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Beginning the Neighborhood Ride

Much like Bay State Bike Week, Pittsburgh has its own celebration of cycling, known as Bikefest. The 10-day period features an opening party, plus lots of rides and events designed to promote cycling and bring the community together. The week ends with a big citywide populaire ride called PedalPGH which is similar to Boston’s Hub on Wheels tour.

My Bikefest began with the Every Neighborhood Ride, which hits all 90 of Pittsburgh’s recognized neighborhoods. Including riding to and from the start, it wound up being a solid 86 miles over 11 hours in the saddle, and the mile and a quarter of ascent made it the second most climbing I’ve ever done in a single ride.

Needless to say, it was a long, hard day, made longer by waiting for stragglers who were in over their heads, two flats, plus an »more


Sunrise over the Monongahela

Sunday I was up dark and early for my first Mon Valley Century ride.

Or rather, to check the radar to see if conditions were too ugly to ride. The forecast had called for day-long rain and thunderstorms as a powerful front rolled through, but at 4:20am the radar didn’t look prohibitive, and the NWS forecast language had moderated slightly.

I really don’t like missing major events on my cycling calendar, so I decided to risk it, packed up my backup bike rather than the good one, and drove down to Monongahela.

There were only a handful of riders at the Noble J. Dick Aquatorium, and after taking a picture of the sunrise over the river, I was the first to set out on the 100-mile route.

The first few miles were very fresh chip-seal, which essentially made it a gravel road. But once that »more