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Biking Through 184 Miles of Mud

Members of the C&O Canal Association presented Friends of the Historic Great Falls Tavern with a check for $1,725 on Tuesday, Oct. 11, near the end of a 184-mile ride that more than 20 association members pedaled along the canal. The money will go to the Friends of the Tavern’s fund to replace the replica canal boat at Great Falls Tavern, three years after damage to the previous Canal Clipper boat rendered it inoperable.

Riders began at the canal’s upper terminus in Cumberland, Md., on Thursday, Oct. 6, and arrived at the Pawpaw Tunnel after one beautiful day. For the next two days, they would not be so fortunate. On Thursday night, campers heard raindrops falling on their tents, and torrential rain plagued the next two days of biking.

“Once you get wet, it doesn’t make much difference, but it’s getting [out] there in the first place that’s tough,” said Jim Heins, a member of the C&O Canal Association.

Heins and fellow rider Norman Liebow had their hands full as they repaired broken chains and flat tires for the riders as they biked toward Georgetown. Riders learned about Landers Lockhouse from an expert, and saw the newly restored Monocacy Aqueduct. “It’s just six days of fun, information … and a lot of insight into human beings and group behavior,” Heins said.

Friends of the Tavern has now raised more than half of the $600,000 necessary to replace the canal boat. See www.BuildACanalBoat.com for details on the Friends of the Tavern’s canal boat restoration project.