Riding the C&O Canal on the Rawlands

This weekend, Felkerino and I took advantage of the spectacular mild weather and busted out our Rawland dSogns for a day ride along the C&O Canal.

Rawland dSogns on the C&O Canal

Our destination? Homestead Farm, a pick-your-own produce place just outside of Poolesville, Maryland.

Homestead Farm makes for a perfect fall ride from home. The one-way trip is about 29 miles, the route along the C&O is quite pretty (particularly the spots near Great Falls), and the reward for our efforts is tasty fresh fruit (or maybe even a piece of pie or a caramel apple if we want to get something extra special).

Picking out a gourd at Homestead Farm

The Rawlands are great for terrain like the C&O. 650B wheels make for a comfy ride with no toe overlap. Fatty Rumpkin tires tolerate the bumps and dips well. My Brooks Flyer S saddle smooths out any uneven ground. The grippy disc brakes offer ready assistance to deal with weaving pedestrians or any other untimely obstacles thrown in my path. Oh, and my Carradice Nelson longflap is perfect for hauling home any fresh produce or treats we pick up along the way.

I love my Rawland dSogn and the C&O (and my NC Randonneurs jersey)!

We departed around 8:30 in the morning with hopes of avoiding any big crowds, but our plan resulted in us crossing paths with a half-marathon going on in D.C. and a 20-mile run going off on the C&O. How about that for our plan totally backfiring? Oh well, we were in no hurry, our disc brakes came in extra handy, and it was fun to cheer on the runners. We even got a “Go bikers!” from somebody. Yeah!

Felkerino and the Rawland

My Rawland is a bit stodgy on paved surfaces, but it thrives off-road. Every time I ride it I’m glad Felkerino picked one up for me, and I thank Rawland for the reasonably priced yet sturdy and responsive bikes that set up well for away-from-the-pavement adventures.

Despite the fact that Felkerino and I rode the whole way together, my computer showed 57 miles door-to-door compared to his 56. What does it mean? I’d say it means I win the mileage challenge.

Want to see more from our Sunday ride? Felkerino’s pics are here and the few I snapped are here.


  1. I notice you carry only 1 water bottle. I wouldn’t think of doing a 50+ mile ride with only 1. And you both (I looked at the pix) carry the bottle in the seat tube bottle cage instead of the downtube. Are you trying to start a contrarian water bottle society?

    I noticed that your leap was substantially higher than Felkerino’s, All that stoking is paying off!

    Nice report, MG.


    • Since I used a Camelbak for the C&O, I only took one water bottle. The bottles tend to get so dusty or dirty that I don’t like drinking directly from them. And yes, I like that seat tube bottle cage :).


  2. Good point about the water bottle vs. hydration pack issue on the C&O. I typically still use bottles, but they can get kinda gross.

    Great ride report. My gf and I may have to try that ride to the pick-your-own place!


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