Tag Archives: bike ride

Winter Fest and Bike Ride

This Sunday December 12, 2021 UF is participating in two awesome, and impactful events. One of our goals is to always be a good neighbor, while helping the local community. Keeping this in mind we want to invite everyone to these two events this weekend.


  1. Bike ride for Will. We are hosting a bike ride from UF to Highland Park, once a t Highland Park we will be honoring out friend Willy T with a memorial. If you wish to join is please be prepared to ride 10 miles to Highland Park and 10 back to UF. This ride is open to anyone we just ask that you sign up on our website. 
  2. The second event that we will be hosting on Dec. 12th is the Spring Hill Winter Festival. This is a local event with food, prices, family friendly events, and libations for the adults.  This event will be from 4-6PM at the WBU Event Space and Spring Hill Brewing. Click on the link for more info about this event.


Happy Holidays and thanks for being a member and friend of ours here at UF!

Ride for Willy T

A good friend of ours here at UF died recently in a bicycle accident. As active people, we all know that there is risk in everything that we do. We assume this risk because life is supposed to be an adventure. In the words of our friend, “Life is a journey, enjoy the ride” Willy T.


In honor of Will we are going to do a bicycle ride on December 12, 2021, at noon. We will ride from UF out to Highland Park and back. This ride will be a chance to get people outside, make drivers and cyclists aware of bike safety. We will also be giving a shirt to Will’s awesome widow Jessie.


If you are interested in joining us for this opportunity sign-ups will be on our website and MindBody. Please consider participating in honor of Will and Jessie. If anyone is interested in donating please donate to, Pittsburgh Literacy Program. 


Thanks again for being a member of UF and supportive of us, and each other. Now let’s ride, and honor a great guy and my favorite lawyer Willy T.

Ride with Hamer

13 years ago, I was living in Pittsburgh and my father was living in the DC area. During this time I heard about people riding bicycles  from Pgh to DC, I called my dad and said “Let’s try this ride out.” We did our research and rode 5 days from Pgh to DC. Looking back now, this seems like a lifetime ago. The trail was not complete back in those days and there was little to no cell service on the ride. Here we are, 13 years later and I have done the ride over ten times. This year I am inviting each and everyone of you to get a small taste of this ride, (without riding 350 miles).


Here’s your part!

I am riding this trail again this year with a friend. We are inviting you to ride some of the first day with us. We are leaving NoVa Place on May, 26th 2021 at 6 AM. We are riding 79 miles to OhioPyle. If you would like to join us for part of this day then you can ride as far along the trail as you would like and then return to NoVa Place and go to work (while I ride).


More details,


Date and Time: May 26th 6AM

Location: Union Fitness.

Distance to ride: Your call. Figure out how far you want to ride and cut it in half. Whenever we reach that mileage you can turn around and head back to the gym.

What to bring:  A working bike, water, and a helmet to be safe.

Where you will be riding: We will follow the Great Allegheny Passage. This is the trail that eventually will lead me to OhioPyle. If you are up for 10, 20, or 30 miles then come ride with us. Ten miles would have you ride with us to the end of the Southside then turn around and come back. 20 miles would have you join us to about the Riverfront shopping district before heading back. 30 miles would lead you with us past Kennywood and head back. No matter what we’d love to see you.


So, now I ask you, do you want to have some fun see some sites and join us? If so, then just be here May 26th. We won’t have a sign up as we can handle as many people that want to ride. All we ask is that you are either a member or you sign a waiver then have some fun and enjoy the ride.

You’re Out of Your Element

Hello my mighty morphing Power Rangers,


A few weeks ago, Union held the Bike Ride for Black Lives and since you know I am the cardiovascular love child of Lance Armstrong and Michael Phelps, I had to hop on my Nimbus 2021 Bike and lead the pack for our 50-mile bike ride.


NAY NAY my friends! I am more like my good pal Gimli, ” I’m wasted on cross-country. We dwarves are natural sprinters! Very dangerous over short distances.” In my short career of riding bikes, I’ve crashed more times than rode over 20 miles and usually when my bike ride ends, the cold brews are cracked. Needless to say, I was out of my element for this bike ride.


My current bike is a classic 1987 hand-me-down from the OG Gray Beard himself. One of the first rides on this bike the lever arm fell off, so that was neat.  Bribed by doughnuts, beer, a free shirt and a great cause I accepted the challenge of doing something I’m not very good at, (never have done) and riding towards the sunset….well towards Kennywood. We left Union in a pack of 25 and very quickly I was in the back of the pack, you know, being the caboose. They say slow and steady wins the race, well at least I was still in the race. On our journey we had great weather and saw some great sights as we crossed over the Hot Metal Bridge, along the river, past Kennywood and even past our Lieutenant Governor Big John Fetterman (who we hope joins us next time).  Once I got cruising, I felt so good I rode a little past the 30-mile half way point to meet up with the 50-mile group that would be heading back. With them I had to haul to keep up while they were biking with ease.


I was out of my element on this bike adventure but with the challenge of my friends, fuel of a good cause and spirit of adventure it all got done and next time I’ll consider jumping in on the 50-mile ride…if I get my hands on some of those cushioned pants. Oh, and there indeed was beer at the end of this adventure.


Get out of your element more often my friends,





Enjoy the Ride Part II

For those of you who read the UF blog often you may remember I wrote a blog about biking and getting outdoors a few months ago. Here we are again, I am getting outside and getting my mind working. So let’s take a ride together.


Once a year I ride my bike (with some friends) from Pittsburgh to DC. This has been a yearly event that I began doing with my father and has grown to over 25 people. If you are unfamiliar with the GAP trail or the C&O, they run from Pgh to Washington DC uninterrupted. This year I was unable to do the entire ride due to a global pandemic. Trying to make lemonade out of lemons I decided to ride two days to OhioPyle and back. So without further ado here is the story of my ride.


We left Nova Place at 6:15 Friday, October 9th and began our trek. The ride takes you from the Northside, into the city, along the jail trail before you cross the hot metal street bridge, and from that point on there are no turns for about 70 miles. The day started brisk, it was 41 degrees and about 3 miles in I realized that I should have worn thicker socks. It took me 34 miles to finally warm up. Lessons are always learned during this ride.


After grabbing some friends in West Newton, we continued to ride until arriving at OhioPyle around 4 PM. Little know fact, Curtis Miller has family near OhioPyle yet he has never actually gone into the town.


One of the beauties of this ride is spending time with friends and the people you meet. The first person I met was the gentlemen that, “didn’t like humans.” When I said good morning in the middle of the woods, he told me I was an expletive for interrupting nature. For the next two minutes he berated me for ruining his peace. I ended our conversation with good afternoon (he didn’t like that either). When I arrived at OhioPyle (after a rinse off), I  went to the local pub where I met some local friends, and we all swapped stories and sat by the fire. Both of these encounters kept the ride fun.


Saturday morning we woke up and began our trek back to Pgh. Riding back is much easier as it is a slow down hill the entire day. We made great time, and I made it back to Nova Place two hours faster than it took to get to OhioPyle the previous day.


As I touched on, one of the best parts of the rides is the people. This got me thinking about training and the gym. Much like with any sport we are all part of a team and it is the people that make the real difference.  With this in mind, I want to thank all of you for being part of our team and trusting us with helping you reach your goals.


Yours in strength,


Todd Hamer

Thank You

As many of you probably already know this weekend we hosted “Bike Ride for Black Lives.” This was a fundraiser and the brainchild of Jessie Theisen (one of our awesome members). We were able to raise close to 4,000 dollars that will be donated to the Urban League of Greater Pgh.


This was our first bike ride fundraiser and I was not sure how we would do. We did better than I thought we could have. 50 people got on their bikes and rode one of three options 50, 30 or 10 miles using our extensive trail system we have here in Pittsburgh.


This blog is more of a thank you to each and every one of you than anything else. I would be remiss if I did not add some special thank you’s to this list though. My family came through big time! I had aunts, uncles, my father, my wife, and son and a few cousins come out to either ride or volunteer. In addition, we had some members and employees who stepped up big time! Curtis and his lovely wife Liz did a great job with the rest station. CJ actually didn’t wreck this time. Sara Rusner, this couldn’t have happened without her. Matt Grayson (who is my consummate backup man) once again had my back. Matt got us shirts when our first order fell through, he took care of picking up food, coffee, etc and I am indebted to him for his help. Others involved here were Cayt, Katlyn, Cody, Dave, Racheal and the rest of our awesome staff.


Thanks to each and every one of you and let’s keep doing good work. One of our goals is to do something for society at least once a month, so bring me ideas.


Final thought, we even had a John Fetterman sighting on the trail. Next time Big John needs to be on his bike with us!


Thank you


Todd Hamer

Let’s Ride and Make the World a Better Place

The week for our bike ride is upon us!


As you have probably seen we are hosting a bike ride fundraiser. We are excited as this is something new to Union Fitness. The ride is called “Bike Ride for Black Lives.” All funds raised will be donated to the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh.




What are the ride options?


We are hosting a 10, 30 and 50 mile ride.


What are the routes?


We will have maps available the day of the ride.


The ten mile ride will leave Nova Place, ride to the Northside trail and follow the trail beside the Allegheny River and back to Nova Place.


The thirty mile ride will cross into town, then catch the Great Allegheny Passage and ride up past the waterfront and back (it will end at about Kennywood).


The fifty miler will follow a similar route to the thirty except follow the GAP past Mckeesport.


How do I register?


Click here and scroll down to Saturday. The ride is listed as one of our “classes.” This “class” is free to anyone (member or non-member of UF).


How do I donate?


All donations are taking place through our go fund me page, click here for that site. 


What time does the ride start?

10 mile family fun ride. This ride will leave UF at 10:30 AM with registration at 10 AM.

30 Mile Challenge. This ride will leave UF at 9:30 with registration at 9 AM.

50 Mile Challenge. This ride will leave UF at 8:30 with registration at 8 AM.


Will there be rest stops?


For the 30 and 50 mile rides we will have a support crew at the waterfront. They will have water, gatorade and snacks.


Let’s Roll.

Team UF








State of the Union

Summer is quickly coming to a close and we are preparing to spend more time indoors. With the change of season we feel it is important to discuss a few different things. First we want to be sure everyone feels comfortable training in a safe environment.  We also want to show all of you other projects we are working on to make us not just a stronger community but also a better community.


In August we began an assessment of the gym and of our services. We have had a questionnaire at the desk for over a month now. Over 50 members responded and most comments were positive. What we did learn is that keeping a clean and safe environment is very important to all of our members. We take this very serious, and have been running through cleaning products quite fast. We are doing our best to not only make sure the facility is clean, but to also make sure everyone feels comfortable. Please tell us when you see any issue that makes you feel unsafe.


As you have probably seen we have done our best leaving doors open and moving outside for as many activities as possible. We will continue to do this as the weather permits. Let’s hope it stays warm so we can continue to be outside. Once the weather changes and we can no longer move outside we will review how many people are permitted in the gym (this has not been an issue yet). We are hoping that everyone can continue to work together to make us the best gym in Pittsburgh and the safest.


Return of the podcast.


We now have our own recording studio. With the help of one of our awesome members and local podcast host Josh Elsass we set up a recording studio and we are going to return to recording weekly podcasts. These podcasts can be found on all your podcast apps and is called the Union Fitness Podcast. While you are at it check out the numerous podcasts that Josh hosts.


Bike ride time.


We are hosting a bike ride on Sept 26th (special thanks to Jessie Theisen). The ride will benefit Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh. We are asking for donations through our go fund me site and you can sign up on using MindBody app or through our website. The details are below and here is the link for donations.



Date: Saturday, Sept 26th


Location: Union Fitness


Ride Options: 10 mile family fun ride. This ride will leave UF at 10:30 AM with registration at 10 AM.

30 Mile Challenge. This ride will leave UF at 9:30 with registration at 9 AM.

50 Mile Challenge. This ride will leave UF at 8:30 with registration at 8 AM.


Other updates.


After our review we also discussed our classes and how we can improve the experience for you the member. We will be adding some free classes for all members until the end of the year (watch for an announcement), we are also going adjust our schedule slightly. As always if you see something that does not work for you please communicate that to us.


We are also beginning an instagram meet the staff series. Every Thursday you will see a short video highlighting one of our staff members. Hopefully this will introduce some of you to our amazing team here at UF.


As always feedback is welcome. If you every have any issues in the gym please contact Todd Hamer todd@unionfitness.com and feel free to give us the good, the bad and the ugly. We are here to serve you.


Todd Hamer





Bike Ride for Black Lives

One of our goals at UF is to be better members of our community. With this in mind, we are going to host a fundraiser for Pittsburgh Urban League. I had attached the details for this fundraiser and are inviting each and every one of you to come out and have a fun day with us.


Date: Saturday, Sept 26th


Location: Union Fitness


Ride Options: 10 mile family fun ride. This ride will leave UF at 10:30 AM with registration at 10 AM.

30 Mile Challenge. This ride will leave UF at 9:30 with registration at 9 AM.

50 Mile Challenge. This ride will leave UF at 8:30 with registration at 8 AM.


If you wish to join us at this ride we are asking for a donation that for the Urban League of Pgh.

We also ask that you go to MindBody and sign up for the event through our MB site.

Here is the link for donations.


Thanks for reading and hopefully you will be able to come out and join us. We will be posting more details as we get closer.


Bike Ride for Black Lives

One of the goals here at UF is to reach out to the community and do our part to make this world of ours a better place. Keeping this in mind we will be hosting our first ever fundraising bicycle ride. The title of the ride is “Bike Ride for Black Lives. I have added the details of the bike ride. I would be remiss if I did not add that one of our members is the real reason this is happening.


Jessie Theisen is one of our awesome members and she approached me with this idea a few weeks ago. We immediately got to work to make this happen. I want to publicly thank Jessie and her husband Will for getting this started.




The ride will occur the weekend of Sept 26th. We are still deciding on whether we will ride on Saturday or Sunday. We are working with a few others groups to make this the best day possible so this decision will happen by the end of the week.


We are setting up a go fund me account to donate. All the money raised will go to, the Urban League of Pgh.


We are going to have 3 ride options ranging from 10-50 miles. We will have three different start times as well so that the riders doing the long rides will have more time to finish the ride.


Sign ups will be live at the beginning of September and will be handled through UF. If you want to involved as either a rider, volunteer or sponsor please reach out to me anytime.


Ride Strong!

Todd Hamer