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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Bicycle Trip Pittsburgh to Washington DC, Day One

06/23/12 # 29m
First day of a bicycle ride from Pittsburgh to DC, credit card touring, hotels with a support van. Today we rode from Pittsburgh's Point State Park to Belle Vernon.

We started off with two additional riders M and D for the day, and missing a rider who was sick. The weather was absolutely beautiful. We mustered at Point State Park which is partially closed for construction, which is sort of Pittsburgh's status for all things bike-trail: there's some amazing stuff but it's not evenly distributed, key points are closed for construction and improvements, and you sometimes can't get where you want to be.

We had a safety briefing before we began, I've seen so many rides start off with an incident that it seemed worthwhile. It must have been a good briefing, passerby's stopped and listened and one (Tina) came up and said Hello.

Point State Park, Blvd. of the Allies, Jail Trail, Hot Metal Bridge, Southside Trail, Keystone Metals Trail.

  • Yes, this is a bike trail
  • Yes, they're walking and not riding their bikes
  • Yes, it is somewhat evocative of the Beatle's Abbey Road cover

Sandcastle Parking Lot, Waterfront Trail, Steel Valley/Kennywood Trail, Riverton Bridge, McKeesport Trail and our first flat (rear) tire. With that repaired, the ride continued to the McKees Rocks Cafe and Pizzeria, cold drinks and authorized wall-signings.

We resumed and rode the Boston route, the Durabond Bypass, and encountered the second flat (same bike, same wheel). It was a new wheel, seemed like an insufficient rim strip cutting the tube, so we applied a kludge supplemental rim strip of duct tape and that seemed to work well enough to the South Boston trailhead.

Since it was Saturday afternoon and all the bike shops are closed on Sunday, the rider got in the van with the bike and they headed to the West Newton bike shop. The diagnosis was a faulty rim strip, they took out the duct tape and applied a better rim strip and the tire was good for the remainder of the trip. Very helpful shop, our rider walked in at closing time and they took good care of him.

Saw the alumninum waterfalls, the iron waterfalls, and unfortunately we got to West Newton after the trailhead offices closed down. We had originally hoped to overnight at the Bright Morning B&B in West Newton, but we dawdled too long and they were booked. We continued to Cedar Creek Park and climbed/shuttled through the park to the Belle Vernon Comfort Inn.

The Comfort Inn was a great hotel, bike friendly, wifi and hot showers, standard continental breakfast; I'd stay there again (although it is a major climb up from the trail). Locating dinner was not a source of great satisfaction.

   June 23, 2012 Week 24
this week:
88 miles
  244#   2nd Qtr 1687 miles
2012: 2700 miles

1 comment:

  1. Abbey Road indeed! Sorry to have missed you in West Newton.