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Hamer’s B Day Trip

posted on June 1, 2023

We each celebrate our birthdays in our own unique ways. Some people party, some people eat cake, I ride my bike. Today, I hope you will take a trip with me on my bike (figuratively and maybe one day literally). This year my good friend Nick Showman decided to jump in on the ride with me.


I began riding multi-day rides in 2010 when my father and I decided to ride from my house in Pittsburgh to his house in DC. I have basically done this ride or a similar ride every year since. Every year I consider not doing it and then someone calls and asks if I’ll ride with them and then I am back. This year I decided to do something different. The plan was to ride from my house in Sewickley to the Montour Trail, ride all the mountain biking trails off the Montour Trail. Finally, ending in West Newtown, PA off the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP). I could not do this ride because a tunnel on the Montour Trail is closed.


The new route I picked was to take the T from the North Side to South Park. Ride the fun trails of South Park, take the connector trail from the park to the Montour Trail. From there I would follow the GAP to West Newton. This reduced my trip from 80+ miles to 50ish miles. The next day I planned to ride to Ohiopyle, spend Saturday hanging out there. Sunday I was to wake up and ride the 80 back to the Northside.


This ride would be different as it involved both mountain biking and trail riding. The highlights of the ride were the awesome camp site at the GAP Trail Campground. I highly recommend this spot! West Newton also has a great bike shop that did a great job fixing up Nick’s bike. Ohiopyle was the same beautiful place it always is. The only negative thing was service for our food was not good (to be fair it was Memorial Day weekend). Sunday was a lovely 80 mile cruise back to Pgh. It was great to get in and see the city alive with the beginning of summer. The beer at Federal Galley was also a perfect way to end this adventure.


I write this blog to remind you that challenges are all around us. We can go do things or we become shells of humans. My advice is take the ride, read the book, and do something, anything! I am also inviting you to ride with me next year. Toria has already said she is in for next year.





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