On August 28th, 2016, a group of four middle-aged alumni of Kendriya Vidyalaya High School, IIT, Madras, from the batch of 1975, set out on a bike ride, an epic adventure if you will, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Gaithersburg, Maryland. The ride was successfully completed on September 2nd, 2016, over a period of six days, at Whites Ferry in Maryland on the C&O Canal towpath. About 300 miles were covered during this trip from Pennsylvania to Maryland. These blogs document the event. It is not possible to document everything that transpired during that ride, and all of the feelings and emotions that we experienced, but this will at least provide a record of what happened. The first half of the journey was on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP), after which we transferred to the C&O Canal towpath.
On the first day we rode a short distance of about 40 miles from Pittsburgh to Perryopolis in Pennsylvania. We went from a city environment into the countryside.
Day 1 – KVIITM75 2016 Bike Ride
The second day of riding took us to Confluence, Pennsylvania. We covered a similar distance as on the first day. I would consider this the most beautiful section of our ride. For the most part we were beside a river.
Day 2 – KVIITM75 2016 Bike Ride
The third day of riding was harder because of the distance (about 60 miles) and also the climb that we had to do, but it was also very rewarding. We got to the end of the GAP at Cumberland in Maryland.
Day 3 – KVIITM75 2016 Bike Ride
The next day of riding was also quite long (again about 60 miles) and was more difficult because of the surface that we rode on. We spent the night in Hancock.
Day 4 – KVIITM75 2016 Bike Ride
On the 5th day we rode a shorter distance on the towpath (about 50 miles), and spent the night in Shepherdstown, across the river in West Virginia.
Day 5 – KVIITM75 2016 Bike Ride
The final day of the ride was again a short one (less than 40 miles), with an extended stop in Harpers Ferry in West Virginia to see the place. We ended the ride at Whites Ferry in Maryland.
Day 6 – KVIITM75 2016 Bike Ride
The experiences on the GAP and the C&O Canal towpath were very different, with the GAP being the more scenic ride, with greater changes in elevation and more variability in the scenery, and the C&O Canal towpath being flatter (but rougher) and more historic in nature. The canopy of trees kept us cool on the hottest days of riding on both trails.
This ride was also an opportunity for the riders to get to know each other better. The camaraderie was awesome. It was a ride for the ages.