The GSC Cycling Club, an ambitious group of Glenville State College students led by Assistant Professor of Psychology, Dr. Fred Walborn, are back home after spending the last week of May bicycling from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C.
GSC students Jackson Ranhart, Lark Butler, Nick Fish, Joanna Lamp, Cody Johnson, Hollie Owens, Owens’ friend Dena Helmick, and Walborn made up the group of eight riders. “We had a wonderful time. The weather was good, we had very few bike problems, and it was a great group to ride with,” said Walborn.
The six-day trip covered approximately 330 miles along a non-motorized corridor including the Great Allegheny passage and the C & O Canal Towpath. The Great Allegheny Passage is about 145 miles long and runs from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Cumberland, Maryland. The C & O Canal Towpath covers 185 miles from Cumberland to D.C. The scenic trail travels along the banks of Monongahela, Youghiogheny, and Potomac rivers. The riders averaged about 55 miles per day on the bikes. Their shortest ride was 40 miles, and the longest almost 79 miles. The distance covered each day was determined by where they would be spending the night.
Four of the five nights on the trip were spent camping in campsites along the trail. One night was spent in a hotel. A support van driven by GSC students Bryan Busch and Dave McLaughlin would drive ahead and set up camp at a predetermined site. The support van carried camping equipment, food, each rider’s personal gear, and spare bike parts and tools.
“Rolling in to D.C. was the best feeling. It was a great sense of accomplishment. When I found the O mile marker, I had to hug it. After six days on a bike, it was good to reach the end,” said Holli Owens, Club President and bicycling enthusiast. “One of my favorite parts of the trip was meeting other bikers and hikers on the trail. They were so kind and very interesting to talk to,” she added.
One of the many people that the group encountered along the way was former Glenville State College student and basketball player Scottie Smith of Martinsburg, West Virginia who was walking on the trail.
The energetic group of cyclists started preparing for the trip in early spring. Six training rides ranging from 27 miles to a 120-mile overnight trip helped condition them for the six day excursion. The GSC High Adventure Program also helped by supplying some bikes and camping equipment for the trip.
“I think all of us really enjoyed the experience, but finally getting off the bikes in D.C. didn’t come any too soon. After a six-day ride there was definitely some sore bottoms,” said Walborn.
The GSC Cycling club is already discussing another bike trip for next spring.
For more information about the GSC Cycling Club, contact Walborn at firstname.lastname@example.org.