Pittsburgh-Cleveland-Pittsburgh RustBelt Crown 400K

This topic contains 14 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  jonawebb 2 yrs, 10 mos.

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May 21 2013 at 3:06pm #

I was thinking about the Pittsburgh-Cleveland-Pittsburgh Rustbelt Crown 400K this weekend on the 300K. I think it’s totally doable, and not even that hard (for a 400K) since you’re basically riding the old portage route to the Erie Canal. I think I might even be able to complete it within the time limit, 26 hours. So I’m getting more serious about planning an actual route and submitting it to RUSA for certification (and medals, for those who complete it).
If I do this I’ll probably try to keep the route simple and fast as possible. Something like the Google bicycling maps route from Neville Island to Cleveland ( The distance there is 130 miles, so 200K in each direction.
This would take place after the end of the National Bike Challenge, sometime in early October, so we could (at least theoretically) pick up the crown from Cleveland and bring it here. They’re planning on having a ceremony to hand the crown over so probably we’ll have to do something symbolic (I’m thinking pee in Lake Erie) to show our victory over Cleveland.
So, I’ve been thinking of names for the ride. Votes/suggestions are welcome, as are comments on the route.
1. Rustbelt Crown 400K.
2. Pittsburgh-Cleveland-Pittsburgh 400K.
3. Cleveland Sucks 400K.
Oh, by the way, this wouldn’t happen if we don’t win, but come on.

  • This topic was modified 3 yrs, 2 mos ago by  jonawebb.


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May 21 2013 at 3:31pm #

Names: maybe not Cleveland Sucks. I like Rustbelt Crown 400k.

Route: I’m not familiar with that route but I would suggest taking a known route towards Akron (parts of the 300k) and head up the trail north from Kent. I have taken a lot of the trail from Kent towards Cleveland and it was a lot of paved goodness. Should be an almost direct route and should still be close to 130mi from Neville Island. Will a few surprise miles hurt?

I’ve wanted to out and back this ride in 2 days for a few years but didn’t really think about a one day ride which might be half fun, too.


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May 21 2013 at 3:44pm #


P-on Cleveland 400k


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May 21 2013 at 4:06pm #

Rustbelt Revival 400k


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May 21 2013 at 4:12pm #

The “It Burns Where I Pee” 400

[ETA:] Assuming, of course, that we pee in the river…


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May 21 2013 at 5:26pm #

The Rustbelt Revival or Rustbelt crown are pretty cool names.


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May 21 2013 at 5:34pm #

“Rumble on the Rustbelt 2013”!

I’m with Jon that a Pittsburgh victory is all but inevitable (though still left to be determined is the point spread). Though I do pray that the gods of the Burning River do not wake up in time and notice that this is happening…

At the same time I wonder if there mightn’t be some way to make the event a bit more, um, inclusive. For example how about a meeting place more or less half-way between the cities? Then the Cleveland people would have something to do besides hanging around the finish line, waiting sullenly for us to appear. Of course, I have no idea where; my only recollection of “half-way to Cleveland” is an Elby’s Big Boy.

And the event could expose more of us to the pleasures(?) of randonneuring. You could do a 200k or a 100k+100k, depending on your proclivities.


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May 21 2013 at 5:47pm #

In all seriousness, I think it should be some form of an event to include the Cleveland peeps too…maybe they bring a crown, and we meet ’em halfway with a keg…


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May 21 2013 at 7:50pm #

I like Dan’s suggestion of it burns where I pee 400k.


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May 22 2013 at 7:17am #

Wow, people really like peeing. Maybe we should incorporate into more group rides.
I want the ride to be a 400K because I want to do a 400K this year, but I’m open to any way to bring Clevelanders into the ride. Just remember they’ll be visiting us here to give us the crown anyway, so we could ride together then, and they may be feeling kind of glum. Also, they live in Cleveland, so aren’t used to hills, or to riding that much, apparently.
Edit: @reddan just told me there’s another 400K opportunity in July, when the weather will be so much more comfortable than last weekend, so that addresses my desire to put my butt to the test this year, probably. So I’m open to other ways to make the Pittsburgh-Cleveland ride more welcoming to Clevelanders. Just remember, let’s keep it easy, for my sake, and theirs.


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May 22 2013 at 12:13pm #

when we were getting poured on during pedal pgh, i had a guy come up next to me and say “i love riding in the rain… you can piss yourself and nobody will know”. i was tempted, but i still havent tried it.


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May 22 2013 at 4:10pm #

I hate to say this, makes me sound kind of sensible and whatnot, but I wouldn’t go down the pee route. Even in a friendly competition, as cyclists we need to develop more commonality than division with the lovely folks in Cleveland.
Also, Pittsburgh is perilously easy to modify into Pissburgh. We seriously don’t want to invite that on ourselves.


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May 22 2013 at 9:09pm #

Have you seen the book “The Cleveland Pittsburgh Connector” available from Adventure Cycling?

Their route is roughly: Coraopolis-Rt 51-Monaca-Beaver-Negley-Canfield-Austintown-Garrettsville-Chagrin Falls, 125 mi. I have the book but I haven’t tried the route. It doesn’t actually go all the way from Pittsburgh to Cleveland, but connects to other trails (Montour and ATA Northern Tier Route).


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May 23 2013 at 8:53am #

edmonds59 wrote:Even in a friendly competition, as cyclists we need to develop more commonality than division with the lovely folks in Cleveland.

Yeah, we don’t want to start some sort of athletic competition with Cleveland. Who knows where that could lead?
Anyway, I’m still thinking 400K, along the lines of an extension of the 300K to Akron, then the Erie Canal trail into Cleveland and back. On the 300K I heard people at an ice cream stand talking about how great the trail was, complete into Cleveland. I’ll put together a tentative route so people can comment.
Of course we’ll invite Clevelanders to join us; starting and ending in Pittsburgh can be the part of the benefit to winning. If in some future year Cleveland wins the crown, ha, we’ll start from there.
And we’ll make peeing optional. I always end up peeing in random places on these rides, anyway. (If there’s one thing long-distance riding has taught me, it’s that you can pee anywhere you want. I remember in the Beijing Olympics the riders on the way to the Great Wall stopped in some bushes, in the middle of Beijing, surrounded by crowds and TV cameras, leaned off their bikes, and went.)
Edit: also, BTW, an October 400K will give me a chance to try out my fancy wool Pittsburgh Randonneurs jersey, which should be here soon.


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Sep 5 2013 at 1:05pm #

Hey, it looks like we’re going to lose the Rust Belt Crown to Cleveland. They’re only 500 miles behind us and gaining fast.
As to the 400K, I did map out a route from Neville Island to Cleveland and back but it was impossible to follow Dan’s route in the 300K and keep the distance anywhere near 400K. I had to use Route 51 for part of it, heading off the road where possible, and that’s with not even riding all the way to Lake Erie, just touching Cleveland and returning. It still comes out to about 420K. I still intend to check the route out to see if it is viable as a randonnĂ©e but probably not in time for it to be an official 400K.

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