Cycling Oval

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raphael
Participant
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I am moving to Chislett street in the future, and I am excited to be in close (closer than Oakland) proximity to the cycling oval on Washington. However, after my limited perusal of Google maps, I am stumped as to the best way to get there on a bike without getting killed. Is there something I’m missing, or do I just need to suck it up and take Negley Run? Thanks.


Lyle
Participant
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You can use either Negley Run or Butler St/Washington Blvd. I’d probably do the latter on the way to the oval, and the former on the way home.

I suppose I should back up a step and ask what your goals are. In other words, why do you want to go to the oval?


raphael
Participant
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I want to first watch and then maybe participate in the track races at the oval over the summer. I used to live close to the Lehigh Valley Velodrome (shout out to eastern side of the state) and have become really interested in track racing over the last couple years. I’ve been to the oval before, but I figured I can go more often when I move to Chislett.


Chris Mayhew
Participant
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Ironic, isn’t it, that they put that thing in just about the hardest spot in the city to ride to.

Take Negely run. It’s fine. You’re moving pretty fast so the speed differential isn’t all that much. And there are no turns so that makes it safer too.

And, if I might add, just race down there. Maybe watch one, but you’re really not going to figure out a lot (or answer many questions) just sitting on the sidelines. Just roll down there and race. The whole point of the Tues night program is to get people started. You won’t be the only person whose first night it is down there (or ever racing).


brian j
Participant
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I live on Jancey, and usually I take Negley Run, though sometimes I take Butler to Washington Blvd, too. Neither way is great, but neither is horrible.

And Mayhew is right–just go down and race. The Friday night races are generally pretty relaxed, and there’s always a good mix of folks racing. Oscar Swan, who organizes the track races, does a good job of mixing up the events to accommodate riders of different skills, too.


canthecar88
Participant
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I would have my bike on a car rack and take it up there by car. If the bike is all you have, you can take the rack and roll bus: 77D, which will take you straight there. Or try taking some side streets which are safer like Stanton Av. which is another entrance to the park, but I’m not sure about the oval. But here’s a link for the bus schedule


eMcK
Participant
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Ride into Higland Park, find trail down hill to oval, shoulder bike, hike.

I may do this with my kids, minus the bike on shoulder part, this year.

Ride over to Highland Park, lock the bike up top, hike down the hill with the kids, watch some racing, hike up, go home.


steevo
Participant
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If you are uncomfy with wash blvd,

at the bottom of negley run, there is a fire barracks… cut across like the 15 feet of grass there, then there is rough pavement all the way to

the police station.


raphael
Participant
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@steevo, I saw that on google maps street view, @eric, where do you pick up that trail down to the oval? on Lake drive or by the tennis courts?


edmonds59
Participant
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Group up somewhere, like at the Morning Glow for example, and form a BIKE BUS to the oval.

I love the idea of bike buses.


raphael
Participant
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yeah, the only times I have ridden to the oval from oakland have been with at least one other person. It works very well on streets such as washington blvd, and even strung out in a single line on the highland park bridge.


Ohiojeff
Participant
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Just to clarify for lurkers who might read this thread, the 77D bus won’t get you down to the bike oval. The 78A, the AV and the AVN stop at the corner of Wash Blvd and Highland Drive which is at the drivway to the police station and the parking lot. Not sure if those are Rack & Roll buses or not.

+1 for Steevo’s suggestion if you want to avoid as much traffic as you can. I’d probably just drop down Zoo Hill and head around the bend, and then come up Negley run on the way home. That way I move with the traffic flow. On a weekday evening there will be a fair amount of traffic that way (esp. coming off the Highland Park bridge), but don’t fear the cars, just respect them. If someone honks, “remember you’re having more fun than they are.”


greenbike
Participant
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I think you can get to the oval from Lake Dr., although I haven’t tried myself…


BradQ
Participant
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I do what Steevo says when there is traffic. If I catch a break in traffic at the bottom of Negley Run I’ll take Washington Blvd to the oval entrance, but otherwise I tend to hop the curb at the fire barracks and ride across the grass and then the sort of rough pavement to the oval. Easy.

Stanton Ave does not go to the Washington Oval.


Ohiojeff
Participant
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I think you can get to the oval from Lake Dr., although I haven’t tried myself…

The official Highland Park Map does show a trail. I have no idea if it is bike friendly. I suspect it’s a pretty steep trail.


brian j
Participant
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The trail might be MTB-friendly, but it is certainly not road bike friendly.


edmonds59
Participant
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Boy, sounds like some sharrows and signs on Washington Blvd from Penn to the HP bridge and Allegheny river blvd would be an excellent thing to press for in a bike plan.


steve k
Participant
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i ride negley run down and back. back’s usually with a group of about 5 other riders, so not too bad. but down is easy until wash blvd. i rarely run into any traffic that is actually going fast enough to pass me. then i’ll take the left most lane on wash blvd until the left turn into the parking lot. no problems.


brian j
Participant
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There is already signage along Washington Blvd.

I’d rather see a dedicated bike lane created from East Liberty along Negley Run and the academies.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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@jeffinpgh, the AV and AVN definitely will not have racks, as they use the Greyhound-like 1900s on those. The 78A is the typical crapshoot, 3 out of 4 will have a rack, i.e., just enough do to be desirable, just enough don’t to be irritating.


Ohiojeff
Participant
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@stu thanks. That’s what I thought. Plus the AV and AVN are sort of limited serivice right? I personally have no concerns about riding my bike down there any which way, but I did want people to know that bus service was limited at best.


eMcK
Participant
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The trail from Lake Dr is a hiking trail.

Climbing it would be close to impossible on a bike, descending would require some trials skills.


greenbike
Participant
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So, probably not do-able carrying the bike either?


eMcK
Participant
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I carried my road bike up the trail after the PGH-Roubaix.

I was wearing mtb shoes, would not be fun with road cleats.


steevo
Participant
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I think the general gameplan is to have a railtrail

go up negley run.

Hey scott/erok/patchan, what are the chances of

having an IMBA style trail going up and down from

stanton to the oval? That would be seriously awesome


eMcK
Participant
#

I like the way you think steevo.

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