At the Pump House trailhead, the parking lot was filled to capacity and people were parking across the street at US Steel. There was trail traffic, and the Sunday farmer's market, jewelry and tie-dyed sale and there was also a local dance company putting on demonstrations:
I love both of those two events - the crowd of eagle-watchers on the trail, and the crowd of dancer-watchers at the trailhead-slash-community-center. The more people that become users of trail facilities, the more people who become trail consumers, the better.
Departed the Pump House southeast-bound along the GAP to McKeesport, intending to cross into Glassport and intercept the Montour Trail. No sooner had I reached Glassport than I found three lost cyclists who thought they'd run into the Minotaur's Maze and couldn't find they way to the proper trail. I lead them back to the GAP in McKeesport where it crosses the railroad tracks behind the newspaper plant and saw them on their way. It reinforces my belief that local trail signage still isn't up to snuff.
Back on the
trail road and I noticed that my left pedal was getting wiggly. Turns out it was my left crank getting wiggly. I tightened it up and kept on track. Glassport to Clairton and I needed to "do the tighten-up" again.
Continued along the seamy underbelly of the Southern Montour Trail, stopping to tighten up the left crank as needed, until I reached MP36, the Library Trestle and the site of today's groundbreaking ceremony. Found R1 and RR. Saw Mary Shaw and Roy Weil and a few familiar faces. A few photos, a few macadamia-nut cookies, back on the trail in reverse.
I think Route 51 (in little-old Large, PA) remains the most-likely place to get killed on this segment. The trail markings suggest that the safest technique for passage is to keep off the road and I suppose that's mostly true, although technically the safest technique would be to stay home in bed. I'd like to see more share-the-road markings and a 35-mph speed limit there.
I am gobsmacked as to the cause of the crank loosening. I think my response is to apply thread-lock and tighten it up one more time.