We knew that we were going to get rained on today (since it is the first day of the Arts Festival), we just wanted to get to Pittsburgh before the really severe weather which was predicted for the afternoon. We started breaking camp at about 0430 and were pedaling away at 0515.
After some time there was enough light that it seemed like a reasonable endeavor, riding through the rain so early in the morning. About a dozen miles into the ride we came to the Buena Vista convenience store but it didn't open for a while, so we pressed on.
In Boston we came to a restaurant that served breakfast but we were too early for that, so on we went but we were all getting pretty hungry and I was hoping we'd find something prior to the EatNPark at the Waterfront.
As we approached the Boston-Versailles bridge we decided to deviate from the trail in search of breakfast, and we ended up at the Versailles McDonalds. We had one of those funny kind of trail encounters - it's a McD's so there's a handful of older folks drinking coffee and they see out kit and they say, Hey we were at the Big Savage Tunnel on Tuesday what did you think of it? The trail cuts across a lot of niches and assumptions.
After eating and considering our position, we continued on the road along Route 148 to the McKeesport police station and rejoined the trail. Riverton Bridge, Steel Valley Trail, stopped at the Pump House where I believe we met Swalfoort and also a group of recumbent tourists, then joined the Waterfront Trail.
Took the Sandcastle parking lot and walked the railroad line along Keystone Metals, rejoined the Baldwin Trail to the Southside Trail, and took the Hot Metal Bridge.
Jail Trail to Smithfield Street, First Avenue, Gateway Center, Point State Park, Arts Festival, and... finished. No fatalities, no injuries, I don't even think we had any hurt feelings. No flat tires, no significantly damaged bicycles, no calls to first responders.
We had an excellent trip plan from QR, we followed it but not dogmatically, CA was an info-wizard in changing situations, and I was pleased to get to see a lot of very good decision making.
This was a really nice time, driven by the quality of the people involved, and I look forward to doing it again.