visitor looking for road route

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jefmallett
Member
#

I’m in town for a convention this weekend, tomorrow-Sun. Bringing my bicycle with plans to be perhaps not the best conventioneer and sneak in a quick ride or two. Would love route recommendations for a 25- to 60-mile ride in the hills (we don’t get much elevation in Detroit).

Convention is at the Omni downtown; not averse to driving to a starting point, but I get the impression Pittsburgh is escapable without turning half the ride into a tour of stoplights.

Many thanks in advance!


jonawebb
Participant
#

Oh boy, did you come to the right place.
Part of the Pedal Pittsburgh route (http://goo.gl/maps/ff1D) will definitely get you some hilly goodness. Follow the blue route that starts by crossing the 16th street bridge and runs up to Mt. Troy Road.


Vannevar
Participant
#

Is this the Jef Mallet I hope it is?
http://www.gocomics.com/frazz/2013/05/22
Either way, welcome to Pittsburgh!

(can we see some Fred-touring bike humor in the future,
maybe the gym couch ooops coach on a bike?)

my compliments! welcome!
if you need anything send me a pm


Chris Mayhew
Participant
#

Very easy to get out from where you will be staying.
The easiest options would be to head out over the 16th St Bridge and ride Spring Valley Rd. I don’t know that route well. On a Saturday or esp Sunday morning you won’t have much traffic so it will be hard to go wrong.

Next option is out 62st Bridge (eg R.D. Flemming) and then up Middle Rd or Saxonburg. Hard to go wrong there either but stay off RT 8 at all costs.

You could head out via West End Circle and get into the country pretty fast as well.

Also, depending on when you want to ride there’s actually a local coffee shop ride that will be in the Strip about 8a Saturday. You could meet them and do the second half of their ride then take the T right back to your hotel.

https://connect.garmin.com/activity/197236338
(West end route)

https://connect.garmin.com/activity/189600076
(collection of dirt roads to the north)

https://connect.garmin.com/activity/84400543
(gives you an idea of how to head out via West End)


jefmallett
Member
#

Oh, man. I was told you guys were great, and boom! It’s true, right off the bat. Jonawebb, this looks perfect. Likewise, Chris. And thanks for the coffee-shop ride info, too, though I’ll be leading a bunch of cartoonists on a run right about that time. Which answers Vannevar’s question: I’m that Jef. I draw “Frazz.” And I’m happy to say I have had some Fred bike jokes in there, but maybe I’m due to throw in some fresh ones. Thanks for reading my stuff! You made my day.


Vannevar
Participant
#

You know, you could ditch the whole convention and ride the trail to DC. Just saying. And/or, if you’ve only got an hour, there’s the Dirty Dozen to sample, the steepest street hills in Pittsburgh, just google it.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
#

Wow, you are that Jef Mallet huh? Much respect for your work in Velonews.


jefmallett
Member
#

Don’t think I’m not tempted by your suggestion, V. Bet I can behave myself a little and still get some good riding in. I’ll take what I can get!

And Chris, huge thanks! I love Velonews. Pretty cool to be a part of that publication. Your name sounds familiar, too … maybe I’ve seen you in their pages as well.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
#

Man I wish. Haven’t quite made it there yet.

Hey, if you need a local point of contact feel free to drop me a line at
chris at jbvcoaching dot com


reddan
Keymaster
#

@jefmallet : Another option, if you’d be up for something a bit longer, is this 166K populaire on Saturday. Starts at 8 AM, just a couple miles up the trail from town; 60-ish miles of moderately hilly riding, followed by 40 miles of mostly flat stuff along the river.

[Edited to add:] And on Sunday, there’s a hilly training ride for a local MS150 team:

When: May 26, 8:30am, ride leaves at 9am
Where: Observatory In Riverview Park (parking is available on the street on Riverview Ave.
Mileage: ~60
Route: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/2548476


jonawebb
Participant
#

Hmm, @reddan, unless I’m doing the conversion wrong, 166K is more 100-ish miles than 60-ish. Unless you are converting to EZ-riding recumbent miles, that is.


reddan
Keymaster
#

Hmm, @reddan, unless I’m doing the conversion wrong, 166K is more 100-ish miles than 60-ish. Unless you are converting to EZ-riding recumbent miles, that is.

That’s why I said “if you’re looking for something a bit longer.” I probably should have been more precise in my phrasing.


jonawebb
Participant
#

Sorry, I misread — I stopped after ’60-ish miles…’ Always read to the end, damnit!


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

All you need to know about Pittsburgh hills is to start downtown and ride to Riverview Park via Federal Street. It starts off dead level, then a tiny grade as you cross North Ave, then a bit steeper grade as you go past the library, and the farther you go, the steeper it gets. About a 350-foot climb in 3/4 mile, most of those feet in the last 1/3 of that.

Riverview Park is another mile or so past the top of the hill. And then you get to go on the ride.

This is still a fairly busy street, and there are other ways to get there (like a $2.50 ride on an 8 Perrysville bus, using the bus’s rack), but if you’re looking for what we call Type 2 Fun, that’s a great way to start.

Welcome to Pittsburgh!


byogman
Member
#

It’s a great hill with a great view and a blindingly fast descent, but I’m not sure it qualifies as “all you need to know about Pittsburgh hills”, at least if the goal is type 2 fun.

A couple months back I rode straight up it and the extension, in the saddle, with gears to spare and was asking all the while when it was supposed to go from steep to, dammit my front wheel won’t stay on the ground steep like the couple DD hills I’ve ventured.


TeamDecaf
Moderator
#

Many city ride map pdfs on my site – mostly 20 – 25 miles. All start outside the central city, but many go through downtown, so it would be easy to pick up a route. Plenty of hills.

Team Decaf Bike Maps


pbeaves
Participant
#

theres always the GAP trail too. starts in downtown (Grant & First ave – behind the PNC building)
and its also on googlemaps so its easy to find.
Not many hills, but it is a nice scenic ride.
just watch out for the occasional swarm of gnats.


jefmallett
Member
#

Huge thanks, all of you. Yeah, as soon as I saw there’s an observatory in the middle of Riverview Park, I figured I’d have to incorporate that on a ride.

I’m really looking forward to seeing your city — the best way TO see a city. I really appreciate the guidance.

Jef


Mick
Participant
#

For a short ride, maybe 20-25 miles, just going up to observatory hill is a nice ride. Just one hill, but it has some heft.

The Team decaf map for it is good. I think you can link up with their route by just crossing a bridge from the convention center.


Benzo
Participant
#

Observatory hill climb is really nice, good view and a fountain at the very top.


erok
Keymaster
#

i love riding up to observatory hill. i also love the descent down perrysville.

also, the observatory is old, and you can maybe work in a free tour of it: http://www.pitt.edu/~aobsvtry/tours.html


steevo
Participant
#

Like Chris said… easy route out of the city for 50 miles or so would
be saxonburg or middle road. Middle is currently under construction
so it might prove to throw you into sprawl…

If you are looking to just ride, and not keep looking at a cue sheet:
from omni go out smallman. at 36 or 38 go up to butler. Ride out to 62
street bridge… its the first bridge after 40th street. You can stay right
and just jam up route 8 for 2 miles or so. You will get to burger king
and eatn park (3rd light) go right. Saxonburg blvd. You can literally ride
this road safely for 30 miles. Once you cross over the turnpike (maybe
12 miles out… you will be going 50 down a hill and you go over it)
you can turn off anywhere and explore….

Classic 30 mile ride is out saxonburg to church lane. left on church.
left on middle back to route 8 (they split right at the burger king)
Church should prove to be a good enough hill.


Marko82
Participant
#

If you want a taste of the hills Pittsburgh has to offer, here’s a link to a video to watch on the plane (and most of these hills are within five miles of the convention center too).

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