Any Road Tour: Day 5 – GAP-ing to the Burg

I slept poorly in the Adirondack shelter in Connelsville. (Still haven’t used my tent!) I neglected to fully inflate my sleeping pad, a mistake I won’t repeat. I awoke with the sun and resisted the urge to start riding. I lingered over a fine breakfast of two slices of left over pizza then I hit the trail.

The trail is still pretty dreamy north of Connelsville. I set a goal for the town of West Newton for proper second breakfast. I was running on fumes when I began a search for food. I found an eatery, the only one open for breakfast, across the river in town. I ate an appalling amount of food and drank at least six cups of coffee.

Stuffed and buzzed is how you do a bike tour, my friends.

Pedal, pedal.

There have been purple wildflowers along the trail. Anyone know what they are?

The trail passes through several small towns like this.

One of them had an ice cream place. Two scoops please!

Pedal, pedal.

I stopped to address a comfort issue with some chamois cream. It helped. It also afforded me the opportunity to take a picture of one of the scores of little waterfalls along the trail.

About 20 miles from Pittsburgh the trail loses its rural vibe altogether and acquires pavement. My speed increased noticeably. In McKeesport I missed a turn but a dead end at a bus depot set me right.

There are actual hills in this section of the trail. How dare they?

And there are bridges over the river and train tracks.

The trail was busy with weekenders some of whom failed to appreciate the fact that a loaded touring bike doesn’t maneuver or stop particularly well. Despite being pretty tired, I made it to the hostel without uttering a single f bomb.

Today was an easy day of sorts: 60 miles. All told I’ve ridden 332 miles. Tomorrow I plan to ride to beautiful Wheeling West Virginia. Probably in the rain.


8 thoughts on “Any Road Tour: Day 5 – GAP-ing to the Burg

  1. Hi John. The purple flower is Dame’s Rocket (Hesperis matronalis), an alien, somewhat invasive flowering plant. I recently read that it was introduced as a garden plant during the Colonial period.

  2. I guess I didn’t read the preliminary blogs clearly enough–actually I probably passed over map data and route names because they are so unfamiliar to me.
    How much of this trip will be on paths like the one you are following?

  3. Flowers are lovely, but I noticed that you placed your 2 pizza & appalling breakfast on top of “Dodson Memorial Home” table mat. Hmmmm, subliminal message. Nah..good eats while you can is what I say. Enjoy it all.

  4. Hi John, We just started reading your blog yesterday – it’s quite enjoyable! And it’s nice to see you’re still smiling! Looking forward to more of your adventures. Mary & Jeff

  5. Just to let you know, I nominated you for one of those blogger awards (yes, the time consuming kind). Feel free to follow up on it at your convenience or give it a miss entirely. Either way, I hope I can convince a few people to come and take a look at your blog.

  6. On those occasions I have been on long rides and enter an eatery with a well earned ravenous hunger I always think of the Rodney Dangerfield line “Do you ever look at a menu and say..OK?” Eat well sir, you are earning it.

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