Okay, if you clicked on this link to find out what the hell Butt Butter is, skip to the end of the post.  If you can wait, read on to find out how today’s miles on the Pittsburgh to DC adventure unfolded.

Hump Day, and in this case that’s appropriate in more than one way.

Today began with a 20-mile haul toward the Eastern Continental Divide, which as everyone knows is the geological feature that determines watershed direction; hence, the slow uphill pull we’ve been making since leaving Pittsburgh.  We are following a rail bed, so all the big hills and curves are smoothed out, even in areas where it’s very hilly. 

You can see by this chart the slopes leading up to the Divide

Along the way we passed a couple of beautiful trestles and a wind farm.

We could see about 20 windmills on the crest of this hill

The remaining 26 miles that brought us into our overnight town of Cumberland, Maryland were fabulous.  We could have technically done them without pedalling, but we were enjoying getting the speed up a bit since we’ve been cruising around 10-12 mph.  Jesse’s computer showed 22 as top speed.

We also crossed from Pennsylvania into Maryland at the Mason Dixon Line – trivia question on Facebook photo album.

had to put the brakes on to make this photo

This little town in Maryland is the start of the C and O canal, and is a very quaint, homey, bike-oriented town.  We went out for Mexican food here, and then stopped at a bike shop on the canal.  We have camera problems (I left the charger at the first night bed and breakfast, and we’re just about out of the last charge), but we hope to resolve that before tomorrow night’s blog/pictures.

Great Allegheny Passage ends, C and O Canal begins

Butt Butter:  this is a bike-riding-specific ass lubricant (!) that serves to reduce any area of friction in the saddle.  Our Ragbrai team has long discussions about application technique:  some choose to apply just a tiny amount to the inside chamois of the riding shorts, others of us want to feel as if we are sitting in apple pie as we ride (that would be me).    It’s an indispensable piece of riding paraphernalia, and I am glad to share this information with you.  Now you know.

Thanks for reading