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Pittsburgh Randonneurs

Dan is suspiciously quiet... Kittens and Puppies 100K Event Date: 2013-03-09 Distance: 100 km Starts at: Neville Island, at 09:00 Map: Time Limit 6:40 The weather is supposed to be good. Nice Saturday ride. PS Dan, please take a look at Control Points in the cue sheet. It looks like numbering is out of order and opening/closing times are out of order too.
2013-03-06 18:07:09
Thanks for posting this, Mikhail...I've been a bit busy these days. We've also got an upcoming 200K, which will extend this weekend's 100K route into Ohio, on the 23rd.
Mikhail wrote:PS Dan, please take a look at Control Points in the cue sheet. It looks like numbering is out of order and opening/closing times are out of order too.
Thanks...I've let the organizer know.
2013-03-06 18:27:11
I've never done a randonneur but I've wanted to, I'm unscheduled Saturday, the weather looks good, and I need to be on the bike (perfect alignment) - my question is, I'm not a member of PghRando - can a visitor appear at 0815, sign paperwork and participate? Thanks, V.
2013-03-06 21:04:44
@Vannevar : per recent email from RBA Jim:
No, the Populaires have no cost right now. The WPW insurance policy does allow for true first time visitors riding with the club to be covered by our insurance policies. I'll be willing to finesse that for people that haven't ridden with WPW before on the Populaires. Otherise! Randonneurs USA requires every rider on a sanctioned Populaire or Brevet to be covered by the club insurance policy. I encourage people to bite the bullet and just join if they consider riding distance enjoyable. These are not led rides, so the pace is what people choice to ride. For the Populaire, I expect there to be a slower group and a faster group for those that choose to ride together. Everyone should carry a cue sheet and know they are accountable for their own navigation. But we will endeavor not to lose first-timers that don't want to be lost.
For most local brevets, you'll need to be a WPW member.
2013-03-06 21:11:20
This is quote of Jim's Logan e-mail: Pittsburgh Randonneurs: Populaires are our rides less than 200 km Here are the details for registering: - For now, Populaires are free, except that all riders must be members of the Western PA Wheelmen. Same day registrations for $20 are available. Please print out the membership form from the WPW website ( and bring it. - Advance notice to the RBA (me) is appreciated by Wednesday before each Populaire. Information needed (if not already provided): o Name, address, cell phone number o Emergency contact name and phone number o RUSA membership number if you have one (not required) - All riders must sign at least one RUSA waiver per year (will be in the brevet registration form). - Same day registrations will be accepted, but experienced riders please give me notice. - Registration starts at 8:15 AM. Rider meeting at 8:50 AM. Riders leave at 9:00 AM. - The route is not painted, and riders are nominally on your own for navigation. However, if you are new to randonneuring, we will endeavor not to lose you on your first outing. Attached is the cue sheet for the Kitten and Puppies 100 km for this coming March 9th It starts and ends here: Control 1: Park'n'Ride, Neville Island (Pittsburgh, PA) next to King's Restaurant - 5800 Grand Ave Neville Island (Pittsburgh), PA This route leverages watershed routes to maximum advantage, following the Ohio River to Beaver Falls, than following another watershed route to Ellwood City. We are favoring there-and-back routes this year, as that is the best way for all see all riders on the road. Map of the route is here: Pittsburgh Randonneurs website is slowly getting rebuilt here: Thanks to Dan Blumenfeld and Dan Goldman for working on the website. Jim Logan ( Regional Brevet Coordinator (RBA), Pittsburgh PS: I’ll get the registration form out for our brevets today. It will include WPW membership for those planning to ride brevets. .
2013-03-06 21:11:29
I really appreciate that, and I'll join (no problem with that). Looking forward to Saturday, this is a nice route. V.
2013-03-06 21:49:32
I'd like to participate in this ride. Where do I get the necessary forms? I went to the WPW site, but either it's being slow or my internet connection is crapping out. Can someone post a link directly to the page with appropriate docs? Also, is the $20 fee per ride, or does that cover multiple events? Also Also, my bike is a steel touring rig, does that seem reasonable for randos? I've made solo rides of this length on it before, but never a group ride or anything longer. Finally, what usually happens post-ride? Do we just go home or is there a social hour?
2013-03-07 11:15:10
@JaySherman5000 : Here's the membership form: The $20 fee is the yearly WPW membership fee. In general, 'populaires' (sub-200K rides) are free; most official brevets (200K, 300K, 400K, and 600K) involve a fee. Steel touring bikes work just fine for randonneuring. As do carbon fiber road bikes, slick-tired 29ers, bamboo fixies, and pretty much anything else on which you can be comfortable and maintain a stead pace in the low teens. Time limits are calculated based on a roughly 10 mph pace...if you can keep it in the 12-13 mph range, you've got loads of time for sit-down meals, naps, photo ops, mechanical issues, etc. In general, randonneuring is not as focused on riding as a group; given the distances and wide variety of riders, it tends to be more spread out, with people forming and dissolving groups in an ad-hoc fashion. My personal experience is that, left to my own devices, I find my time split 50/50 between social rising and solo. Others have different styles, of course...some form riding partnerships that last an entire 600K. There's no stigma attached either way, although it is considered good form not to abandon newcomers unless they're confident in themselves and the route. Post-ride at 200Ks and up, there's usually some form of social activity, usually heavily food-oriented. Small events, with only a few participants and an unattended finish point, are a different story; larger ones with volunteers and support staff often have mid-ride "catered" stops and a post-ride feast. Personally, I'm often time-bound, so usually ride home immediately after finishing; but I encourage people to stop at, say, the Kings restaurant one parking lot over and enjoy food and beer.
2013-03-07 11:31:43
I should also add that, this year, we're focused on offering more 200K and shorter rides, in an attempt to offer better gateway drugs encourage new riders to tackle moderate-paced distance riding without committing to a double century or more. We've got 4 populaires (3 100Ks and a 166K) and 8 200Ks (5 reasonably rational ones, and three "challenge rides") on the schedule through September, so there will be plenty of opportunities for randonneuring without hitting the 300Ks or the 400K.
2013-03-07 11:37:40
Seems like randos would cut heavily into my "moss-gatherin'" time.
2013-03-07 13:51:40
edmonds59 wrote:Seems like randos would cut heavily into my “moss-gatherin’” time.
Ride in the rain, and your mildew quota will be covered.
2013-03-07 13:58:22
Next time I am driving to the start if it is on Neville island. I hate driving my bike places, but Carson between McKees rocks and station square is downright dangerous. I got buzzed by every single vehicle and a semi came within 6 inches of hitting me on my way home. The mckees rocks bridge isn't a treat, either. Is there some other way I can go?
2013-03-09 16:54:06
@stefb carson is tolerable on a sunday morning, any other time I'll take the sidewalk on the mckees rocks bridge. takes twice as long, it seems, but much less stressful.
2013-03-09 21:11:42
@stefb - that's my commute every morning (between McKees Rocks and Station Square). No fun indeed. Usually when I'm on my mtb I'll just take the sidewalk between Corliss St. Tunnel and Station Square. Thee are other ways to bypass that section of Carson, but they involve more miles and more hills.
2013-03-09 21:41:14
Jim, I didn't get to talk to you at lunch. So you're part of the Westie contingent, us folks west of town? Good to know. Stefb, yes, not too many other reasonable options. You've experienced one of the shittiest corridors in the area for biking. And it just happens to be the corridor that would potentially connect the west end of the GAP to the proposed ORTC that could take cyclists all the way from DC to the Ohio Border, and Ohio's fast-developing trail system onward west. PennDot is scheduled to close that section to rebuild it and they seem hell-bent on not making it not a whit more pedestrian or bike friendly, or less deadly, than it is now, morons. People have been trying to convince PDot otherwise, but they are resolved in their resistance to change.
2013-03-10 07:17:12
Haha - I like it, the Westies. We should get some Jerseys with that on it.
2013-03-10 07:45:26
I considered taking the 21 bus out there but it would have gotten me there too early, on a cold morning, or a bit too late. So I rode on 51, too, and found it to be hell, especially after the West End circle. High speed trucks and a concrete wall on the right. The 21 bus arrives there by 7:05 am on the 23rd so if Jim was willing to delay the start a bit or you were OK with leaving a little late that would work. There is no earlier bus. The bus back worked fine for me. Lunch at King's, then an easy ride back to town.
2013-03-10 16:38:22
Coming from town, I find Ohio River Trail->Eckert->McClure->Davis->California->McKees Rocks Bridge the least unpleasant outbound route. You could do California all the way to Emsworth, hop on the shoulder of 65 for a mile, and take the I-79 bridge to Neville island...I doubt that'd be significantly better, and probably a lot slower.
2013-03-10 17:20:33
I just wanted to say thanks to everyone I encountered Saturday on the Puppies & Kittens 100k. This was definitely a fun ride, and it gave me a lot of confidence in my equipment and abilities. I think I finished the route in 5 h 10 min, after taking a slight detour to do an unnecessary climb up a little ridge. I'm looking forward to trying the 200k next. I think if that ride goes well, you may have gotten me hooked...
2013-03-11 09:51:46
JaySherman5000 wrote:I’m looking forward to trying the 200k next. I think if that ride goes well, you may have gotten me hooked…
2013-03-11 09:52:29
I also wanted to give a shout out to all of the great people I met at the Pups and Kittehs 100k Saturday. It was tons of fun and a beautiful day—and everyone was so welcoming to us newbs! And thanks for holding these shorter-distance rides, which I'm more inclined to actually participate in. Although I'm beginning to think they are simply an efficient means to distribute those first few sips of the koolaid...
2013-03-11 13:38:27
LizziMac wrote:Although I’m beginning to think they are simply an efficient means to distribute those first few sips of the koolaid…
I say it again, Muhahahaha! if you're liking these rides, it's also a good idea to sign up for the pittsburgh-randos mailing list...most of our informal rides get called out there, and they're usually in the 100-150K range.
2013-03-11 13:43:24
Another first-timer chiming in, I'd like to thank the more-experienced folks for being very welcoming, and to those who added a few more miles to their own BeaverFalls-EllwoodCity segment so that it wouldn't seem like I got to the 7-11 so very much later than every body else - merci boocoups! I'll be there again. V.
2013-03-11 13:53:02
Agreed; this was really well done.
2013-03-11 14:06:23
Thanks for the link to the mailing list!
2013-03-11 15:16:30
Sorry I wasn't too social on Saturday. I was tired and just wanted to get it over with. I was so not in it mentally. I am really happy that so many people came out, and I hope it leads to more people showing up for more rides!
2013-03-11 17:41:51
Thanks to Jim and all organizers and to all people who were brave enough to participate. It was my first r-experience. :) Cool! Stefb, you were social. :)
2013-03-11 18:00:07
gee I thought I was the only noob there, and now you're all coming out of the rangement
2013-03-11 18:56:47
There might be a more relevant thread out there for this question, but: what is the best way to load the posted cue sheet(s) for a given ride into my Android device? Is there an app or simple how-to out there that I could use to put the route into my phone automagically, or would I have to manually enter the route into the Google Maps app? Or is there an even better, paperless method for this sort of task? (Please note: I still plan to always carry paper cue sheets.) While I'm venturing down this rabbit hole, can anyone: -recommend a good dyno-hub that can be used to power/recharge usb devices? I've built wheels before and this just seems like a good idea. -recommend a device that will secure my phone somewhere in the vicinity of my handlebars? I realize these things may have to be model-specific for my phone/gps/interstellar communicator/Ouigi board, but I assume there are at least brand names that can be suggested (or avoided). -recommend a good, usb-rechargeable front light?
2013-03-12 14:24:13
You can use to convert a Garmin track you download from the site where Jim posts the map to a KML file, which you can then upload into your Google Maps. And you can the view that using your Android phone from the Maps application (My Maps). BTW I have found a dedicated GPS device to be more reliable than an Android phone for following randonneurs. The key thing you need to charge a usb device is a voltage converter. I've used E-Werk with some success. seems to have the latest good versions. BTW try to get a 'power only' USB cable -- you want the USB device to think it's just being charged, not that it has to make a USB connection, since that will tell it it's OK to draw more power and charge faster. As far as mounts go I don't know anything really good for Android phones. Everything I've seen tends to be a little too adjustable and therefore kind of weak. iPhones seem to have better options. I'd suggest using one of the dynamo lights at Peter White Cycles instead of a USB rechargeable headlight, as long as you're planning on getting a dynamo.
2013-03-12 14:37:05
@JaySherman5000 : As far as dynamo hubs go, the Shimano 3Nxxx series are perfectly reasonable...see Peter White's page for more information, including relative efficiencies as compared to other dynamo hubs. Not quite as nice as the Schmidt hubs, but half the price.
2013-03-12 15:02:25
I made new thread for my light & dynamo questions. I guess I should have checked here first, that Luxos IQ2 looks interesting. That might be a viable option for my purposes.
2013-03-13 17:39:59
I hear that the veteran randonneurs are coming up with a bigger ride for next weekend to welcome the newer riders. :) Is anyone interested in riding tomorrow to prep for it?
2013-03-16 18:24:16
FYI: The Kittens and Puppies 200K, being offered this Saturday 03/23, has changed start time and location. It's now a 07:30 start in Shaler, rather than the 07:00 start in Neville Island. See the site for updated map and cue sheet should be forthcoming tonight.
2013-03-20 07:25:24
@reddan: I tried to contact Jim via email and got no reply. I also failed at using the google group to reply to the discussion there. Anyhoo, I'd like to do this ride tomorrow. I just need to know what paperwork and fees to bring. I did the populaire two weeks ago, and for that I brought a WPW membership form, $20, and my riding bricks. For this ride, I've printed off 2013 registration form, a waiver, and the updated cue sheet. Is there anything else I need?
2013-03-22 16:41:40
JaySherman5000 wrote:@reddan: I tried to contact Jim via email and got no reply. I also failed at using the google group to reply to the discussion there. Anyhoo, I’d like to do this ride tomorrow. I just need to know what paperwork and fees to bring. I did the populaire two weeks ago, and for that I brought a WPW membership form, $20, and my riding bricks. For this ride, I’ve printed off 2013 registration form, a waiver, and the updated cue sheet. Is there anything else I need?
That should do it.
2013-03-22 17:43:31
Hey, can somebody explain something to me? In these out-and-back randonneurs, I'm getting good directions on my GPS (I have a Garmin Edge 800) either on the way out or on the way back, but never both. On the 100K my GPS kept trying to turn me around on the way out, but worked fine on the way back. On the 200K it worked fine on the way out, but thought the ride was finished at the Subway. I must be doing something wrong, what is it? What I've been doing is downloading the TCX file from the ridewithgps site and then starting the route at the beginning. Should I be using a different format file? Or is there some trick to getting the GPS to pay attention to what direction you are going? As it turns out none of this mattered because the routes are so easy and on the way out, at least, I can keep up, but I'm worried about what happens if I screw up somehow.
2013-03-24 15:09:20
I have an Edge 800 too. I haven't had the thing very long at all and haven't really figured out how to make it consistently play nice with the various file formats, but FWIW, I used RideWithGPS's Garmin Write function to write yesterday's course directly to my Garmin as a GPX track, and it worked fine. I didn't start following the course until we were a few miles in, but it automatically figured out where I was, and it turned me around properly at Subway as well. The few other times I've tried to use its navigational functions, I've exported .tcx or .gpx files and copied them to the device manually, and I've had some issues, but this time with the Garmin Write function it worked great. I am generally pretty good with troubleshooting tech-y things, and this Garmin has not turned out to be very user-friendly, considering how expensive and supposedly fancy it is. It's still a great thing to have, but man, if someone tried, they could really make something with a better interface.
2013-03-24 15:44:41
Also, this is all assuming that you have the model with the basemaps. Without those, I think the file format recommendations are different.
2013-03-24 15:46:06
Thanks to all who came out for the 200K...that was the most fun long ride I've had all year. Next Saturday is our 100K Spring Populaire in the North Hills...those who did this route last year will be pleased to know that the nasty climb just after that sharp right off Valencia (Fetzler Rd, I think?) has been replaced with a kinder, gentler transition to Hutchman just a half-mile further down the road. The rest of the Valencia Rd segment is unchanged (heheheheheh.)
2013-03-25 12:42:28
It was fun, even though I got screwed up I'm pretty confident I can finish a 200K in time if I don't skip basic bike maintenance checks. BTW the linked page says the ride starts at Jim's but the map shows it starting at the Washington Blvd racetrack. I assume this will all get straightened out by Saturday...
2013-03-25 12:45:28
@reddan: That was definitely a fun ride, although I learned the hard way that my bike is not adjusted properly for me (knee pain). It was also type-2 fun for me due to bringing an excessive amount of gear and the slow leak in my back tire that I didn't find until I got home (it was holding at 55 psi and felt awfully squishy). I'm busy next Saturday, but assuming I resolve the aforementioned bike-fit and gear related issues, I'll be around for more rides in the future. I've got my eyes set on the 300k in May for sure. Also, I'm a little sad because after the ride I forgot to take one of those sweet, sweet little pins that Jim mentioned at the rider meeting. That was the whole reason I got on the bike that day!
2013-03-25 12:49:22
jonawebb wrote:BTW the linked page says the ride starts at Jim’s but the map shows it starting at the Washington Blvd racetrack. I assume this will all get straightened out by Saturday…
It starts at Jim's place, unless something changes in the near future. I just linked a new map..thanks for noticing the old one, BTW. There will probably be a cue sheet update later this week, as I submitted a couple corrections earlier today.
2013-03-25 12:49:24
As long as we're talking minor cue sheet fixes, the 200k cue sheet from this weekend says to pass by Three Rivers Stadium. I'm not sure how to do that without mounting a flux-capacitor to my bike.
2013-03-25 12:51:33
JaySherman5000 wrote:As long as we’re talking minor cue sheet fixes, the 200k cue sheet from this weekend says to pass by Three Rivers Stadium. I’m not sure how to do that without mounting a flux-capacitor to my bike.
Heh. I'll ask Jim to change it to "where Three Rivers Stadium used to be." We need a proper Pittsburgh flair for our cues.
2013-03-25 12:53:10
Also, BTW, excellent planning on the timing. The 200K was on the warmest day we've had all year, and the 100K was on the warmest day since. It's careful planning like that that makes these rides so successful. I'm assuming this Saturday will be warm, dry, and sunny.
2013-03-25 13:00:56
jonawebb wrote:I’m assuming this Saturday will be warm, dry, and sunny.
Of course it will. We did also order a moderate wind from the north to arrive around noon-thirty or so, but it's so hard to guarantee delivery times for such things.
2013-03-25 13:03:27
I loved the 200k ride too! (apart from the nasty fall I had at the start). Everyone was super friendly. I am looking forward to meeting everyone again for next Saturday's ride.
2013-03-25 13:29:16
It won't be true Pittsburgh randonneuring if the cue sheets don't include landmarks identifying where things that no longer exist 'used to be'—that's just how we give directions 'round these parts.
2013-03-25 13:37:22
For some reason the only thing I remember from last year's 100k was "another hill!?" But then again, that was my first time on one of these rides. And I was out of shape.
2013-03-25 15:43:48
This Saturday's 100K isn't killer, but it's not easy either. The first dozen miles or so are pretty mellow...Freeport Rd out to Harmarville. Then, a gradual climb up toward Russelton, and cut over to the first real climb (Sun Mine Rd) on the way to Saxonburg. Cross Rte 8 to Brownsdale, then Valencia Rd (which is the roughest segment IMO), followed by a reasonably gentle leg through Mars to North Park. One crappy trafficky climb on Babcock to get out of the park, then some choppy stuff along Peebles and Thompson Run before descending to Babcock and Millvale. One short, steep, climb back to Jim's house, and you're done.
2013-03-25 15:49:57
Sounds easy! Oh now I remember that I bonked halfway through because I didn't eat.
2013-03-25 15:51:58
stefb wrote:Sounds easy! Oh now I remember that I bonked halfway through because I didn’t eat.
Remember that hill right off Valencia, where you bonked at the bottom? That was the one that's been removed from the course.
2013-03-25 15:53:09
That wasnt even difficult. I just had no food on board. What a terrible feeling.
2013-03-25 16:00:00
2013-03-27 13:41:32
I'm beginning to think there should be a Pgh Rando ride every single day so we can actually get some vitamin D in this city. The Pgh Rando rides seem to practically guarantee a nice day (or, if you will, at least a drastically improved day). *knocks on wood*
2013-03-27 14:08:38
LizziMac wrote:I’m beginning to think there should be a Pgh Rando ride every single day so we can actually get some vitamin D in this city. The Pgh Rando rides seem to practically guarantee a nice day (or, if you will, at least a drastically improved day). *knocks on wood*
Generally, we reserve the really craptastic weather for the latter half of the 300K+ distances.
2013-03-27 14:12:37
This is the Kittens and Puppies series, after all... seems to me I can remember a few randos in prior years where things were very different. Let's see, here's Dan's ride report from the 4/2012 300K:
So, the morning began quite nicely. 59 degrees, no rain, a set of yahoos drinking on their lawn at 4 AM who were ENAMORED of my bike...a fine way to start the day, pedaling down to Neville Island for the 300K. After the usual preliminaries, we set off. A brief pause in Coraopolis, as Bill managed to find a nice chunk of tire-slashing metal not two miles after the ride start...then, we crossed over into Sewickley and down Beaver to the start of the Red Belt in Ambridge. A few drops began to fall, then a few more, then a few more. By the time we'd crossed 228 out near Cranberry, the rain was beginning in earnest, and the temperature started falling by the time we hit Evans City. I was definitely in poor spirits by the time we reached the first controle, as cold pelting rain is my least-favorite weather in which to ride. However, a cup of coffee and a few minutes in the dry were enough to restore my morale nicely. Until we pulled away, and I flatted a few hundred feet from the controle. Since I hadn't yet warmed up through exertion pedaling, what little heat I'd managed to retain was long gone by the time I got the tube changed. Ok, I'm really not loving life at this point, but I get back on the road and shoot for a slow-n-steady pace. 488 is normally a road I enjoy, so I managed to pretend that this was fun for a while, at least when I'm not growing concerned about the dropping temperatures (one bank thermometer registered 43, another 41...), I hit 19, and following the cue, start following Bike Route A. Sadly, I neglected to follow the next cue, which would have put me back on 488 for a short jaunt to Ellwood City...instead, I apparently lost my mind completely and followed 19 north for, um, lots of miles. Finally realized my mistake, and realized that I now had at least 10 miles to get back to Portersville before picking up the route again...that was enough for me. I fumbled my way west to Volant, then south along 168 and 388 to 65, and finally Ellwood City. There, my dad was kind enough to pick me up and drag my shivering butt home.
2013-03-27 14:41:41
Ah, that 300K was an educational ride indeed. Even if you don't think you'll need it, an extra layer or two of clothing can make the difference 'twixt incipient hypothermia and a merely less-fun-than-usual ride.
2013-03-27 14:49:16
Next up in the rando-queue: our Spring 200K, offered on Saturday 04/13 starting at 7 AM. This is a tough 200K: it starts in Shaler, then traverses classic cycling roads to the west (Presto-Sygan, Millers Run, etc. through Hickory), then bears north on 18 and 168 to a ripping-fast descent through Shippingsport and the nuclear power plant. From there, we parallel the river to Rochester, then follow 68 through Zelie and Evans City to a return via North Park. There's plenty of climbing on this route; not many stoopid-steep grades, but, aside from the stretch along the Ohio River, very little of the course is flat. CtC aspirants take note: this'll be a dandy shakedown/tuneup ride.
2013-04-03 17:03:56
We did this ride last year, right?
2013-04-03 17:14:30
stefb wrote:We did this ride last year, right?
2013-04-03 19:47:55
I'm bumping the thread for two reasons. First: thanks for another awesome ride last weekend! I can't wait for another main-line dose of that sweet, sweet, long-distance cycling nectar. Second: this was the second 200k in which I had tire issues (I flatted coming down Logan Rd). And yesterday I got yet another flat. This begs the question: what tires do you people prefer for randonneuring? I'm riding a steel touring bike, and I like to bring riding bricks along with me, so I need something that can handle weather & weight without too much drag. My current tires are 700x32mm Continental Touring Plus tires. They allegedly have built-in flat protection, but I've gotten half a dozen punctures in about 2500-3000 miles, and I've worn one tire down to the yellow indicator strip. To be fair, I inflate them to ~110 psi (30 psi over the recommended max), which I assume degrades the flat protection performance. So, can anyone recommend a good touring tire that allows inflation to 100 psi or greater? I'm looking for something in a 700x28mm size.
2013-04-19 09:58:44
Jay: I've had good luck with the Schwalbe Marathon Racers (emphatically NOT the regular Marathons!). I've also had good reports of the Vittoria Randonneur Hypers, but no personal experience.
2013-04-19 10:08:03
are you saying emphatically not these: they were actually high on my list of probable purchases. Also, is your experience with those tires on a regular bike or on that wierd chaise lounge looking thing you ride? or would that even make a difference?
2013-04-19 10:41:37
reddan wrote:Jay: I’ve had good luck with the Schwalbe Marathon Racers (emphatically NOT the regular Marathons!). I’ve also had good reports of the Vittoria Randonneur Hypers, but no personal experience.
I've had good luck with Vittoria Randoneeur Hypers, but they are a bit pricey. I'm a big fan of my panaracer T-Serve PT tires. I think the randoneeur hypers are now rebranded as Voyager Hyper, and are a bit lighter than the T-serv PT. I've had a flat on both, but they are both a good tradeoff between weight, durability, and puncture resistance. Both have been very reliable.
2013-04-19 11:34:20
If you want strong, panaracer ribmo tires are pretty damn near indestructible as far as tires go. I've been riding these on my fixed gear and bike polo bike in the 700x28c size at 100psi. They are a bit heavier, and when breaking them in, they can be a bit slippery when wet at first (will break in after a few hundred miles), but they have survived a ton of abuse and never flat. I've pulled chunks of glass out of the circumference of the tire that didn't cause a flat.
2013-04-19 11:43:14
JaySherman5000 wrote:700x32mm
100 psi for 32 mm tire is a little bit too much. First of all, it's much rougher then 100 psi for 23mm. Second, you will expiriense more punctures (not snake bites but regualr ones -- from sharp stones -- since you decrease ability for the tire to hug those stones, etc).
2013-04-19 13:09:57
@Benzo: I've heard a lot of endorsements from bikepgh users for RiBMos, and I'm almost ready to try them. Actually, scratch that, I found them for $30 on Amazon. I think I've found the tires I'm looking for. Just curious, do you use tire liners? My better half and her bike messenger friends swear by them. I'll try and find the picture of her friend's tire holding 90psi with the tread splayed open like a gutted pig.
2013-04-19 13:12:05
I don't use tire liners if I'm using ribmos or other good puncture resistant tires (which I mostly use). However, I've had several friends swear by them. The plus side is that they are re-usable when you swap tires.
2013-04-19 13:38:45
Better Half here, with photographic representation of the effectiveness of utilizing Tuffy liners. Thank you, Mr. Tuffy! Thank you, Mr. Tuffy!
2013-04-20 14:06:19
Next up: This weekend, we're offering a 200K out of Shaler (the Kittens and Puppies route to Ohio and back from a few weeks ago), and a 300K out of Neville Island (also a Kittens and Puppies route, but this time going to Hartville, OH before turning around.) Revisions to the map and cue sheet for the 300K are pending, but the information already on the web site is pretty accurate. The Neville Island start isn't quite as convenient to town as the Shaler start, but it's really nice not having to deal with the McKees Rocks Bridge, the ride through town, and the climb back up to Jim's house after you've already ridden 180+ miles. CtCers, this'll be a great way to ensure you've fully recovered from your exertions, with far less in the way of climbing and limestone slop. [Edited to add:] If you're planning to ride, please let Jim Logan know by Wednesday.
2013-04-22 11:20:29
Maaan, this sounds awesome, but I have to be at the Keg Ride on Saturday (which will also be awesome). I might have to ride that 300k route some other time just for fun.
2013-04-22 11:32:19
@pearmask: I was thinking the same thing! I'm busy during this weekend and next month's 300k events. If you plan to ride this route some other time but don't want to do it alone, let me know. @reddan: any chance the 300k route could be done as a Permanent? I was hoping to finish a 300 and 400k this year, with the lofty goal of doing a 600k ride at some point. I realize I could just go out and ride by myself, but it would be nice to have some sort of quasi-official record. (damn you and your gateway drugs!)
2013-04-22 12:24:11
@JaySherman5000, that would be great. Just let me know. I am also curious about how permanents work. I wanted to try to ride a Super Randonneur series this year — partly just for the hell of it, and partly to try to qualify for the EM 1240k (even if I don't actually end up riding it, I wanted to just try to qualify)... but actually making it to all the necessary brevets has been a little tricky Glad to hear that I'm not the only one who was susceptible to @reddan's drug-pushing methods... I'm totally hooked now. addiction (n.) -- the continued use of a mood altering substance or behavior despite adverse consequences. See: making plans to ride a 300k while still subject to the physical ramifications of one's first CTC experience
2013-04-22 12:44:21
@JaySherman5000 & @pearmask : I've been giving some thought to offering some local permanents (any member of RUSA can do so); sufficient sweet-talking could induce me to start filling out the paperwork. JSYK, there is also a wonderful concept known as the "volunteer ride" or "checkout ride", wherein you get in touch with your friendly neighborhood RBA and say "I'd like to ride the route a week in advance, and I'll validate the cue sheet and look for any problems." Said RBA will then work with you to be sure you get official completion status. This is usually used so that people who volunteer to support a brevet can still get credit for completion, but it also applies to pre-rides. Also, if you really wish to qualify for an SR series but are having trouble with scheduling, talk to Jim; IIRC, he can choose to run a RUSA brevet on as little as six weeks notice.
2013-04-22 12:52:11
I am planning to ride the 200k this weekend at a conversational pace since it will be my first long ride of the season and I am woefully unprepared. So if you are thinking, "gee, sounds good, but I am no where near ready for this" you won't be alone.
2013-04-22 14:35:54
In a couple more weeks, we'll be offering the Kittens and Puppies 300K and 400K brevets: Saturday, May 18th, to be specific. The 300K will start at 5 AM on Neville Island, and is identical to the one we ran last weekend. The 400K will start in Harmarville an hour earlier, and will run through town to Neville Island to join the same route, so it's quite likely that riders on both brevets will have a chance to see one another. Note also that, unlike previous Kittens and Puppies routes, the second half of the 400K is not an exact reversal of the outbound leg; instead, we retrace the route as far as Koppel, then head back to Harmarville via Zelienople, Mars, and the Red Belt. This will provide a bit of relief for those who are wholly sick of returning on Rt 51, as well as not forcing fatigued riders to come through town late on a Saturday night. For those who rode the 300K last weekend, also note that I routed the 400K away from some of the poorly surfaced roads onto roads of unknown condition; I can't promise that they'll be better, but at least they'll be different. :) For those thinking of riding the 300K, be aware that there are a few stretches of fairly crappy cratered, scabby road; rideable on well-inflated 25s, but 28s will make your life much more pleasant.
2013-04-30 21:11:22
With reference to the national bike challenge, we're #3! (behind Lincoln, NE and Madison, WI in the warm-up period) doesn't have nearly as nice a ring as we're #1. So attention mileage junkies, if you're going to ride all day, please take another 30 seconds and record your accomplishment. Pittsburgh pride... and hey, a few free beers at OTB by the time all is said and done.
2013-04-30 21:18:51
We've got a nice mellow one coming up: our 166K populaire is this Saturday, starting 8 AM at the Oakland end of the EFT. This route is fairly friendly, as the latter third is as close to flat as one can find in these here parts. We start in town, then make our way up Noblestown Rd to Carnegie; follow Ewing/Ridge Rd to cut through the Bayer campus near Robinson, then follow Old Steubenville Pike to Florence. From there, we head south through Burgettstown, Hickory, and Houston on our way to Mingo Creek Park; there, we make our way to Monongahela, PA, and a return along the Mon to pick up the GAP in McKeesport. The populaire is free, but, if you're not already a member of the WPW, it's a $20 membership fee. (Note that, if you choose to ride a brevet later in the year, we waive the fee for the first brevet to offset the club membership cost.) Walk-ins are welcome, but, if you contact Jon Webb by Wednesday, you get a personalized brevet card rather than a soulless mass-produced one. ;-) Also, as @byogman points out, this is a great opportunity to rack up some Endomondo points en masse.
2013-05-20 12:57:19
Sweet sassy molassey, I have been jonesin for a good long distance ride for nearly a month now, but work and life have stopped me from getting that fix. I might just break my old-school, super sexy, steel (work in progress) road bike out of the stable for this one. I just need to finish tweaking the handlebar & brake-hood positioning...
2013-05-20 13:06:30
I am doing the 166k at a conversational pace if anyone is interested. It will be my longest ride of the year so I am not looking to break any records. Generally speaking, old ladies using walkers pass me on hills but I can keep a decent clip on flats.
2013-05-21 12:55:24
and now we have a frost warning, lol.
2013-05-24 09:56:17
and now we have a frost warning, lol.
What could possibly go wrong?
2013-05-24 10:03:43
Next up: not for the faint of heart, our Allegheny Highlands 200K is being offered on Saturday June 15th, starting in Ohiopyle. This one's tough: Sugarloaf (both directions), Mt Davis, and climbing back out of Cumberland, as well as dirt and gravel roads, a bit of limestone, massive windmills, and some traditional SW PA road riding.
2013-06-05 13:23:07
I am in.
2013-06-05 20:33:12
The Summer 100K Populaire is coming up this Saturday, starting at 9 am. Please let me know on GMail if you intend to ride (same username). There is no charge for the Populaires.
2013-06-26 07:37:54
This is the kittens and puppies that goes back and forth on 51? Don't know if I can stomach that route again.
2013-06-26 18:43:17
Stefb, you don't like it?
2013-06-27 15:28:54
I have done that route too many times for it to be fun anymore
2013-06-27 22:23:50
Well, you can always do it backwards on your fixed bike. Or even on an unicycle. :)
2013-06-28 18:48:59
I need to learn how to ride a uni first!
2013-06-28 19:18:43
Next up is Pittsburgh-Weirton-Pittsburgh, a 200K. See for more info. Please email me at Gmail if you plan to ride, and I would appreciate payment via PayPal by Wednesday. Both ids are the same as my username here.
2013-07-29 10:22:05
Our last 200K of the year is on offer next Saturday: North Park to Sandy Lake and back. See here for more info; if you intend to ride, please email Jon Webb.
2013-09-01 10:32:52
I think Dan b should get some wheels installed on this. This was going around fb earlier this week. It is pretty.
2014-10-04 10:29:46