Frequently Asked Questions
- How is the route being planned?
We will be primarily following the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) and C&O Towpath (C&O), through the mostly rural areas of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Western Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia, ending in Washington DC. If you haven’t experienced them, they are truly wonderful rides. Both are filled with majestic views and steeped in history. There will so road riding to get into the communities and from Butler to Pittsburgh.
- Who can sign the petition?
Anyone in the US. We will be presenting this to Federal officials. Please make sure to include your address. This will make it possible for representatives to see you are from their district.
- Is this a race?
No. Tour de Frack is a bike tour through the rural areas of Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia designed to examine the extraordinary and delicate outdoor heritage of the birthplace of the American dream.
- Is there a cost to join the ride?
No. As a rider, you are responsible for your own expenses. This includes meals, accommodations, equipment, transportation to and from the ride.
- Do you offer a guarantee?
TDF is not a travel agency or a service provider nor do we carry liability insurance as such. We may collect money to pay for expenses as a courtesy and to get group rates at times but we do not make claims as to the quality of the services nor are we responsible for them.
- How will we get back from DC?
We are expecting 10,000 people at the Stop the Frack Attack Rally in DC on July 28th. Tour de Frack is reaching out to people from the area who are driving to DC to shuttle cyclists and gear back Western Pennsylvania.
- What type of bike do I need to do the ride? Will we be riding on trails or on the road?
A hybrid bike and tire is best suited for the tour. We will spend most of the ride on the Great Allegheny Passage, the C&O Canal Towpath and other bike trails so a tire with tread and shock absorption is best. We will be doing some road riding in towns and cities.
- How far will we be riding each day?
Most days will average between 30-40 miles.
- How fast will we be riding?
Most of the ride is even with less than a 3% grade (it is an old steam engine track and canal tow path). Eight to 10 mph is average for the trail. Some may find that they move faster or slower than this. Don’t worry. It is not a race.
- Do we have a schedule? What happens if I fall behind?
Most days we will have an event planed in the evening where we would like all riders to join us but there should be more than enough time to complete each day’s route in time.
- How many cyclists will be on the tour?
We have been able to secure overnight accommodations for 12 riders at each stop.
- Is there a SAG option?
We have made arrangements for a vehicle to carry some equipment. We are asking those that use the SAG for a $20 donation per day to cover the cost of the vehicle and drivers. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your space.
- Can I ride for a portion of the tour?
Please do. Check out our itinerary and jump in whenever and wherever you can. Local groups have arranged for group rides where large numbers of cyclists will join us for the last 5-10 miles of the day. We do ask that you sign a waiver. If you plan on spending the night with us, please email us at email@example.com.
- Will we be riding as a group? Will we be riding on trails or on the road?
Safely is our first priority. When on congested roads we will ride together. The majority of the ride will be on the trail system and free from traffic except for the occasional road crossing. During this riding we still ask that you travel with another cyclist.
- Where will we be sleeping?
We will camp on average 2 out of every 3 nights. There will be access to communal bathroom facilities at all stops. Accesses to bathing or showering facilities should be available every 2 to 3 days.
- What about meals?
There are numerous places along the trail to eat. Each rider will take care of his/her own meals. Breakfast will often be at camp so granola bars and other items would be best. We will be set up to boil water (I need coffee). Lunch will often be on our own unless a local group has made arrangements to host us for a lunch. Each day has been planned so that we will be near a trail town around lunch time or if you so desire, you may pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic. Dinner will often be at the end of the day’s ride; before or as part of that night’s event. We will either be in an area with food services or we will prepare a group potluck at the campground. The cost for the potluck will be between $5-$10.
- What so I need to bring with me?
- Signed TDF Liability Waiver (e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org)
- First Aid Kit including Ibuprofen or naproxen, band-aids, and Epi pen if needed
- Any prescription or over the counter medications
- LAVA soap or other alternatives for poison ivy/oak/sumac
- Insect repellent
- Bear spray/Pepper spray optional
- We recommend that each rider purchase a copy of TrailBook (There are also good websites about the trail. Once such example is http://yockatomac.org/)
- Bike lock
- Bike repair essentials (patch kit, bike tool, etc.)
- Strong wire ties/piece of wire that can take the place of a fallen out bolt temporarily
- Headlight and reflectors
- Sleeping bag
- Plate, cup, spoon, knife, fork
- Light source
- Jackknife, Swiss army knife, or leatherman
- Personal hygiene products
- Pair of "water shoes" for wading in the rivers (there can be glass and fishhooks in spots)
- Spare pair of shoes in case you spend the day in rain
- Roll of toilet tissue in a ziplock bag
- Two changes of pants/shorts
- Rain parka/poncho
- Any food you wish to take (granola, Nutella/peanut butter)