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Old 05-11-08, 04:12 PM   #1
referee54
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Pittsburg to DC

Great article in today's Cleveland Plain Dealer about the former railway, now a bike path from McKees Port, Pa. to DC. A former student of mine rode a while back, and I am thinking seriously about riding it this summer---if anybody here has done it, I would like to hear about it and suggestions.

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Old 05-11-08, 04:43 PM   #2
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I did it last year and it was an excellent trip. Only thing I would chage would be to do it on my mountain bike + trailer instead of the touring bike.

My trip journal: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/keith
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Old 05-11-08, 05:22 PM   #3
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Just a few corrections. It is Pittsburgh not Pittsburg. We are proud of the H. There are other Pittsburgs but no other Pittsburghs in the U.S. It is Mckeesport not Mckees Port and not to be confused with Mckees Rocks.

The Montour Trail is only a mile or two from my home. It connects to the GAP. I can go from my home to DC and only hit roads a few times. But I have never actually done it. I would like to try it sometime.

If you need any help on the Pittsburgh end, including a place to crash the night before, just let me know.
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Old 05-11-08, 05:58 PM   #4
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The Historian and I are planning to do this in three weeks. If I can get my new bike in time (the current MTB I use is smashed up), I may be seeing you on the trail!
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Old 05-11-08, 06:14 PM   #5
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Rode it last July from McKeesport to DC solo on my Cannondale T800. No problems whatsoever, and enjoyed it so much am doing it again this Sep. I did mine plastic, no camping. Very scenic and a nice ride.
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Old 05-11-08, 06:30 PM   #6
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Just a few corrections. It is Pittsburgh not Pittsburg. We are proud of the H. There are other Pittsburgs but no other Pittsburghs in the U.S. It is Mckeesport not Mckees Port and not to be confused with Mckees Rocks.

The Montour Trail is only a mile or two from my home. It connects to the GAP. I can go from my home to DC and only hit roads a few times. But I have never actually done it. I would like to try it sometime.

If you need any help on the Pittsburgh end, including a place to crash the night before, just let me know.

Sorry about the misspellings---I just returned from my aughter's college commencement and I am beat...would you really let a Cleveland Browns fan sleep in your garage?

Thanks,

Tim C.
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Old 05-11-08, 07:23 PM   #7
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Sorry about the misspellings---I just returned from my aughter's college commencement and I am beat...would you really let a Cleveland Browns fan sleep in your garage?

Thanks,

Tim C.
I was thinking more of the doghouse. "Yunz" guys are used to it? Or is it the dog pile?

I might make an exception and actually let you sleep in the house. Just don't tell anyone.
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Old 05-11-08, 07:29 PM   #8
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I might make an exception and actually let you sleep in the house. Just don't tell anyone.
Especially not your neighbors.

I suppose he should be thankful he'd hooked up with a Pittsburgh guy. In Johnstown, we'd have shot him on sight.
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Old 05-11-08, 07:38 PM   #9
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hey fellow clevelander, i just saw that article too and am thinking about doing that. i had been planning to go nyc, but if changing my plans to DC means avoiding roads almost the whole way, im all for it.
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Old 05-11-08, 07:43 PM   #10
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hey fellow clevelander, i just saw that article too and am thinking about doing that. i had been planning to go nyc, but if changing my plans to DC means avoiding roads almost the whole way, im all for it.
I live on the west side of Cleveland---I live and teach in Columbia Station. One of my former students said that it was a really awesome ride, and he did it primitive---I hope to ride it around the middle of June, after school is out. We will be the ones masquarading as "Stillers" fans...

Tim C.
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Old 05-12-08, 04:04 AM   #11
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Just a few corrections. It is Pittsburgh not Pittsburg. We are proud of the H. There are other Pittsburgs but no other Pittsburghs in the U.S.
http://www.carnegielibrary.org/exhibit/hname.html

From 1890 to 1911, the US Board on Geographic Names, in an attempt to establish uniformity, decreed Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, would drop the H from its name. For more than two decades both the 'correct' and
h-less spelling were in use. It was a confusing time in the City of Steel. One could read the local newspapers the Pittsburg Dispatch and the Pittsburgh Leader. Maps called the city Pittsburg, which the city's government used the h. While there was some headway made to getting the H out of Pittsburgh, there wasn't enough, and a grass roots campaign was organized that convinced the US Board on Geographic Name to reverse their decision.

I don't have the strength to research the McKeesport/McKees Rocks discrepancy.....
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Old 05-12-08, 06:29 PM   #12
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I live on the west side of Cleveland---I live and teach in Columbia Station. One of my former students said that it was a really awesome ride, and he did it primitive---I hope to ride it around the middle of June, after school is out. We will be the ones masquarading as "Stillers" fans...

Tim C.

Wear and disguise you want but we will be able to smell you coming from a mile away. There is nothing that can mask the foul oder of a Brown fan.

Seriously, you are also welcome here anytime. We even have running water and indoor toilets. Don't worry I can show you how to use both.

Seriously, you are welcome to stay at my place or if there is anything else I can do to help you start your trip just let me know. I can even take you out for a Pimanti Brothers sandwich and you will have an uncontrollable urge to root for the Steelers at the next Steeler Brown game.

Editors note: Some readers of the forum may not be aware the good natured ribbing that goes on between the Steeler / Brown rivals (two American football teams). If there is one thing that Brown fans and Cleveland fans can agree, is one the the best days in Cleveland / Pittsburgh history was the day the Browns came back to Cleveland.
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Old 05-12-08, 06:35 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
http://www.carnegielibrary.org/exhibit/hname.html

From 1890 to 1911, the US Board on Geographic Names, in an attempt to establish uniformity, decreed Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, would drop the H from its name. For more than two decades both the 'correct' and
h-less spelling were in use. It was a confusing time in the City of Steel. One could read the local newspapers the Pittsburg Dispatch and the Pittsburgh Leader. Maps called the city Pittsburg, which the city's government used the h. While there was some headway made to getting the H out of Pittsburgh, there wasn't enough, and a grass roots campaign was organized that convinced the US Board on Geographic Name to reverse their decision.

I don't have the strength to research the McKeesport/McKees Rocks discrepancy.....
Thanks historian I forgot about when we got the "H" out of Pittsburgh.

McKeesport and McKees Rocks are actually two different places. I'm sure my father has the whole history of Mckees Rocks. I used to know but long forgotten.
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Old 05-12-08, 09:33 PM   #14
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Wear and disguise you want but we will be able to smell you coming from a mile away. There is nothing that can mask the foul oder of a Brown fan.

Seriously, you are also welcome here anytime. We even have running water and indoor toilets. Don't worry I can show you how to use both.

Seriously, you are welcome to stay at my place or if there is anything else I can do to help you start your trip just let me know. I can even take you out for a Pimanti Brothers sandwich and you will have an uncontrollable urge to root for the Steelers at the next Steeler Brown game.

Editors note: Some readers of the forum may not be aware the good natured ribbing that goes on between the Steeler / Brown rivals (two American football teams). If there is one thing that Brown fans and Cleveland fans can agree, is one the the best days in Cleveland / Pittsburgh history was the day the Browns came back to Cleveland.
Primanti Brothers?!? Goodness, Spinnaker, do you want to kill the man?
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Old 05-12-08, 11:55 PM   #15
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A friend & I were hoping to ride this trip this year, but it looks like I won't have the time or money. There is a great website with lots of info here:

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

There are also several books detailing the ride.

spinnaker, if yinz go to Giant Iggle, pick me up some chipped ham
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Old 05-13-08, 05:15 PM   #16
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A friend & I were hoping to ride this trip this year, but it looks like I won't have the time or money. There is a great website with lots of info here:

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

There are also several books detailing the ride.

spinnaker, if yinz go to Giant Iggle, pick me up some chipped ham
Slight correction. if yinz go to Giant Iggle, pick me up some chipped ham, an at
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Old 05-13-08, 07:13 PM   #17
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I just wanted to say I find this thread amusing since I'm from the Pittsburgh area. Go Steelers. Carry on.
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Old 05-13-08, 07:25 PM   #18
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Last Nov after an article in National Geographic Adventure Mag. I rode from Cumberland Md. to D.C. over a long weekend. A great ride in the fall as the leaves don't block view of the river. Also very few others on the trail at that time of year. I teamed up with a Civil War Buff. to drive the car. we met up each night and ate crab cakes with great Yuengling Beer! It solved the car retreval problem. I have read that it is best to avoid rainy season , as the trail can be quite mucky after rain. A mountain bike would be best, but wide touring tires would do. Check out the website mantioned above, or google C&O canal bike ride.
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Old 05-13-08, 07:31 PM   #19
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Last Nov after an article in National Geographic Adventure Mag. I rode from Cumberland Md. to D.C. over a long weekend. A great ride in the fall as the leaves don't block view of the river. Also very few others on the trail at that time of year. I teamed up with a Civil War Buff. to drive the car. we met up each night and ate crab cakes with great Yuengling Beer! It solved the car retreval problem. I have read that it is best to avoid rainy season , as the trail can be quite mucky after rain. A mountain bike would be best, but wide touring tires would do. Check out the website mantioned above, or google C&O canal bike ride.
Herb
I can't tell you how much many of us here in Ohio love Yuengling's---they don't sell it here. I would go to Pa. to ref a college basketball game and come home with two or three cases.

I am gong to have to do this tour---it sounds way too nice to pass up. Other than the fact that I root for the Browns (Clowns?) it should be really enjoyable.

PS---Many Browns fans love to see the Steelers win and be successful---just not against us.

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Old 05-13-08, 07:32 PM   #20
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Slight correction. if yinz go to Giant Iggle, pick me up some chipped ham, an at
We'enz have the Giant Iggles around here, too.

Tim C.
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Old 05-14-08, 01:18 AM   #21
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We'enz have the Giant Iggles around here, too.
But sadly, no chipped ham (trust me, I've looked ). The PA relations are coming to town in a few weeks, I'm halfway tempted to ask them to pack a cooler full for me...
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Old 05-14-08, 04:42 PM   #22
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I think some friends and I are leaving from Kent to do it sometime this summer. You're more than welcome to join, that is if you could tolerate dirtbag college students.
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Old 05-17-08, 05:54 PM   #23
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I've done this a few times. It's a great ride, see 2006 4-day Pgh-DC report or also 2004 3-day MKP-DC report

The Grand Decision is: do you start in downtown Pittsburgh, at the Point, or do you start in McKeesport or Boston, PA. If you start in McKeesport or Boston, PA, you'll start on the trail and have uninterrupted trail until the MP84-ish detour between Cumberland and DC.

If you start "at the Point" in downtown Pittsburgh, you'll have 5 miles of trail, then 8 miles of lousy street riding until you get to McKeesport. If you're not very very comfortable with truly marginal roads, don't start in Pittsburgh. In fact, the locals generally advise visitors to start in McKeesport or Boston.

There are two great Yahoo groups to ask for advice : Great_Allegheny_Passage/ , and coTowpath/.

As you'll see in our 2006 trip report, my favorite method to get home is to have a rental van at the DCA airport, and after reaching MP0 in DC just ride on the trails over to DCA, pick up the van, drive home, and return it at the PIT airport.
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Old 05-17-08, 07:03 PM   #24
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I can't tell you how much many of us here in Ohio love Yuengling's---they don't sell it here. I would go to Pa. to ref a college basketball game and come home with two or three cases.

Tim C.
I've got wonderful memories of Yuengling - a classic case of how marketing (and not product) saved a brewery. I started drinking the beer back in 1971, because it was the absolute cheapest beer you could buy (even cheaper than Kohler, and as I went to college in Erie, that's saying a lot).

At the time, the brewery was on the ropes, selling it's beer as cheaply as possible just to move some product. Yeah, the same wonderful stuff we appreciate so much today. No advertising budget, nobody noticed the brand, etc.

Selling cheap beer didn't really work. The market share got smaller and smaller, and the stuff got harder and harder to find - even for an (at the time) lifelong western Pennsylvanian. Sales got small enough that it started bordering on microbrew output.

At which point, the yuppies thought it was a microbrew, started drinking it, realized how good it was, and they've been going great guns ever since.

Go figure.
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Old 05-29-08, 10:25 AM   #25
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Yuengling was recommended in a Consumers Reports evaluation back in the 1990s. That is when I started buying it whenever I visited PA. I like the lager and I thought the black and tan was pretty fun.
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