We did a preride on Saturday 7/15. While we had a successful ride, two road closures are collectively confounding us at the moment:
- We confirmed the New Kensington Bridge is closing for August. We rode a pleasant road route all the way to Freeport to use the Freeport Bridge (it does have a ridge climb that tops at 17%) staying on the north side of the Allegheny River. However,
- Route 356 is still closed north of White Cloud Road, detouring all Route 356 traffic onto White Cloud Road. That makes White Cloud Road unusable for cycling, as it has no berms, blind corners, grunty climbs, and heavy Route 356 detour traffic.
So we are considering our options, which are:
- Find a route from Freeport to Leechburg that avoids the problem with White Cloud Road.
- Use the Oakmont Bridge to cross the river, then somehow head cross country to Leechburg. There aren’t obvious watersheds to follow. Several years ago we had a route that bypassed the Tredway Trail and went from Lower Burrell to Leechburg, and maybe we can connect to that.
Your preride crew: Chris on the left rode his first century. Dave Lusher in the middle is founder of the Rough Diamond Century. President Jim on the right.
Regardless of the route we use, it is going to end up we have 45-ish miles of road riding in the first half, with the trails predominating in the second half.
While the Rough Diamond Century is ASPIRATIONAL as a trail ride, be prepared for riding significant distances on sometimes busy roads, and grades on climbs up to 17%. Also, we have some gnarly urban intersections to content with.