Harpers Ferry, WV

c3-Perfect Fall MorningIn mid-September, encouraged by a five day weather forecast that was as close to perfect as Washington, DC can get, I decided to finally try a little touring.  A first step.  The overnight trip.  

Seeing as I was alone, inexperienced at bike touring, and devoid of camping equipment, a bed and breakfast trip seemed most reasonably accomplished.

The bike took longer to set up than I thought as I struggled with clamps and hooks for the first time.  My depurature was puctuated by a short ride on my rim as the weight of the panniers reminded me I'd forgotten the basic task of checking my tire pressure.  I packed the bags heavier than necessary for a hotel overnight to get the feel of a loaded bike as this is a trial run for the combined GAP-C&O canal trip that I am going to do one of these days.

It's no joke that a loaded bike handles differently.  Gravity has much more of an effect and when that thing starts to lean the downward momentum is darn difficult to halt.  I decided not to take pictures of the bruises the frame raked down my thigh as I stopped just before reaching home to take a last drink of water and disregarded the bike for a second.  

Anyway, the trip was fantastic.  I could book at 10mph with a sustained effort and was relieved to hear that an average of 10mph on a loaded bike on the canal is above and beyond.  So on the return trip I left earlier and enjoyed a more relaxed 8 mph with frequent stops to stretch, drink, enjoy the scenery, and reposition the toe seam on my left sock.  Amazing what starts to bother you after a while.  

Lessons learned:

  • 60 miles per day was okay but wouldn't be fun for me for five straight days
  • therefore I must camp some nights if I am doing the whole thing
  • Brooks saddles take WAY more than 20 hours to break in
  • chamois cream is a darn fine idea
  • I absolutely want to do more of this

 

Harpers Ferry Slideshow

  • Betty Is Ready

    Betty Is Ready

  • Her Better Side

    Her Better Side

  • Whites Ferry

    Whites Ferry

  • Long Dusty Towpath

    Long Dusty Towpath

  • So Sad

    So Sad

  • No More BLTs

    No More BLTs

  • 60 Miles

    60 Miles

  • Harpers Ferry

    Harpers Ferry

  • A Quiet Town

    A Quiet Town

  • Not So Friendly

    Not So Friendly

  • But at Least He Is Wax

    But at Least He Is Wax

  • No Joke

    No Joke

  • Old Steps

    Old Steps

  • Definitely Not Up To Code

    Definitely Not Up To Code

  • The Stonehouse B&B

    The Stonehouse B&B

  • Town Inn

    Town Inn

  • From B&B Window

    From B&B Window

  • Fall Sunset

    Fall Sunset

  • benefits

    benefits

  • Ready at  8AM

    Ready at 8AM

  • Confluence of the

    Confluence of the

  • Perfect Fall Morning

    Perfect Fall Morning

  • Lunch at  Whites Ferry

    Lunch at Whites Ferry

  • Betty Is Ready
  • Her Better Side
  • Whites Ferry
  • Long Dusty Towpath
  • So Sad
  • No More BLTs
  • 60 Miles
  • Harpers Ferry
  • A Quiet Town
  • Not So Friendly
  • But at Least He Is Wax
  • No Joke
  • Old Steps
  • Definitely Not Up To Code
  • The Stonehouse B&B
  • Town Inn
  • From B&B Window
  • Fall Sunset
  • benefits
  • Ready at  8AM
  • Confluence of the
  • Perfect Fall Morning
  • Lunch at  Whites Ferry

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April 28, 2013
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