends. I don't know about you but my time on the bike or doing anything fun or adventurous has come to a stand still. I think the only adventurous thing I have done is trying to find a parking space at the Mall or Shopping Center...

With that I want to share some videos that I have found on the web that I think are cool. I hope these will help bridge the gap until you can get that ride in or hike a trail. It will only be a couple of more days. You can make it...

Merry Christmas!

30 November 2012

Military Gas Can Restoration

I know that this might seem to be a little off subject but it's not. It might not be bike stuff but it's retro grouch stuff. I have been surfing the web way to much for the last couple of months and have been finding a lot of cool things. Most of the subjects are still outdoor subjects.

So the cool thing that I have been checking out is people taking the time to bring the life in older items and then using them. So I started to look around the house to see what I had. Over in the corner I had sitting a old military gas can (jerry can). I had picked the can up at a flea market for maybe $5 almost 20 years ago when the gas gauge in my truck stop working and I had ran out of gas.

The can has seen better days and had about a cup of old gas in it. I cleaned the dust and spider webs off the can and poured some new gas in the can to clean it out. One of the things that I found out on other sites. When someone was looking to restore their can,that the inside of the can has a type of coating or liner inside of the can. A lot of those cans had coating that were damage. I don't know if the cost is worth the effort to repair... So if your are going to take a project on like this check the inside of the can before making the purchase.

With a sanding pad and about 20 or 30 minutes the can looks like this

Now it's ready for some primer. I used a white rattle can primer. I had a couple of runs but I sanded them out after drying for a few days.

Today I was able to shoot a couple of coats of OD.

I have a little more work to do and it will be finished. But I think things are looking good so far. I am not sure if I am going to paint MOGAS on the can.I have purchased replacement gasket and that should keep it from leaking. I hope to use it to either keep gas on-hand here at the house when a storm is going to roll though or when I go camping up in the mountains and might need to carry a can of gas after a day or two driving on the fire roads.

27 November 2012

Larus Park Orienteering

It has been a couple of weeks ago but I attended another orienteering event put on by the Central Virginia Orienteering Club. The course was held at the Lewis G. Larus Park in Richmond Va. I had never been to the park before and I found that the park and terrain suited this event. The 106 acre park host about 5 miles of trails.

Another treat was that the event start area was at a little private school.

School uniform or smoking jacket required? I would love to have a house like that!

Anyhow, I set off on the orange course which is the advance course about 5.1km long. My GPS told me that I ran 1km more than I needed to.. It might be hard to see from my cell phone picture

but the part of the course is on the other side of the highway. Well, how do you get to the other side?

That was different and added a bit of adventure to the course.

I was pleased with my time and I was pleased with getting all 20 controls. I did have a couple of times that I figured I was on one place on the map and I was on the wrong part of terrain feature. Another thing that I need to work on is symbols and control description terms. This term was new to me (re-entrant) I believe that is a small trail that will re-enter you back into a wooded area. Looking for something that you don't know what you are looking for can make things a little harder than it needs to be!

14 November 2012

Able to Leap over cars in a Single Bound

After many years of road riding and road running I got hit by a car. This morning four of us headed out for a run (part of our job). We were just about 4 or 5 minutes into the run when I cross the road to run facing the traffic. The very first road to my left a car is pulled up at a stop sign. The driver is looking at the traffic to their left which is my direction of travel.

I am coming up on the intersection to pass in front of the car. I am looking at the driver to make eye contact. I have this feeling come over me that the driver is not going to look to their right before pulling off at the stop sign.

Well the feeling came true about as fast as I had the thought and I find myself making a leap for the hood of the car think that I am going to hit the windshield. I ended up just running across the hood of the car and landing on my feet.

I turned to look at the driver and put up my hands like what is going on with you.. The drive looks at me for a few seconds and then takes off.

I don't know what the hell is wrong with people! She must have not cared about the dents I put in the hood...Right or wrong if you hit someone you need to stop! See if the person is OK call the police, give first aid. Show that you care..WTF

11 November 2012

Veterans Day

I have mix feelings when it comes to Veterans Day. For one I don't know how to act when someone thanks me for my service, other than say you are welcome. I think for most people its just another Federal Holiday that they are off from work and there is some supper sale going on.

A lot of times the word "Hero" is used when people talk about someone that is a great at some type of sport. I might give it to them as being a role model and that might be pushing it.. But a Hero in my book is the service member that did not make it back home.

During my afternoon internet surfing I found the above video on the Team Rubicon Facebook page and a comment on ITS Tactical that just need to be shared.

"You do not become the person you are because you put on a military uniform.
You put on a military uniform because of the person you are." After reading this comment and seeing the above video, I said that is Harry Golden.

Duty, Honor, Country

04 November 2012

Camp 7 clean-up

I took an easy ride the other week and found the primitive campsite at the old camp 7 site needing a little love. I was able to only fit in an hour of clean-up. I removed a lot of branches from the trail and campsite area. Did the best I could with my hands and a old Gerber saw to clean-up the fire ring.

The results:

Hope to fit another hour in in the next week or so.


Picture shot out the front window of the car. I couldn't believe I found somebody still riding a Pro Flex! Thank goodness the phone has a camera on it, you would have figured I had seen a UFO trying to get the picture.

Another one of my lust over bikes from the 90s (that means I didn't have the money for it). The Girvin Vector fork was just super cool looking. If I could find a Pro Flex 957 I think I would pick it up for a build project.

07 October 2012

Richmond Festival of Cross-2012

This weekend marks another great weekend for cross racing in Richmond Va. with the Richmond Festival of Cross. I only had one day that I could give up to watching the cross races this weekend.

With the forecast calling for the weekend being a nice sunny day and temps in the 80s on Saturday and temps in the mid 50s with rain on Sunday. I figured the best day to go watch cross was on Sunday. Rain, mud, cold, grinding of brakes on rims and the look of this sucks on the racers faces would make for a good day.

Took my long time friend "G" with me to get him out of the house since he is "man down" due to and injury. We arrived at the event as soon as the first pack of riders started and the rain started to come down heavy.

Now here are some of the pictures;

That stone staircase run up has to suck the life out of you and I am sure being wet from the rain makes it harder to get up to the top.

Small field of Jr. riders!

Matching kit with bike!

Little man making the push around the hill top

Budget cuts are hitting the local teams. Wonder how you find parts for that thing!

And the best for last. Metro local pusher racing for Team Bikeman gets back out there to support his fellow racers. Das ist gut!

27 September 2012

Made In America Part-8

It has been a long time since I did my Made In America series but it has not been from a lack of products. Just a lack of time..

First up is a product that I use most everyday. In the world of computers, smartphones,GPS, and other geek tech stuff to make life easier. I still use a notebook to write things down.

Rite in the Rain all-weather writing paper. Manufactured in Tacoma Washington, the company motto is "Outdoor writing products for outdoor writing people"

I know you are thinking why would I need a notebook with all-weather paper. Well for everyday use you might not need that. But if you are reading this post then you are an outdoor person and you need a outdoor notebook that you can count on.

I used the small tan notebook in the picture when I did my C&O trip back in April. The first day of that trip it rained all day long. I was able to write down notes without any issues. The best tool for the job is either a pencil or a fisher space pen. I have tried other pens and they just don't work as well as the fisher.

If you have the need to capture information one time and it needs to survive your adventure then checkout Rite in the Rain

I have been looking at the next product for a couple of months and I pulled the trigger the other day and bought it.

The Jimi Wallet! I was looking for something that I could carry some cash, my ID and debit card when I am out riding. I have been using a plastic bag and I just did not like.

As you can see in the picture one side holds the cash and the other side your cards. I rode with it in my back pocket today and I could not tell that it was there.

Simple and what I was looking for! Jimi Wallet

19 September 2012

Bike Station DC

Had to make a quick trip to D.C. today for some training. Just out the side door of Union Station is a Bike Station. What is a Bike Station? click here.

Also saw some Bike Share stations!

If I had to work in DC, I would have to get around by bike. The traffic sucks! I think you get around faster by bike.

31 August 2012

Garmin Foretrex 401 Review -Updated

I have been using the Foretrex 401 for about 10 months now. If you go back here , you can read where I gave my first review.

I am sad to the report, that not too long after posting my review, my 201 started recording a false max speed. I tried a hard reset and that did not work. Since the max speed was reading false I started not to trust the rest of the data. So the 201 was retired.

The Foretrex 401 meets all the requirements that I was looking for and is a great unit. But there are a couple of issues with getting the data off of the unit that can cause a few problems. First there is the Garmin Connect site. This is a workout log site that you can download the data from the GPS and track your workouts.

When you turn on the unit it takes a couple of seconds to pick-up a signal. Once I have a signal I will reset my data screen. But when you go to download the data to the Garmin Connect site you will also download the data before the reset. I just delete that record from the site.

This next one has happen twice to me (both where hiking trips) and I have seen another post about this issue. I parked my car and I turned the unit on. When the unit was able to received a signal I reset that data page. But when I got back home to download the data it had my start at my house and it recorded the entire hike. But that was a total mileage of 102 miles and not the 9.2 mile that the unit was showing. I don't know why it did that but the data from that trip was not good to me.

I use the Garmin Connect to load everything into first just to check the data. Delete what I don't need and name the activity. I then export the GPX file to another website. There are many different activity (workout) tracking websites out there. I have found that I like to use Ride with GPS. I just use the free basic service. One of the things that happens when I use Ride with GPS I am able to pick-up all the heart rate zones and how long I was in each one. You do not see that data on the Garmin Connect. Garmin Connect only shows you AVG HR and Max HR.

Bottom line the 401 is a great unit for what my needs are. I can deal with a data site that has issues or does not support the 401 as well as some of the other Garmin units

*** Updated to the update- I had another false max speed (something like 1,200mph)This only showed up on the Garmin Connect site. I did the same process of downloading to Garmin Connect and then moving the GPX file to another site. The second site displayed the correct max speed. So I don't think the false information is coming from the GPS but from the Garmin Connect site.

**** click here for another update review of the 401

If you have any questions after reading both post please leave a comment

27 August 2012

This one is for YO EDDY!!

When I saw this VW I knew that I had to get a picture and post it up for my fellow blogger Dan O aka YO EDDY.

Sits in the parking lot of the Krispy Kreme

If you don't know about Krispy Kreme you would not understand the Hot Bus plate on the VW bus. The Krispy Kreme stores have a sign that lights up with "Hot Now" to let you know they just finished a batch of doughnuts.

Krispy Kreme History

14 August 2012

Hoover Camp, Shenandoah National Park

Late Saturday I had the idea to go to the mountains for a hike. I was looking at doing some mileage and figured I could find something around the 10 mile mark. Digging around the house I find my map of the Shenandoah National Park Central District and a guide book for Circuit Hikes In Shenandoah National Park.

On page 67 of the guide book I spied Hoover Camp which gave me a route of 9.9 miles and 5 hours. Great, never hiked this area!

When I got to Shenandoah National Park I could not have asked for better weather. Temps on the mountain was 61 degrees. That sure does beat the heatwave that we seem to have for weeks now.The trailhead starts across the road from Big Meadows Wayside. Great place to run a base of operations for day hikes.

The trail is Rapidan Road which cuts through the meadows which is a good hike for small kids. About a mile down the trail you will reach Horse Trail. This was my return route from Hoover Camp. I follow Rapidan Road and it descends to the Rapidan River Valley.

At this point you will see this sign.

At this point I do a quick map check and I see both Rapidan Camp and Hoover Camp and I know I need to start back up the mountain.

The road looks like it goes up forever...

Just a little ways up the fire road I run into one of the trail markers that has Rapidan Camp on it. The first picture of this post is what I saw at the end of that trail. I figured I was at one of the PATC cabins.

After checking my map again to see how far up the trail Hoover Camp was, a guy came around the deck of the cabin cleaning up the area. I asked him was Hoover Camp up the trail? He told me this was Hoover Camp...

OK now, things are not looking right. I know where I was on the map.. but the signs are telling me something different..That's when he tells me that this was part of the Rapidan Camp. So that when I found out that this guy cleaning up is a NPS Volunteer and has been a volunteer at Hoover Camp for 9 seasons.

Rapidan Camp is not in the park. It is just outside of it.

Here's a link to the Park Service website about the camp

The volunteer did a great job talking about the history of the camp and the Hoover's. Stopping at the camp was a great part of this hike and I am glad he took his summer off to do this. I took about an hour to take the guided tour of the camp.

Picked up Horse Trail to get back to Rapidan Road and then about a mile to the start point.

With no planning this turned out to be one of the better hikes that I have taken in the park. Maybe because it had both history and hiking in one trip.

09 August 2012

MB-1 Bridgestone update #?2

The MB-1 project is coming along but things are slow. Last night I had a set back. So I figured I would share. The Bridgestone came with a Shimano 600 headset and it had seen better days and would need replacing.

I had purchase a new Ritchey Logic headset as a replacement. I pressed the cups in the head tube without to much issue. Then I tried to put the fork crown race on the fork. This is when I had problems. I matched the old 600 crown race with the new one and they seem to be the same size. After 30 mins I gave up!

I put a post on a website to see what the issue could be. During the night someone gave me that answer... The new headset was an ISO headset and I needed a JIS headset. I would have never figured that there are different types or standard sizes of 1 inch headsets, but there are..

Tonight I found this blog post over at Velo Orange. VO does a great job on giving you the low down on 1 inch headsets.

So there you,go we both learn something by my mistake!

20 July 2012

MB-1 Bridgestone Update #?

Getting back to the Bridgestone project and thing have been picking up. Pictures above are the Suntour Roller Cam Brakes that will go under the chain stays.

This is a before and after picture. On the right is what I am starting with. On the left is the result of about 2 and -a -half hours of work. I used different methods of cleaning and polishing to get that result.

I used ceramic oven top cleaner to clean all the brass parts and used aluminum foil to clean-up the chrome parts and wax cleaner and wax to clean the aluminum part of the brakes.

I am really pleased how this turned out!It is so cool to bring life back into these old parts.

14 July 2012

Back in the Saddle Again

Pictured above are three different WTB saddles that I have. From left to right is a SST.X, SST.K and a SST.K. The one in the middle is about 13 or 14 years old and the other SST.K is newer. I will be selling the SST.X it just does not match up with the other two. But I came close to putting both SST.K saddles up for sale.

They were old and the black had came off the sides and just did not look good anymore. I just happen to be reading a build project on another site were a guy took an old Selle Italia Flite and made it look new. So I figured I had two saddles that I could see if I could make them look better

I wish I had taken a before shot but you will just have to deal with the poor after shot that I took. Out came my old shoe shine kit. I brushed on some Kiwi Parade Gloss and gave it a few minutes to dry. Once dry I hit it with a horse hair shine brush and the results is what you see in the picture.

The purple color that you see on the middle saddle is from the flash. Raining today so there is not a lot of natural light to take a good picture with. I don't know how well this will hold-up over time but I think it will do well.

If you have one of those old leather mountain bike saddle that they don't make anymore and you want to give it a few more years of life then clean it up and give it a shot. What do you have to loose!

13 July 2012

What's Happening!

What's Happening! It's been about a month since the last time a made a blog post and well I guess I am do. Just like a person with A.D.D. my post will be all over the place..

For the last couple of months I have been parting out my road bike on one of the auction sites and I have been turning that money to buy more bike stuff. I hope to have a review on one of my purchases the Panaracer Cinder X CX tire. So far I am happy with the tire and it is a faster ride than the Maxxis that I had on the bike.

Also hope to be sharing some bike stuff that I got for the MB-1. I have been doing some work on the MB and should be making another MB-1 Project update. All I will tell you now there has been a lot of cleaning going on. That does not mean the bike is almost done. How about just the wheels...

Got to have a picture for a blog post.. I have been battling to paint the frame or keep it patina. Just seems to me if you are going to put the time and effort in it you just might as well paint it.

Back in May I had to take a trip to Des Moines IA for about 9 days. First let me say the place is clean. Yes there was some trash but compared to most places I have been or even where I live this place was clean! The other thing I found interesting that it has a good cycling community and bike lanes and paths. This was a surprise to me. I am thinking the corn belt with miles between towns.

So one afternoon I want to get out and see what a Bicycling shop in Des Moines is like. So I do a quick search on the web and found this shop. The site is not up and running but I figure what do I have to loose with such a cool picture. Beaverdale Bicycles is in the little town of Beaverdale and it is a cool commuter shop. That's what I call it. The owner also has a tee-shirt print business and has some cool shirts. The co-worker that was with me bought two shirts and he doesn't even ride. With a shop that has a tee-shirt with "I love Beaver" you have to check it out. So go over to their Facebook Page.

I also have been following I just love see some of the bikes that come into his shop. Some nice old school stuff. If that shop was in my neck of the woods you would know were to find me.

That's it for now. Hope to keep things more up-to-date. Now get out and ride!

19 June 2012

High Bridge State Park-Father's Day Ride

Up for something new and different for a Father's Day ride and that would be one of Virginia's newest parks. All the important information on High Bridge State park can be found here .

I suckered fellow rider "G" to tag along with me on this ride. I have been riding with "G" for 17 years and he is always up for a ride matter what type of riding it is. Can't say the same for myself since he has be trying to get me to do downhill for almost all those years.

High Bridge State Park is a rails-to-trail that follows the line of the South Side Railroad for 31 miles. There are several major access points, but if you are coming from the Richmond area. The trailhead at Rice is going to be your starting point. There is still 6.8 miles of trail to the east of that parking area that will take you to Burkeville. The map does not show it and we did not check to see if there is parking in Burkeville to start your trip for there.

We brought our mountain bikes which is an overkill. You will see all types of bikes on the trail and I think we saw the Hybrid comfort type of bike the most. Cross bike would be the weapon of choice but I think you could have a great ride on a road bike with 28mm tires.

The centerpiece of the trail is the High Bridge.

which is more than 2,400 feet long and 125 feet above the Appomattox River. I just love how they did the overhead cover. Just keeps with the railroad theme.

For the most part the trail is a 1 percent climb but you can feel it in places.

Click here for the elevation profile from my GPS

There are the $50,000 pit out houses along the trail but no water. The only place we found for water is in the town of Farmville and a guy that had a stand at his house. Which is on the west side of the bridge.

BLUF: Bottom Line up Front, High Bridge State Park is a great rails-to-trails park. The area is rich in history (Got to love Virginia for that). On our way back it was great to see all types riders and trail users. With that there gets to be a lot of people on the bridge mid-day so remember that and slow down. I did see a guy riding an mint old school Bridgestone.

Now the wheels are turning for having a underground time trial or even doing a tour from High Bridge and linking Holiday Lake Sate Park and Appomattox Court House.

Here are a few more pictures:

Old Train Station in Farmville

Just off Main Street. Just to the right are the restrooms and bike racks. Looks great!

11 June 2012

Old School Rubber!

Yesterday was one of those rides I wish I get to ride more often. It was one of those rides in which the bike hooked-up in the corners and I was able to keep the speed. On my why back to the house I was figuring out how to get another ride like that..

I have had another set of wheels hanging around Bikewright HQ and it was time to set-up the Bontrager with a second set. Now if you have been riding for awhile you are going to have a stock of old tires setting around. Well maybe not 12 years old...

The Klein Death Grip

The Klein Death Grip is a 26 X 2.1 that you can run front and back by just flipping the rotation of the tire. This is not going to be a review of a 12 year old tire, but I have been out on the Bontrager and another rider will say. "I didn't know that they made a bike. I thought they only made components". I am sure those same riders don't know anything about Klein bicycles and back-in-the-day these tires would hook-up!

I just hope I don't have to wait until this Sunday to ride them! I would like to know if anyone knows of a modern tire that is like the Klein Death Grip. Please leave a comment if you do.

29 May 2012

See the trail before you get there

Saw this RSS feed on the local CCVA website. terrain360.com a new spin on your trail system maps. It's like street view meets the trail. Looks like it would be a good tool for people wanting to check out a trail before they visit it or see what's in the area that they are traveling to.

Maybe I can go back and study to see if I can see a better line...

14 May 2012

Check it out! Guest Review

Go over and check out my review of the Revelate Designs Viscacha seat bag at Carytown Bicycle Company. Kind of cool seeing it over at another site!

07 May 2012

Three Days on the C and O Canal part II

We are going to start back on the morning of day two departing Harper's Ferry W.VA. Looking across the river on the left of the river bank is the C and O heading back down river to Georgetown. Also the Appalachian Trail the follows the same route for a couple of miles. The Appalachian Trail is just behind me in the picture.

There is a lot of history on and off the trail. You just need to keep your eyes open to see it. Like this cave. I am sure if you get one of the books about the C and O it will tell you about the caves.

Next up the trail is the Antietam Creek walk-in camp. Take note, this camp is a fee use area. It is a nice big camp site area and the last time I was there camping it was full of Boy Scouts. Keep this in mind!! I am sure they are not as load as the trains...

Just before getting to Shepherdstown W. VA I got a flat. In your trip planning you need to plan for flats. It is not a matter of if but when. Stop and take your time with any trail side repair. Because what you have with is all you have so make the best of it. After fixing my flat I went into Shepherdston for lunch and found a Sheetz. There are other place in down. Once you across the bridge into town you will come to your second stop sign which is a four way stop. Sheetz is to your right and to your left are the shops in the downtown area.

After eating I make the plan to keep riding to the 80 mile point. I wanted to make it to Williamsport which is just short of the 100 mile maker. But I have a pinch in my neck that is causing me some issues and I go the plan "B" which is to turn around here

Now along the way I use my cell phone to text my wife my location on the trail. Cell phone coverage is spotty at best. I also carry Solio solar charger to keep the phone going. So now I am heading back to Harper's Ferry to get something to eat and then plan on riding a few miles down the trail to a camp site to put me somewhere around a 55 mile ride on day three. I stop at Bald Eagle Island Hiker/Biker camp site. It is a nice open site but the train tracks are just on the outside of the towpath. So just like needing a patch kit you will also need ear plugs! This is not the only campsite that you will here the trains. Brunswick MD which is just up the road is a train switching town. You will here trains all night ear plugs or not.

Day three I get up and I don't even make coffee. I plan to eat on the bike figuring I have about five to six hours of riding and I would not like to sit in traffic in NOVA (Northern Virginia). It is also cold this morning it must have gotten down in the 30's over night.

Stop at Great Falls for a quick lunch.

Here is the Waltworks on Day Three. This is what I built the bike to be able to handle and it did a great job. Time for a new set of tires and bar tape. I am sure some new cables would not hurt! I don't have the ultra-light bikepacking going on but I am getting there. I have some more work to do in this area.

Nearing the end around mile marker 4 you get to see some of the old mile makers.

I finish up with my three day trip with 17 1/2 hours of riding and I covered 178.6 miles. I had plan that I could have done the trip end to end in four days and even if my neck was not giving me issues I still think it would have taken five or maybe six days. I did feel like I was still on a schedule either by time or miles and that is something I don't won't to have happen again.

I hope to get to another post up this week to talk about some of the equipment I used or did not use on the trip. Everybody wants to see your gear list!

06 May 2012

Three Days on the C and O Canal

Just finish with all my notes so I could post about this trip. If you remember back to last year I had planed this trip and had to cancel it due to a storm and work. Well the weather radar was not looking any better for this year with rain and snow in the forecast.

After months of research and planning I had decided to ride the C&O Canal from Georgetown to Cumberland MD and back unsupported. A out and back trip of about 370 miles. I can tell you that it did not go as plan and that's OK. What I think I am going to do here is blog about things that went right and things that I learned that will help others with their C and O Canal trip.

I have ridden from Great Falls Maryland to Harper's Ferry W. VA before and other section with my son's Scout Troop. So I knew about the trail and had been on it. I used 4 difference sources to plan my trip bikewashington.org,bikecando,National Park Service and C and O Yahoo Groups.

All of these sites are great to use. The maps are great and how you can use the different features of the site to plan your trip. But the Bike Washington and the Bike Cando are outdated because of the information on trail side resources such as stores are not up to date. Just in the short time it has been (a few years)that I was last on the trail, the economy has paid its' toll on some of the business that riders used to support their trip of the C and O Canal.

I think it would be best if there is a phone number listed on either website you should call it to see if that business is still open. Because if it is part of your plan for resupply and it's not open anymore that is going to cause you a problem. I know first hand...

Planning your starting point. This might be one of the biggest issues that you have to figure out and what works best for one might not be best for everyone. I started my epic adventure at the economy parking lot at the Reagan International Airport. The cost is $12 a day. You can search for cheap airport parking and find that there are some deals with the local hotels that provide long term parking at their parking decks and they are just a short distance to the Mount Vernon Trail. Most of the hotel parking will run you around $10 a day. So this can save you a few bucks. The one reason I did not go that route was I have had my credit card number stolen from a parking deck in this same are. Other than at airport parking I use cash anytime I use a parking deck.

Park near a row sign and either write it down or mark it with a GPS. With several hundred cars and miles behind you the last thing you want to do is spend 30 mins looking for a car. To leave the lot head to the north left corner and there is a side walk opening to leads to back the the road that you drove to get to the parking lot. The Mount Vernon Trail is about 25 ft across the road. You will have about a five mile ride from the airport to Georgetown. The Mount Vernon Trail follows the Potomac River and you get to see the National Monuments from the river which is cool.

Planning your daily mileage. I figured I would have some good long days in the saddle. Since I was going solo on this trip and I would have all day to ride. I also figured that I have done some 50 and 65 mile races in the four and five hour time period that 80 miles in a day was doable. It's only a one percent grade for 184 miles. That is like flat right? It is and it looks like this.

You will be in the saddle all day! There are no hills other than the rise at a lock and the fall after one. When you stop pedaling then you stop. So one percent equals pedaling all the time... This might not seem hard but if you add bad weather or a head wind or just riding by your self it is going to be a hard day.

Put in one these

and then push your loaded bike up this

If you are using trail side stores for your lunch and dinner resupply then this might dictate your mileage for the day. My plan was to get me to Huckleberry Hill Hiker/Biker campsite just north of Harper's Ferry. This made for a 68.4 mile day which took 6 hours and 30 minutes.

Day Two starts off by the NPS maintenance crew coming by a check the pump well at the campsite. It was cold so I started my day in the tent cooking up some coffee and something to eat.

Now here's something that you need to know about the water in the pump wells. The Park Service treats the wells with iodine. It might be me but I don't care what you do it tastes like crap and will turn a weak tea brown in your water bottle. You might want to bring a little more cash with you and purchase the water off the trail.

I think you could spend the good part of a day in Harper's Ferry. I would say this is a must see town. Take the two vehicles out of the picture and I am sure that is what it looked like 150 years ago.

Now this is cool. The next picture is taken at the point where the Potomac and Shenandoah River come together. It is cool seeing the water of each river mix into one.

I used my Field Notes Brand Notebook as my map and trip journal for this trip. The notebook is about the size of a passport and I used all the time since I put the NPS map in the back of the book (second picture).

Come on back later this week to check out the next post on this trip. I will be covering the rest of day two and day three. I will also go over some of the equipment that I took with me. I don't have this ultra-light weight bikepacking thing out yet but I am getting there.