Pittsburgh: The City of Champions – By Chris Cosby

Our sixth day of riding took us into Pittsburgh, THE city of Champions. Okay, I had to add that for the benefit of all the Ohio riders on the trip. I am partial; I lived here for 20 years, so it did feel like coming home, even though I moved away four years ago.

Check out a VIDEO bio on Chris below.

We left our gracious hosts in Youngstown promptly at 9 a.m. I kept Ryan and Pastor Andy up until midnight last night trying to figure out our route. The topography of southwest Pennsylvania creates unique challenges when traveling by bike. I feel like I should know how to get to town, but I’ve been away too long, and was never really familiar with the west side of town. We made it, but only with the help of a local rider, Dave. Our day was not without a mishap, however. A vine hanging in our path caused some riders to brake hard, and Aaron had no time to get out of the way. The sound of a bike (and body) hitting the pavement is something that would make any cyclist cringe. Fortunately, Aaron only suffered a bruised hand and some stitches on his chin. Looks like Kelli will have company in the van for a few days, but we are all thankful that Aaron is happy and relatively healthy. His positive energy is a welcome addition to our group, and his laugh is contagious.

After regrouping, we continued on toward our destination, following the Ohio River. With such a beautiful day, the water was teeming with boats, and our views of the water were great. Finally, as we rounded a turn I saw the familiar sight of the city skyline, and remembered what a great town Pittsburgh really is. The ride finished along the South Side bike trail, then up hill through Schenley Park. At our host church, Redeemer Episcopal, we were met by Rev. Cynthia and her husband Dan. Church members had dropped off scrumptious entrees for dinner, and since the van was still en route from the hospital, we set out the food and had a generous feast. Immediately, we felt welcomed into the family of this church. I had the blessing of seeing a friend from years ago who now goes to this church. Small world, especially in Pittsburgh!

Finally, it was bittersweet to say goodbye to two riders who are leaving the team, Nate and Olivia. It is amazing how a shared experience can build such strong bonds in a short period of time. We will miss them both dearly. However, we did pick up two new riders, Tony Campbell (returning rider from past FCBA rides) and Pittsburgh native Sarah Doren, both of whom will ride into D.C. with us.

Tomorrow is an off day, and with services not starting here at church until 10:30, it looks like the team will be snoozing late. After an 80-mile day, well deserved rest, I say. Sunday afternoon brings a chance to kayak on the Allegheny River, courtesy of friends from Venture Outdoors.

Allow today’s blogger Chris to introduce himself:


  • Just remember that your city of champions lost twice to the Bangles last year… :-P. Glad to hear Aaron is okay. Feel better quickly man. Keep up the good work guys.

    PS- bye Olivia and Nate

  • Chris Cosby. It sounds like y’all making good progress on this journey. It’s all DOWNHILL I presume, as you journey from the North to the South! You may get to New Orleans earlier than scheduled! All the best Chief.

  • Chris–good to see you holding up your share of the writing (and riding). Avidly following the team’s adventures and keeping all of you in our thoughts and prayers. Oh, and Go Bengals! (Actually, I couldn’t care less about football, I just know that really irritates Steelers fans!) 🙂 .

  • Thanks, man. It was great to be back in Pittsburgh. This week is all rail trails to DC, very scenic and all traffic free!

  • Thanks, Charlene! The host churches have been wonderful! We just got to Connellsville, and the pastor of our host church had the local paper run an article about us and announcing our presentation at the church tonight! How cool is that?

  • I am sending all good thoughts your way, looks like quite an adventure.

  • Hey, Chris!!! You’re looking GREAT! We are so proud of how awesome your adventure has been going! Sequoia says he misses your training sessions. Riscky wanted us to let you know that if SHE was going from Niagra to New Orleans SHE’D be done by now. 😛 Sunny remains ever the optimist (sort of). Just a couple of quick questions: Have you seen the backboard? Do you have the Jon boat key? How do you feel about three new roommates in addition to the goat? We Miss You!!! Good luck! You’re EE Peeps.

  • EE Peeps! You’ll be glad to know I’ve traded my old set of chores (recycling, looking for the backboard) with a new set, and they rotate by week. This week it’s lunch (starts after breakfast, ends just before dinner), load the trailer, and Odd job? Your job. Thought you’d like that last one. Save me some goat cheese, but please clean up after the goat!

  • Hey, Chris! I’ve been away at Montreat Worship and Music conference so I got behind on reading the blogs. Glad to see you made it to Pittsburgh. Loved your video! Can’t wait to see you and the team in NC soon. (Too bad you’re not here now – the weather is nothing short of miraculous for an NC summer. I’ve got the windows open! A relief after the record-breaking heat in June. Hope it lasts ’til you guys pass by here…and then some!)


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