Leaving Neville Island
Day Two starts at 9am. I wanted daylight and rush hour traffic to be over. Grand Avenue was not a bad road to ride. Neville Island seems to be the recycling and pallet center. Turning on the busier Neville Road,
I hoped I would not pick up a flat from all the debris in the lane. It turns out I did have a bike lane more or less to ride in.
Fleming Park Bridge
The Fleming Park Bridge loomed. This was the bridge that was closed for about one year. It was now open, with a dedicated bike lane across the bridge-much appreciated!
My route now follows Route 51, or Island Avenue, over to the McKees Rock Bridge. It wasn’t a bad mile or so. I’m sure it could have been a worse bike ride. In any case, no worries, I made it across the McKees Rock Bridge on a sidewalk.
Next turn, down California Avenue, left turn on Eckert Street which would link me up with the Riverfront Trail.
Losing the Route
Hmm. I do remember “Ride with GPS” cautioning the planner on “penciling in” a route. It turns out, as I blithely traced a line from California Ave to Eckert Street, I ignored the fact that California Avenue was OVER Eckert Street. (Note: my current Ride with GPS files still shows this. Don’t follow this! You would need to follow Antrim Street to McClure Avenue to Eckert Street.)
Finding the Trail
I knew the Riverfront Trail was beside the river, I needed to head toward the river. I went down California Avenue the wrong way (it was a one way street) passing a police car that didn’t care. I saw the Route 19 sign that pointed toward downtown, which had a sidewalk. I biked down that way, saw a sign for the Riverfront Trail, and was back to where I needed to be!!
Pittsburgh has a very nicely developed waterfront. There are numerous museums, ballparks, eateries, plenty of activities. It was a bit strange that not many people were about, since it was noon when I got to the area. Maybe everyone was having a Halloween party at lunchtime.
Point State Park
This is the beginning of the Great Allegheny Passage Trail, usually referred to as the GAP. I got my picture taken at the water, then headed down the GAP/3 Rivers Heritage Trail toward Homestead.
You can cross over the river on a bike or as a pedestrian, in multiple places. Today I stay on the north bank to follow the GAP, since my last tour in we covered the Southside Riverfront.
On my way to Homestead, I came across Alf. As he looked like he might be ready to have lunch, I didn’t want to disturb him, just got a quick pic and moved on. It was surprising how little traffic on the trail there was today.
Chik Fil-A for lunch! I made my lunch stop rather quick. I was nervous inside even with the bike locked up outside, I’ve heard tales of bikes stolen (even locked) in five minutes. I consumed about 5000 calories and biked on.
After Homestead the area becomes more industrial with less views. I cross the bridge that tells me I am into McKeesport.
McKeesport is where I part from the GAP and follow the Steel Valley Trail toward Clairton.
There is good signage for the Steel Valley Trail, where it separates from the GAP, pointing me on toward Clairton. I bike across the West 5th Avenue Bridge, then follow signs for the SVT. This is a break from my planned route, but I can see I am just running parallel to West 5th Avenue which is a far busier road.
There is very little traffic through the burgh of Glassport. It is my last bridge of the day! There is no sidewalk. On my side. BUT I do see a sidewalk on the other side to use. It is then a short bike ride on roads, back to the Montour Trail!
It’s back to well maintained trail- hardly any walkers, runners, bikers out on this late afternoon. I am on trail, which then switches to Peters Creek Road, which has very light traffic. I’m getting a bit tired, so I stop and eat another wonderful Chik Fil-a sandwich before biking on.
The Montour Trail folks have done a great job with signage. I think you could follow the Trail even without a map of sorts. The Trail on the south end does have some road sections, which I was happy to get through and get back to plain rail trails.
The rain started about four o’clock-while I was still on the roads.
I knew from my route planner that I would have a bit of a climb right toward the end of my trip which I was okay with-since I knew about it!
When I encountered the Green Tunnel, I knew Tandem Connection would be coming up soon-and before I knew it, the Steel City Tour was a wrap!
82 miles around the city of Pittsburgh. My next post will be both route planning and some gear failures. This was a pleasant ride-especially taking two days.