I went exploring on my bike yesterday, again. As soon as I got to the south side, it started raining, but I decided to ride anyway and it was SUCH a good decision. I went approximately 10 miles on normally populated trails and I saw about 5 other bikers, in total. It was wonderful to have the road all to myself.
I started at 18th street on the Monongahela Trail on the south side of the Mon river and rode to the Hot Metal Bridge at 33rd St. Here is the view of the city from the Hot Metal Bridge:
not my picture.
See how pretty and far away it is? Well, I took the Eliza Furnace Trail on the north side of the river and rode the whole way into town! It was a very urban and exciting route. The busy parkway at rush hour was on one side of me and a highway on the other. I rode under overpasses, past the Allegheny County Jail, through a graffiti-ed landscape to Point State Park. I loved it.
Pittsburgh, although it doesn't really have a reputation for being a "clean" city... it has a wonderful network of bike trails. My favorite thing about biking in the actual city is that each trail has a distinct mood or feeling. I feel like a real explorer crossing bridges and traveling more distance that I ever could have dreamed of doing on foot. How did I go my entire adult life without knowing how much fun riding a bike is?