The Road Brothers are Off!

Start of the Towpath

We left Mount Laurel on Saturday, April 20th, grateful for the clear weather after a night of heavy thunderstorms.  Our good friend, Val, was kind enough to drive us to our starting point in Washington, DC. Right out of the gate. We made a wrong turn and had a  front tire blow-out, but eventually found to mile 0, the start of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath.  We quickly left the crowded streets of Georgetown DC behind as we entered what we affectionately call the “Green Tunnel,” It’s a rough, mostly dirt, tree-lined path that runs the 185 miles from Washington, DC to Cumberland, MD.  It’s also mostly flat, allowing me to ease into riding. Our bikes are heavy, weighing eighty pounds each — and that’s with minimalist packing.

The Green Tunnel



The weather was beautiful for the first 150 miles! We met interesting people both riding the canal and in the small towns along the way. It’s a rural area with few amenities.




On Thursday, 4/25, the rain began in the morning and picked up as we entered Cumberland, MD. It turned into a steady rain as we climbed the 1100 feet to Frostburg, MD, where we wisely made the decision to get a motel room and hit the laundromat across the street. It was still raining the next morning, and cold to boot. We debated whether to continue riding, but ultimately decided we’d rather brave the weather than sit in a tiny motel room all day.

The Continental Divide
The End of the Towpath

So, we bundled up and began the climb up to the Mason Dixon Line.  It was a cold, wet ride … the kind where you start shivering the moment you stop cycling.  The following morning was forecast to be in the low 30’s. Fortunately, we were able to rent a small cottage for the night in Rockwood, PA, complete with cable TV and both a pool table and a ping-pong table.  After getting dry, warm and cleaned up, we headed out to the local tavern for dinner and a beverage – a real luxury!

Frostburg, MD
Bill Pointing out the Mason Dixon Line
A Ghostly Ride

11 thoughts on “The Road Brothers are Off!”

  1. I just hiked to Tuckerman’s Ravine in NH (bottom of Mt. Washington), and your latest weather on the bike trip looks about the same as up there! Ouch.
    tim simon


  2. Jeff! It’s going to be a treat to read your posts. Can’t wait! And I’m inspired. I just got a hip replaced, I’m not too ambitious when it comes to my rehab and I have hopes of getting myself back out on hiking trails. So watching you go, motivates me. Keep it up & good luck!


  3. Jeff and Bill…looks like my last comment did not take, but wanted to reach out and let you know all your Norristown friends, and the extended group, are wishing you the best. Hope the weather cooperates a bit more for you, but you guys are veterans and I know can manage. You are an inspiration to all.


  4. Bill and Jeff,

    You guys are inspiring me to maybe start riding my bicycle again and get my fat butt back in shape. The pictures are awesome and I pray your safe and totally enjoying yourselves. Love following your progress.

    Be Safe my friends!


  5. Love your blog, Jeff and Bill! Beautiful photos and it’s great to travel vicariously through you! Here’s to warm and dry travels! Stay safe!


  6. Finally slowing down enough to check out your blog. Love reading and seeing the pictures. Thank you for sending me the link! I look forward to reading more about your adventures.


  7. Jeff and Bill it was nice to meet you both in Springboro, Ohio earlier this afternoon. Let me know how to forward you the picture I took, I’m sorry about the detour off the trail but otherwise I would not have met you. Good luck tonight at Hueston Woods State Park. I nice part to visit!


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