[CR]Vintage Bike Event Sept 27-30, 2002- MOE TOUR 2002-Rambling

(Example: Component Manufacturers:Chater-Lea)

From: <CYCLESTORE@aol.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Sep 2002 01:28:06 EDT
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Vintage Bike Event Sept 27-30, 2002- MOE TOUR 2002-Rambling

Hello all,

We sure know how to talk bikes now lets get together and ride them! You have just four weeks to plan so act now. Put on your new CR wool jersey and join us for a long adventure weekend and learn some cycle craft. In a nod toward Jan Heine ancient French Touring Trials we will have a questionnaire about you and your equipment and how well it performed. If enough people participate we hope to have some statistical analysis of various touring equipment and style for future reference to share with you.

You are all welcome to attend the first (there may not be a second) Mountains of Ecstasy Tour, AKA the MOE TOUR, a three stooges production. Rain and shine, four days, 183 miles point to point and dead flat from Friday September 27 till Monday, September 30. The route is the length of the C&O towpath from Cumberland, MD, to Washington, DC. This is a self supported event, no sag so bring what you need and need what you bring.

Any bike is capable to accomplish this ride through but not over the mounta ins as long as it is in sound mechanical condition. From High Wheeler to modern the ride is dead flat but requires a tire of 28 mm or more (wider is really better for this). In the past running of similar events most people used road bikes with about 32 mm tires but any bike (even non classic Mountain) are welcome. The USA and British Moultoneers (Alex Moulton owners) have been invited so anyone who wishes to investigate these novel machines will have opportunity to inspect them. Several single and Sturmey Archer three speed owners have promised attendance.

This is a relatively simple come as you are tour. You can camp primitive (water and port-a-loo's, free along the C&O canal towpath), stay in commercial camp grounds, Stay in or camp at one of two low cost hostels, hotel it or stay in a bed and breakfast. Join us for 1-2-3 or 4 days out bound, inbound, one way, both ways. Set your own itinerary. Join in the fellowship and good times of cycling in olden days.

Our theme: "Seek to amass, not miles, but experiences. Happy is the cyclist who rides throughout the year, taking what comes his way in weather, choosing only his intenerary. At the end of the year he will scoff at the poor soul who puts his mount in cotton wool for the winter, for he will recall the pageantry of an autumn forest, the sparkling winter morning, the ecstasy of spring, and the lazy afternoon of summer. He will rejoice in the tussle with the March wind, and with the comradeship of his fellows round the winterside fire before the battle to reach home. He will be the complete cyclist if he joins an association: The Cyclists Touring Club, The National Cyclists' Union, or the National Clarion." From The Joyous Wheel, James Arnold,1940.

We insist from 15 years of leading trips on this trail that you bring the following or not burden your fellow cyclists with your attendance.

Rain gear: While temps may be modest (or not) weather forecasts have been extremely inaccurate in the prediction of rain on this trail. Hypothermia is a preventable death. Don't turn good fun into survival. Spare Tire: An odd sharp stone can gash any tire and a gashed tire (even when new) will not last on a loaded cycle one hundred plus miles of bumpy roads. There are no bike shops on the trail. Carry a tire or carry your bike. It can be safely coiled up for compact stowage. Spare Tubes: We strongly recommend three spares as a prudent number. Flat tires are not generally a feature of this trip but they seem to come in batches..and batches when they come. Tubes are small, their value is large when needed. Patch kits should be carried as well. Lighting Front and Rear: Simple but effective front and rear lighting. Friday night might be partly in the dark, the Paw Paw tunnel is always dark (3180 feet long). If you go to dinner at night there are some treacherous areas in the dark without lights.

The Trail and Surface: The C&O canal towpath is 183 miles long. It is a very pleasant hard packed dirt surface that in many sections is quite fast (many people can maintain over 20 mph with full camping gear for extended periods) and alternately a bit bumpy with chiseled rocks and some tree roots disrupting the surface making 8 mph seem like a pretty fair pace. Most people will average 10 mph more or less with a 12-13 mph riding speed. All serious accidents we have seen were at high speed so be warned. When wet it dries quickly and we have encountered heavy sporadic rain with little problem. When the surface is saturated with water it is slippery and very muddy. I will offer to have an unscouted paved alternate route if you, your bike or sanity are in need of a break. The are also two paved rail trail conversions available if folks want this as an alternate.

What I will Provide to help you: My Agenda Emergency Contacts and Coordination (Cell phone network) Alternate Paved Route (Unscouted -Mostly till the last 60 miles) Accommodation Lists Travel Advice ( Amtrak, Airport, Surface transport) Commercial Shuttle for a limited Number of Bikes and Cyclists from Union Rail Station in downtown Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD- Reservations required, about $40.00 payable two weeks in advance.

Participants should supply: A sturdy solid bike with a little life left in it, appropriate spare parts and equipment for self supported Hotel/Hostel or Camping configuration. A sound body with a little life left in it. A good attitude.

Itinerary event of one to four days in length. It is self supported as sags are not encouraged, practical, needed or allowed on or near the trail.

The plan is simple. Arrive in Cumberland Maryland on Friday, September 27th and stay overnight there or pedal down the towpath to Paw Paw, WV to meet up with other riders staying there at milepost 156 (or so near Hiwy 9 ) at a free towpath campground or the very convenient Red Rooster Hostel in Paw Paw (Camping there and B&B nearby). Feel free to camp free (or private campgrounds with showers nearby-for a fee) on the towpath, bunk in the hostels in Paw Paw, Harper's Ferry and Washington, DC or Hotel/B&B it in Cumberland, Paw Paw, Williamsport/Hagerstown , MD, Harper's Ferry, WV, and/or Washington, DC. Drive, Plane, Bus or Train-Amtrak in.

Amtrak-Chicago Line serves Cumberland from Chicago or Washington every couple of days. It is not bike friendly as their is no baggage car on this route. A bagged folding or take-apart bike and rider could certainly get on but their is a two piece luggage max for carry on so even a dedicated rail traveler will have a difficult time.

I have arranged for a low cost van shuttle from the Amtrak Union Station in downtown Washington, DC to carry bikes and bodies to either Paw Paw, WV and/or Cumberland Friday (Sept 27) afternoon at approximately 1:00 PM. Reservations and payment will be required to secure a seat. The rest is just a riders dream. We hope to dine together in the evening. Specific hotel/hostel campground info is available below. Tell your friends and feel free to join us for all or part of a day or weekend. For some of you folks that have wished to test ride an Alex Moulton bicycle this may be a grand weekend as we expect a mini rally of these fine machines. Also of note many fine classic bikes from the 1960's and 70's are scheduled to do the whole ride camping.

Also several folks have indicated a desire to visit Antietam Civil War Battle Field on Sunday on paved roads. This will be a fairly hilly option with gear but manageable with most multi geared bikes.

Accommodations: This is being set up as a Hotel/Hostel/Camping option tour and your are invited to join the ride for any and all days or parts of days. There are free primitive and private campgrounds (with fee) along the tow path every 5-10 miles as well as the Paw Paw, WV and Harper's Ferry, WV/Knoxville, MD, hostel locations. Hotels and B&B's are in Cumberland, Paw Paw, Hagerstown-Williamsport, Harpers Ferry and Washington, DC. Hostels are in Paw Paw, WV and Harper's Ferry, WV/Knoxville, MD area.

This ride is self supported and you will be responsible to supply everything for your daily personal needs and bring appropriate equipment, spare parts, and tools as required (helping hands are available but bike shops with tools and parts are not along the route). This is a private excursion and there is no sag.

Getting There: Amtrak train to Chicago departs about 3:30 PM Friday (Not Saturday) and arrives about 6:30 PM in Cumberland, MD. Very late and no baggage car for bikes. Small carry on bikes in bags are OK, no full size bikes on this train. Someone might be able to ship by their bike Fed-Ex or UPS to a bike shop, hotel or Paw Paw Youth hostel for convenience. Cyclists along the Chicago line could do the same and step off in Cumberland from Amtrak. It is also a short bus ride to Cumberland from DC. A friend could drive you there and drop you off as well.

My personal plan and itinerary is as follows:

Friday Sept 27: Depart about 5:25 AM Amtrak Arrive: about 11:30 AM Washington, DC. Lunch and assemble bikes: 1:00 PM Meet Shuttle (with reservation) and transport by van to Cumberland, MD. Arrive about 4:00 PM. Ride to Paw Paw, WV. and camp, hostel or B&B at or near the Red Rooster Hostel in Paw Paw after 28 miles or so. Hot tube and sauna optional. Some people may want to stay in Cumberland and join us for lunch the next day near Hancock, MD.

Cumberland, MD Holiday Inn (downtown) In Downtown if needed.

Cycles & Things (for repairs or last minute needs) 165 N. Center St., Cumberland, MD 21502 301-722-5496

In PAW PAW, WV. Red Rooster Youth Hostel About $20 per night and $10 camping Hwy #9 Paw Paw, West Virginia 25434 304/947-7591 cell:304/257-3399

Red Rooster B&B Paw Paw, WV 25434 304/947-7055

Paw Paw Patch B&B Winchester St. Paw Paw, WV 304/947-7496

Saturday Sept 28: Depart about 9:00 AM, Lunch at or near Hancock, MD. Camp free on the towpath (commercial campgrounds nearby) or Hotel near Williamsport-Hagerstown, MD. Group dinner perhaps. 55 Miles total day.

Red Roof Inn Hagerstown (in Williamsport) 310 E. Potomac St. Williamsport, MD 21795

Other Hotels available in Hagerstown.

Sunday Sept 29: Depart about 9:00 AM, Lunch near Antietam Battleground or Shepardstown. Arrive Harper's Ferry/Knoxville/Sandy Hook Youth Hostel, about 40 miles for Day.

Harpers Ferry Area: In addition there are 3 Bed and Breakfasts in town.

Hostelling International Harper's Ferry Lodge (Camping Available) 19123 Sandy Hook Rd. Knoxville, MD 301/834-7652 Call 7-9 Am 6-10 PM

Hilltop House Hotel On the Hilltop Harper's Ferry WV, 25425 304/535-2132

Comfort Inn US 340 Union St. Harper's Ferry, WV 25425 304/535-6391

Cliffside Inn Hwy 340 Harper's Ferry WV, 25425 304/535-6302

Monday Sept 30: For people that need to catch the afternoon train to Raleigh, depart about 7:00 AM; pack or arrange for early breakfast otherwise sleep in, and depart about 9:00 AM. Catch that train. Arrive in Raleigh about 10:20 PM.

Our plans are to Hostel in Paw Paw Friday night, Camp on the trail Saturday, Camp outside at the Hostel in Harper's Ferry, WV/Knoxville MD.

What to Bring Personal: Warm clothes, Rain gear (essential, there is no, I mean no shelter many places), Camping equipment (if you plan to camp), cooking-eating gear, riding, travel clothes. Good front and rear lighting, not only are there some very long and dark tunnels but delays my make riding in the dark mandatory and if you get hungry dinner is an awkward proposition riding mountains or busy bridges in the dark (not to mention illegal).

What to Bring Spares: Besides the normal things you must bring a spare tire (there are no bike shops along the trail and a bum tire will not last a 100 miles on a dirt road), fresh patch kit, 3 spare tubes (last year one rider had six flats in one day), spokes for front and rear wheels (essential- like tires there are no bike shops and your wheel might collapse if some spokes break) to prevent walking 183 miles.

Themes: This is a self supported tour, bring what you need. Don't come unprepared. Please feel to use for questions of advice. Remember, hope for the best, prepare for the worse.

Who's going?: You are invited, mostly the rag tag bunch from the last half dozen or so from Assault on Harper's Ferry events. Also in less than 48 hours the world wide Moulton Bicycle Club will be invited, the Classic Rendezvous-Classic Bicycle Collector Group, and finally the Touring Phreds- USA E-mail Society of touring Cyclists, and the Mid Atlantic Geezers and Geezerettes. How many will attend, who knows. Invite a thousand and get a couple of dozen. Riders are invited to join us for apart of a day or the whole trip. Some folks may want to start early (or late) and go both ways or meet up with us and double back then.

Reservations: Act now if you can. Planes and trains are cheaper when scheduled in advance, hotels too. You know the dates. The current Amtrak Web tickets cost $67.20 roundtrip from Raleigh to Washington with special promo code (on the web). The rates go up as seats are sold. I have paid $180.00 for the same tickets.

http://www.amtrak.com Use Promo Code #H231 check other options too!

Important: If you need a shuttle ride from Washington, DC to Paw Paw, WV-Cumberland, MD please make a reservation with me; Gilbert, if needed.

Fire off questions as needed.

This is good information on general trip planning from the Touring E-mail Newsletter: FAQ: http://home.att.net/~dkertz3/TouringFAQ.htm assembled by Denis Kertz

For more info contact me.

Gilbert Anderson

The North Road Bicycle Company
your bicycle outfitter
519 W. North St.
Raleigh, NC 27603
ph toll free in USA :800/321-5511
Local ph: 919/828-8999
E-Mail: cyclestore@aol.com