2015 Crush the Commonwealth

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stefb
Participant
#

Stop buying rain gear! It wouldn’t be CtC without bad weather. You would miss out on the joy of misery and type 3 fun


Adam
Participant
#

Hahaha. The time I did the ride, in 2007 I think — the weather was pretty great, except for a bit of hypothermic “sleep” inside of a 45 degree rated sleeping bag wearing nothing but shorts, a jersey and a windbreaker inside.

We were camped at Shawnee State Park and the hot shower was quite welcome.

We had a crappy winter — it would be great if everyone brings the appropriate rain gear so we won’t need any of it!


Adam
Participant
#

Does anyone have the Bike Route S PDF anymore? I saw they took it offline.

Are they really out of date? I remember back in 2007 getting thrown off-track near Lancaster and used the map to find my way back. Otherwise the whole route was very well marked.

Are the maps outdated enough to be considered useless now?


reddan
Keymaster
#

As luck would have it, I grabbed copies of the PDFs a while back. Enjoy.

[Edited to add:] The direct link to the master PDF still works, too.


jonawebb
Participant
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I thought some signs near Valley Forge Christian College were missing. But maybe by then something was going wrong with my brain. Probably… OK, definitely. Still, I had no problem following the signs except in that area.
PS I just checked StreetView. There’s definitely no PA Bicycle Route S sign there (turn on to Buckwalter).
PPS There’s actually a series of missing signs from there to Valley Park Road. I’ve reported them to PennDOT, and we’ll see if they get them fixed by the next CtC, which, oh God, I’m somehow thinking about doing again.


tomh
Participant
#

I thought some signs near Valley Forge Christian College were missing. But maybe by then something was going wrong with my brain. Probably… OK, definitely. Still, I had no problem following the signs except in that area.
PS I just checked StreetView. There’s definitely no PA Bicycle Route S sign there (turn on to Buckwalter).

Hah! Dan G. and I got lost at that intersection four years ago.


stefb
Participant
#

Had my second nightmare Saturday night about doing this again.


Adam
Participant
#

I actually recall being confused around Valley Forge — but my brain being so fried I could not even tell what direction I was facing… WITH a compass… AND with the late afternoon sun (which would indicate it is in the WEST) hahaha.

I know I felt like I was going the wrong way — but then I found myself at the Schuylkill River trail.


Kristopher
Member
#

As part of my century training ride today, I rode the trail from McKeesport to West Newton and back. What wasn’t sandy and soft was bumpy and rutted. Not looking forward to 90 miles of that. Hoping for some improvement!


stefb
Participant
#

There won’t be.


Kristopher
Member
#

Ugh.


reddan
Keymaster
#

Traditionally, the 15-mile segment from Confluence to Rockwood has the consistency of gritty 2-inch-deep peanut butter for every eastbound CtC.

Something to look forward to…


jonawebb
Participant
#

When I did it it wasn’t that bad until the end, on the aforementioned stretch to Rockwood. It started raining. If I’d been going a bit faster (ha) I would have missed the rain. As it was, I ended up getting covered with limestone mud. Went everywhere, into my bag, etc. Fenders recommended, unless you want, as Stef said, type 3 fun.
In case you were wondering,
Type 1 Fun = What most people call fun. When you’re doing it, you say, this is fun! Afterwards, you say, that was fun!
Type 2 Fun = When you’re doing it you say, this is the most stupid idea I ever had. Afterwards you say, that was fun!
Type 3 Fun = When you’re doing it, you say, this is the most stupid idea I ever had. Afterwards you say, that was the most stupid idea I ever had.


Kristopher
Member
#

Stefb and Reddan…..I was planning on running with my Conti All Season 25mm’s. Do you think 28mm’s are a better option?


reddan
Keymaster
#

I’d go with 28s over 25s, yeah. It’ll help on the GAP, and on the (many) paved roads where the surface is poor.

That said, if I had to choose between 28s bare and 25s with fenders, I’d think really hard about the 25s with fenders. As Jon mentioned, fenders are choice if you wish to avoid some of the muck spray and keep your drivetrain slightly less filthy before the 300 miles of pavement begins.


Kristopher
Member
#

thanks for the info….fenders aren’t an option, so i’ll look at some 28s…


stefb
Participant
#

Kristopher
Member
#

Checked my clearance and there’s not a chance of fitting any fenders. Thanks though.


Mikhail
Member
#

Those fenders (Stef pointed to) are not the full fenders. They do not go under breaks and they do not go between wheel and sit tube. I put similar on my road bike today (where 25 mm is the maximum tire size). They will keep you clean and kind of dry but not you transmission.


stefb
Participant
#

http://m.rei.com/product/647147/sks-xtra-dry-rear-seatpost-fender?cm_mmc=cse_PLA-_-pla-_-6471470010&mr:trackingCode=19199541-7C93-E011-9A77-001B21631C34&mr:referralID=NA&mr:device=m&mr:adType=plaonline&mr:ad=74537624800&mr:keyword=&mr:match=&mr:filter=127505071240&msid=FGMv9Ui7_dm%7Cpcrid%7C74537624800%7C

This is what I run on my commuter. It is an adequate rear fender that is easy to put on and take off, and better than nothing. but of course, I know my legs and feet will get wet. It is a tight fit with the rear blinky and the fender on the seat post, since I am not a tall person.


5Matt
Member
#

Stefb, is there a similar fender or half fender for the front wheel?


stefb
Participant
#

tomh
Participant
#

I use these:

http://ecom1.planetbike.com/7017_2.html

no eyelets / fittings required on the bike, and you can trim them so they don’t pass through the fork crown or brake bridge.

there are also these, but I have not used them: http://www.crudproducts.com/roadracer-mk2/


5Matt
Member
#

Thanks Stef and Tom. I think I’m going to try just the rear wheel version for now.


Marko82
Participant
#

Any interest in a send-off party of cyclist this year? Two years ago about a half dozen of us pedaled as far as McKeesport and then went to breakfast – you know, like normal people would do.


jonawebb
Participant
#

I might be up for that. I’m not going to be riding, as one of my sons is graduating Pitt that weekend. But it would be nice to participate somehow.
Oh wait, what the f… I’m not getting up at 5 am Friday just to go have breakfast. Never mind.


Mikhail
Member
#

I would go. I have day off that Friday. :)


reddan
Keymaster
#

For those planning to crush commonwealths in the near future, the upcoming 300K this Saturday would be a lovely way to assess one’s CtC readiness, especially as regards carrying gear and assessing lighting systems.

4:50 rider meeting, prompt 5 AM start on Neville Island, pre-registration strongly recommended.

There will also be a 200K on the Sunday before CtC, starting at 7 AM at the Waterfront.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
#

CtC send-off ride? Sure. But I’d have to be up a lot earlier than 5. If the ride starts at 5, I would have to leave around 3:50 as I did for the 2013 send-off.


Gerry Durishan
Participant
#

I’m using Race blades and they work better than the reviews indicate. The front was a Royal PITA to install; the back was much easier. http://www.rei.com/product/718392/sks-race-blade-xl-fender.


stefb
Participant
#

Fenders are always a pain in the ass to mount.

Also just a general question regarding the neutral rollout: why is it so far out away from Pittsburgh? Was it because there was no signage and difficult to find the gap in the past? Maybe we ride out that far away from the bell also And I don’t notice.

I would love the neutral roll out again this year! We didn’t get that in Philly!


eMcK
Participant
#

Getting on the Gap was pretty complicated the first few years, including one year when I think the main road was closed an we went through Braddock to get to Mckeesport.

I’m hoping to be at the start this year, no promises though. It seems like the neutral start from the Pittsburgh side isn’t really needed anymore, as other than getting from the Point to the trail, it isn’t hard to get to McKeesport any more.


Adam
Participant
#

I’m thinking of doing the 200K to ohio and back to condition for the ride.

The last time I did the trail from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, the GAP was nice and solid most of the way except for the rain. Once it rains it turns into peanut butter, but seems to dry out quickly.

As long as it stays dry (HA!) for a few days before those 90 miles, you might get a few MPH+ out of it. I rode that crap once when they were laying down a new layer of limestone between Connellsville through the state park and beyond — and it was MISERABLE. Felt like trying to ride the length of Assateague Island on a road bike.


stefb
Participant
#

Any reports of road closures? I remember having to detour off of the trail and onto a parallel road outside of Philly because of trail work.


punchcard
Member
#

Anyone else shooting for a sub 30 hour time? My training buddies have backed out and it’d be good to have company in the wee hours of the night.


stefb
Participant
#

I thought about sub30. I can do 100k comfortably in 5 hours and can sustain that pace (including stops), for up to a 300k. Weather and trail conditions change that. It is possible, but I don’t know if I want to burn up my energy going too fast and have nothing at the end.


punchcard
Member
#

I’m going to try to keep it to fewer / shorter stops (every 60 or so miles). My plan is to keep it slow and steady at 15 mph moving average and 13.5 average overall. This is in line with previous efforts but I’ve always stopped for a sleep break in the past.


Adam
Participant
#

I have a rental car booked from downtown Philly to drop off at the PGH airport for Monday the 27th.

I plan on doing “Sub 66” — since all I give a shit about is beating my last time. My overall average (with breaks and everything else) on my last DC trip was 10mph, but I got to Harper’s Ferry on the 2nd day and COULD have gone to DC if I wanted, but I have a good friend who lives in Harper’s Ferry.

If anyone wants to split the cost of the car home I’d be down with that. Due to the lack of a bike rack, I can probably only fit one other person by cramming wheel-less bikes in the back seat and wheels in the trunk.

When getting back to Pittsburgh we can swing by my house and grab my truck — and take the rental car to the airport and then back to your place.

I’d be looking for a place to crash in Philly if anyone knows of anything — if not, I’ll be fine.

You can send me an email at adam@bikingundertheinfluence.com if you are interested in splitting a car/gas — it is the quickest way to get in touch.

-peace-


stefb
Participant
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Roll call?


punchcard
Member
#

+1

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