Touring - Allegheny Passage
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I need help with logistics. I'd like to drive to Pittsburgh, leave the car and take the train to Cumberland with my folding bike. On the return to Pittsburgh can I cycle from McKeesport, or must I arrange a shuttle. Route and/or shuttle recommendations please.
This is a hard question (seriously). Riding from McKeesport to downtown Pittsburgh (where the car parking and train station are) is the most contentious issue among riders on the GAP Yahoo group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Great_Allegheny_Passage/messages) - you may want to also pose your fair question there.
You can ride from McKeesport to downtown. I live in Pittsburgh, I've ridden McKport-Pgh at least eight times, and - honestly - it sucks. It's not bike friendly in any way, and I am very comfortable with riding in traffic. It's the sort of thing I'm willing to do myself, but I couldn't recommend it to a friend.
Now in fall 2011, "they" say there's going to be a trail route from McKport to Pgh. There's an awful lot of effort and money being put into it, they have a goal date of 11/11/11. Maybe it'll be ready sooner, maybe not.
OK, to answer your question, I'm going to give a two-part answer.
A. If money is no object and you don't like riding in busy traffic, then definitely engage a shuttle.
B. If you're willing to take significant risk, can't afford the shuttle, and want the full experience, then it is possible to ride into Pgh- I'd suggest posting your estimate of when you're in McKeesport on the GAP Yahoo Group, and maybe somebody will be able/willing to ride with you and show you the way.
The GAP is a beautiful trail, you'll enjoy it.
01-23-11, 08:02 PM
You can leave your car at my place if you like. If you arrive on a Saturday then I can lead you down the Montour Trail or take you through the city. The city route is shorter but a bit more hilly.
I know routes that can get you around much of the traffic but it is really not all that bad no matter what way you go. Depending on when you arrive, the trail from the city to the start of the GAP might be finished.
Or for a few dollars, you can leave your car at Yough Shore Inn. If you stay there first night, parking is free while you are gone.
If you have a folding bike, why not just take the train or the bus back? It will be a lot cheaper than the shuttle.
The problem with the train is it arrives at 12 midnight. If you arrive back on Friday or Saturday then I can pick you up at the station. Or if it is a week with a Friday off you could arrive Thursday night.
Some BF people are trying to put a trip together sometime in September or maybe October. You are welcome to join us.
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