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A bike / map geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish. by Vannevar Bush       about       /       murals       /       Pgh-DC bike maps new

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Forgotten Trolley Trails, the Harmony Short-Line, and Poison Ivy

08/26/12 238# 39m
Rode 39 miles on a non-standard course that started in Millvale and rode into the North Hills, mostly via Babcock.

I met S. and blogger Stu at the Millvale Gazebo at 0630 and Stu guided our path through the North Hills. The first stop in our quest for murals was the Attic Records store at 513 Grant Street, Millvale:

Right around the corner is the MacArthy Park mural:

Riding out of town we happened upon the Sidelines Bar and Grill, which makes a real effort to respect intellectual property rights and avoids using any copyrighted images or logos in their mural:

Next we came to Regis Steedle Candy, which has been tragically closed since 2006, at the intersection of Evergreen and North Streets. The artwork was done by Pepe Buylla and it looks like it's new.

The North Hills Art Center has an excellent mural (as they should):

We continued on Babcock, which had a gentle climb and a generous shoulder, until Three Degree Road, at which point we ducked behind the car wash and rode along the abandoned path of an inter-urban trolley track. Conditions along the path were a lot like the C&O Canal trail - some doubletrack, some tall grass, one major portage, and - as I was to learn - a hardy, potent strain of poison ivy.

(update) The abandoned trolley line was the Harmony Short Line, which operated as depicted in this 1928 map:

(update) Between Ingomar and Warrendale, 4.3 miles of the original rail line remains uninterrupted, and there is an effort to establish a walking trail.

We came out of the trail and rode over to McKnight Road, where we took pictures of the elephant mural by Andrew Vernon at a gas station near Peebles Road:

Sort of a partial mural at Doggy Day Camp:

Around the corner from Pamela's Pancakes and the Lincoln Ave Pharmacy, Millvale Lanes has a mural:

And immediately adjacent is the Lincoln Ave. Pharmacy mural:

We locked up the bikes and stopped at Pamela's P&G Diner for breakfast, which was excellent. We came out and started riding around the corner and I discovered a flat rear tire, with a big nail in it. I was at a loss for an elegant position to work on the bike, but then I realized that the dual parking meters provided a pretty good work station:

With the tire repaired, we turned the corner and went to Red Star Iron Works on Sedgwick Street, Millvale:

Joined the trail in Millvale, rode along the Allegheny to the stadia, and took the Ft. Duquesne Bridge into downtown. Blvd of the Allies, Jail Trail, Hot Metal Bridge. There were quite a lot of bicyclists on the HMB and the SouthSide Trail.

We rode down to Keystone Metals and then reversed, stopping in South Side Works to take a picture of another mural:

Rode north to the SouthSideDogPark and saw The Workers, new sculptures still being installed:

Crossed the Ft. Pitt Bridge then rode the Strip District Trail past the Convention Center and out to the Cork Factory, then continued via Railroad and Smallman to the 40th Street Bridge, back to Millvale.

A very nice ride, new routes and a secret trail, murals and strawberry crepes and nice weather. I just wish I hadn't got poison ivy on myself. Congrats to S. who crossed 4000 miles on the bike so far this year during today's ride.

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