Gap in the GAP First Ride!

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sarapgh2
Participant
#

Be among the first to ride the completed gap in the GAP, past Keystone Metals and Sandcastle!

Date and time TBD, but when it’s done we’ll be there!

Meet in the Southside then ride to Homestead to enjoy the trail, great company, and great food and beer. Be among the first to ride the completed trail.

Be prepared for short notice, we’ll hopefully have a few days notice of actual completion.

Facebook event page is at: http://www.facebook.com/events/468719879865833/


Lou M.
Participant
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Can you please make sure to update this post for the non-Facebook users among us? Thanks.


erok
Keymaster
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cool idea!


sarapgh2
Participant
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Lou M. Sure:
Be among the first to ride the completed gap in the GAP, past Keystone Metals and Sandcastle!

Date and time TBD, but when it’s done we’ll be there!
(*We don’t know the date for sure, but likely mid-May. 2014 is a placeholder:)

Meet in the Southside then ride to Homestead to enjoy the trail, great company, and great food and beer. Be among the first to ride the completed trail.

Be prepared for short notice, we’ll have a few days notice of actual completion.

PLEASE BE AWARE – the trail is currently still a construction site. Do not ride the trail until construction is completed. Thank you:)


Marko82
Participant
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sarapgh2 wrote:PLEASE BE AWARE – the trail is currently still a construction site. Do not ride the trail until construction is completed. Thank you:)

Umm, I’d never do that. Especially not early in the morning at the start of a cross-state race, nor two days later with friends. Honestly, it never ever crossed my mind.


Mikhail
Member
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sarapgh2 wrote:mid-May. 2014

2014? :) We know that it’s going to be open on June 15th, 2013 officially.


sarapgh2
Participant
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Mikhail:
“Date and time TBD, but when it’s done we’ll be there!
(*We don’t know the date for sure, but likely mid-May. 2014 is a placeholder:)”


Ahlir
Participant
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Darn. I somehow went through there this morning. Wish someone had told me!
Anyway.

The approach:

The ending:

And the look back:


stefb
Participant
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Yeah, Marko… I ummmm never rode through there either at 530am..


pbeaves
Participant
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i didnt ride thru at 5:30, nor did i go back thru at 8:30 either.

#innocent whistling.


jonawebb
Participant
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If I did it, it was only because of peer pressure.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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The trip back involved walking on railroad ballast and looking at an eagle flying overhead. The trip out seemed unbelievably smooth. *whistles innocently*


joanne
Member
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Wow, all of you, too? I didn’t ride through there just yesterday afternoon! And I definitely didn’t offer a “hail, fellow scofflaws!” to a big group of other cyclists who also weren’t riding through.

@sarapgh2, can’t wait!!


Ahlir
Participant
#

Some random observations:

1) I expect they’ll put a fence up to separate the trail from the railway. I can see the trail being deemed “unsafe” in the meanwhile.

2) There no passage onto the Sandcastle property as yet, though maybe a preliminary cut through the fence. And of course no stripping or signage on the street.

3) The Glenwood end has the right design (ie a sharp turn at the end to slow you down) but you can’t see anyone coming the other way. A mirror would be nice. Or maybe a nice sculpture made of old chrome bumpers, say celebrating our junkyard heritage. Maybe Keystone could be persuaded to do some funding of the arts.

4) It’s not the most idyllic spot but it would be cool if Sandcastle set up a cafe in that corner of their property catering to the evening and weekend bicyclist. A nice place to stop and some business for Sandcastle. Dare we hope for a beer garden?

So, lots of stuff still to do and many new possibilities.


Mikhail
Member
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Hm, 5:30am?


JustRay
Participant
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Hope this happens soon. Seems like there sure are a lot of people busily NOT riding this section.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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@ahlir “…it would be cool if Sandcastle set up a cafe in that corner of their property catering to the evening and weekend bicyclis…”

An ideal situation for a portable cart. Heck, two carts, the other selling Icees or something.


Vannevar
Participant
#

Did a google-maps street-view search, seems like this is how they’re separating the trains from the trail and the trail from the road (assuming this is Sandcastle)

I think this is going to be the best segregated bike lane in the region. Previously I awarded that designation to the Marcigahalahalahala Steel Works.

And then at the northern end of SC, after the sinkhole and the road veers away to the gate (according to this street-view search), it seems like the trail-in-progress might look something like this:

it’s amazing how those google-earth people get around from all the way over at Bakery Square.


Marko82
Participant
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Isn’t Voogle great


sarapgh2
Participant
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There will indeed be fencing on both sides of the trail through Sandcastle. Approx. 8′ fencing against the railroad and the barrier with 4′ fencing against Sandcastle. There will also be fencing along the Keystone Metals section. No, you will not be able to enter Sandcastle at any point along the trail. To enter Sandcastle you will have to use the main ticket entrances.

For those interested in hearing updates on the trail and any who wish to help us care for the trail (maintenance, ride leaders, table volunteers) please consider attending an upcoming Steel Valley Trail Council meeting. We desperately need more volunteers, particularly with the increase in trail use expected.

We have moved the meeting time back to 6 p.m. and the location to the Pump House on May 20 . We hope to get a good response from this change. Information and updates can be found at http://www.facebook.com/SteelValleyTrail and steelvalleytrail.org.


Mikhail
Member
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Do we know if trail through the Sand Castle is going to raised a little bit (at least to the road level)? If it’s not then we have a potential problem during rains.


sarapgh2
Participant
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As far as I know it is at road level and there are no concerns about rains/puddling.


pbeaves
Participant
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from what i observed last friday, it appears they are in the process of repaving the section of road that has been designated for the trail,
on the ride thru that section was mostly chopped out & being prepped for a refill.
i would imagine that progress is being made since the weather has been good and the eadline is approaching.


rsprake
Participant
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Will there be access to Sandcastle from the non-waterfront end of the trail? If not I expect a lot of people hoisting their bikes over the wall. No one is going to ride all the way around.

@sarapgh2, I am on the maintenance list. I did some work last year but I am now more official. I will be out of town for the next meeting but will be able to make future 6 pm meetings, especially with the trail being complete!


Ahlir
Participant
#

@rspake et al:

• It’s getting on summer and the SD gates will be open pretty much all of daylight. The gate keepers are either friendly or they just ignore you. Dodging cars has been the only problem, but that’s about to disappear. I couldn’t really tell from a couple of days ago but the SD side of the road is all cleaned up and there’s what looks like a section taken out of the chain link fence (though it’s blocked).

• I personally like going around. This takes your through the Whemco grounds, onto 7th and to the Amity St crossing over the tracks and to the service road behind the mall, all the way to the Pump House and back onto the trail. I like it because it lets you avoid the trail as it skirts around the mall, which in my experience has quite a few strollers, families with small children, etc. I don’t see why I should force them to deal with a (comparatively) fast moving bike. Or maybe I’m just into post-industrial landscapes.

• Finally, you can hop on the ballast and get to where the SD parking fence fades out; cburch had been promoting this for a while. (What? What’s that? Oh. You have some of those dinky 23mm tires… Nevermind.)

• Or mix it up and, once past SD, follow the road up to the bridge, go right and to 8th then left onto Amity. If you’re just cruising I recommend venturing into Homestead itself, a pretty cool place.


sarapgh2
Participant
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rsprake – thank you for your help and please be sure to say hi at upcoming meetings. I’m sometimes running around like crazy trying to get to everything, but I always want to meet new people and volunteers:)

If people want to try hauling their bikes over a 4′ fence, that’s on them. Originally the request was 8′ fences on both sides, which seemed a bit claustrophobic. We’re happy to get it down to 4′ on one side and trail should be about 10′ wide (instead of 4′ or 6′). Nothing’s ever perfect, but this is the result of a lot of hard work, patience, and compromise. Idiots will be idiots no matter what you do. C’est la vie.


Vannevar
Participant
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Been out of town. Any update on the unofficial / soft post-construction, pre-commissioning surface inspection ?


sarapgh2
Participant
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No updates yet, but it is getting closer and work is proceeding at a good pace.


Vannevar
Participant
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Thank you Sara!


Benzo
Participant
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Ahlir wrote:Finally, you can hop on the ballast and get to where the SD parking fence fades out; cburch had been promoting this for a while. (What? What’s that? Oh. You have some of those dinky 23mm tires… Nevermind.)

Railroad ballast on 23mm tires, that’s not a problem, it’s an opportunity to improve your bike handling skills.


Ahlir
Participant
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@benzo:
“Railroad ballast on 23mm tires, that’s not a problem, it’s an opportunity to improve your bike handling skills.”

True. But whatever you do, don’t slow down.


Mikhail
Member
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Keystone Metal part is completed. Just rode it. Fence is UP, parabolic mirror at the turn, line is painted near turn, gates/bollard at the SC part are up and kind of closed.


Mikhail
Member
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Ahlir wrote:(What? What’s that? Oh. You have some of those dinky 23mm tires… Nevermind.)

What about 20 mm tires? :)


Ahlir
Participant
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Mikhail wrote:What about 20 mm tires? :)

Go faster.


chinston
Participant
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Open today at 4 pm according to Allegheny County’s twitter feed!


Benzo
Participant
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sarapgh2
Participant
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Uh, yeah….about that.


Swalfoort
Participant
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Great news!

Yay!


Benzo
Participant
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sarapgh2 wrote:Uh, yeah….about that.

Is this a bit off then? AC county jump the gun?


Kordite
Participant
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I have to go right home after work today to pack for a trip so I don’t have time to try it out. Will have to wait until Monday.

My plan is for the Waterfront to become my new Park-and-Ride location. Where should I park so that I can bee there all day, my car won’t be molested and the retailers won’t get suspicious and have my vehicle either towed or blown up?

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