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Thanks to Rough Diamond Century founder Dave Lusher for updating the route for 2024.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/47422047

HEADS UP: THIS ROUTE STARTS WITH 45 MILES OF ROAD RIDING, WITH SEVERAL RIDGE CLIMBS. NEAR THE END OF THE DAY, WE ARE ON SEVERAL ROADS WITH GNARLY TRAFFIC CONDITIONS FOR SHORT PERIODS.

If you want to ride with Rough Diamond Century founder Dave Lusher he is leading a Western PA Bicycle Club (WPABC) ride leaving from Millvale Riverfront Park at 7:00 AM on Saturday August 10. You are welcome to pick your own starting point and start time as well.

WPABC is concurrently hosting a club ride/picnic there-and-back from Saltsburg on August 10, to make dual use of a lunch hosted by the Point St Tavern in Saltsburg. All participants should aim to arrive in Saltsburg between 11 AM and noon for lunch.

Lunch at the Point St Tavern is free for current WPABC members. Nonmembers are encouraged to join for the year for $20. If you abstain from joining, we need you to sign our waiver plus pay $20 for lunch.

If you ride some or all of the Rough Diamond, please consider donating to Armstrong Trails: https://armstrongtrails.org/support-the-trail/#donations. They are making enormous progress towards extending the Armstrong Trail, South to and eventually across the Kiskiminetas River, to connect to Tredway Trail. Once they are successful, the RD Century Ride can eliminate all of the nonsense riding on Rt 356 or up and down multiple hills to avoid Rt 356. Moreover, the bridge and trail connection are critical to connecting Pittsburgh to Leechburg via the Rough Diamond Trail network and of course Pittsburgh to Erie.

Route notes for 2024:

– Dave is starting from Millvale Riverfront Park at 7:00 AM and riding clockwise. Route is here: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/47422047

-This year we are staying on the west bank of the Allegheny River tall the way from Millvale to Freeport. Largely flat, there is a climb at the start over Friday Road, and a significant ridge climb around Harrison Hills Park arriving at Freeport. Then another significant ridge climb after you cross the Allegheny River on the way to Apollo.
– Using a GPS with a map display is highly recommended.
– Route is 103.5 miles this year.
– At mile 81.1, the left turn from 4-lane Broadway Blvd (Tri-Boro Expressway) to 4-lane Mosside Blvd. We recommend pulling into the Sheetz on the right (the entrance is well before the actual Sheetz). Leave the Sheetz from the same entrance/exit. Pick your moment to cross 2 lanes of traffic and take the lane in the left turning lane. After turning left onto Mosside Blvd, take the right lane. It becomes the turning lane for the road we are heading for.
– At mile 85.3 the turn into Keystone Commons industrial park is not a mapping glitch. It sets you up to get onto the Tri-Boro Expressway at a traffic light.
– At mile 88.6 on the approach to Rankin Bridge, President Jim likes to take the sidewalk as it climbs to the right to avoid being over-taken by high speed cars. Also, the sidewalk is a good place to wait for the group to reform before crossing the Rankin Bridge.
– At mile 89.7, after crossing the Rankin Bridge, as you approach the entrance to the Waterfront, you need to take the lane and tough it out in this high traffic area.
– On the plus side, we are riding the Roaring Run Trail, the Westmoreland Heritage Trail, the trail along Turtle Creek, and finish riding into Pittsburgh on the GAP and Three Rivers Heritage Trail and out to Millvale on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail.

Note that as a trail project the Rough Diamond is ASPIRATIONAL. Meaning there are missing bits, and at times you need to climb steep long hills and ride busy highways. If you read the news, you know over the coming years the Rough Diamond will get better. Still, for most of us, this is the only time of the year that we ride along the Kiskiminetas River.

A gravel bike is appropriate for this route, but President Jim reports: “I have ridden this route many times on my road bike with 28mm wide tires. Some of the trails along the Kiski are not rails-to-trails, meaning they are not graded. Or rather, there are a couple of gravelly pitches over 15%. On a road bike I usually walk them. On a gravel bike, I sometimes walk them.”

Pro tip – Be sure to follow the correct trail leaving Saltsburg!

This is a self-supported ride. We indicate enough convenience stores on the Ride with GPS to give you some ideas for where to stop.  Here are several convenient stops

  • Mile 21.5 – Fueland in Brackenridge
  • Mile 45.2 – Rite Aid in Apollo
  • Mile 57.2 – Lunch at Point Street Tavern for WPABC members.  Also, public bathroom nearby on trail. Also, convenience store in Saltsburg.
  • Mile 79.4 – Parkside Creamery
  • Mile 80.9 – Sheetz before left on Mosside Blvd

Lunch at the Point St Tavern is free for current WPABC members. (We will get a count in the morning). Nonmembers are encouraged to join for the year for $20. If you abstain from joining, we need you to sign our waiver plus pay $20 for lunch. You can join or renew with the club HERE.

Preliminary lunch menu at the Point St Tavern:

  • Pulled chicken sandwiches.  These would be serve yourself style with the meat and buns separated.  
  • Mediterranean hummus wraps with assorted vegetables.  These would be prepared in advance, some with cheese and some without cheese (vegan) at whatever count we request.  
  • Pasta salad with no meat
  • Soft pretzels with 3 beer cheese and mustard dip options
  • Tortilla chips with guacamole, sour cream, and salsa dipping options
  • One adult beverage or soft drink per person included.  Additional beverages available for purchase. 

Ride with Us!
Western Pennsylvania Bicycle Club (Wheelmen)
[email protected]
See our ride calendar HERE
Contact the club HERE
Join the club HERE

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