View Full Version : New-To-DC seeks Gravel Century

01-15-2011, 03:48 PM
I just moved out East from the great state of Minnesota, the Land of the sky blue waters. It's also apparently one of the only areas of the country with a regular "gravel grinder" scene.


Are there any gravel rides within weekend driving distance? I need to train up for my favorite ride... the Almanzo 100 (http://almanzo100.blogspot.com/) in May.

01-15-2011, 08:54 PM
There are some fun rides in Loudon County near Leesburg. Here's a link to a discussion about a dirt road ride (http://www.more-mtb.org/forum/showthread.php?t=5450&highlight=sharks) on the M.O.R.E. forums. None of the rides are a century, but you could easily put one together out there.

There are also some good rides near Middlesburg. The PPTC cue sheet library (http://www.bikepptc.org/cuesheets/library) is a good resource.

01-17-2011, 10:46 AM
Simple enough to ride 100 miles on the C&O. Heck, you can do 700 if you want to do Pittsburgh and back :)

01-17-2011, 04:07 PM
What is the bathroom situation on the C&O? Every 100 miles or so ? :eek:

01-17-2011, 07:25 PM
What is the bathroom situation on the C&O? Every 100 miles or so ? :eek:

I dunno, do nearby trees count?? :P During "season" they're not that tremendously far apart - at many of the campsites and most of the designated picnic areas. Then there's the twowns you go through - Whites Ferry, Williamsport, Harpers Ferry in no particular order

01-17-2011, 09:56 PM
Thank you for your reply. In all seriousness it is a consideration, perhaps not for as many men but it is something I look for as I try out new distances. I also think about places I can warm up if necessary. If I get too cold I can't always think clearly.


01-18-2011, 08:57 AM
Not being snarky (really!) but if you have a weak bladder doing it in the "off" times may really be a bit of a challenge. Not that the C&O is really that busy unless you count around Great Falls/DC but it seems that the NPS has a window that they consider peak traffic time when they place spot-a-pots. It's definitely pre-memorial day but they're not there all winter. Don't know what that window truly is.

Most of the hops between towns aren't that large, and there are accommodations, but I'd anticipate 30-35 miles between facilities on the worst of times with some areas having permanent facilities 10 miles apart or so. . While the nearest tree analogy is a bit tongue in cheek, the stretch from let's say Paw Paw to Cumberland really not so much so.

01-18-2011, 09:21 AM
Thank you, 20-30 miles are not a problem, it is very helpful to know the pop-up facilities come and go. Just like some of the parks lock their restrooms after a certain point in the season. Trust me, for a woman it becomes an almost Olympic gymnastic event to get bike knickers up and down, especially in the summer.

Joe Chapline
01-18-2011, 09:22 AM
I rode the C&O trail once during the "off" season, and the NPS had removed the handles from the water pumps that are spaced along the trail. That was years ago, but I wouldn't count on those pumps unless you have current information.