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PGH to Erie in a day

By the way of introduction, my bike and I are moving to the great city of Edinburgh, Scotland at the end of July, and I am looking forward to exploring Europe by bike. In the meantime, my last day on the job is June 24, and I will have a whole month to do things I always wanted to do but didn't get around to. I would like to do the PGH to DC ride. I am planning a weekend trip to Abingdon, VA to bike the Creeper Trail. I also would like to bike to Lake Erie in a day. Just wondering if anyone has any experiences they can share, and what route is the best. So far my research has yielded three options: 1. The route produced by google maps: 2. Just taking Rt 19 all the way - seems a bit longer 3. The Erie to Pittsburgh trail - seems much longer and probably not doable in a day. Would appreciate any input. Also, if anyone is interested in doing this sometime in July shoot me a message - I will have a ride back to PGH in the evening with room for one bike in addition to mine.
2015-05-31 16:21:15
The Pittsburgh - Erie - Pittsburgh 400K ( included two good routes, out and back. Either is good (but I liked the return route better), and 200K. You'd have to add in something to get to Cranberry.
2015-05-31 17:10:37
Thanks Jon!
2015-05-31 17:19:12
I am also open to doing the Erie to PGH trail (starting from PGH) in two days, if anyone is interested.
2015-05-31 17:27:44
Ages ago, there was a thread about someone making it to the outskirts of Erie in one day, then having a mechanical issue. I think the rider was on his way to Buffalo, so search on that and go back three or four or more years.
2015-06-02 15:36:22
I'd be up for taking a week (+2 weekends) to go up, hang out and come back. 3 or 4 days each way. I'm serious. Any takes? for at least one way?
2015-06-02 16:02:43
One thing I like about the National Bike Challenge website is the map overlay or Strava Heat maps that I always wanted to find. For some reason I never could find them in Strava until I knew about this bike challenge website. But it shows all the routes people record on. It is better than Google Maps biking to know where people ride and what are most likely ride-able roads. It has a color opacity to know what is the more traveled route. I plan on using this to find new routes to explore and mapping weekend centuries.
2015-06-02 17:08:41
@ShooFlyPie: Duh! Thanks, that's a great suggestion
2015-06-03 07:23:03
Adventure Cycling has an Erie-Pittsburgh spur mapped route as part of their Underground Railroad route. I have no idea as to the route quality, but the maps sure are nice.
2015-06-03 13:23:45
"One thing I like about the National Bike Challenge website is the map overlay or Strava Heat maps that I always wanted to find. For some reason I never could find them in Strava until I knew about this bike challenge website. " OOooh, can you tell me where on the NBC site I can find the heatmaps?
2015-06-03 14:23:06
@RustyRed: Just google "Strava heat map"
2015-06-03 14:27:45
@Rustyred, it's on the NBC homepage. Scroll down a bit and you'll see it
2015-06-03 14:29:57
"@Rustyred, it’s on the NBC homepage. Scroll down a bit and you’ll see it." Ah... the *gigantic* map that takes up like half the page? Yes, found it, thank you! :) **Derp**
2015-06-03 15:52:21
@dmtroyer, if you like the Pgh-Erie spur - do you know Janie from the Major Taylor crew? she's kind of responsible for the Pgh-Erie connector.
2015-06-03 20:53:41
Not quite on topic — but I am planning on riding a 500mi loop around the 4th of July weekend, that I planned to do last year, but a bad work situation kept me off the bike when it was time. I am planning on riding at least 100mi per day, maybe up to 200 per day. I am basically giving myself 8 or 9 days to do it if I want to take that long — stop and enjoy the scenery or whatever. It incorporates the Ghost Town / Armstrong and Allegheny River trail / Pine Creek Gorge trail, and some others. I am totally fine with riding alone, but if there are people out there who want to roll on this, I'd be down for that too. I am packing with my light panniers / bivy sack / therma-rest pad, no cooking equipment and just eating on the go. My bike weight fully loaded when I go with that setup is around 45lbs. I'm planning on leaving very early in the morning on the 2nd (4am-ish, think CTC) — and possibly being home as early as Monday the 6th — but may just decide to camp out for a day somewhere, or some other random adventure.
2015-06-04 15:25:59
Adam, that looks like a fun ride. I have a friend coming from out of town for the holiday weekend. If she's up for it we might join you for the ghost town trail leg starting from Clem's BBQ and ride out and back.
2015-06-05 11:35:53
That's cool. There won't be a ton of "new to me" territory on the ride — but most of this I have only ridden in sections. If I get out the door on my first day as early as I was hoping to, Clem's may not even be open by the time I roll by :-( But I threw it on there as a possibility just in case. Typically when I go on rides like this I can't sleep the night before I leave, so I just lay around playing video games or whatever until 4am and take off.
2015-06-05 11:45:23
@Adam: I would predict some fracking trucks on the roads in those northern counties, but it's been several years since I was near Pine Creek.
2015-06-07 23:12:21