Monday, August 8, 2016

Day 34 Cadiz, OH to Pittsburgh, PA

Day 34 Cadiz, OH to Pittsburgh, PA 69.4 miles 2950ft climbing #NM2NYFSA

It was a beautiful day for a ride. And it was a tri-state day. When we checked in to the hotel last night I asked the desk clerk if the route we had been riding, Route 22, was more of the same from Cadiz to Pittsburgh as it had been from Zanesville to Cadiz. He knowingly said, "yes, it is very similar and Pittsburgh is higher than Zanesville so you will be climbing to it". Fortunately he was making it all up. The road went from a two lane contour highway following the terrain to a four lane separated highway with a big smooth shoulder and cut and fill construction all the way to the Ohio River. Much, much milder grades, and, by the way, Pittsburgh is several hundred feet lower than Cadiz. We arrived in Stueben, OH and stopped in the Fort Stueben Museum where we were met with kindness and awe by the staff. After a short visit, we headed outside and rode to the foot of the bridge across the Ohio River taking us into West Virginia. The bluffs on the WV side are massive and all I could think is we had to get to the top of them. The next four or five miles were very steep and multi-mile long climbs. Just before he climbing started we stopped at a small shop that had a sign identifying it as a cafe. I noticed there were three "cafes" in the immediate area and no other businesses. I said to Chandler that I wondered if they call bars cafes in WV. Not quite but close. They'd were gambling parlers. No food. We climbed aver 1000ft in four and a half miles and came to a section of rail bed converted to trail. We have come to deeply appreciate rail trails. They are grade limited because trains can't climb big grades. We rode the Panhandle Trail for 24 miles. It was awesome. About ten miles paved and fourteen unpaved. The trail ended just before Carnegie, PA and we thought it would be an easy finish to Pittsburgh. Not so. In the next five miles we did over 1200ft of climbing. Ouch. On the backside of the climbs we rolled down to the Heritage River Trail. We saw we had less than two miles of riding left and were waylaid by a riverfront cafe serving "Hot food and cold beer". That was the best beer I've had in years! We finished by riding across the bridge into the city. A big, Huge shout out to The Hotel Monaco. What a gem and what a staff. Thanks to Brittany and John. We had a warm welcome and ten minutes after getting in our room, a bottle of champagne and a very sweet card showed up compliments of the staff. How did they know August 8 was our wedding anniversary?







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