Monday, June 3, 2013

Bike the Pike

BREEZEWOOD, PENNSYLVANIA

Since last year I have been intrigued by the route the 4K for Cancer Team Portland took from Waynesboro, Pa. to Breezewood. Before this year's departure I contacted Team Portland and suggested I could help. They believed me.

I designed a ride that would keep them off US Rte 30 and got them over to the abandoned section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. I had hoped to be packed for Ride the Rockies earlier in the day then drive to Ligonier and leave my car while I biked to Somerset in preparation for meeting the 4K in Bedford tomorrow.

My planning did not work out so I was very late getting on the road. But that gave me an opportunity to meet the 4K Team Portland. When I contacted Daniel Gray and he told me they were near Houstontown, Pa. I knew I could get to Breezewood and ride backward and meet them.


Yes, this is the Pike 2 Bike Entrance

I had never been on the abandoned pike. Although I found the entrance, I mistakenly went down the wrong road before realizing there must be a path to the pike. And there was.

Climbing the path I came to the pike. Ten miles of abandoned turnpike. Two tunnels (very dark -- need lights). I rode through the first tunnel and was most of the way to the second tunnel when I came across the 4K coming in my direction. 


Abandoned Pike

I kept going to the second tunnel when I met the last four riders of the 4K. We then explored the tunnel's maintenance section before riding on through.


Looking out window in Maintenance Room in Tunnel

Once back on the road I followed the 4K on the Pa. Bike Route S between Breezewood and Everett. Although it is about the same distance as US 30, it has some very nasty climbs. I knew the section between Everett and Bedford was the same. 


4K Riders on the Pike
Sarah Robbins

I was able to convince all the riders I found to skip the last bike route section from Everett to Bedford and just ride on Route 30. They did. The US 30 route was two and one half miles shorter than the Pa. Bike Rte S route. Until I mapped both, I thought the bike route had a lot more climbing. It does but spread out over the longer distance it's about the same gain per mile. Route 30 has one long grade whereas the back roads features a lot of ups and downs. At least I saved them 2 1/2 miles.

Photo Credit: Joanna Freeman







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