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On of the benefits of a self supported tour is that we are not bound to any route, timeline or anything else really. With that in mind we have decided to to the C&O and the GAP this year. We will however look at the weather report for the week, before we leave Massachusetts. If it looks like either or both of those routes could get washed out, we will detour to Albany NY and ride the Erie Canal.
If all looks good for our first choice, we will drive to Pittsburgh, box our bikes and take the Amtrak to DC. If the weather looks like a problem, we will drive to Albany, NY. box our bikes and take the train to Buffalo. We have done the Erie Canal twice before and know that if the trail becomes mucky because of rain, we can easily scoot over to NY Bike Rt 5, (Car route 31) and continue on pavement.
On the C&O/GAP however, if it rains, your screwed and you and your bike will be covered in muck. On my tour of the GAP last year, I road an hour in the rain and rolled into Confluence, PA looking like this.