Day 4: 79.0 miles
We finished the climb up to the Eastern Continental Divide early, and got a long, smooth, downhill ride for a few hours afterwards. Sunny and cool, we made good time until we got to Confluence at 2:30pm. Keene’s bottom bracket began clanking a few miles before we got there and he ended up needing to get it replaced at the local bike shop (Confluence Cyclery: a very friendly crew). There we met a couple that was also cycling across the country (on a tandem bike), and that we had been hearing about for a few days: Ken and Patty’s East to West Trans-America Tour 2015. We got to hear about their story (they are also from Maryland!), and then headed to Sherman’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor and Kitchen to get something to eat. We got out of Confluence late (about 5pm) with 30 miles to go, but, with a smooth path and beautiful views of the Youghiogheny River, we made to camp in Connellsville before dark.
Day 5: 65.0 miles
We left Connellsville, bound to finish the Great Allegheny Passage and make it to Pittsburg by the end of the day. The view of the Youghiogheny River stayed with us for awhile, but eventually gave way to city landscape, and our first real city riding. Not used to cars zooming by us, the ride into Pittsburg was pretty stressful. As we made our way to Cyrus’ Aunt Lisa’s house just outside the city, where we spent the night, we hit some of Pittsburg’s famous hills. Luckily, Aunt Lisa’s hospitality cleared away our thoughts of lactic acid build-up: for the first time on the trip, we were provided with more food than we could eat. That night, we restocked our food supplies at a grocery store, got our first showers since the start of the trip, took care of administrative and logistic issues, and got to spend some time in Aunt Lisa’s good company.