Ideas needed: Ride of the Month – November
I’m looking for ideas on the best ride (no competitive and free) to go on this November 1 for true beginners and 1 for more adventurous riders. This month to start this idea out I featured the Panhandle Trail and a ~30 mile loop around Slippery Rock PA. You can read about it here: http://bikepgh.org/2016/09/29/ride-month-september/
I’m thinking about highlighting the Western PA Trail but am open to ideas. The Ohiopyle State Park section of the gap is always beautiful this time of the year. Other thoughts? Roaring Run in Apollo PA??
For the more advanced ride I was thinking about a Dirty Dozen training ride putting together 3-4 hills over 25-25 miles. Does anyone have a good route that they like for this?
Let’s hear your thoughts.
For a true beginner, a five mile ride would be more than long enough.
Maybe True beginner is the wrong phrase. Thinking more of the people that are active trail users that have yet to explore options besides the 1 or 2 rides that they know.
There are plenty of beginners out there that can ride 15-30 miles that are looking to stay away from roadways with any car traffic or hills.
For beginner’s : The Butler Freeport trail is nice, it’s about 20 miles of crushed limestone. Lot’s of trail heads to vary the distance
There is also an on-road bike loop through Butler city on the North too if you want to explore the town.
Can I interest newbies in a few staircases and urban trails? One I’ve discovered is getting from S.Braddock at Kensington to Bakery Square without touching Penn Avenue. It involves a short trail into Frick Park, the length of Edgerton St to Dallas, then the continuation of Edgerton St west of Dallas. Then a couple quiet streets and another short staircase, and you’re out on Reynolds at Beechwood.
There are dozens of little cut-throughs and steps that greatly ease getting around the city. Learning them, and developing good hike-a-bike technique makes conquering the hills in this city so much easier. Of course there are some big honking long staircases, too, but you don’t have to tackle those — yet.
The biggest selling points, to me, are (a) not having to deal with traffic, and (b) you use a different set of muscles climbing steps, so you can gain a lot of elevation without wearing yourself or your drivetrain out.
I never thought I would hear the day of someone that actually enjoys hike a bike.
@Marko Butler Freeport trail sounds like a good option for sure. Thanks for the recommendation I’ll have to get up there this fall to ride it.
@unicycleMike, When you go, make sure you check out the bike infra at the intersection of Freeport Road and route 356 bridge. Penndot (district 10) spent a lot of engineering time & money to make a safe connection.
Hike-a-bike is a feature, not a bug. If I’m climbing up into Oakland from the Jail Trail, I would much, much rather climb the 144 steps off Joncaire Street than deal with close passes, bad pavement, jumping train tracks, and getting a face full of knotweed while grinding up South Neville.
Another one is the Harding steps/street instead of climbing Herron. Another I use a lot is the set behind Allegheny General at the end of James Street.
When I first started biking around the city in any quantity, oh maybe about 2007-08, I was amazed how much easier it was to get around when I didn’t have to deal with traffic.
For one of the BikeFests (2011? 2012?), I proposed a staircase ride, but there were so many to choose from, I ended up not making it happen. But I found so many while just poking around! Some were entirely closed off, either by undergrowth or by bars welded shut. I’d like to think that some of the early noise I made about the condition of these little treasures contributed to the effort to get some official attention focused on them.
All that to say, I think it would do some new riders well to learn good technique on such a ride, and to design rides that employ them to get places that are tough to pedal.
One of the best moderate trail rides in the area is Connellsville-Ohiopyle and back: 34 miles round trip, along the Youghiogheny River, very pretty. There are a few places where you can stop, hike down a steep trail to the river, and if the weather is right, see rafts or kayaks running the whitewater.
Does anyone have a good Dirty Dozen “training ride” that they like?
The N.Hills Center, Ravine, Berryhill, are always easy to get to.
High St, Logan, Rialto and Suffolk are also not far from downtown.
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