Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Day 8 - The Montour Trail: Clairton, PA to Coraopolis, PA

Only forty miles today, but it took us eight hours. The terrain from our hotel to the trailhead was just brutal. It was only 4 miles, but we must have walked two of those miles. Stoker Martha was converted to Pusher Martha (and did a great job).

We finally got on the Montour (which is a railtrail), but it is broken and/or under construction in several places, which made progress very slow. It is also mostly crushed gravel. After the first ten miles, the trail improved and we made better time. Met a really nice guy (Seth) at The Tandem Connection, a trailside bike shop and eatery. Stop in and see him whenever you do the Montour Trail.  Also met the steps from hell on the Montour Trail, complete with a little gutter for your bike tires. It was awful going up the steps. I can't imagine how we'd have gotten Barney (at 110 lbs +) down those steps.    Finally, a rant. I know trail designers are well intentioned, but why, WHY!, must they place double posts at each trail intersection with a public roadway? One post would be more than adequate to prevent an unintentional entry by a motor vehicle onto the trail. Two posts just create a hazard and an unnecessary obstacle. It's crazy. Okay, I feel better.  Tomorrow will be our first day on paved roads as we join Adventure Cycling's 'Pittsburgh Spur' route. We (and Barney) are ready for a little white line fever. Just hope that white line can stay under 15%.

At the start of the Montour Trail. Still raining. At this rate that half bottle of sunscreen we brought along will last for the entire trip.
The steps from hell.
Larry after the steps finished him off.
A forest of crossing guards. Many have spaces of as little as a couple of feet. I don't know how a bike pulling a two wheeled trailer would ever make it. Having rear panniers also makes for interesting (read 'terrifying') moments.
I've managed to catch Larry's cold and am very "snorkey".  Ugh!  Hope tomorrow is better!


  1. Interesting post! Sounds like y'all are having a hoot! I'm praying for your safety and for the time of your lives! Thanks for taking the time to post! ...Rollin', rollin', rollin'...keep those wagons rollin'.....


  2. WOW what a great trip....I know you guys are having a great time. We are thinking about you back at home and praying for safe trip.

  3. Loving the posts! You guys are so funny! Thanks for the great entertainment.