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