My first bikepacking experience was a short one. I joined my nephew and a couple of his friends in 2014 when they were cycling the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) and C & O Towpath from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington, DC. I camped with them the night before I rode with them and the following day cycled 44 miles from West Newton, PA to Ohiopyle, PA. At that point I was hooked. I saw bikepacking as an extension or adaptation of Backpacking. Since I had been an avid backpacker for years, I had all the gear I need except for panniers, so it did not incur a big expense or have a sharp learning curve.

Since then, I bikepacked the entire C & O towpath and GAP from DC to Pittsburgh in 2019 with a friend That same friend and bikepacked the GAP and Montour Trail to ride in Pittsburgh and then return to our starting point along its southern suburbs.

Most of the later two trips involved camping, but we did spend one night in a hostel midway each trip so we could shower and clean our gear.

In 2018 I also participated in a weeklong American Cycling Association Introduction to Road Touring trip in which we cycled with all our gear and camped in a different commercial campground or county park or state park each night.  If you are new to bikepacking, the  ACA Intro to Road Touring trip is a great way to learn in the company of others.

aka "Boonerelli"

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