09/30/12 233# 51mA different sort of ride today, I got to help two foreign visitors see the Great Allegheny Passage.
G. from Alberta and E. from New Zealand had come over to visit friends MG and B. and specifically to ride the Great Allegheny Passage with them. I was fortunate to get to ride with them for their first few miles.
They had rented bikes from Golden Triangle Bike Rental, on the Jail Trail, and I was really impressed at how well Tom took care of them. The bikes were in great shape and ready to go with spare tires, locks, lights, and panniers as promised. +1 to Tom and his folks.
We started riding in West Newton in intermittent light mist, after pausing for a pre-ride photo:
The trail was in excellent condition although a bit wet. We stopped for a break at the Round Bottom campsite, about halfway to Connellsville. It started raining pretty seriously a few miles from Connellsville and we took refuge in their Wendy's restaurant, where we all had chili and coffee to warm up. Very nice stop.
The ladies had a credit from a local B&B from a previous cancellation so they decided to overnight in Connellsville rather than go out into the heavy rain and push on to Ohiopyle, which I thought was a great decision.
I picked up some snacks at Sheetz and started riding back to my vehicle in West Newton. Once I was a few miles north, the rain stopped and eventually the skies turned quite blue, it was an unexpectedly pleasant end to a different sort of ride.
I was very glad to get to show two international visitors from closely allied nations a part of the country that I'm pretty familiar with. I hope they enjoyed it, they seemed to.
I think it shows the type of draw that the (soon-to-be-)completed GAP will present. Here were two people, well-traveled professionals, that decided to come to Pittsburgh and ride the trail to DC.