Event Details

The Route

September 21 – 29, 2019dirt-to-d-c-copy

The vast majority of this route is on unpaved bike trails. We will experience the secluded sights and sounds of nature along our ride, free from the worry of public roads and cars. Each day, we will ride to and from the trail and our host church, so cycling on public, paved roads will account for a small amount of our travels. The trail conditions will be varying, but easily passable with the right bike. Check out a summary of trail conditions, and our recommendation for what type of bike to use.

We’ll begin our adventure on Sunday in Pittsburgh, PA with a ride to Point State Park, the famous confluence of the “Three Rivers”: the Ohio, the Allegheny, and the Monongahela. After gathering at the GAP’s northern terminus, we will strike out from the Steel City along the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP). By Tuesday, this crushed limestone rail-to-trail will bring us all the way over the Eastern Continental Divide into Cumberland, MD.

Once in Cumberland, the GAP will give way to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath (C&O), which means it’s time to play in the dirt! This historic towpath, which is actually a National Park from end-to-end, will trace the twists and turns of the mighty Potomac through the Appalachian foothills. We will stay in the beautiful Harper’s Ferry, WV, having time to soak in the history present along the route. The route then takes us to the doorstep of D.C. to set up a Saturday morning trip to Mile Marker 0 and on to the National Mall, where we’ll finish our journey in presidential style!

The Schedule

Overall, we’ll have seven ride days, with the first and last being short. The typical ride day will be 57 miles. Take a look at the schedule below to learn more about the daily mileage:

Saturday9/21ArrivalRiders arrive by noon
Sunday9/2230 milesChurch Service and Bike to West Newton, PA
Monday9/2354 milesBike to Confluence, PA
Tuesday9/2462 milesBike to Cumberland, MD
Wednesday9/2561 milesBike to Hancock, MD
Thursday9/2651 milesBike to Harper’s Ferry, WV
Friday9/2760 milesBike to Bethesda, MD
Saturday9/2820 milesBike to Washington, D.C.
Sunday9/29 DepartureRiders Depart (FCBA arranges transportation back to Pittsburgh)






 Ride Logistics

Preparing for your ride gap3

Arrival in Pittsburgh:

Arrive no later than noon on Saturday, September 21st. If you need to arrive outside of that time frame please contact the Trip Leader at [email protected] as soon as possible.

Basic Orientation Schedule:
Saturday:  Riders arrive by noon and we begin orientation promptly. There will be team-building and orientation for ride safety and community living. Dinner as a team and then a good night’s sleep before starting the ride!

Sunday: Attend church and ride to West Newton, PA. The Adventure begins!


Cyclists helping to re-roof a Fuller Center house

Shipping your bike:

If you need to ship your bike please let the Trip Leader know ([email protected]).  Have it shipped to our office at the following address, with arrival no later than September 13th!  For tips on packing and shipping check here: Ways to Ship Your Bike.

The Fuller Center for Housing
Attn: Bike Adventure
701 S Martin Luther King Blvd
Americus, GA 31719

Departure from Washington, D.C.:

We will leave D.C. early in the morning on Sunday, September 29th, and plan to arrive back in Pittsburgh by 2:00pm. We are happy to offer rides back to Pittsburgh, but you must let the Trip Leader know by September 13th.

If you plan to take a flight, bus or train out of Washington, D.C., we can be of help getting you to the appropriate station in the evening of Saturday, September 28th or the morning of Sunday, September 29th. Once we have finalized our church host we will be able to determine which airport/stations will be eligible. Please contact us at [email protected] with any questions.

Want more?

If you have any questions never hesitate to contact us at [email protected] … and don’t forget to check out our 2019 Summer Bike Adventures!