72 miles in 7.33 hours – Max Speed 34mph
I got up early in the morning and went downstairs to partake in first breakfast. Then I went back upstairs and finished the website for the next week, so I wouldn’t have anything to worry about when I first got home, and I knew that there would be nothingness in between Pittsburgh and Baltimore. I went down and grabbed another breakfast right before it closed, and then began looking a little harder at my route.
The previous night I put in my current location and almost final destination of Monrovia, MD, and I saw it was 225 miles, which I was very comfortable with doing over three days. But I looked more into it today and saw that the GAP trail (Great Allegheny Passage) was 112 miles, and I would be on the C&O trail for around 90 miles, and it would take me around 30 miles to get to the GAP trail today and it was like 45 or 50 miles to get to Monrovia from the C&O, so something had gone horribly wrong in my calculations. Upon deeper examination it was that I was following rivers the entire way on the trails, and it turns out that they are not really the straightest things in the world, so that was going to add around 70 miles to my trip. Great.
So I hustle up and get out of the hotel at like 10:30, and try to eat some miles up today, though I knew it wouldn’t be very many with the late start. I ride back up and down some large hills to get back to the Montour Trail in Hendersonville, and I head along that for a while.
It is a nice trail for a little while, but then I just hit a dead end. Uh… okay. I am certainly not in McKeesport, so I am a little confused and I don’t know what to do. I go back around a mile and talk to someone else on the trail, and they say that the Montour Trail isn’t actually finished so there are large gaps in it. Okay, so I open up my cell phone, and luckily, on the Montour Trail’s website it has directions on how to navigate these gaps. But there is absolutely no signage at all on the trail, so if I didn’t have a data plan I don’t know what I would have done. I have no idea why they don’t put signs up. This brought this trail way down in my eyes since you need an internet connection to use it and half of it was on roads anyway.
Anyway, I end up getting to McKeesport, where the GAP starts, but as I get there it is really looking horrible outside. I get hit with a few raindrops that are humongous, so I figure that is a sign to take shelter. I hop into a dollar store and put my bike under a small canopy, and then it starts to pour.
After I stopped the video it actually hailed for a few minutes too. This was an intense storm, but like most storms like that, it only lasted ten minutes or so. I left and headed back out and down to the trail.
The first few miles of the trail are somewhat crappy and were filled with water and stuff, but by the time you reach Boston, PA the trail is in very good condition. The rest of the day is pretty much full of riding on this trail through small towns on the Youghiogheny River (Yough). This was nice though because almost every tiny town had tons of services for bikers (bicycle shops, little restaurants on the trail, etc.).
As I reached the town of Connellsville I noticed a campground on the right situated right on the river. It had a huge sign out welcoming bikers as well, so I went and stopped in there. Problem was the office was closed, since it was like 7:30 then. I stood around pondering for a little when a guy in a pickup truck drove by and told me to just yell up to the deck around back and someone would come down. Uh, okay, so I did. Sure enough people up there said hi and told me to meet them back at the entrance. I got a campsite for $10, and went and got set up. I did laundry for the final time, and took a shower, also for the final time on the trip. I went to bed knowing that I still had a huge amount of ground to cover in the next two days.