Day 79: Cumberland to Hancock, MD (November 16)

The rain was coming down as I rode through the gate marking the beginning of the C&O towpath in downtown Cumberland by the park service visitor center. Cumberland is a CSX town and the train horns could be heard at all hours with trains coming and going. The rail lines paralleled the towpath for about half the day. Even when the trains could not be seen they were present with the low throb of the locomotive diesel engines, the clatter of cars on the rails or the screech of wheels going around bends.

I had heard the towpath could be muddy when it rain. There was on section maybe a quarter mile long that I was a bit worried and rode unclipped. But it was not that bad.
The path is dual track from the tires of a truck. The bottom of the track is not level but it is mostly pea stones so not muddy. But the ruts form puddles. The puddles ranged from about an inch to six inches deep. The deeper ones were evident by a deep brown color from the fallen leaves decomposing in them. Not being able to see the bottoms I had to coast through the deep puddles. The others I could cruise through at about 9-10 mph. Definitely happy to have fenders! Also happy to have waterproof panniers.

I used the C&O Companion iPhone App to find a place to stay and eat in Hancock. I ate at Weaver’s Restaurant plus it seemed to be the only place open. There might have been a bar too. I had apple pie for dessert that was good. The C&O app is much better than the GAP app. I like that I can use it without the internet and get info on places to eat, sleep, camp, and bike shops. (Although all the bike shops look to be closed.)

I downloaded another audio book because Moby Dick will soon run out. I went with another classic: The Complete Sherlock Holmes.

Start: Cumberland, MD
End: Hancock, MD
Today’s mileage: 64.4 miles
Total miles so far: 3302 miles
Average speed: 9.1 mph
Max speed: 15.4 mph
Travel time: (08:45 to 15:45) 7 hours
Total travel time: 401.5 hours
Weather: rain, overcast, 50-55 F

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