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Old 05-13-08, 07:20 PM   #1
nisqualee
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Best route from Erie to Pittsburg, PA?

Part of an upcoming fully-loaded tour will be riding from Erie, PA to Pittsburgh, PA.

The state of Pennsylvania recommends one route:
http://www.dot.state.pa.us/BIKE/WEB/tour_routes.htm

And Adventure Cycling has a similar but different route, which is called the Underground Railroad Pittsburgh Spur:
http://www.adventurecycling.org/rout...?pg=detail&s=6

So now I'm in a quandary. Has anyone here ridden this stretch? Any recommendations? Which one is better? And why in the world are they different?

Perhaps the ACA targets historic Underground Railroad sites, and the state is just picking the best roads? The latter would be my preference.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-14-08, 07:56 AM   #2
Torrilin
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I haven't ridden either, since I didn't have a bike when I lived in Erie. The PennDOT route doesn't give me the screaming mimis in Erie proper, and it *seems* to be staying on sensible roads. Please note I'm *not* an Erie native, so I'm going on memories of college from a couple years back. The Adventure Cycling route is less clear in the online version so I don't know what I think (beyond the obvious bit of why are they hauling people *that* far out along the lakefront if they're not gonna let you bike in the park - Presque Isle is gorgeous and I'd almost class it as a sin to be in Erie and not wander around there).

The routes are different because PennDOT and Adventure Cycling aren't the same group . They have different priorities. Both seem to be routing you along PA state highways. These are typically 2-4 lane roads with unrestricted grades and 1950s lane widths. Usually no shoulders. They tend to be less traveled, since they're not well marked. If you *do* hit a US route, it should be similar.

Silly question: do you live in PA or will this be an Exotic Vacation for you?
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Old 05-14-08, 10:08 AM   #3
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I'll be doing this route in the reverse direction, in about a week and a bit. I'll be sticking to the Bike PA "A" route which is basically route 19 for most of it. Pittsburgh north goes along the river till Elwood City before heading East to rte 19. Route 98 is used for a bit further north just shy of Erie itself.

However, if the shoulders suck and the traffic is bad or I need to get off to avoid rush hour, I see plenty of other North-South minor roads that basically parallel rte 19, so I may end up on those. I'll let you know what I find. When are you leaving?
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Old 05-14-08, 08:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freemti View Post
I'll be doing this route in the reverse direction, in about a week and a bit. I'll be sticking to the Bike PA "A" route which is basically route 19 for most of it. Pittsburgh north goes along the river till Elwood City before heading East to rte 19. Route 98 is used for a bit further north just shy of Erie itself.

However, if the shoulders suck and the traffic is bad or I need to get off to avoid rush hour, I see plenty of other North-South minor roads that basically parallel rte 19, so I may end up on those. I'll let you know what I find. When are you leaving?

Libby and I rode US19 from US Rte. 422 to Meadville two years ago. Libby was 12 at the time, and I didn't have any qualms about her riding with me. Most of the traffic seemed to be on I-79 which pretty much runs parallel to US19. As I recall, the road was typical of western PA - little to no real paved shoulders and less than ideal paved road in some sections. No horn-blaring JAMs -- just friendly motorists giving lots of berth when passing. Libby didn't like the rolling hills.

Judy
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