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Turnpike Review Sections 4 – 6

October 16, 2009

Assent/ The Highlands

Have you enjoyed the drive thus far?  Nice and relaxed and settled in?  Good.  With almost 200 miles under your belt and it being a gentle cruise thus far you must be feeling pretty good about yourself.  I see you smiling there thinking that this whole drive is silly.  “Who wants to drive a plain old highway?” You are saying to yourself.  Well welcome to the assent.  Leaving the river valley and climbing into the Allegheny Mountains you face some of the most challenging highways out of the Rockies.  As you climb you face multiple non-banked, ascending, sweeping curves.  Unbanked because the climb is too steep for a loaded Semi to handle a banked curve, the result is a car under speed will be pushed to the outside of the curve.  On top of that the rapid rise in elevation often results in unpredictable road and weather conditions.

Blast the tunnels, charge the curves, but be ready, only an experienced driver can truly conquer this section.
The Straight Run

Though still in the Laurel Highlands, this stretch lays like the top of a plateau.  Largely flat and mostly straight the slight reprieve is simply a ruse.  The temptation to get your speed up in this stretch may overwhelm you, but take caution as it does.  You will immediately be thrown into the descent.  Much like the ascent these are long, flat, forceful curves.  Make sure to stay in front of the turns and use correct breaking technique as needed.

Pittsburgh Bound

End of the line.  Cruise out of the hills and rapidly into a quickly developing and under improvement section of the road.  In a mere 75 miles you will be at the Ohio boarder, ready to turn around and charge back into the steeps.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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