Physical Preparation for the GAP Bike Trail

Getting Ready to Bike the Great Alleghany Passageway


The GAP Bike trail is on a former railroad track so the grade is never too perilous but it is a long way from Pittsburg, PA to Cumberland, MD on a bike! Therefore it is important to get physically prepared. Three days at fifty miles per day is more than most of us ever do for regular exercise so it is important to do some practice trips of at least twenty-five miles each.

If this is your first trip using panniers, one should put them on the bike loaded with gear and go for a ride to get used the weight and physical presence of the panniers. Any other bike accessories or changes to your bike should definetly be tried out before the trek down the trail. The last thing you want to discover a couple miles into a 150 mile bike ride is that something about your bike, gear or clothing is not going to work or be aggrevating.

Proper Nutrition and Diet

If you are not in your ideal of physical fitness level, a couple months before the ride is the time to incentivize yourself to lose a couple of pounds or to get in physical shape to make your ride a whole lot more enjoyable. And remember, you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet. Proper nutrition is paramount. In preparation for the trip, change your diet for a healthier and happier “you” not just for the trip but for the rest of your life. Avoid ultra-processed foods, minimize sugar, and stop consuming seed oils! Most cookies, crackers and snack foods are loaded with seed oils which are terrible for your diet. Buckle up and eliminate them!

A Little Exercise Goes A Long Way

If you belong to a gym, get in there a couple days a week several months in advance. Emphasize the leg workouts: squats, split squat, bulgarian squats, romanian deal lifts. Mix in some whole body exercises such as cleans and dead lifts. Avoid machines that only work a couple of muscle groups. There are plenty of websites an Youtube and Instagram videos that overview these exercises.

Personally, I prefer kettlebells, because they force you to work so many muscles groups, but a barbell and dumbbells are fine. Just get out and do it.

The Clean and Press - An exercise that works many musle groups


This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

Trending Tags