The 10th annual Thermo Fisher Scientific Tour on the Montour Trail, one of the best all-around, fully supported, family friendly rides in southwestern Pennsylvania, will be Sept. 22.
The rain-or-shine event offers round-trip distances of 6, 15, 24, 44 and 62 miles on the well-maintained trail.
When completed, the trail will extend 46 miles from Moon Township near Coraopolis to Clairton, where it will connect to the Great Allegheny Passage.
The tour will offer riders an opportunity to participate in the King/Queen of the Mountain Challenge.
To do so, they will leave the flat trail and climb 7/10ths of a mile up traffic-free Hassam Road, an average grade of about 8 percent.
The man and woman with the fastest times will be designated king and queen of the "mountain" and will receive a special bicycling jersey.
The 62-mile and 44-mile cyclists will leave from Milepost 0.0 at 7:45 a.m. and 8:15 a.m.
The 15-mile and 24-mile riders depart at 8:30 a.m., and the 6-mile participants will start at 9 a.m. Helmets are mandatory.
The registration fee is $30 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under. The family rate is $50 for up to four family members and is valid only for the 6-mile and 15-mile distances.
Montour Trail members will receive a $5 discount. All proceeds benefit the maintenance and expansion of the Montour Trail.
Information: www.montourtrail.org; 412-257-3011.
The trail will remain open to the public during the tour. That includes other joggers, walkers, dog-walkers, birders and those pushing baby strollers. Signal your presence by voice or bell well before passing them.
Frostburg, a major Maryland trailhead town along the Great Allegheny Passage, will celebrate its bicentennial birthday Thursday through Sunday.
Highlights include Braddock's Stone dedication Thursday, the Queen's Ball and a host of activities Friday, a parade and several open houses Saturday and a bicentennial barbecue Sunday.
The annual West Newton Community Festival continues at Vine Street Park from noon to 11 p.m. today and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Larry Walsh writes about recreational bicycling for the Post-Gazette.