Hey has anyone really done that ATA trail at all? I've just recently gotten back into cycling, and gotten my first proper bike I've ever owned. I'm not in that great of shape, but I'm looking for something to strive for so I have a goal that I can set for myself.
How harsh are the trails? If I actually do this, it will most likely be from Pittsburgh-Confluence, but I'm not positive. I'd really enjoy doing the entire thing, but I'm not sure if I'll be in shape enough to do the entire thing by August this year (Junior year in college at PSU, so my cycling will be knocked back down to just school -> home commuting, along with weekend recreation.
Any hints/tips/recommendations/personal experience would be greatly appriciated!
The trails are not very harsh at all. The average gradient is 2%, but going from Pittsburgh to Confluence is mostly uphill at that grade. The good news is coming back is just the opposite.
What type of bike are you planning on using? I have found a hybrid, or mountain bike the most comfortable to use on the trail. Smooth tires on a mountain bike make it easier as well. A roadbike can be used, but I recommend using at least a 28 width tire if you're going that route.
I was able to do 40 miles on the trail after only one month back on the bike after a 20 year hiatus from riding. I think with some weekend prepping, plus you're commutting you can be ready to go by August.
Give it a go, and have fun doing it.
I just bought an 07 Raleigh Route 66. It's already got 700x28 tires on it, with the tiniest bit of treading. I was considering buying another set of tires, possibly 32s with a step more agressive tread for stability. I've never had a road bike before this, and I'm still uncomfortable taking corners at speed. I want to be able to just blast through corners without worrying.
I've yet to put fenders/lights on it. I was getting fenders on it when I bought it but the rear one wouldnt fit through the post. I need to get a camera to take actual pictures of mine
Nice bike! I think it will be perfect for doing the trail. The 32's would make the trail seem a bit smoother, but the 28"s are great when the trail is dry, and packed. As far as the tread goes, a lot of tires have minimal tread to decrease rolling resistance. Smoother equals faster, plus the compounds of rubber actually grip the road better. The tread on the outer edge is there to aide in cornering, and water displacement. Cornering fast is more about counter steering, and learning to trust that grip. Just watch some bike racing, and take a look at how far they lean their bikes into a turn. Then take a look at the tires they use, Hardly a shred of tread in the lot.
Any ways good luck with the riding, and practice is the key to learning technique.