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  1. #1
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    Abandoned Pa Turnpike

    I'm putting together some of our day trip rides and the abandoned section of PA Turnpike out by Breezewood is on this year's to do list.

    Has anyone ridden this recently, and can give a report as to condition etc.

    THX!!!
    I'm just trying to be the person my dog thinks I am.

  2. #2
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I was on a mountain bike when I rode it last summer and figure that the surface condition made it a good choice. You could probably ride it on a road bike, but it is a little rough. It isn't a very long ride so walking some of the rougher sections wouldn't be too bad. Still given the choice I'd take a mountain bike or at least something with a little wider tires than a road race bike if that is an option for you.

  3. #3
    djb
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    I would recommend minimum 40s, plus one of those slingshot thingees that shoot the sharp disk doohickies in case you come across a triffid, be on your toes.

  4. #4
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    Tom Cotter, I rode it in 2012 and frankly I can't imagine much would have changed in the past 2 years since there's little actual usage and the state of PA and the National Guard occasionally use it. I think you posted on the thread that Okane started about this ride; I'd bet dollars to donuts that everything I posted there is still pretty much true. A hybrid was the perfect bike for the ride, in my view.

    Also, be aware that there is a Yahoo group dedicated to the Abandoned Turnpike trail. Although that group doesn't get much message traffic, you could post there for the latest updates.

    It' back on my list for this year - I'm thinking sometime in June, maybe late May.
    Last edited by Altair 4; 02-24-14 at 11:14 AM.

  5. #5
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    I rode it with a full load last September while crossing the state. 32c Continental Touring IIs. A little bumpy/choppy in places, but generally no problemo. No way you need 40s. I started heading east in the westbound lanes because on the Breezewood end they were in better condition. At some point I switched to the eastbound lanes. A strong light for the tunnels is highly recommended. I used a 120 lumen head lamp. Encountered virtually no debris in the tunnels. One tip someone gave me before the trip was to simply follow the median stripe. Worked out well. Note that there is a pretty good crown in the second tunnel, which means you cannot see the light at the eastern end until you are most of the way through. Not long after the second tunnel, you will see some Jersey barriers on the left. You cannot go much farther east than that as the bridge over Pump Station Rd. has been removed.

    To get there, head east on U.S. 30 from the commercial part of Breezewood. A few hundred feet after you cross under I-70, make a left onto Tannery Rd. You will immediately see a small, dirt parking lot. Park there, walk you bike up the well worn path in the berm and you will see some Jersey barriers marking the entrance. Needless to say, bring enough food and water. If it's chilly, bring a jacket. It's very cool inside the tunnels. Outside it was in the upper 80s and humid when I rode it. The tunnels made for a nice break from the heat. Even at the mouths of the tunnels it was like standing in front of a central air conditioner. I didn't want to leave the comfort. Was there on a Tuesday afternoon. Saw no other riders and one young couple walking. There is a Sheetz convenience store in Breezewood if you need snacks and/or water.

  6. #6
    djb
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    Sorry Indy, when I looked up some images of it I immediately thought of the John Wyndham book, The Triffids, was simply making up a wide tire number that would be good for a post apocalyptic ride.
    Later saw it was used for a scene in The Road, that rollicking farce with viggo morgenwhathisname. Great scouting of location.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by djb View Post
    Later saw it was used for a scene in The Road, that rollicking farce with viggo morgenwhathisname. Great scouting of location.
    Vigo Mortensen. Yes. It was a good location choice. One handy thing about it is that if you are crossing PA on Bike Route S, it eliminates some climbing.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by djb View Post
    Sorry Indy, when I looked up some images of it I immediately thought of the John Wyndham book, The Triffids, was simply making up a wide tire number that would be good for a post apocalyptic ride.
    Later saw it was used for a scene in The Road, that rollicking farce with viggo morgenwhathisname. Great scouting of location.
    OMG, that "rollicking farce" line had coffee spewing out of my nose...

  9. #9
    djb
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    I think it was too dark a film (and book of course) to get more recognition that it did. I was somewhat surprised it didn't get more "Oscar" acclaim. For me the unanswered questions of what happened in the first place , as well as the subtle ending...subtle as in not Hollywood, makes it a film that will remain strong over decades. A pretty tough look at human nature.
    Anyhoo, great use of this type of location and Vigo whatshisnames performance was strong.

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