Friday, June 17, 2011
Friday Forty and New Trail
Attended the opening of the new GAP trail segment between Duquesne and the Waterfront. Got there by bike, started at Western Penitentiary, rode the Strip Trail out and back, Jail Trail, Hot Metal Bridge, Route 837, cut through Sandcastle parking lot, Waterfront trail, etc. Nice ride down there.
A Peddling Padre did a Bike Blessing ceremony (which was cool, I need the help) and then a variety of dignitaries made speeches. While that was going on I got to say hello to Linda Boxx, Roy Weil and Mary Shaw, and world-famous trail advocate Betsy M.
There were some cool new maps on hand, along with a 2011 Montour Trail Map, and the 2011-2012 GAP Trail Book for sale.
One thing I always enjoy at these events is checking our the various bikes and the way people have them rigged. The Bike of the Day was a very cool Strida, a belt-driven folding bike that breaks down so easily that it makes a Dahon seem unreasonable; saw a rollerblader with a mirror attached to his glove that he uses as a rear-view every time he raises his hand; saw a cool rig of maps on aero bars that I may experiment with; saw a bike with a golf ball attached to the kickstand to make it reliable on soft surfaces.
News video of the opening:
The new trail sections were very nice. It was a rolling, pleasant ride, well engineered, and PAVED which is wonderful. The spot where you can watch the Phantom's Revenge roller coaster pass below the bluff was pretty cool, they're going to need some benches there. The two new bridges are excellent.
Stopped at the Pump House on the way back. Took a look at the Homestead Labyrinth, which is a tribute to those lost in the Battle of Homestead. Two years ago, it looked like this:
Now it's overgrown and rather hard to locate:
Our route back home took us through Sandcastle, out on Route 837 to Southside Works, then to Station Square, the Ft. Pitt Bridge, the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, and the Casino trail back to the start.
It was 40 miles and a very nice ride. The trail from the Point to DC is moving closer and closer to completion (and the sooner we can get there without riding Route 837 the better).