Mesa to Pitt 2015

Mesa to Pitt 2015

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Bicycling from Houston, PA to Slippery Rock, PA June 22

June 22......78.75 miles in 6:56.....This is the third time I've done this ride, the second time in this direction. The ride took mostly the same course as the ride from Andi's house to home on May 12. There were differences that were interesting, however. I plugged in the GPS from the second I started pedaling, just to see where I would go. Within the first six miles of my ride I was on roads that I may have never been on in my life, and I've lived in this area for 30 years. That truly demonstrates to me that GPS takes you to the most desolate, out of the way 'safest' roads it can possibly find, at the expense of mileage, accessibility to a store or rest stop, and even to much civilization. It just takes you 'out there ', somewhere. After those six miles, I connected with the Montour Trail, right where I left off, on the ride from Andi's. The next 23 miles were on a gravel pack trail. It was a boring start to the ride, even though there were plenty of people out on a Sunday morning, getting their exercise. There wasn't anyone that looked like they were touring, except me, loaded down as I was with panniers full of all I hoped I would use for the next two weeks, give or take a few days. The trail ends in Coraopolis, and I rode up PA 51, which would normally be congested as it goes through a 'downtown' area. I expected to cross the Ohio River on the Sewickly Bridge, as I had done before, but GPS girl took me further up , (which is actually down) the Ohio, to the Aliquippa/Ambridge Bridge, which I didn't know existed. Then it was climbing out of the Ohio River Valley on some back roads, past a junkyard and up some short, intense hills to Zelienople. From there, GPS girl took me on a pretty neat route that went out past Seneca Valley High School, and along some streams with nice, shady, rolling green terrain, and no traffic, or civilization, even though I could sporadically see and hear Interstate 79. Eventually I crossed under 79, and out onto US 19, which was my route on the previous rides. It's hilly ( I climbed about 3900 feet for the trip)  and pretty busy, but that stretch only lasted 6 miles.
I knew that PA 108 from US 19 was sort of a nasty road with steep rollers, short sight distances, no shoulders, and crazy drivers, but GPS girl took care of that for me. She put me on a back road that was pleasant and took care of some bad areas on 108. I popped out on 108 with just a few miles to go to the Evening Star Motel. The most famous, and until recently the only motel in Slippery Rock. It's too far from town to walk in for supper but it's right next to a Dairy Queen. I proceeded to have a DQ fest that evening- mushroom Swiss burger, fries, banana split, 2 chili cheese dogs, and a cheeseburger sufficiently replace the calories that I burned off today.  A $49 motel room also went down pretty well. I walked off my sore legs by checking out Slippery Rock Campground, which you can see from I-79, but I had never really visited.


Farm 4 miles from our house that I never knew existed.  Thanks to GPS girl navigation

AKA the No Tell Motel!!!!

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