Ready, set... - My C&O and GAP Pandemic Tour - CycleBlaze

October 4, 2020

Ready, set...

A Capitol Day

The Capitol Limited pulling into Pittsburgh
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The 3:30 am wake up alarm in Pittsburgh signaled the start of a day in the Capitols. It was a short 3 block cycle to the Amtrak station. The train status was "On time". At 4:49 am I boarded the Capitol Limited bound for the national capitol, Washington D.C. 

Amtrak could do better than this.
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Susan CarpenterSeems a bit outrageous to charge $20 to lay your bike on the floor.
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3 years ago

This was my second time taking the train to Washington D.C. to start my C&O and GAP tour. The train was over three hours late in my first railroad journey to D.C. It was pleasant to arrive bout 30 minutes late, something to brag about in the USA but not up to Swiss standards. 

The Capitol Limited's service usually has a baggage car equipped to hang eight bikes. This year there were no hooks. The conductor instructed me to lay my bike on the floor. It seemed a little unorthodox. The bike arrived fine at Union Station. The baggage handlers knew I was waiting on the bike and handed it to me in the same condition it was loaded in Pitsburgh. 

Union Station
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I was traveling with my cycling friend, Kevin. He was an excellent travel companion. We both tend to talk a lot and the time passed fast. We attached out panniers and set out of Union Station to enjoy an afternoon cycling the National Mall. 

It was a super time on the bike. I quickly adjusted to the 40 pounds of weight on the bike. The Mall was unbusy. COVID-19 had the national museums and buildings closed to visitors. Absent of school field trips and families due to this, the Mall was a breeze to cycle.  

Tom and The Dude at the WWII memorial
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Two hours passed quickly cycling the length of the Mall and visiting many memorials. It was time to head to our respective hotels and meet up with the other four touring companions for the week. It was an easy cycle to the hotel in downtown Washington D.C., a few blocks behind the White House. 

Always visit the Buckeye State at the WWII memorial
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The six of us headed to a nearby Mexican restaurant for the tour kickoff dinner. Plans were set for meeting in the a.m. for breakfast before heading out across The Mall to milepost 0 on the C&O. It was time to head back to my hotel for an early night given my 3:30 am, wake up. 

Tomorrow we ride! 

Today's C&O and GAP Trivia 

The District of Columbia, the United states federal territory was named honor explorer Christopher Columbus. Washington D.C., the United States federal capital was named for George Washington. 

Today's ride: 6 miles (10 km)
Total: 6 miles (10 km)

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Al BurnardThanks for keeping us up to date! I was wondering if you were taking Amtrak to DC. Solves the mystery :) Wishing you beautiful autumn weather and a thoroughly enjoyable tour!
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3 years ago
Paul MulveyType your comment here
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3 years ago