This year’s Ride the GAP is a 1-day only adventure bike ride on the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP Trail). We’ll be riding from Connellsville, PA back to Pittsburgh, PA (62 miles) on Saturday, August 8th. Riders of all skill levels are welcome on this fully supported ride.
While you ride, you’ll only need to be concerned about 2 things: riding safely and having fun. The registration fee includes transportation for you and your bike from Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD, as well as a full lunch on the trail. We’ll also have a bike mechanic on the ride if any issues should arise.
Funds raised from this charity bike ride will be used to support the projects of the Espwa Foundation. Check out our project page for more details.
Date: Saturday, August 8, 2020
Mileage: 62 miles total (a metric century)
Start: Connellsville, PA
Finish: Pittsburgh, PA
Note: the map reflects the 150 mile trail from Cumberland, MD to Pittsburgh, PA. This ride will only be from Connellsville, PA to Pittsburgh, PA.
More information on the Great Allegheny Passage is at the GAP Trail Website.
On Saturday, August 8, transportation for you and your bike is available. Meet in the parking lot of the Cardello Building in Pittsburgh, PA at 7:00 AM. The Cardello Building parking lot is under the West End Bridge (near Rivers Casino on the North Shore). Address: 701 North Point Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15233.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer to meet us at the event start in Connellsville rather than receive transportation, you’ll need to be ready to ride at 8:30 AM. Meet at Yough River Park, 259 N 6th St, Connellsville, PA 15425. This park is along the GAP Trail.
Lunch will be provided for all participants. Lunch is planned between 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM at the Cedar Creek Park along the GAP Trail.
We plan to arrive back at the Point State Park at approximately 4:00 PM.
In order to participate, there is a Registration Fee of $62.
If you would also like to fundraise on behalf of Espwa for this ride, great! Your fundraising page will be hosted on the Espwa website and can be forwarded via email and social media. You can also accept checks made out to The Espwa Foundation with “Ride the GAP – Your Name” in the memo line and these can be credited to your social fundraiser. Check the “Fundraising How-To” tab for more information.
The Espwa website has tools that will allow you to create your own fundraising page. This method is known as ‘social fundraising.’ Once you upload a photo and any applicable text, you can send out the link to your page via email or post to any social media platform. Your friends, family, coworkers, etc. can go to the page and submit a donation to support your ride. All donations are tax-deductible.
If you receive a check, ensure it is made out to ‘The Espwa Foundation’ with ‘Ride the GAP – Your Name’ in the memo line. Simply email us at email@example.com and we’ll let you know how to submit it. We will credit it to your social fundraiser.
To set up your individual page, click the button below, then click “Become a Fundraiser.” You will know your page is live when you go back to the link below and see your individual page listed on the event page.
What should I wear for the ride?
– Helmet – of course! You should wear one every time you ride, and you must when you participate with Espwa. Modern helmets are lightweight, airy, and stylish as well.
– Jersey – a cycling jersey with rear pockets is handy for carrying snacks, your wallet and other items. Summer jerseys are usually made from a material that wicks moisture way from the skin, keeping you drier and more comfortable. Plenty of casual riders simply pull on a T-shirt, but realize that sweat (or a rain shower) makes cotton heavy and clammy.
– Shorts – cycling shorts are key for long rides like this. They assist by minimizing chafing and other discomforts when sitting on a saddle for any length of time. Good shorts have a large, smooth, lightly padded liner (“chamois”). If you don’t care for the skintight look of Lycra, opt for the “baggie” mountain bike style that look like casual shorts but still has a liner. Being a loose fit, though, means they could bunch uncomfortably during long rides.
– Gloves – short-finger cycling gloves absorb perspiration for a safer grip, protect against raw spots and blisters, and pad your palms to reduce road shock.
– Shoes and socks – dedicated cycling shoes, either for road riding or mountain biking, are the best choice. The reason? Very firm soles that let you press as hard as you want without feeling uncomfortable pedal pressure. You can use mountain bike style shoes with or without toe clips and straps, or with clipless pedal systems. Plenty of casual riders simply wear running shoes, but their softness makes them less suitable for longer distances. Socks are important for comfort and sweat absorption.
– Sunglasses – it’s best to use a sports model with unbreakable lenses that have 100% UV protection. The wraparound style will reduce bothersome wind, important if you wear contacts.
What should I pack?
We recommend bringing the following, but feel free to bring whatever you would normally pack for a day of biking.
– 2 water bottles (on bike)
– Spare tube for your bike
– Rain gear
How should I pack my gear?
We’d suggest you equip your bike with rear rack and panniers. We’ll have some space available with our veteran riders as well. Our veteran riders and our trip mechanic will have all the tools we need for the ride.
What about rain or bad weather?
This ride is rain or shine. So pack and dress appropriately.
What’s the best bike for this ride?
Advice from the GAP website:
“Most bicycles will be fine on the trail which is for the most part surfaced with fine crushed limestone. Experienced riders tend to prefer a hybrid (cross between road and mountain bikes) as thin tires can sink into the trail surface and make the going slow. People with mountain bikes tend to prefer hybrid tires or conservative mountain bike tires with just a little tread in the center and lugs on the edges to handle mud. Barring the extreme tire widths, any bike will work just fine. Be sure the bicycle, particularly the saddle, is comfortable. If you do your own maintenance, check the bike over before leaving for long trips. If you don’t do your own, take the bike to your friendly local bike shop for a safety check and tune-up.”
We highly recommend getting a safety check prior to the ride. A good “once over” from a local shop will ensure your bike is ready for this adventure. If you need recommendations for a local Pittsburgh shop, please contact us at ridetheGAP@espwa.com and we’ll point you in the right direction.
Need to rent a bike for this excursion? Contact Golden Triangle Bike Rental in Pittsburgh.
More questions? Please contact us at ridetheGAP@espwa.com. Thanks!