Bike to Work… route to take

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ejwme
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http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Freeport+Rd&daddr=40.6233449,-79.9234999+to:40.551554,-79.891185+to:40.55605,-79.86827+to:1518+Maple+Ave+15147&hl=en&geocode=FdSbbAIdKPc5-w%3BFfDcawId1XY8-ylRDMgDJI40iDE41KT0tvtjFg%3BFYLEagIdD_U8-ynRrDWe9pI0iDHOk9s1sqx3Ng%3BFRLWagIdkk49-ynfi62AqZM0iDFskcX6Udvi6Q%3BFcqsaQIdp7k9-yn9fYNYhew0iDGYf0raEAA9Rw&mra=dpe&mrsp=1&sz=14&via=1,2,3&dirflg=b&sll=40.631281,-79.923906&sspn=0.040777,0.090723&ie=UTF8&ll=40.564807,-79.87524&spn=0.040817,0.090723&t=h&z=14&lci=bike

Is the route I’d like to take (reversed). Initially I was thinking I’d drive to 910 and rt8, then bike the rest (just about exactly half way, and where grandma lives), but the more I look at it, the more I wonder why I would do that. On a daily basis, yeah, sure, but for Bike To Work Day it seems unpatriotic to do a half measure. I’m pretty sure I can bum a ride back in to the city after work from some coworker or other (it’s not Bike FROM Work Day, afterall) so it’d only be one way.

I know about 90% of that route, it’s just Meridian rd that I’ve never driven or biked on. Past Middle rd, I’ve only driven it (but it seems totally acceptable to bike on, lots of shoulders or little traffic, one or the other).

I’m ashamed but I’ll admit, I’m out of riding shape, I pretty much just run errands on the bike and joyride anymore, so this isn’t just 2.5x my “standard” commute. So it will hurt, since I’ve got a week to prepare. But I’m ok with that.

Other than that, is there a particular reason I shouldn’t go whole hog for BTWD? I figured I’d give it a whirl this weekend and see what shakes out, at least grandma’s house north, maybe do the half-ways a couple times during the week.

Any major flaws in my thinking?


Lou M.
Participant
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I grew up out in Richland (910 / Route 8 area) Meridian Road is pretty laid back and shouldn’t be an issue but I might suggest avoiding Bakerstown-Warrendale road…racetrack (I was guilty of it as a kid). The good thing is your route is pretty flat outside of getting up to elevation at Treesdale.

Maybe think about getting down to Emsworth / Bellvue and jumping on a trail to get into the city.


ejwme
Participant
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Hmm… Would Gibsonia -> Babcock -> Bakerstown (cutting out a portion) or Gibsonia ->Wexford ->Pearce Mill -> Bakerstown (cutting out more) make it any better? The shoulders are pretty decent, and it’s been pretty easy for me as a driver to see/avoid cyclists on it (as surprising as they are), so I’m thinking it might not be so bad.

Emsworth/Bellvue are nicely southerly but too far west to make much sense for me unless I pair it with a bus ride home from the city – which is entirely possible, thank you for the reminder!


Lou M.
Participant
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Well, I think either way that’s a LONG ride. I would opt to do the 1/2 way plan (stopping at Grandma’s) as I dislike riding suburban back roads.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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There was a thread some while back about biking to Cranberry, in which I ventured that if you could get Downtown on a bus, jump on (what’s now called) an O12 (“O” as in Orange). Ride it to the end, Showcase Cinemas. Right out of the lot (same dir the bus was going), L McCandless Dr, R Grubbs, L East Ingomar Rd, L into North Park, follow the trail around the lake, L onto Pearce Mill, and then it gets fuzzy for me. Any of several methods, depending on your comfort with hills and traffic. I would stupidly go Pearce Mill to the end, L then R to go past Treesdale, L onto PA228, and proceed to Westinghouse, but there must be better ways. There are quite a few outbound O12s but they’re super early. Can you get Downtown by bus by 6:30?

Just so you know, Perry Highway through Wexford is all torn up right now in a widening project. I wouldn’t even think of it, unless you simply take the lane for 1.5 miles of single lane, mud-tracked asphalt, with oversexed teens late for class at North Allegheny High School, breathing down your neck in humungo SUVs.


steevo
Participant
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This seems to be an odd way?

The first half seems to be ok. Some weird stuff.

I would follow it to fox chapel rd..

Instead of making right I would stay on

the Green belt and go left on dorseyville,

right on Harts Run. Bomb Down to saxonburg,

Right at new light and take that up to

hartwood. cut through hartwood if you

know it.

Right onto middle from hartwood.

Follow that to Mcneal (this is where i

disagree with google the most… the

other stuff is just quieter/safer… this

would be cutting due west to get to NP)

Cross 8 on Mcneal (this is one of the

saftest places and lowest traffic to do

this in this area)

West mcneal…Pioneer/bardoner to wickline

or just toughen up and go UP wickline

left on hardies right on wildwood over

to North Park… Up pearce mill…

Lots of parks… lots of shoulders.

Wildwood is the only busy road besides

middle and fox chapel/guys.


steevo
Participant
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PS: 910 / orange belt/ gibsonia rd = not

safe


ejwme
Participant
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downtown by bus by 6:30? that’s a stretch (and I don’t think I can do it with a bike). Well, I might, but I might as well bike the whole way, for the amount of time that will take. Even if it takes 3 hours by bike, if I leave my house at 6AM I’ll be at work “on time”. To get downtown by bus by 6:30 I think I have to leave around 5:15 or so, I haven’t checked since the cuts. that’s 45 minutes of sleep lost. Perry Hwy – 228 is a death trap, same as 910, and I’d sooner ride on them than Perry Hwy even if it WERENT under construction. Much like 22 and 8, they’re lovely straight lines that give me the heebeegeebees.

Steevo – I’d been pondering that route as well, the weirdness comes from an arbitrary insistance on getting to the intersection of rt8 and 910. When I originally plotted this out, I was going to drive half way/stop off at grandma’s house. Make breaky for her, catch a breather, then continue on. BUT that is not a necessity if I’m going to be biking the whole way. I like the parks, I think I’ll scope that route on my way home, thank you!

Riding on suburban roads, to me, is as similar to biking in the city as tennis. Well, maybe a little closer, but not much. The two feel so totally different – it’s all in my head, but it is what it is. Since I live and work in suburbia, I’m more used to it than city riding. Driving – I can’t stand driving in the suburbs, they’re worse than city folk. Thus I ride :D


ejwme
Participant
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StuInMcCandless
Participant
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@ejwme – I was actually suggesting busing via P78 – 5:35 your area, 6:15ish downtown; then 6:30 O12 (7th Ave at Smithfield or Liberty at 7th Street). $4.25 in PH & ask for a transfer, another $1 exiting in McCandless.


ejwme
Participant
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yeah, 5:35AM isn’t happening when I left work 10 hours earlier (and won’t be home for another 16hrs). I’d considered it, and have done it a lot in the past – hurts too much. Maybe if I liked work better, but I don’t, so I’m just not up to it.

I drove steevo’s rout home on Friday, and did a nice long ride on saturday to see where my fitness level is – I’ll be driving halfway and biking the rest, probably stopping off at grandma’s for Friday (camping after, and she won’t tow my car) and steevo’s route the rest of the time. It was even a nice drive, and I didn’t get home any later than usual :D (slightly sad, with a 10mph speed limit for part of it)

Also found out that the “free” shuttle is no longer free for me. Redid the math with current gas prices, and driving by myself every day is roughly the same price (fuel only, not including wear and tear) as the shuttle. All other options make for a 2+ hour commute one way (though if I leave early enough to get to work on time, that becomes 3+ hrs)

Funny, but 30 miles is just too darn far, no matter how I travel it. sigh.


Marko82
Participant
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EJ, how about looking for a car pool buddy about half way to work? You could ride your bike to their house, change clothes, and split gas costs from there. (a same sex buddy would probably make this less awkward at first).


ejwme
Participant
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Marko – I’m working on two friends, going to see what shakes out, they’re both in that area. I had one carpool set up a while ago… Her SUV got such bad mileage that it cost me MORE to carpool with her than it did to drive myself. like, significantly more.

But yeah, I think it’s a must, thank you!


steevo
Participant
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Rad. If Google is reading this, they can hire

me fulltime to route people via bicycle.


Mick
Participant
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@ejwme Her SUV got such bad mileage that it cost me MORE to carpool with her than it did to drive myself. like, significantly more.

But if you watched TV more you would discover that you really wanted an SUV.

A big one.


ejwme
Participant
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Mick – ha! Actually, she’s truly the only person I know with an SUV who I can confidently say that, when she purchased it, she actually needed it (her driveway was essentially “off roading” and her road wasn’t paved or maintained either. She’s working on the switch to a more efficient car now that her circumstances have changed.

I have to admit, it was the most comfortable ride I’ve had in a long time.

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