Bicycle Touring on the W&OD Trail

One of the great things about tapering for the Endless Mountains 1000K is that I’ve been able to do some things that I don’t normally do. The past two weeks I’ve ridden from home and meandered out on the Washington and Old Dominion Trail (W&OD). While I can’t stomach a steady diet of the bike path, it’s nice for a change of pace.

Whenever I leave my driveway for a ride on the path, I know I’m going to encounter lots of bicycle traffic, and I always hope to see an interesting bike. I know interesting is relative, but for me it means a steel touring frame, maybe a Co-Motion or a Surly. Maybe another Rivendell.

The W&OD has been good to me because not only have I seen some really cool bikes out there, I met some people doing interesting rides. Again, interesting is relative. Specifically, I mean bicycle touring!

Last weekend, I spied this man and his riding buddy.

Bike Friday, New World Tourist
New World Tourist, Trailer View

He was doing a dress rehearsal for an upcoming tour in the Adirondacks, and said his suitcase/trailer weighed in at about 45 pounds. Despite the additional weight, he said the bike felt so stable that he didn’t even notice the trailer was there.

This weekend, I ran into two groups of two that were headed out on a couple of different camping trips. The first couple was headed out to Brunswick, Maryland.

Awesome Touring Goodness

The woman, Daina, was riding a Surly Long Haul Trucker (in one of my favorite colors, Truckaccino), and her touring partner,Tim, was riding a black Surly Cross-Check which appeared to be set up as a single speed.

There was so much touring goodness on their bikes! Daina was using an Acorn rear bag and sporting some beautiful Ortlieb Civia panniers, and Tim was riding with a black Velo-Orange saddle bag. Daina was also using a Civia rear rack and Civia Loring bamboo fenders. Touring goodness overload!

A few miles after seeing them, I came upon a father and son who were headed out to Bear’s Den for the night.

More Touring Cyclists on the Trail!

The father was riding an all-purpose Fuji and his son was riding a GUESS WHAT? An olive Surly Long Haul Trucker!

Surly Long Haul Trucker!

This bike also had a great setup. I didn’t catch the front bag, but he was using a set of the Ortlieb Backroller Classic rear panniers and he was wearing the Shimano sandals, which are perfect for summertime rides.

A few more photos from the ride are on my flickr page here.

All-in-all, it was a great couple of Saturday rides. I rode right out my door, enjoyed mellow riding, saw some good steel touring bikes, and met a few people going to cool places. And all on the W&OD!

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