Commuting from Cranberry to downtown

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ladieu
Participant
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About a 25 mile commute.

Has anyone done it?

It would be pretty much all downhill in the morning.

What advice would you have? Routes?


ladieu
Participant
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Ok, I realize this post is over a year old. I have been hemming and hawing over the prospect of this ride for over a year now. I am finally going to pull the trigger on this commute.

The prospect of driving alongside really busy rush hour traffic terrifies me to be frank. I have been agonizing over google maps.

Here are 3 possible routes I mapped out

http://tinyurl.com/ladieu1

http://tinyurl.com/ladieu2

http://tinyurl.com/ladieu3

I’m going to drive “ladieu3” tomorrow morning. I’m getting pretty pumped about doing this for real! I’ll probably be starting this next week or the week after, depending on when I get my road bike ready.

Going to shoot for 3 times per week. I still have to drive in on my mountain bike days since I drive to the various parks after work and there wouldn’t be enough time (or energy) to get there on my mountain bike in time for the ride.

I’ll GPS my first ride and let everyone see how it went on the garmin website.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Route 1 & 2: Brave of you to include a Dirty Dozen hill (Rialto) as part of your commute.

Route 3 takes you very near my house (Perry & Perrymont area). If I knew when you were coming through I’d ride in with you. Also could show you some alternatives you haven’t shown above.

Two specific suggestions: (1) Coming out of NPark, stay on Babcock, proceed to McKnight in rightmost lane, cross McKnight onto Perrymont, L Lindisfarne, R Sunderland, L Wick, L Swan, R Babcock, L Babcock (the last 6 turns all in about a half mile), proceed into Millvale.

(2) In Millvale, duck under Rt28, ride trail down to 16th St Br area, climb up to street level, cross 28 on pedestrian bridge by Sarah Heinz House. Sorry I don’t know all the twists and turns these last 300 yards, but it’s gotta be easier than climbing Rialto, and there’ll be far less traffic.


HiddenVariable
Participant
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also: including wetzel from little pine creek to wible run is pretty craxy. it’s practically good enough to be a dirty dozen hill.

also also: i would take peebles to duncan to thompson run to babcock from north park.

also also also: route 3 also has a dirty dozen hill (logan in millvale). and it’s one of my least favorite of the 13. i would probably recommend against it on a daily commute. especially in the winter.


Lyle
Participant
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Wow. That looks ambitious. I know this is probably obvious, but. It’s not a sin to drive part way and bike the rest, if that’s what you need to do.


Ross
Participant
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“including wetzel from little pine creek to wible run is pretty craxy. it’s practically good enough to be a dirty dozen hill.”

Amen — as much as I love Little Pine Creek Road, I dread going from Shaler to Millvale from down there. Getting to Wible from either Wetzel or Marzolf is something they probably could do to train for the Tour de France’s alpine stages. I sort of just hang my head and push the bike up these hills in humiliation.


ladieu
Participant
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I talked with some people on my weekly bike ride

http://tinyurl.com/millvale

I realize the map still show me chugging up rialto however that is just because you can’t map the bike trail on google maps easily. I would take the bike trail right to the heinz plant and there is a little bridge that goes across 28 there.

We figured out that I can ride right to millvale and then take the riverfront trail almost directly to my work and eliminate Troy Hill altogether!

I’ll be taking my maiden voyage (weather permitting) next Tuesday 8/18

This weekend it’s off to Raystown lake for miles and miles of sweet single track!


ladieu
Participant
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@stuinmccandless

I see you had the same suggestion about taking the trail. I forgot that even existed so I was thinking I had to do Troy hill, I’m glad to have rediscovered it. I used to run on there in the dead of winter when the trails had too much snow and then run to fat heads after for beers.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Glad to be of help, ladieu.

Point of information: Babcock Blvd, whose original name many decades ago was Three Degree Road (for that part N of Northway Car Wash), consists primarily of hills less than three degrees’ slope. It was built for horse-drawn travel. That translates very nicely into easy bicycling, at least as far as hills are concerned.


ladieu
Participant
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Good to know, also I would take you up on your offer of riding sometime. Maybe I could find another route through the north hills closer to where your at.

The idea of riding on mcknight road frightens me!


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I mentioned *crossing* McKnight, not riding on it. Fairly tame intersection at that. Babcock is three lanes wide there, southbound; the two left lanes turn to go down McK, the right lane crosses to go up Perrymont (which you’d do to get to Lindisfarne); there’s also a peel-off to go north on McK but you don’t want that.

Perrymont itself has a mildly irritating narrow hill right there, about 100 yards max, but also features a brand-new sidewalk, installed just last month, if you don’t want to deal with it.

I mention the alternative just so you don’t have to deal with the McKnight-Babcock split. The real hairy part isn’t the 200 yards you’d be on McKnight but rather the super-busy part of Babcock up by Northway Mall, a quarter mile of suburban misery that I hate driving a car through.

PM me and we can work out meeting details.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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I also note that there has been zero talk so far about getting home. Here’s Take 1: Sarah Heinz bridge, down to trail, to Millvale, to Babcock, R Thompson Run to end, L Duncan, R Babcock, L Pearce Mill (in North Park), and figure it out from there.

Take 2 is to grab a 13A bus in town, and ride to end of line at Showcase Cinema Park & Ride. From there, R out of lot, past Trader Horn, L onto McCandless Drive, R Grubbs, L Ingomar, L Kummer, and follow the jogging path through the park to Pearce Mill. The $2.60 it’d cost you gets you past all the heavy traffic as well as the worst of the elevation change. Lots of 13A trips, and most buses will have a rack.


ladieu
Participant
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I really wish this message board would email you when someone posts a new message.

I am going to have my bike ready to go hopefully tomorrow. I think that 13A bus sounds like a really good idea.

I’m going to just do some laps around north park lake until I feel comfortable on the road bike. Hopefully this week I can give the commute a shot.


rsprake
Participant
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What bike did you buy?


StuInMcCandless
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I really wish this message board would email you when someone posts a new message.

–> “RSS feed for this topic” at bottom

I rode Babcock from North Park to McKnight yesterday, then Perrymont. The park part of Babcock has no shoulder, but is four lanes and posted 25, so should not be too bad.

Babcock from park edge to past Passavant Hospital and LaRoche College has pretty good shoulders. When you get to the Corporate Office Park, though, turn R and go through that. Babcock is really nasty here (no shoulder, stiff grade, road construction, no sight lines). The 4-lane, by contrast, has all kinds of space and visibility, then pops you right back on Babcock.

Approaching McKnight, you want the straight-and-right lane; the other two are for McKnight traffic.

I’ll PM you with my cell #, if you want to ride in together sometime.


ladieu
Participant
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@stuln that would be awesome

@sprake i got a bikesdirect.com road bike. The “grand record” Just put it together tonight. So far so good, though I have to get used to the weird “roadie” shifting and handlebars. ha ha


rsprake
Participant
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It took me a few rides to finally get used to it myself.


ladieu
Participant
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Ok so I just commuted to work from Cranberry. I forgot to turn on the tracking on my GPS or I’d give you some stats. Took about 1.75 hours, however I made tons a bunch of wrong turns. I’d say I could do it in less than 1.5 hours if I wasn’t constantly going the wrong way.

I should pay more attention to that GPS thingy on my wrist and stop pretending I know where I am going. I’ll have better luck next time.

I’m cheating and getting a ride home though. :(

Baby steps…


Swalfoort
Participant
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There is potential good news in the offing….There are plans to put Babcock Blvd through North Park on a “road diet” and create a bike lane. I forget the exactly length. Funding for the project is currently pending final review, and the project could be completed by Spring. For those of you “in the know” this was an Allegheny County sponsored PCTI funding application.


ladieu
Participant
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That would be awesomeness!


ladieu
Participant
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@stuinmccandless

I sent you a message awhile ago. Let me know when you want to ride


Mick
Participant
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Ladieu

A 1 hour + commute is hardly a baby step – one way or not. YEAH DUDE!

Mick


StuInMcCandless
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? Nothing in my PM inbox on the board, no msgs on my cell. Where did you send it?


StuInMcCandless
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ladieu, I just sent you another PM. (See upper right corner of this page.)

All: Babcock is now closed by the Corporate Office Park (next to McKnight), forcing the detour onto Corporate Drive. That’s actually good news. That little bit of Babcock was horrible.


ladieu
Participant
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Ok weird, i have no messages… something is wrong!

just shoot me an email

nick at porcmtbclub dot org


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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ladieu: Email sent.

Scott/Erok: Yeah, PMs aren’t going through reliably. They sometimes go — I have PM’d swalfoort and sloaps in the last 30 days — and sometimes don’t. The symptom is the “To” field is blank in the “Sent Messages” list.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Top: Update on Babcock near Passavant Hospital.

Babcock was closed just beyond the northern McKnight intersection for a couple of months. It is now open, and greatly improved. They added a turn lane for a new Vincentian Homes entrance, and in so doing, greatly widened the shoulder on the uphill side, and repaved the whole section.

Haven’t actually ridden it, but it sure looks sweet.

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