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  1. #1
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    Join Date
    07-06-2019
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    Albion, PA
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    42
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    Default 4 State Challenge round trip

    I am looking for some guidance for an attempt at the 4 state challenge. I want to start at HF at about 0330 am, run to Penn Mar Park, hop on my bicycle and ride back. I did a 43 mile gravel ride yesterday in 90 degree heat in 3h 31 mins with 1,232 feet of elevation. I figure an 11 hour run and a 3-4 hour bike. My last 40 mile was done in 10:50 minutes, I know I can improve this. I just did a mountain 50k in 8:50 minutes in June with 5,568 elevation. I am looking for trail conditions, places to start, stay and secure my bike, specifically a hostel, church or home up near Penn Mar.
    Iíll be carrying around a 10 to maybe 15lb pack.

  2. #2

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    Google shows three routes to bike from Penn Mar to HF, all about 3 3/4 hours and 40 miles. One route is effectively flat, the other two have a couple of big bumps to go over. So, your bike timing is about right, except for the fact you'll have some sore legs on the return trip.

    Man, you got a long drive from Lake Erie. You can't get much farther away and still be in PA.

    Penn Mar is basically a small park in the middle of a residential area. There is no where to stay near-by. The Days Inn in Waynesboro would probably be the closest. There are hostels in Harpers Ferry which cater to bikers on the C+O canal, so you could probably store the bike at one of these. They may want you to spend the night though.

    Okay, say you drive to Harpers Ferry and spend the night, you will want to after that long drive. But since you want to start at 3:30 AM, you have the whole next day to kill. Harpers Ferry is a good place to do that. Then you have to decide if you want to drive up to Penn Mar that afternoon, or wait until 2:30 AM to drive up. Penn Mar is a dawn to dusk park, so you can't hang out there all night.

    The devil is always in the details...

    The trail through MD isn't particularly difficult, but it is pretty rocky and a lot bumper then the profile looks. Starting at 3:30 with little or no daylight will slow you down due to the need to watch your footing. Not much for water along the way without a big detour.

    Personally, I'd wait until cooler weather.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  3. #3

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    This sounds like a fun day. I'd also recommend waiting for cooler weather, and you'll want to be certain the water sources are flowing. Why a 10-15lb pack? Wear a vest and carry a bit of food, a few blister treatment options, a headlamp, a liter or two of water, and a small sawyer squeeze filter. Total weight should be well under 10lbs. A pack will pull you backward, make your back sweaty, and if you're not using a bladder then you'll have to stop every time you want food or water. A vest solves all of the above issues.

  4. #4

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    The roads would concern me most... country roads, two lane and narrow shoulders... be sure you have lights on the front and back of your rig. Tons of hostels. Towns Inn, Tea Horse...

  5. #5
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    01-16-2011
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    I have done two double 4 state challenges, I call it the eight state challenge. I have done it in 36 hours but have often wondered if I could knock it out in 24. My last attempt took me 62 hours before a catastrophic ending on the side of the trail. No idea about riding back but you could consider running/hiking both ways. Have fun.
    enemy of unnecessary but innovative trail invention gadgetry

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Malto View Post
    I have done two double 4 state challenges, I call it the eight state challenge. I have done it in 36 hours but have often wondered if I could knock it out in 24. My last attempt took me 62 hours before a catastrophic ending on the side of the trail. No idea about riding back but you could consider running/hiking both ways. Have fun.
    I've been pestering a friend to take a shot at the 8 state with me for a couple of years. One of these days...

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