The C&O Towpath.
It’s possible to ride 180-miles from Washington DC to Columbus PA on a dirt, multi-use path paralleling the Potomac river. We didn’t ride it, but it is possible. In fact, you can extend the journey another 100-miles all the way up to Pittsburgh. But last Friday, a group of 25 gentlemen took to the path to White’s Ferry for the main attraction of a 72-mile Rapha Gentlemen’s Ride. Joining our Continental riders as part of our tour was a range of small groups and individual riders, all coming together for the day.
As we ride throughout the US, it’s the commonalities amongst cyclists that are refreshing and reassuring. Certainly there are outliers on the road, but for the most part, the passions that bring us together are consistent:
Freedom: Racer or Randonneur, we all crave the exploration and sense of discovery that comes with distance and speed.
Suffering: The reward of testing the boundaries of both body and mind.
Stories: Rare is the rider that doesn’t have an interesting tale of things witnessed, felt or shared.
Style: Whether full-carbon with clinchers or a steel Guercotti cross bike; high-tech performance kit, or a heritage wool jerseys, what matters is that it’s “right”.
Epicurism: A well-timed Clif bar or energy drink on the bike might be irreplaceable, but it’s the ceremony of the pre-ride coffee and pastry or the cold beer that starts replenishment where most of us convene. Good food and good drink helps make for better cycling.
Thanks to long-time Rapha customer, D.C. local and fantastic pastry chef, Sol Schott who was our gracious host and helped bring us all together for the White’s Ferry Gentlemen’s Ride.
Now about that 280 miles to from D.C. to Pittsburgh.