Day 6: Pittsburgh, PA to Mercer, PA (65.6 miles)

We started out from Pittsburgh a bit late in the morning. Because we were still getting use to city riding, we had quite the adventure trying to get out of the city. What with detours, because of closed roads, and Pittsburgh’s famously steep hills, we only got 10 miles away from the city by noon. Only our second day of riding major hills, the roughly 60 miles after lunch looked pretty daunting. We saw a spectrum of little towns that afternoon, from exceedingly kind (thank you to Taylor in Ellwood for the Clif bars and water) to not so nice (we got denied water later that day); in any case, even though we were in western Pennsylvania, all the towns seemed to bear thick southern accents.
With sore legs and a long day behind us, we were met with the gracious hospitality of Steve and Charese, our hosts that night. Like Aunt Lisa’s the night before, we wish we could have stayed longer; they showed us endless kindness, shared wonderful stories, experience, and skills, and even cycled 12 miles out with us in the morning. They are doing their own cross-country trip, starting in about a week, to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis research. It is called Brian’s Ride, for their personal friend and fellow cross-country rider who has CF; we wish them well and that they are subject to all the hospitality that they showed us.