Event Details

The Route

September 14 – 23, 2018dirt-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:

Friday 9/14 Arrival Riders arrive by 9pm
Saturday 9/15 Arrival Build Day (with The Pittsburgh Project) and Orientation
Sunday 9/16 30 miles Church Service and Bike to West Newton, PA
Monday 9/17 54 miles Bike to Confluence, PA
Tuesday 9/18 62 miles Bike to Cumberland, MD
Wednesday 9/19 61 miles Bike to Hancock, MD
Thursday 9/20 51 miles Bike to Harper’s Ferry, WV
Friday 9/21 60 miles Bike to Bethesda, MD
Saturday 9/22 20 miles Bike to Washington, D.C.
Sunday 9/23  Departure Riders Depart (FCBA arranges transportation back to Pittsburgh)






 Ride Logistics

Preparing for your ride gap3

Arrival in Pittsburgh:

Arrive no later than at 9:00pm on Friday, September 14th. If you need to arrive outside of that time frame please contact the Trip Leader at bike@fullercenter.org as soon as possible.

Basic Orientation Schedule:


  • Trip Leader will open church doors at 5:00PM
  • By 9:00pm: All riders arrive!
  • Dinner will be on your own–you can either plan to eat before you arrive, or we will help arrange transportation to local restaurants for those who need it!
  • 9:00pm: We will have an optional showing of the documentary film called Briars in the Cotton Patchpittsburghproject
Saturday:  Build day with The Pittsburgh Project, a Christian non-profit organization which deploys over 1,500 people annually to perform free home repairs for more than 130 of Pittsburgh’s elderly homeowners.

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 (bike@fullercenter.org).  Have it shipped to our office at the following address, with arrival no later than September 6th!  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 23th, 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 1.

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 22 or the morning of Sunday, September 23. Once we have finalized our church host we will be able to determine which airport/stations will be eligible. Please contact us at bike@fullercenter.org with any questions.

Want more?

If you have any questions never hesitate to contact us at bike@fullercenter.org … and don’t forget to check out our 2018 Summer Adventures!