|The Yockatomac Trek |
The original Yockatomac Trek in 1999 was organized as a trip for a group of friends sharing responsibilities and supporting each other. We used a personally-owned van to carry baggage during the day, a friend volunteered to drive, and we set up our own shuttles around unfinished parts of the trail.
Subsequent trips have been somewhat larger and more structures, most notably by hiring an outfitter to drive the baggage van, bring ice and food to a selected lunch stop, and transport people and bikes to the occasional hotel far off the path or around trail gaps. Nevertheless, the general sense of the trip has remained more like a group of friends cooperating in a shared experience than like a catered trip with support staff.
The trip itself has been organized so that people could ride in small groups rather than as a single pack. This accommodates many different riding styles, and it has the additional advantage of reducing the impact on the trail and other trail users. To do this we have, as much as possible, chosen lodging within easy (or at least reasonable) biking distance of the trail. By doing this we eliminate the need for fast riders to wait at the end of the day (sometimes in the rain) for the slower riders to show up for the shuttle to the hotel; at the same time, the more leisurely riders know that they aren't holding anyone up.
As we branch out to have multiple sections of the trip, we'd like to maintain that same sensibility.
So we trust that as the Yockatomac Trek evolves to multiple independent trips it will preserve this philosophy. Some points to consider:
Scheduling a trip for more than a dozen people at same time as another such trip may lead to congestion on the trail or competition for the fairly scarce lodging near the trail. It only takes a shift of a day or two to avoid this.
Keeping the trip size below about 30 allows people to get to know each other and doesn't clog facilities
Hiker-biker sites are of limited size, and you may wind up sharing them with other groups. It will work out best for everyone if trip sizes are held to three "two-man" backpacking tents or 2 tents if they're larger than 55-60 sq ft (about 8' x 7', or a "4-man" tent). This works out to 6-8 people.
Yockatomac trekkers ride safely and conservatively. All riders on all sections of Yockatomac Treks are expected to wear helmets.