A Nine Day Cycling Adventure

Stephen Ashton 2 Comments

16 Trailmen from Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia accepted the challenge and assembled at Point State Park in Pittsburgh, PA to make the 335 mile bike journey to Washington DC on the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O Canal Towpath. Months of planning, training, and long day rides were about to be applied in a great 9-day adventure that was sure to test the mettle of everyone involved. Gear was loaded and food drops were prepared as the team launched.

Along the way boys and mentors cycled 30-50 miles a day, starting slow, and adding mileage as boys build endurance. Together they traveled through the deepest gorge in Pennsylvania, around the Paw Paw Tunnel, along the edge of Green Ridge State Forest in Maryland, beside the Potomac River, and into Harpers Ferry West Virginia. Each morning and evening the boys spent time reflecting on the day, reading scripture, and appling spiritual truths. As they progressed toward DC, they considered Jesus setting his face to go to Jerusalem. The trip ended at "mile zero" of the towpath at Georgetown Waterfront Park in Washington DC.

Lev, a 17 year-old Ukrainian Trailman refugee, also was able to ride as part of the group. Steve, a Trail Life dad commented, "We enjoyed him singing songs and hymns in Russian as he rode behind us. He was able to practice and learn a lot of English on the trip. I'm so glad to be part of a great organization like Traill Life USA that helps build boys and young men into great men."

At the conclusion of the 9-day cycling adventure, boys and dads ate voraciously, swapped stories, shared memories, and began making plans for the next great adventure!

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About the Author
Stephen Ashton

Stephen Ashton

Stephen Ashton is the National Director of Marketing for Trail Life USA and serves as an adjunct professor at Clarks Summit University and Anchor Christian University. Prior to his work at Trail Life, he spent 15 years working with at-risk youth in residential therapeutic wilderness programs and served as the Vice-President of the Wilderness Road Therapeutic Camping Association. An author and a speaker, he has written for journals and published a book chronicling the foundations of therapeutic camping. He frequently speaks on the topics of fatherhood, biblical masculinity, outdoor education, and wilderness therapy. Stephen lives in South Carolina with his wife and 4 sons.

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