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.