24hrs in Pittsburgh

25 Mar

After getting word late last week that a buddy from Pittsburgh had passed away from a quick and sudden bout with cancer, we got things in order to make a quick trip out for the funeral. We left around noon Saturday just in time to sit on the Schuylkill behind an accident for an hour or so. After driving on the turnpike for a bit, we made a quick decision to pop off and visit a good friend we hadn’t seen in a while.

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We got back on the turnpike and headed west. Once we hit the first tunnel through the mountains, we started talking about the abandoned turnpike. We got off at the Breezewood exit to check out the west side of the old turnpike. I had ridden through the tunnels a few times on bike trips from Phl->Pitts but had never had time to really check them out. After a brief walk (~2miles) from the parking spot we hit the first tunnel. It’s the shorter of the two that you can walk through, but the other one is far enough away that you’d have to ride. We explored the tunnels a bit then climbed into the inside of the building where they kept two giant turbines that pumped air into the tunnels. After taking a few minutes I eventually muster a bit of courage to walk out on the ledge to get a quick photo opt. I hate heights… They scare the crap out of me, but they tell me you have to face your fears so I tried to make it happen. I think my hearts still racing a bit from it 🙂

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We jumped back in the car and blasted some jams. Next on the list was to book a room for the night so the lady pricelined a spot in the trendy ‘South Side’ of Pittsburgh. We got into the hotel and made our way to the main strip ~10pm. I had been wanting to check out the bicycle bar called OTB (over the handlebars, a term used quite a bit in the cycling community). There was a bike rack out front in the street taking up parking spot, tons of bike parts on the wall, and a slew of TVs throughout the place. I’m not quite use to lots of TVs playing at bars but oh well. The food was really good and the PBR pounders were $2.00, whats not to love? They also had a alright tap list as well. After some food in the system we went out dancing at a few bars, got taken to a tiki lounge?!, was told we made a women’s 37th birthday the best shed ever had, and ended the night hanging at our hotel with some random wedding party then a bachelorette party.

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The next day we got ourselves together, hit the hotel hot tub up for a bit, grabbed some brunch at the doublewide restaurant, did a little sight-seeing/tourist stuff in the city, checked out the new casino down by the river, then drove out to the funeral home.

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The service was pretty rough. Still hard to believe that last time I saw him over the summer he was riding with his brother from Pittsburgh to Maine and in great health… Im glad we could make the trip to show our support. The goal was to have a solid weekend of adventure, randomness, and an overall good time for our buddy Dan just like he would have wanted. 22 is way too young. You’ll be missed bud.

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