Great Alleghney Passage aka the GAP Trail, Part 2 / Gear

I am indeed doing the GAP trail, in just a few weeks now.
As mentioned in my previous post, I'm doing Pittsburgh to Cumberland, and then biking back up to Pittsburgh again. Most nights tent camping along the trail.

I thought I'd do a post about the gear I'll be using. At least the "big" pieces, i.e. the bike!

I wanted to use my 2006 Jamis Nova... a cyclocross bike that has lots of mounting ability for fenders racks etc.

I actually love my Jamis. It was one of the bikes I was riding when I started this blog about 10 years ago now, doing my crazy bike commute to / from north Oshawa from downtown Toronto. For about two years now it has been my "Zwifting" bike... sitting in my basement on a trainer, never seeing the light of day. (sniff!).
Anyway, I "wanted" to use my Jamis, until I tried attaching the hitch for my new cargo trailer to the bike (see cargo trailer below). Not sure if you can tell very well from this picture, below, but the dropouts where the rear skewer goes are kind of recessed a bit, and it doesn't work well with the trailer hitch. I could get the hitch on, and get the skewer secured again, but something about the fit of the hitch + recessed nature of the dropouts, throws the hub out of alignment, and makes the full wheel run like it's out of true.

So, the Jamis is NOT going to Pennsylvania with me, although I've now outfitted it with a rack and fenders, and it is now my every-day bike commuter, so it will get a ton of useful mileage out in the sunshine (and wind and rain) this summer.

So, if not the Jamis, then what? Luckily I own a few bikes, and my main commuter works fine with the cargo hitch. So... I'm riding my 2006 Kona Dew Deluxe. Riding it with full fenders, a rack, a 35mm Continental (something?) on the rear, and a 32mm Continental (something else?) on front.

Hmm... I just remembered... I reviewed the bike on roadbikereview AGES ago. Just re-read my review, I think I feel the same way now, as i did then. Though I also can now say that I've had the bike for 10 years, and it's been pretty bloody durable, save for the big wheel warp I did to the rear wheel last summer (scroll down this blog for more details on that).

This is what the cargo hitch is supposed to look like, when it's on your bike. Nice and flush and tight against the frame and dropout, not affecting the wheel hardly at all, and really just losing a couple threads of tightening on your skewer (i.e. the space the hitch takes up on the skewer).

I'm not necessarily thrilled with the idea of doing 500km on a heavy-ish hybrid, compared to doing the 500km on a cooler 'cross bike... but such is life.

Tent camping means carrying a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat, a bit of cooking (or rather "making coffee") equipment on the ride. A lot of people would do that with front rack / panniers, in addition to the rear rack / panniers, but I didn't want to go that route.
Another consideration for me was that my kids are now old enough that I'm most likely done with our Chariot, but would still like the ability to haul stuff in the future... so ... if I buy a cargo trailer... I can use it for the GAP trip, for future trips, and for hauling stuff around town on a bike.

SO... introducing the Croozer Cargo Trailer.
Hmm... just re-read their sales pitch on their site...   two cases of beer will easily fit in with room to spare.
Do cyclists drink beer??!!!  😄

The Croozer has a rear handle for use when you're just wheeling it around by hand. I won't be taking that with me. At the front, they have a wheel that you insert / remove as needed... removing it when you're using it attached to your bike, using it when you're wheeling it around by hand. I'll probably take the wheel with me so that I can pop it on and wheel the trailer around my campsites.

This is the interior... a few pockets... nothing fancy.
I should add that it collapses down nice and flat, and the wheels pop off, so it will be easy to store behind a workbench or something to get it out of the way in your garage etc.

So, that's the "big" gear I'm taking.
Otherwise, I'm not sure anyone wants to hear what brand of spare tubes, hand-pumps etc I'm taking with me.
More to come!


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