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Thread: Gap

  1. #1
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    Gap

    Last month I spent a week in Colorado to visit daughter 2, SIL 2 and grandchildren 2 & 4. Now I'm in Pittsburgh visiting #1 and gc 1&3. Glad the Steelers won yesterday. This place can get pretty weird about that.

    My impression is that this is a pretty uninviting area for road cycling. In researching for future visits I came across the Great Allegheny Passage. It looks pretty cool.

    Anyone done much riding on it? There are a few decent videos on YouTube but nothing beats first hand experience.

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    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudelsack View Post
    Last month I spent a week in Colorado to visit daughter 2, SIL 2 and grandchildren 2 & 4. Now I'm in Pittsburgh visiting #1 and gc 1&3. Glad the Steelers won yesterday. This place can get pretty weird about that.

    My impression is that this is a pretty uninviting area for road cycling. In researching for future visits I came across the Great Allegheny Passage. It looks pretty cool.

    Anyone done much riding on it? There are a few decent videos on YouTube but nothing beats first hand experience.
    Do you think?!?! They bleed gold and black in that neck of the woods. I've actually find riding in the Pittsburgh area to be not all that bad (keep in mind most of my riding is in the Philadelphia area where more people commute in and out of the city each day than Pittsburgh's enitre population). You just have to like riding hills. Here's a site with some suggestions: http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/user/spok/bike/#doortodoor If you don't like the city riding scene, there are several cool Mt. bike trails in the area. Check out this site: http://www.probikesllc.com/trails.html

    I can't help with the GAP. I've not ridden it.
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  3. #3
    A might bewildered... Dudelsack's Avatar
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    I used the search engine but I didn't find this until now: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...sage-Fall-2012

    Sounds pretty cool. I might pop some panniers on my Giro ATT and try it some day.

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    Here's the website:

    http://www.atatrail.org/

    Never ridden it, hoping to do a 3 day next year. There's a shuttle service based out of Cumberland that helps simplify the logistics. From assorted blogs I've read that Pittsburgh is miserable to bike in and around, though they've steadily been extending the GAP into the downtown area, to help with an Amtrak solution. The website lists the assorted companies and options

    What some folks do is to extend on the C&O Canal Trail, making it a 6 day, Pittsburgh to Wash. DC.

    http://www.bikewashington.org/canal/index.php

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    I do have some limited experience riding in/around Pittsburgh, but it's a quarter-century out-of-date. From the sound of things, conditions haven't improved much. I have never encountered more jerks in motor vehicles than I experienced in Pittsburgh. (Okay, Atlanta was a close second place.) However, once I got out of its sphere of influence, I was overwhelmed by how courteous and generally bike-friendly the motorists were in the central portion of PA. I also found the people of Pittsburgh to be a bit angry, but maybe they could sense my Raider roots.

  6. #6
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Send a PM to Allegheny Jet, Dudel. Pretty sure he can give you the inside scoop. Heck, his racing kit is even in Steelers colors, etc....
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  7. #7
    Senior Member GeorgeBMac's Avatar
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    This past summer several cyclists were killed by motorists here in Pittsburgh and another had his throat slashed by a motorist who claimed he had been cut-off by the cyclist. Yesterday I met a guy who had cycled across the country multiple times but had ended up with $300K of medical bills after being intentionally run off the road by a hit & run here in Pittsburgh...

    But we do have about a 100 miles of great Rails-to-Trails in and around the 'burgh... These are former rail lines that funneled the coal from the local mines to the mills -- until the mills shut down in the 70's and 80's so there was no longer a need for either the mines or the rail lines... They are fairly flat and many would say that they have no hills. But they do have grades that can go for miles... My most common route starts with a 5 mile "hill"... It ain't steep, but when you get through the tunnel at the top you know you did some work...

    I don't consider the Allegheny Passage (Pgh to DC) part of Pittsburgh. But, the parts of it close to Pittsburgh (like Ohiopyle) are beautiful this time of year...

    Volunteer organizations (mostly the Montour Trail group) are slowly extending out the Pittsburgh trails to link into the Allegheny passage. But that's a slow process because the PA Dept of Transportation (in their wisdom) have taken out a lot of the bridges that crossed over roads -- and there were a lot of them due to the numerous hills around here... But, i have met a number of cyclists on the local trails coming from Cleveland and Michigan and headed for the Allegheny passage and DC. And, quite often I see them again about week later coming back the other way...

    But, road riding and commuting by bike in Pittsburgh is limited due to the hills and the older narrow road ways that characterize so many of the old North Eastern cities. There is one corridor that comes in from the east of the city that follows the rivers that lends itself to commuting... Most of the other routes are somewhat blocked because downtown Pittsburgh has rivers on the other 3 sides, so any commute necessarily includes a narrow, high traffic bridge (assuming you survived the narrow and/or busy roads that got you to the bridge).

    But, you do see a lot of Bikes in Downtown Pittsburgh though -- including some with policeman on them...

    In my opinion, Pittsburgh shines as far as Rails-to-Trails go, but it's roads are not overly conducive to biking for a number of reasons: hills, narrow roads that follow the terrain, bridges, and motorists who don't always like to share...
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  8. #8
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    One of the local bike club members was getting ready to ride the trail this week.

    He had this book: C&O Canal and Great Allegheny Passage Trailbook. It included a really nice map (weatherproof!) in the style of the Blue Ridge Parkway maps. $10.00

    Includes Linking Up! planning guide; weatherproof, full-color map is folded into the back pocket; contains 248 pages of trail information; plus maps and information on 15 key trail towns. It's loaded with pictures of what you will see as you experience what the National Geographic Adventure calls an American Classic.

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    Senior Member bigbadwullf's Avatar
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    Nope, they haven't been brainwashed into thinking the bicycle is for transportation to advance a misguided agenda. Knew I liked the Burgh for some reason.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Allegheny Jet's Avatar
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    If you can get out of the city there is great riding about 1.25 hrs north that begins just off of I-80 at Emlenton. The paved rail trails are spectacular right now with the leaves at peak color and the river on one side. You will need a light for the tunnels on Justus Trail but don't need them for the Sandy Creek Trail tunnel. Heck, you might even see me on the trail this weekend. We are hosting some good riding friends at our cabin for the weekend and trail riding with wives and SO's will be part of the festivities.

    There is also good food and drink just downriver from Emlenton in Foxburg or up North in Franklin.

    It's very hilly and congested near the city. For regular riding I would suggest going north of the City to the New Wilmington/Mercer/Grove City area. Mercer and Lawrence Counties have plenty of farmland and forest with rolling and winding roadways with wide berms designed for the Amish buggies.



    Here is the link: http://www.avta-trails.org/trails.html
    Last edited by Allegheny Jet; 10-09-12 at 11:28 AM.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allegheny Jet View Post
    If you can get out of the city there is great riding about 1.25 hrs north that begins just off of I-80 at Emlenton. The paved rail trails are spectacular right now with the leaves at peak color and the river on one side. You will need a light for the tunnels on Justus Trail but don't need them for the Sandy Creek Trail tunnel. Heck, you might even see me on the trail this weekend. We are hosting some good riding friends at our cabin for the weekend and trail riding with wives and SO's will be part of the festivities.
    .
    My wife and I rode about 25 miles on that trail this past weekend and I can vouch for the scenery. The leaves were nice then and will probably be even better this coming weekend. You definitely need good lights for the tunnel. We didn't have lights on the bikes so took flashlights and that wasn't enough so we ended up walking the bikes through the middle.

    IMG_4240.jpgIMG_4242.jpgIMG_4257.jpgIMG_4259.jpgIMG_4263.jpg

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