Friday, August 24—Cycling the GAP, Pittsburgh to Buena Vista

Today’s concluding ride of 29+ miles began in Pittsburgh, PA. Before the ride began, we took the Duquesne Incline to the top of a mountain overlooking Pittsburgh for a great view of the city and the three rivers for which it is famous: the Monongahela, Allegheny, and Ohio.

Duquesne Incline
Dusquesne Incline
Dusquesne Incline overlooking the three rivers and football and baseball stadiums

Navigating through the streets of downtown Pittsburgh was challenging but our leaders, LaVern and Janie Yutzy, did a great job guiding us through the busy city streets and bridge crossings to reach the GAP trail terminus at approximate mile 150 at Point State Park where the “three rivers” meet—the Monongahela and the Allegheny joining to form the Ohio.

Point State Park; Monongahela River on lower right, Allegheny River on upper center, and Ohio River where they meet

Point State Park, end of the trail

The GAP trail was paved through the metropolitan and outlying areas, with many bridge crossings, changing to crushed limestone about midway of the ride. The trail was gently uphill, and the wind was lightly blowing into our faces, making for a challenging pedal, at least for me. Along the way we continued to pass skeletons of buildings now left to decay and trailside coal mining and coke towns, many of the houses of which had been updated.

An old railroad roundhouse, vacated and left to deteriorate

Typical coal mining and coke town

Our lunch stop was at Homestead at the historic pump house (site of the bloody Battle of Homestead where a strike by steel workers was broken by 300 Pinkerton men and some 8,000 state militia in 1892, signaling the end of union activity in the steel industry until the 1930s).


The afternoon segment of almost 20 miles was without any formal breaks, thus the pace was relatively fast. The trail was open to sunlight in many places, and in forested parts of the trail, the vegetation was less dense than the lower trails sections ridden earlier in the week with a few waterfalls.

We arrived at our take-out point at Buena Vista to much fanfare, having completed the 150 mile Great Allegheny Passage.

Finishing riding the 150-mile GAP, another life list item completed!

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