Riding to Wexford
Yesterday I rode to wexford from lawrenceville to give my mom her mother’s day gifties. It was a truly awful ride. If there was a shoulder, it was gravelly and riddled with those death-trap storm drains. When I wasn’t riding the shoulder, people were brushing me with their side view mirrors. This isn’t the exact route I’ve taken before, because I was trying to avoid even crossing mcnight at any point. Usually I’ll take babcock most of the way, then cross mcnight and head into north park, passing the hospital and laroche university.
Here’s the route i took this time, i was just kinda wingin’ it. http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/91628555/?new_route=1
Anybody do a similar commute? I’d love some advice. I’m never riding US19/Perry Highway again. People made it clear to me that they were not at all concerned whether I lived or died. If nobody’s got any clever secret back-road route, I’ll probably just go back to going into north park and enjoying the low speed limit.
That sucks… I lived in that area for 9 years and I pretty much never rode during that time – although there are plenty of people (like Stu) who manage just fine. To some extent I think you probably get used to it but personally my comfort level on high speed roads is still pretty low unless there’s a really wide shoulder.
Btw your route link is set to private.
@parvipica – I sent you a friend request on MapMyRide. I’ll be glad to look at your trip if you don’t want to make it public.
I will tell you about the “Lindisfarne Wiggle”, so named after the “Lawrenceville Wiggle”. It’s a way of getting south from the McKnight/Perrymont/Babcock corner to the pleasant part of Babcock without having to deal with McKnight. It doesn’t work so well going northbound because of horrid traffic on that piece of Babcock between the car wash and Northway Mall, and a really stiff climb.
If there was a pleasant, public way to get from Babcock to the back end of Northway Mall, this would be a lot easier. I might go exploring paths through Evergreen Community Park today, it looks theoretically possible.
I can get you at least to Cumberland Rd from there on virtually empty roads. Perry Hwy beyond there is busy but has a wide shoulder so isn’t truly awful.
OMG 3 Degree! Just plain dangerous, going uphill. Merely sucks downhill.
If you feel adventurous, you could make good use of my trolley trail. Twice!
First, from the corner of 3DR, go just to the left of the car wash and out the back of the place. It’s a rough trail, at the other end of which is your choice of climbing a paved but very steep road up to Perry Hwy or jumping a stream (see photos on the Wheelset thread).
From Highland and Harmony, follow Highland through Ingomar to the end of the street, then follow the trail (former trolley) down to Pine Hollow. I rode this in 2007, not lately.
I admire anyone with the courage and fortitude to try what I deal with every day!
This might be kind of out of your way, but this is the route I take to get to that area from Morningside every week:
Can’t vouch for any of the roads after the hospital
three degree road wasn’t too terrible because there was a lot of traffic and everyone was moving pretty slow. but once i was on perry highway, that’s when stuff got depressing and scary. i’m totally down for rough trails and stream jumping, that sounds way more fun than being humvee target practice on the highway.
pierce- i’ll give that route a try, too. when i first looked over the map i thought ‘woah, this guy lives on my parents street! what are the odds?’ then i realized i’m probably an idiot. ^___^ i know of a decent route after the hospital that takes me in and around north park mostly.
Lindisfarne Wiggle: If coming south from LaRoche or North Park or down McKnight, get on Perrymont westbound for about a quarter mile, then L onto Lindisfarne. To end of street, R Sunderland, L Wick, wiggle down hill, L Swan, R Babcock, L Babcock.
Going northbound is a pain. From the sane, level part of Babcock, R peel onto Babcock, try not to get killed going up the hill about a quarter mile, then L Swan. (My method is to keep hard to the right and duck into Crider Hill Road until traffic clears on Babcock enough that you can sprint across to Swan.)
Once on Swan, R Wick, R Sunderland, L Lindisfarne, R Perrymont, to McKnight or Babcock (usually Babcock if you’re going up toward LaRoche or NPark).
In parvipica’s case, here is another alternative. My method starts at Northway Mall (which both the 12 McKnight and 2 Mount Royal buses can take you to). Out the north end of the mall, crossing Babcock onto Roderick. L Sunderland, R Lindisfarne, L Perrymont, R Fox Ridge, L Demmler, R Ridgemont, to end of street. Aim to left to get on a trail, used by athletes and gym classes at Carson Middle School, whose parking lot you come out onto in about 200 yards. Through the lot, L onto driveway.
At end of driveway, a L can get you to CCAC North real easy. A L-R jiggle gets you to Northland Library. A R gets you down to North Allegheny Intermediate High School. Keep to L, go out their driveway. That’s Cumberland Road you’re crossing. Becomes Saginaw Drive, L Guenevere, out to Perry Hwy. (Says Oakwood, signed Guenevere.) An odd little L-R jiggle (more a crossing of Perry Hwy) gets you on Old Perry Hwy. L Sunset, to end at Ingomar. From there, the paved way to get there is L Ingomar, R Bellcrest, L Pine Hollow.
Got all that?
haha, okay so i just close my eyes, scream, and jiggle about until i magically show up at my destination, yeah?
ima print that and take it with me next time i head out that way when i’ve got time for wiggling, ducking, sprinting, and jiggling. which is most days.
Evergreen Park – yes there is a way through – just keep heading straight, over the bridge, grass, up the hill through the trees.
Heading north on Babcock is pretty bad because there is so little shoulder. It’s fine going south. Evergreen is a nice alternative where possible. I dislike Babcock N so much that I prefer Thompson Run (northbound only). I rode Thompson southbound once, never again, narrow, winding, hilly, poor visibility, scary. It’s not so bad going north.
Looking at the map makes me sad because it’s clear where the Harmony trolley line used to go.
Anonymous 05/12/2012 at 8:30pm #
It it ’twere I, I’d probably do Babcock->Rochester->West Ingomar->Brandt School (coming from Shaler); alternatively, California->Roosevelt->Nicholson->Rochester->West Ingomar->Brandt School, if one were coming from downtown or the North Side.
Babcock has so many personalities.
* Coming out of Millvale, it’s a bit narrow but not too bad as traffic speeds are low.
* Beyond the Shop & Save, it gets very wide for several miles, though there are a couple of lane splits where you have to consciously choose not to be on the shoulder (Thompson Run, McKnight, Siebert).
* At the corner with Three Degree, the mood changes entirely, and it becomes a nightmare, four lanes, no shoulder, high traffic, high speed, for about a half mile up to Northway Mall.
* Then it turns left and IS McKnight Road for about a quarter mile, necessitating a triple right lane change across a high-traffic merge point for cars coming off Peebles.
* At the corner with Perrymont, it splits off, and is only a moderately unpleasant suburban road, not too awful, with a shoulder that varies greatly in width.
* Beyond Passavant Hospital, the narrow shoulder has been milled, making it just plain miserable for a mile or so, until you get into North Park, where it becomes four lanes, technically posted 25 but traffic speeds routinely hit 40 or better.
Once you get into and past North Park, I can’t offer much help, as it’s been a couple years since I rode up there, and there’s been a lot of construction in the park. But basically it’s a two-lane county road like any other, no stiff hills, lots of curves, posted 35, traffic usually 40, typical exurbia.
Stu, there is a way to get from babcock/3degree to the mall. It is private property but my I grew up on it and the people that bought it from my grandparents are really nice and wouldn’t care at all if you went through.
If you were coming down 3 degree towards Mcnight, right at the bottom where babcock hits 3-d there is a steep-ish private drive that goes up into the wooded hillside to the right of where Rich bedding used to be. If you follow it up the hill there will be a house to your right at the top. stay straight there and walk 20 yds through the woods and you end up in the circle that comes out across from the old ross elementary school.
Might be a really nice way to come from babcock and not deal with that hellish uphill to the mall
I got out to Zelienople using Google directions for bikes.
It didn’t suck too bad (which is very high praise, indeed, for that kind of ride).
It was not a route I would have picked out myself. I think it worked out a liot better than what I woudl ahve picked.
I checked out the path through Evergreen Park. Yes, you can get through it. No, you can’t do it on a road bike.
Going up/north, there’s a pond you have to choose one or t’other side of, but once clear of that, I opted not to cut through someone’s party but kept hard to the right, and went up & around a log fence (part of the park). I was able to ride this, though it’s gravel and quite steep. Then it cuts into the woods, and here I had to get off and push. Easily a 20% grade, plus tree roots.
There are a couple of paths out. The first I came to is part of the park but looked like it led back down to Evergreen/Babcock, so I kept climbing. Too far, I ended up coming up into the back of The Mews condo development, identifiable by having No Trespassing signs every 50 feet. Somewhere between them was another push-only goat path that took me out to the end of the street where the Korean church is. That led me down to Browns Lane. L Browns Lane, R Corbett Court, L into Northway Mall’s parking lot, hug the outside of the mall lot traveling clockwise, go past the back of Aldi (bus travelers will know this as the path the buses take through the mall), and you’ll come to the Babcock/Roderick entrance I described above.
Southbound, pretty much do the reverse. I think that little street leading to the Korean Church is Ross Park Drive.
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