another route advice request: toward central Pa this time
This is a long way off for me, but all this planning about my spring rides is doing a great job of keeping me on a bike through the winter so far, via excitement/anticipation. So even though at the moment this trip would be wildly ambitious, I want to start thinking about route.
Has anyone done much riding from here Eastward, toward the middle of the state? The place I’m looking to reach is called Madera. put 16661 into googlemaps to get an idea.
If anyone has ideas about good (“good”. relative. recommended?) roads that would at least get me started in that direction, I’d be psyched to read ’em. My starting point is in Greenfield, which feels silly to even mention for a trip of this length, but the starting point has to be *somewhere*, right?
You could check out the PennDot Bike route maps
It looks like Rt V goes fairly close to your destination,but doesn’e come too close to Pittsburgh. Rt A -> Rt V -> east is a long way around. Rt S is way south for you.
I’m guessing that betwen thsi board Google bike maps, and possibly Oscar Swan’s book, you could find a good way to get to Rt V north-east of here and them used Google bikes to get from there to Madera.
Boxing a bike to travel for about 80 minutes would be a real drag.
Blog about a rail trip:
bikefind, please contact Amtrak and tell them pretty much what edmonds59 or I said, above.
Last year I rode to Carlyle/Harrisburg via the PennDot “S” trail. I made 263 miles before I ran out of time.
I would describe the route as good, some trail (first 90 miles) and then all road – lots of great scenery. The maps provided by PennDot are very good, the road markers are well-placed and easy to follow.
You might find a way from this route, which is pretty far south of your location, that links to your destination.
Here’s the link to the exact map from PennDot pdf here
I can provide a more details about the ride if you want, pm me.
If this group can get you to the Blairsville area of Westmoreland County, you could pick up the Ghost Town Trail to Ebensburg. From there you could piece together a route from the Southern Alleghenies bike routes (www.thealleghenies.com, then select cycling). It would take a little effort to piece it together, but planning the trip is half the fun, right?
Also, there’s a trail from Madera that heads north about 15-20 miles. Might that get you close enough to the northern PA Cross State Route (Route V)?
@Mick: I just requested Swan’s book from the library -thanks for the lead.
@Marko and Stu: Thanks, but I’m not prepared to broaden my definition of a century quite so far as to include Amtrak. I’m particularly interested in (eventually) doing this on a bike for reasons other than just getting there.
@TeamDecafWeekend: Thanks – I may drop you a line. I’m first going to search for something a little less roundabout, but it may be that doing that will create larger problems, so nothing’s in stone at this point.
@Swalfoort: I was thinking the Ghost Town Trail would be great to incorporate into this! I rode on it a long time ago, and fretted (in this current planning) a little bit about it being more work than riding on hard pavement*, but not having to think about cars for 1/3 of the trip will probably be a nice break to compensate. Thanks for the Alleghenies link – that looks really helpful. I’ve got a book by Jim Homerosky that covers some routes out that way, and one other possible lead for information. Between all that and the people here, I’m optimistic (at least as far as figuring out a route!)
*only because anything that slows me down will decrease my chances of getting there in a day, but really, I can offset that with more training. I’m not dealing with any kind of deadline, so I can do all the preparation I want/need.
There are maps of bike friendly routes in Indiana county on the SPC website. (hidden under transportation, then ped bike cmte..) they can get you all the way across that county on road. We haven’t completed westmoreland or Armstrong county yet, so you’ll still have to get to blairsville or ??? to start.www.spcregion.org
Here’s the link to the Indiana County maps….http://www.spcregion.org/trans_pedbike_maps2.shtml#ind
Don’t sweat the ghost town trail if you have decent width tires, the crushed stone is very fine and more like a hardpack dirt in texture than a bumpy nightmare (the Hoodlebug Trail connecting Blacklick to Indiana, PA isn’t as nice and I find myself frequently getting off the trail and riding roads instead). I’m really impressed with the quality of the GTT.
Bikefind, let me know if you make this trip, I’ll join you along the way and ride for a bit. I’m in Ebensburg.
I am from a small town (Hastings, PA – you’ll see it on your maps) north of Ebensburg and not too far from Madera.
I’ve cycled in these areas for many years.
Best bet, is to take the recommended route to Ebensburg (as mentioned above) and either ride old Route 219 North to Carrolltown and then various routes of your choosing to Patton, PA. From Patton gain Route 36 South for just a mile and proceed toward Prince Gallitzin State Park (stay on the North side of the lake) and gain Route 53 at Fallentimber and ride Route 53 all the way to Madera.
Route 53 can be busy on a weekday, but weekends are fine. It does have a decent shoulder.
If you want a “really backroad” type of route from Ebensburg to Patton and Patton to Madera, PM me and we can connect offline.
If you don’t want further advice, that is fine, just avoid the (map based/linear) idea of taking route 253/453 combo from Fallentimber as you will climb a couple thousand vertical feet in about 12 miles, whereas route 53 runs the creek valley the entire way and is mostly flat.
This is a very scenic area, but also hilly as you are in the Allegheny Ridge Summit region. wp
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