What better thing to do on a frigid January morning than to look at a map and plan a bike ride?
I was staring at a map of the city, focusing on the Upper Hill and Polish Hill, and noted that Finland Street consists of two entirely separate sections. First is an L-shaped section in the Upper Hill, around Robert Williams Park. Second is the section many riders may have noticed if they ride Gold Way. It crosses Neville/Gold as part of a series of paved streets and staircases, and is carried across Bigelow Blvd on the pedestrian footbridge near the Bloomfield Bridge.
There is no simple connection between the two.
So how about this? Figure out how to ride to one end of Finland Street, ride it, then ride to one end of the second segment, and ride/carry to the other end, and somehow get back to the rest of civilization.
This could be a fun little ride to show off some of the wonders of Pittsburgh topography and two neighborhoods, maybe for BikeFest 2015. Just being able to do this at all will showcase how disparate two so-close-yet-so-far areas of the city can be.
This map is positioned to show both ends of both segments.
Proposed routing #1:
* Start at Dippy.
* R Forbes
* L Bellefield
* L Centre
* R Bigelow
* L staircase opposite the end of Dithridge Street
* R Alpena Street, follow onto Dakota St
* R Bryn Mawr
* R Iowa
* L Adelaide
* R Camp
** FINLAND ST SEGMENT #1 **
* R Finland
* Continue to dead end in a few feet.
* Turn around, continue past Camp St
* At Milwaukee St, R to continue on Finland St
* This part of Finland St is narrower than the Eliza Furnace Trail
* Finland St ends at Orion St (which I understand is pronounced OR-ee-on)
** TRAVEL TO SEGMENT #2 **
* R Orion (paved street for one short block to Webster St)
…and here is where it gets adventurous…
* Straight onto rough staircase, potentially impassable later in the season once the knotweed gets going
* R Monroe (assuming you can get down the steps at all)
* Finland St is about 1/4 mile farther on Monroe
** FINLAND ST SEGMENT #2 **
* L Finland (paved segment)
* …at Bismark St, slight jog R and L to get to staircase
* …continue to footbridge across Bigelow
* …remount bicycle
* about 15 feet of sidewalk along Bigelow Blvd
* R Finland
* …continue to Flavian St
* …For further adventure, carry bikes down Croesus Way staircase. I have no idea what’s down there, but the map dead-ends here.
** RETURN TO CIVILIZATION **
* Climb steps back to Flavian St
* Flavian St to western end
* …if passable, continue to Jewel Way steps and climb those. A couple summers back, this was entirely choked by knotweed and other invasive plants
* R Melwood
* Can you get from that western dead-end of Melwood to the eastern dead-end of Fleetwood? It doesn’t look like it on StreetView.
* …assuming you cannot, then R Herron, L Dobson. I don’t know this part of town too well, but I understand this is fairly well understood by those who traverse this area.
* R Brereton
* R 28th St Bridge
* End at Klavon’s for ice cream.
I was up that way with Yale back when it was warm. There are some interesting turn of the century homes up by the reservoir that are sadly not up to their full potential. I did notice some homes being rehabbed nearby, so maybe the others can be saved before they become too far gone.