Yes, We Do Ride on Highways (19)

It seems we’ve been spoiled by the absense of numerous daily climbs since the Adirondacks. Prior to leaving the ADK’s, the uphills were inevitable, so we stopped thinking about them and just rode. I can’t imagine we’ve gotten any weaker since then, so I think we must have lost the mental toughness we had established. Hopefully we can redevelop it before getting into the hills of West Virginia!

Finally, after all of the Smith Roads


The route approaching Pittsburgh stressed Rachel out a bit, and at one point she walked her bike in the pedestrian lane for a bridge across the Ohio River, while I rode with traffic.

This wasn’t the only stressful section of the route. One of the questions we were most frequently asked before we left for our trip was whether or not we would ride on highways. The Adventure Cycling Underground RR Pittsburgh spur took us on a few long sections of Route 51. This was the first time we were a little disappointed in the mapped route, because it was a highway.  Almost humorous was the fact that that the road is labeled as a state bike route. I guess we all have different views on what a bike route should be! Luckily, there was very little traffic, so cars gave us plenty of room. That somewhat made up for the fact that there was no shoulder for most of the four lane road.

We missed a turn a few miles from our destination and then made a few more mistakes before getting back on track.

 The worst part involved a very steep hill that we climbed as a mistake.  I caught Rachel walking her bike up it!

Fortunately, it was all worth it: we rode into Pittsburgh on a bike trail along the Ohio River, and the city waterfront was beautiful.


Finally, we biked through downtown to get to the hotel.

While checking in, we met Robin at the front desk who generously donated money towards our Team Fox fundraiser. Thank you so much, Robin!

After getting settled in our room, we set back out to explore downtown and we landed at The Sharp Edge for dinner, which was a great treat. We had delicious burgers and raspberry cheesecake!


Trip stats, to date (Day 19)

  • Mercer, PA to Pittsburgh, PA
  • Daily mileage: 76.4mi;  Trip total to date: 1,100.4mi
  • Daily riding time: 6hr 30min;  Trip total time: 91hr 25min
  • Daily ascent: 3,794ft;  Trip total ascent: 46,183ft
  • Flat tires: Rachel – 1; Chris – 0

10 thoughts on “Yes, We Do Ride on Highways (19)”

  1. Great journal! Look forward to your experiences and photos. May have someone you could camp out at in Nashville? Let me know.

    1. Thanks, Uncle Ken! We decided to save Nashville for another trip so that we can have more time to spend at other spots, but thanks so much for the offer!

  2. Rach an chris
    Love your pics an dont get discouraged when you make the wrong turn we all do it even with gps
    Maybe you need to cut back pn your daily mileage. You set pretty high expectations 75 miles per day
    Would work if you were not always climbing mtns
    Love mom

  3. Really beautiful pictures of the waterfront!! If it makes you feel any better, we got lost on the Coast-to-Coast and climbed a mountain that we didn’t have to. We told ourselves that the view from the top was worth it…

    1. Haha I wish we had had a view! There were some funny people watching us from their porch which lightened the mood a bit, and it’s definitely always easier to look back on.

  4. I take it the Pirates weren’t in town or else sitting in a baseball stadium is not your idea of fun after multiple days on a bike?

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