montour trail on Sat?

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salty
Participant
#

I’ve never been on the Montour trail and I was thinking of checking it out this weekend – anyone interested?

I quickly came up with a couple routes that look at least somewhat reasonable:

A, 60mi: http://goo.gl/maps/soBb

B, 72mi: http://goo.gl/maps/bvwc

I’ll probably go with (A), and probably do it in reverse of what I plotted there to get the hills out of the way early.

I really don’t understand how (B) is only an extra 12 miles – it looks like it’s a lot further… and I’m way less familiar with the roads out there.

Maybe we can catch a lap of the “100 miles to nowhere” as well.


Mr. Destructicity
Participant
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If you ever do try route B I’d seriously suggest reversing it. I’m not sure you want a long, slow climb up Brownsville road at the end of a 72-mile bike trip.

The only other iffy part of the route is after you leave the trailhead at Irishtown. I would seriously suggest cutting over on Logan to 88/Library almost immediately, which also has the advantage of running alongside the T tracks in case you decide traffic is insane and you don’t want to risk it.


salty
Participant
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thanks – yeah, that B route needs some tweaking and I’m not really familiar with those roads, which is another factor in favor of A.

So, reversing A and tweaking it a bit:

A1 (Noblestown): http://goo.gl/maps/3QTb

A2 (Steuben): http://goo.gl/maps/xjge

I kind of like A2 since I’m completely familiar with Steuben and it goes through Settlers Cabin Park… I hear Noblestown is nice but I know there’s at least some not-so-nice stretches.

I wonder if Sunday will be a better day to do it though – Sat is supposed to be hotter and chance of storms.


edmonds59
Participant
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1 and 2 I would say are a toss up. The least pleasant stretches of either way are about equal. Neither one should be completey horrible on a weekend.

Sunday is forecasting nicer for now, but who knows.


Ahlir
Participant
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I’ve done the following; it’s a good ride:

– Take the Coraopolis bus out (maybe get off on Neville island)

– do the whole trail, to Clairton

– up to McKeesport then get on Steel Valley Trail (you could get on the bus again in Duquesne, but the trail will be open soon enough)


Steven
Participant
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The signed on-road connector route from the Montour to McKeesport goes via the Clairton-Glassport Bridge, which is scheduled to be closed for expansion joint replacement from 8 pm Friday through 6 am Monday. Alternate routes (837 up to the Mansfield Bridge maybe) won’t be as nice.

The same page mentions this summer’s planned Boston Bridge closure: “Pedestrians tentatively scheduled to be restricted from using bridge for two weeks starting July 5.” But I’d imagine the GAP folks will have detour signs in place for this one, and it’s easy enough to go around.

I’ve done Library to Coraopolis and Library to Duquesne, both fun rides.


edmonds59
Participant
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If you take the Noblestown route, you could stop at Eggs-r-us (yes, really) in the Noblestown shopping plaza and load up on some good heavy grilled energy.

On the Steuben/Settlers Cabin route, the wave pool is supposed to open Saturday, 11:30 am, you could figure-8 the route and hit that on the way back.

I’m all about the side attractions.


salty
Participant
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Heh, I used to frequent that area since the guys I went to lunch with were rabid homebrewers. Have had lunch at Angkor and the buffet up the street but never hit Eggs-r-us. But, that was the stretch of Noblestown that struck me as not so great for riding…

Well, considering the weather and midnight flock tomorrow I think I’ll probably do this on Sunday… any takers?


Marko82
Participant
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“Alternate routes (837 up to the Mansfield Bridge maybe) won’t be as nice.”

I’ve done this stretch twice in the last month and it isnt all that bad. There is traffic for sure, but there is a fairly decent berm for most of it. just be cautious of glass etc.


salty
Participant
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This was a fun and pretty mellow ride, I’d be up for doing it again sometime. I was not looking forward to riding up Steuben, so I finally gave into edmonds59’s recommendation of Noblestown – which I have to admit is WAY better. It’s still a long climb but doesn’t have the punishingly steep parts that Steuben has. Unfortunately I got to Eggs-R-Us too late for breakfast and too early for lunch, although I did have lunch later at Enlow Station (right off the trail) which I can definitely recommend – they have ice cream and sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, etc.

The trail itself was cool, it’s nice to have an extended break from cars. But, it definitely drilled home what a big difference there is between 1-2% grade up vs down. They both look pretty flat but it’s a lot more work going uphill and a LOT slower – maybe even 50%!

I wasn’t in the mood for climbing on the way home either so I skipped McKees rock bridge and the North side in favor of Carson. I’ll deem it “acceptable in light traffic” but I could see it being a nightmare otherwise, especially when you get (literally) up against the wall – there’s a ton of debris, nowhere to go, and the lane isn’t wide enough.

Overall, just over a metric century (62.26mi = 100.2km), took me about 5.5 hours total but I wasn’t in a big hurry.

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/90440030

I also backtracked a bit to check out the bridge:


salty
Participant
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Oh, and being 5-10 degrees cooler than Monday helped a LOT. Although, by the time I got back to Neville Island the sun was certainly bearing down. I got passed by a team of 6-8 roadies and tried to keep up with them for a while but they dropped me on the hill going up to McKees Rocks.

FWIW, I see this entire route involved less climbing than we did in 10 miles in Midnight Flock.


Ahlir
Participant
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@salty, I always liked to pretend that this spot is a big bike trail interchange complete with an overpass, on/off ramps, etc. And yes, going north from there is work (moral: always start in Coraopolis).


salty
Participant
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heh, it is kinda like an interchange. i went under that bridge and had no idea how to get up there, i was looking for a place across the road to the left when i finally encountered the “ramp”.

not sure starting north solves anything – the elevation graph (click the garmin link) looks pretty symmetrical if not a bit steeper in that direction.


ejwme
Participant
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I’m so jealous. I utterly failed at riding this weekend, and my failure spilled onto my poor family.

Sunday we tried to ride starting somewhere near moon – stepMIL bailed due to injury, I broke a valve thingie before even getting on the bike (and yes, I left my replacements at home – I KNEW it was a bad omen that I couldn’t find them), then FIL’s pedal literally stripped and fell off when they were several miles from the car and hadn’t planned on turning around yet – I didn’t see what was wrong (I headed in car 2 to Trek, who didn’t open in time, so I poked at the ferrets & bunnies at Petco instead), he said he’d just re-tap it. He ended up only using his left leg for the entire way back to the car.

The only success was my husband, who watched our comedy of errors unfold around him totally bewildered.


escargonaut
Participant
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Re: Clairton/Glassport bridge closure

On Saturday at least, the sidewalk was open even while they worked on the expansion gaps; the police officer keeping cars from driving on the bridge seemed under the impression that this would continue to be the case.


dmtroyer
Participant
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thinking about doing something like this tomorrow.


Dan33
Participant
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Funny… I was thinking about it as well, but was scared off by the “frozen mix” via freezing rain and sleet they are calling for. Sunday looks much better weather-wise, but I have other commitments.


reddan
Keymaster
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@dmtroyer: weather forecast for tomorrow includes sleet and freezing rain.

Just sayin’.


dmtroyer
Participant
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yeah…. when I said tomorrow I really meant the next decent day without rain or sleet where I can ride for 5-6 hours. I also have prior commitments on sunday :-(


dmtroyer
Participant
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did this morning and afternoon. I would put conditions at sunny, but otherwise not friendly. wind was in my face at least half the time and the montour was natural chunky peanut butter with the oil separated on top consistency. the last 3 miles of the montour were creamy peanut butter with natural oil separation. the pandhandle trail was in a little bit better shape.

I guess that’s my own fault it rained twice this past week. otherwise a great day for a ride!


bear250220
Participant
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you have to ride when the ground is frozen that crushed limestone gets pretty bad this time of the year unless its frozen its good to here that theres no snow there i might have to give it a try some morning


salty
Participant
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@dmtroyer – yeah, that was a fun ride, i want to do it again. i have trouble motivating myself to go out for recreational rides in the winter but considering how badly i tolerate heat maybe i should try it.

i read back through the thread and saw the part of my story where i got passed by a group of roadies. maybe a week or two after that i ran into one of those guys on my commute home up beechwood – we recognized each other and chatted for a while. i thought that was kind of a cool epilogue.


bear250220
Participant
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rode 10 miles on the montour trail this morning there was a dusting of snow on alot of it it was froze solid no ice just hard alot of ruts from bike tires and shoes


dmtroyer
Participant
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@bear250220 the deepest rut was mine from yesterday :-)


bear250220
Participant
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i think i got my tire stuck in that rut


bear250220
Participant
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rode the trail this morning it wasent in to baD OF shape not compleatly dry but i wasent having any problems with soft surfaces bogging m,e down

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