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Pittsburgh to Beaver tomorrow AM

This topic contains 21 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Vannevar 1 yr, 3 mos.

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salty

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May 30 2011 at 3:05am #

ok, I was hoping to do a long ride tomorrow but since my Mom ended up being in town I was going to go visit her… but then it occurred to me I could try to combine the two. I’ll be heading from the city to a bit west of Beaver – I thought someone had asked about a similar route before but I couldn’t find it.

I don’t really know the roads out there, when I drive I either take ORB or 376->60 so I tried Google: http://goo.gl/maps/D9A0

I think the route looks mainly ok, but I don’t understand why it has me crossing the river so many times. Especially I’m thinking of skipping Sewickley bridge -> a few miles on ORB -> re-cross at Ambridge vs just staying on that side (Stoop’s Ferry to McGovern), but I’ve never taken the latter, it looks like it might be kind of hilly but still has to be better than ORB? It also has me going onto Neville Island but that looks might be a pleasant diversion?

Well, I don’t have much time to solicit advice but if anyone has any thoughts on the route – the McGovern part in particular before say 10am, please let me know – otherwise it will be “live and learn”…


stefb

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May 30 2011 at 3:53am #

I was visiting my parents in center(monaca) today and drove there due to time constraints. 51 is torn up between the ambridge bridge and monaca… Not that you would likely go that way. Just an FYI that it would be horrible to ride on. One narrow lane and it turns out that it is the official bike route.


fungicyclist

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May 30 2011 at 4:09am #

Though I can’t speak to the McGovern option, I will say Neville Island is right wicked on the weekend (and I assume on Holiday too?). It’s where Pgh is digesting itself. Scrap metal is brought here from everywhere, and then sent off to China downriver. It’s a good road and relaxing ride, though surreal.

West Carson is a pain. I took a lane which was not entirely well received by drivers. The sidewalk is rough in spots and one has to choose it early on as it is separated from the road by a substantial fence/guardrail. Sidewalk, from what I saw, has a few sinkholes that could come up on one quite quickly, so it’s a lesser of two evils choice.

Learn, and live. Have a good ride.


salty

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May 30 2011 at 4:12am #

Thanks Stef… well now that you said that I realize it is on 51 a good part of the way – its just not labeled 51 on google and I haven’t been there there much so it didn’t click. In fact I think stoops ferry is actually 51 and it is a big ass hill IIRC. Well maybe i can see now why it wants me to go across the bridge. Ugh, I don’t want an excuse to bail on this but now I’m a little worried.

Further north it shows a road/trail parallel to 51 but I have no idea if that really exists so what you said worries me too.

The only other way I know to go is up sewickley creek road through baden which was OK when I lived in the north hills (never biked it but I now the roads), but probably way out of the way.


salty

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May 30 2011 at 4:17am #

Yeah, I’ve been out west Carson a bit – it does suck but its kind of “the devil you know”. Also Neville island, at least it is *supposed to be* 25. But past that I’m just pretty unsure either by bike or car, although since Stef jogged my memory a bit I’m not really liking what I’m remembering :(.

It is a holiday though which I hope should make the traffic a little calmer in the day. I’m only planning to ride one way and get a ride back so i shouldn’t have to deal with the drunks at night.


fungicyclist

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May 30 2011 at 4:42am #

Weekends, Neville Island is a ghost town. After Neville to Sewickley is not great and can be tight, but there are cops hiding everywhere, and that seems to keep insanity in check. Well, hell, that’s Coraopolis. (How observant am I anyway?) I’ve been out to Sewickley often and recently this route. Now that I think on it the access/funnel point to the Sewickley bridge is somewhere to be fully aware (Thorn St.). I have looked for the ORT to which google directed me, and gave up looking for it finally.

Beyond that, I’m mostly curious and interested to hear your report on your route.


Steven

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May 30 2011 at 10:55am #

The Ohio River Trail is a proposed trail. Google is being way premature.


stefb

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May 30 2011 at 11:13am #

I wanted to ride to my parents’ house and back at some point before the ms but wasn’t sure how. I suppose you could get there by taking 19 to wexford, then pick up the red belt to 65 and just take that. I think it would work. There was some ride last year that took cyclists on the red belt, so I guess it should be safe. I didn’t do the ride though.

Ps- it is going to be 90 degrees today by noon.


Marko82

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May 30 2011 at 12:59pm #

Old post. Have fun & take lotsa water!

http://bike-pgh.org/bbpress/topic/route-advice-greenfield-out-past-sewickley


salty

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May 30 2011 at 1:12pm #

Thanks marko – that’s exactly the post I was thinking of!

Well, I guess I’m gonna give it a go… since my wife is driving anyways I have a “sag wagon” if I need it.

Steven – pretty sure the trail stuff came from RTC, but it seems like they didn’t necessarily make the distinction between planned and built. (Ha, I see I already said that in the other thread)


salty

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May 30 2011 at 11:25pm #

first – this thread is just a reminder about how awesome this board is – thanks for an amazing amount of good advice even on almost no notice.

Probably I should have taken more of Stef’s advice, because (a) it was damn hot and (b) that section of construction she mentioned was abysmal – I do not recommend riding there until that is finished.

But, I made it ok, and it was fun, at least until the end. According to this site which I like a lot, 68 by the river is 690ft and the hill my mom lives on is 1180. Most of that climbing is in a little over 1 mile. It was really hot, I was tired, and despite leaving Beaver with 2 full bottles I was out before I got to the top. Stoops Ferry is also a hell of a hill but shorter (220ft climb in ~0.5mi), and at least flying down the other side at ~40 was fun. I am not too ashamed to admit I did some walking on both of those hills.

Otherwise, I took the advice on the other thread and did California->McKees Rocks Bridge and then it was basically 51 the whole way aside from using Neville Island as a bypass (highly recommended, very pleasant riding). For the most part 51 has a decent shoulder, and where it doesn’t it’s 4 lanes, so at least when there’s not much traffic it wasn’t a big deal.

But, I cannot emphasize enough how bad the construction south of Monaca sucked. ZERO shoulder – I mean literally there is a curb with a guardrail on top of it. Only one lane of road is paved in each direction, with cones on the inside and a steep dropoff. I let a few cars squeeze uncomfortably closely by me before I decided my best option was to keep to the left and when I saw a car, bail onto the chopped-up inner lanes. That was pretty horrible too though, it’s very rough, there are piles of rocks, plates, big holes, and to get back up on the roadway you have to do hop back on to the new pavement which is about an inch thick. Aside from having a jersey barrier on the left it couldn’t have been much worse. That went on for at least 2-3 miles I think. Once that is complete I wouldn’t hesitate to take the same route again.

I took a lot of water/gatorade (5 bottles) but still should have stopped for more.

41.75mi, 3:36 total (11.6 avg), 2:52 moving (14.6 avg): http://connect.garmin.com/activity/89117210


stefb

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May 31 2011 at 3:32am #

You have huge balls for riding on that road. I should have been more clear about how awful 51 is. I would have cried on that road. I also might have joined you (and insisted on staying on the other side of the river through that part) if i didn’t feel kinda crappy.


edmonds59

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May 31 2011 at 10:24am #

I’ve got to give you big kudos for making that ride. I just did some yardwork yesterday and I felt like I was going to throw up from the heat, I can’t imagine what it was like on the road.


salty

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May 31 2011 at 3:23pm #

Stef, I think you meant “small brains” – I feel pretty dumb for doing it instead of turning around or something.

The heat wasn’t too bad for a most of the ride, and it was also mostly flat – it only really got nasty in both respects at the end. In retrospect I probably should have taken my mom up on her offer to come pick me up in Beaver but all’s well that ends well.


flyS564

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May 31 2011 at 8:42pm #

Glad you did it ok. I ride that portion of your route once a year in July to Ohio. I don’t mind that Stoops Ferry hill at all but there are a few miles of 51 that aren’t so fun without a shoulder. The rest of it is awesome with a big shoulder but I think it’s after Rochester, mostly. I always carry a camelback and up to 3 water bottles when heading that direction in this heat.


salty

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May 22 2013 at 9:38pm #

I’m planning to do this again on Sunday, probably the same route (link is above). That is, assuming the construction on 51 is finished by now (I’ll be on there from Neville Island to Monaca) – anyone know for sure?

I might try Tuscarawas Rd. out of Beaver this time – I can’t decide whether it looks better or worse than Barclay Hill. I also just discovered Sebring, which starts off silly steep then mellows out.

Looks like it shouldn’t be so damn hot this time though.


salty

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May 25 2013 at 11:05am #

One more try on this – anyone know for sure if the construction on 51 north is done?


Vannevar

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May 25 2013 at 11:41am #

51North is clear from Coraopolis to Monaca. fwiw Ambridge Bridge is closed. (Sat 1200)


salty

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May 25 2013 at 5:16pm #

Cool, thanks V. I’m going all the way to Monaca so the bridge closure is no problem. Now I just have to manage to get up nearly enough.


salty

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May 26 2013 at 6:57pm #

Much better ride this time between the lack of construction on 51, being 20 degrees cooler, and having lower gears on my bike to make it up the hills.

51 is still kind of crap though, zero shoulder so you’re in the (55mph) lane the whole time. Most people went into the other lane to pass but I got buzzed a few times which sucks with 40mph+ differential.


stefb

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May 26 2013 at 7:11pm #

Yeah I hate that stretch. At some point there should be a trail along the river that ends at the Monaca-Rochester bridge.. Or at least the sign says so.


Vannevar

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May 28 2013 at 10:25pm #

That’s my home turf and it’s always sort of surprised me that Route51 is a state bike route, except that it sucks less than any other option. At least it’s fairly straight and there’s very few businesses with driveways (like, say, Route65).

I think the Cory-Monaca trail is probably 2017, but they have chosen an alignment, they’ve got funding, they’re doing engineering work. Dr. Troya (a Monaca optomotrist) is carrying that spearhead.

(I failed metaphors)

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