Author Topic: Pittsburgh spur  (Read 717 times)

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Offline rwinot25

Pittsburgh spur
« on: August 25, 2021, 10:19:45 am »
I am currently riding the C+O/ GAP and will be approaching Pittsburgh in several days. My plan is to ride the Pittsburgh spur to Erie Pa. And on to Buffalo and the Erie Canal to Albany.

I have the gps track on my Garmin and the Bicycle Route Navigator app with that section on my phone. I realize it will be hilly. My question is does anyone have experience riding this section? How many days to Erie? Is it possible to complete in 3 days? Potential resupply points, lodging or camping options.

Any suggestions would be great.

Offline jcostanz

Re: Pittsburgh spur
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2021, 12:45:25 pm »
Several years ago I rode from Buffalo to DC. catching the Great Allegheny Passage and C&O at Pittsburgh.  I don't have the exact route right now, but I remember about 3 days from Erie to Pittsburgh, about 180 miles.

I avoided most of the steep hilly section by staying along lake Erie to Ashtabula, OH and then taking the Western Reserve Greenway rail trail south thru Canfield then South East to the Ohio River into Pittsburgh.  I do not recommend rt 65 on the north side of the river as the traffic is high, disappearing shoulders ect are not friendly to cyclists.

Offline rwinot25

Re: Pittsburgh spur
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2021, 10:47:52 pm »
Thank you for your reply. After reviewing the ACA route and your suggestions I have decided to heed your advice and head a little west to avoid some huge climbing miles.
The ACA route is 150 miles, the route through Ohio to Astabula to Erie is only 175 miles with a lot less climbing. Google maps takes me through New Castle, Youngstown, Oh and onto the Western Reserve Greenway and on to Astabula.
Wish me luck while I venture astray.

Offline John Grossbohlin

Re: Pittsburgh spur
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2022, 09:41:18 pm »
Thank you for your reply. After reviewing the ACA route and your suggestions I have decided to heed your advice and head a little west to avoid some huge climbing miles.
The ACA route is 150 miles, the route through Ohio to Astabula to Erie is only 175 miles with a lot less climbing. Google maps takes me through New Castle, Youngstown, Oh and onto the Western Reserve Greenway and on to Astabula.
Wish me luck while I venture astray.

Not sure you will see this, but how did the route work out for you?

Offline rwinot25

Re: Pittsburgh spur
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2022, 04:51:47 pm »
The route was good. Out of Pittsburgh my route followed the ACA Pittsburgh spur northwest out of town, not bad if you don't mind urban decay. The first night out of Pittsburgh I stayed near Coraopolis. I had started that day in West Newton on the GAP Trail. 55 miles.
 Day 2 Followed Rt. 51 north on the west side of the Ohio River to the Monaca/Rochester Bridge to rt. 18 north to Willow Grove and to the Stavich Bike Trail eventually passing through Youngstown Ohio to Warren Ohio,75 miles.
 Day 3 I accessed the Western Reserve Greenway in Warren and pretty much followed that to Ashtabula Ohio,60 miles. The Western Reserve Greenway was easy riding. In Ashtabula I followed the ACA Northern tier to Buffalo. Total miles from Pittsburgh to Buffalo was just around 300 and I did it in 6 days.
As always practice caution riding in urban areas. Be careful following Google Maps, it's not always cyclist friendly. Camping options were very limited after Pittsburgh, I stayed in hotels.

Offline John Grossbohlin

Re: Pittsburgh spur
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2022, 09:53:12 pm »
The route was good. Out of Pittsburgh my route followed the ACA Pittsburgh spur northwest out of town, not bad if you don't mind urban decay. The first night out of Pittsburgh I stayed near Coraopolis. I had started that day in West Newton on the GAP Trail. 55 miles.
 Day 2 Followed Rt. 51 north on the west side of the Ohio River to the Monaca/Rochester Bridge to rt. 18 north to Willow Grove and to the Stavich Bike Trail eventually passing through Youngstown Ohio to Warren Ohio,75 miles.
 Day 3 I accessed the Western Reserve Greenway in Warren and pretty much followed that to Ashtabula Ohio,60 miles. The Western Reserve Greenway was easy riding. In Ashtabula I followed the ACA Northern tier to Buffalo. Total miles from Pittsburgh to Buffalo was just around 300 and I did it in 6 days.
As always practice caution riding in urban areas. Be careful following Google Maps, it's not always cyclist friendly. Camping options were very limited after Pittsburgh, I stayed in hotels.

Thank you for your comments. I can work with them to inform my route choices. I've done about 7,400 miles of self-supported touring, mostly on the road, and have ridden in quite a number of congested areas. When I did my first trip I hadn't pre-planned a route and had no maps when I started, only a general direction. I picked up paper AAA maps and used a compass and pay phones... no smart phones, WWW, or a bunch of ACA routes to overload me with information, but I did over 3,100 miles! The trip I'm roughing out now is intended to be a quiet leisurely trip, mostly off-road, in the 1-2,000 mile range. If there are some miles in congested areas between the quiet sections I'll survive... your comments will help me find the quite.