I'm going to visit Pittsburgh this week from Athens, OH, and want to bring my bike, an old cyclo-cross that has only one gear. I'm wondering how much of a problem this would pose pedaling Pittsburgh trails, specifically the one running from Homestead toward town. I'm assuming this will be fine since it all appears to be on the Mon's flood plain but I wanted to reach out for local advice. Any trails I should avoid? Shouldn't miss? I'm in reasonable shape but I'm no mountain goat and won't be entering the Dirty Dozen any time soon ...
All of the trails along the rivers are basically flat. When you get to the South Side Works development from Homestead, you can cross the Hot Metal Bridge and have a direct route to downtown and Point State Park, and from there you can cross either river and ride more trails. If you don't cross the Mon at the Hot Metal Bridge, the trail toward the confluence of the Mon and Allegheny exists in bits and pieces, but will ultimately get you to the downtown area, or at least across the river from it. The trails in and around Point State Park will give a good view of the city.
Thanks much for the info ...
If you cross the Hot Metal bridge to the Eliza trail (a.k.a. the Jail trail) as Jacob mentions, you'll pass by Triangle bike rental just before you enter downtown. They should have maps and other info for bike-visitors, and their staff are usually very friendly. (they also have a water fountain and mist area)
I rented a bike from Triangle a few years ago when I was in town. Great shop. Thanks for the response.
Like the others have mentioned, the trails near the rivers are all pretty flat. The "steepest" climbs you'll have are the ramps at either end of the Mon Wharf and the ramps onto the Fort Duquesne pedestrian bridge. You should be fine.
On the GAP mainline between McKeesport and Boston, There is a climb upon leaving the on-road section that contains blind curves in both directions.
Thanks for all the input. I rode from Homestead to Point State Park and back on Fridayy. No problem at all on a single speed. It was a great ride and I was impressed by the trail. I got a bit turned around when I hit downtown and stopped at Golden Triangle Bikes to ask directions. They were great, as usual, and pointed me toward the route along the Mon wharf ...