Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Squid on Wheels: The Great Allegheny Passage ... Day 4

Belle Vernon, PA to Mckeesport, PA

To answer Ina's question, yes, three of us did the ride on Bike Friday folding bikes. The bikes are made for touring and did a great job of it. Little Squid rode a Specialized Dolce road bike simply because he is still a bit too small for a Friday. If we do this again before he is big enough, we will try to get him a bike with fatter tires. He did fine on the skinny ones but they made for a slightly more nerve racking ride on the rough surfaces.

(Bottles of Nuun fizzing away in West Newton)

After a lovely night in the Belle Vernon Comfort Inn and a nice breakfast, we loaded our gear up and took off towards Mckeesport and the end of the trip.

Knowing that there were only about 27 miles ahead of us we figured that we would be back in Pittsburgh by noon or so.

(Hamming it up in West Newton -- the BEST bathrooms on the trail!)

(Ice cream and frozen yougart at the Yough Twister)
What we did not bargain on was encountering another family riding Bike Friday's! Just outside of Boston, after a rather uneventful ride (albeit one that finally featured ice cream) Mike spied two Bike Friday's in a back yard and pulled over to chat. Turns out that the family was in the last stages of a cross country trip. Gulp! They'd already done 2600 miles from Spokane, WA and were headed for Ocean City, MD. They had had 10 flat tires the day before and wound up camping in a kind strangers back yard for the night. Check out their blog, it is really good reading.
We chatted with them for a half hour or more and gave them some inner tubes for their Friday's and a spare folding tire. Hopefully that gave them an "umbrella" against future flats.
(Final bathroom break in Mckeesport)

The rest of the trip continued to be uneventful, even the road riding as we got into Mckeesport. We (thankfully) found the car right where we left it, just as we left it. I'd be lying if I told you that I wasn't a little bit worried about leaving it in a strange town for four days.

Once the car was packed up we called my brother and arranged to pick him up so that we could gain access to his home. Warm showers and cold drinks were followed by two lovely days with my brother and sister-in-law touring Pittsburgh and eating fantastic food. The tale of the days in Pittsburgh, however, will have to wait.

Total biking mileage: 137 miles over four days. Also, about 3 miles of hiking in Ohiopyle, a town I highly recommend for a weekend get away if your idea of a good time is hiking, biking, and rafting.

Over all, a highly successful trip, one that may spur other long distance biking trips though perhaps not as long distance as our Friday friends.


Kristen said...

Knowing the location of good bathrooms, clean water, decent lodging, and ice cream- key components for a happy journey.

Ina said...

What a great tour, thanks for taking all of us along! Ending with ice cream is the best!! I've been wanting to try the C&O Canal -- seeing how nice the Allegheny Passage is has me dreaming of riding entire way from DC to Pittsburgh.

Penny said...

what a wonderful adventure! thank you for sharing. am curious, do you think i'm too small for a friday? must see if they let them w/o permits on the metronorth. that might make my life easier. i discovered that my bike is heavier than e's -- no wonder why i struggle to get it into and out of the car (yes we drive my bike places).