A ride that touches every single Pittsburgh neighborhood
If this doesnt come to be, I’m going to be severely disappointed.
I would ride this from beginning to end. I don’t want to miss exploring any of the neighborhoods. A 75+ mile route sounds great as long as the pace isn’t too fast.
Such a fantastic idea. One of the reasons why I loved the 60-mile Pedal Pgh distance so much as a newcomer to the city was that I got to see so many cool neighborhoods.
When Nate and Mary set up the “tippy top” ride a couple of years ago, it was such a hot day, and there were enough medicals and mechanicals, plus people getting lost, that keeping a couple dozen people together became a logistical problem. As a result, it got split into two parts. We might need something like that for this, too. Plus hardly anyone knows the whole city. We’d need one person with GPS, maps, etc., for every I’d say 10 people.
Would there be anyway to do signage along the route? This ride is an awesome idea, and like many others here I think we definitely need to make it happen.
“We’d need one person with GPS, maps, etc., for every I’d say 10 people.”
Honestly, I doubt that is necessary. I took a similar ride in Chicago recently (4star-biketour) and didn’t have much of a problem between the que sheets and road markers (arrows painted on the ground, more or less). The only thing that screwed me up was an inconsistency between my que sheet and an earlier (out dated) one that some riders were using.
There are some areas like say, Fairywood, that you want to make sure you go through with at least 10 people, and stay together. Dip your wheels in Fairywood as briefly as possible. As delightful as it sounds, the fairies are mean, and they want your junk.
^ True. I was speaking to directions, not safety of numbers.
I’ll smack those fairies with my terrible tour towel!
I mapped basically the same route in ridewithgps.com with a couple of changes to touch neighborhoods I missed the first time…total length now shows as 81.1 miles.
Check out the hill profile at the bottom
Did you throw in some DD hills? I’m seeing some 15-20% grades.
Detail: At the McKees Rocks bridge get off at Helen, go Helen > Munson > River > W.Carson > Stanhope > Stafford. Better.
81 miles, perfect, that’s the Pittsburgh “Century” I was asking for in a different thread (I contend that 80 mi +- around here is equivalent to a century most other places).
Miles 1-9 I know pretty well. Nice touch, turning off of Federal Street onto aptly named Mercy Street. From Jefferson to Mercy is shown as a 10% grade, but I’d guess it to be more like 13-15%.
Of some concern are downhills. You only need muscles and a properly functioning cardiopulmonary system to go up. You need good brakes to go down. Henderson St is both steep and incredibly long.
I recommend that anyone going on this ride get a good brake inspection and on-road test. You don’t screw with Henderson St.
The spike from 27 to 30 is about 1/3 of my commute home. Nice to see that particular coronary represented graphically.
nitpic: you miss Carrick, Knoxville and Bon Air.
Fix: From mile 36 go down Brookline Blvd to Glenbury st., 51 for two blocks of ugh, to overbrook blvd., to Spokane, to Parkfield, to Brownsville, to Amanda, to Charles, then back on your track.
OMG, Crane eastbound off of Banksville (Mile 33). I can just imagine dozens of cyclists, one at a time, taking the whole goddamned lane because you f’n have to, all day long.
Worst part of the trip, so far. Maybe even including Marko’s piece of 51.
Mile 46.5, a perfect opportunity to do a Dirty Dozen hill — Eleanor-Holt-Barry — downhill! It would break the boredom of going down Arlington just to turn around and come back up it.
I think this gets a better bite on those neighborhoods of South Side Slopes, Arlington Heights and Arlington: Eleanor-Holt-Barry-Josephine-Arlington-Devlin-Spring-Mountain.
Similarly, I think I’d rather make a loop through New Homestead via Mooney-Lindberg-Interboro than merely out-and-back on trafficky Mifflin Road.
EDIT: I’ve been using this page to get better close-ups by neighborhood.
BTW, from looking at the Google Earth overlays we should double-check the route for these neighborhoods:
Spring Hill – City View
Couldn’t tell for sure about these. Might be that the route touches briefly:
Am I the only one not excited if this ride includes DD hills.
Hills will need to be climbed to get to certain neighborhoods, but I could see how certain streets and dirty dozen type climbs could deter people.
I think the biggest turn off regarding DD hills is this ride is already going to be an entire days worth of riding and if it does happen will almost certainly be unsupported.
Have the main route avoid DD hills if possible. Then have alternate segments with DD hills or whatever for special “achievement unlocked” points.
It is not possible to hit all the neighborhoods without doing the climbs one way or another. But I do think this ride should avoid DD hills if possible, the goal should be complete the entire route. 80 miles will be daunting enough.
There should be one group designated as totally no-drop, non-competetive, walk hills if you have to. I would hope no-one would be totally discouraged from doing this because of the climbs. Plus there are tons of easy bailout points if someone gasses out, it’s never more than a couple of miles from town.
I officially vote for the taco stand at Las Palmas Supermercado in Brookline (mile 36) as the first official food stop. Mmmm.
If the route goes past a participant’s house, do you think a family member/roommate would be around to provide water and snacks?
Another detail, around mile 57, consider instead of Hazelwood, go Flowers>Kilbourne>Tesla>Harlem>Hazelwood. Pleasanter. And neighborhoodier.
I Don’t mind hills or hard climbs, just not feeling up to DD hills. Two groups sounds great, I usually ride with the faster group the first half of my rides then end up in the back of the slower group the rest of the ride.
In the event that I am able to get in shape to even attempt this, I vote for June 17 or 24, when there is 15 hours of daylight. Just, you know.
The possibility of this happening goes a long way toward me getting my ass on a bike today. Looks nice.
If I get a chance today, I might ride some of miles 1-14, particularly 7-9, the section through Fineview.
I’m less worried about DD hills and more about serious traffic issues, like Crane. We had a thread here about climbing Crane a couple years ago. I’ve never done it, but I’ve driven it. Nowhere to walk or stand, either side of the road, and heavy traffic. And a >15% grade. Might be better to go down Banksville to Goldstrom, just as steep but less traffic. (One beyond that is Coast, where Canton is.)
mm, agree. Better to stay on Carnahan to Maydell>Rosanne>Younger>Chappel>Coast, then do a wiggle to get up to – what is that, Duquesne Heights? Then back on track.
Eee, except no stoplight at Chappel & Banksville. Iffy.
And we wonder why we have so few cyclists in the S Hills.
If this ride does nothing else, it will allow everyone to see just how challenging it is to get around Pittsburgh on a bicycle.
btw, I am really psyched about this ride!
I think there are buttloads of cyclists in the south hills, they just can’t get into town from there.
Ok, Carnahan to the light at Banksville, tiny bit of Banksville (downhill, not bad) to Coast. That would be my call. Then the nuts have the option of doing Canton and meeting up in Beechview.
So how many hours do you estimate this ride will take? I’m guessing it would start around 6a.m.ish on a Sunday?
What’s the longest ride you’ve ever done, Mr. Marv, and how long did it take?
Let’s put it this way: the normal route for the ms150 is 70-80 miles. It is hilly and there are inexperienced riders who don’t train. It starts around 7am and the corse closes at 5 or 5:30 (in the past). There are a lot of rest stops that people spend a lot of time at. I don’t think many people have to be sagged to the finish line at the end. We should be fine if we start at 7 or 8am. If someone has to bail, the city is small enough that anyone can beat the nightfall home if they don’t have lights
Also kind of depends how many official food stops I request to be added to the course.
Ooh, “Donuts” at mile 26, Steuben Street. Yeah.
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