libraries, and for download at publicartpittsburgh.org.
FG_AUTHORS:Day 4: Hancock, MD to Cumberland, MD on the C&O Canal Towpath
Meet Mike McNees. He is the President/CEO of Syndicus, the company based in Annapolis, Maryland, that provides technical, engineering and scientific staffing services.
Mr. McNees is a Pittsburgh native and he is joining the Point Made! team in Cumberland yesterday and is pedaling with them all the way to Pittsburgh. His son Matthew is riding along as well.
The McNees are set to conquer the trail with a mission. The mission is to raise awareness of Type 2 diabetes. Mike himself is a diabetes 2 Type patient but he has managed it well with exercise and diet. The McNees family wanted to ride the trail on their own, but when they heard of the Point Made! team, they decided to join them out of camaraderie.
We spoke with Mike McNees before the trip, here are some excerpts from the interview.
PG: Tell us why are going on this trip?
Mike McNees: It began with Syndicus, the company I lead, back when we performed services for the Beacon company, it started with a 1 million dollar initiative called HealthELink. It was an important initiative focused on Type 2 diabetes management and awareness, the goal was to go out and improve the health of Diabetes Type 2 patients and Diabetes Type 2 awareness. We wanted to take that mission even further, beyond the Beacon project and, thus, this bike ride.
PG: What are your expectations for the ride?
Mike McNees: Our expectations are very simple to raise awareness about Diabetes Type 2, we are not looking for sponsors, not looking for funding. Our goal is to raise awareness about Diabetes Type 2. We would like to convey to people that with a careful planning based on a diet and plenty of exercise, Diabetes Type 2 patients can control their diabetes. We also hope to have a very good time on the GAP ride with the Point Made! team.
PG: What kind of bike you have?
I have a Scattante, it was a gift from my son for my most recent 60th birthday. My son Matthew is a cyclist. He lives in Greensboro, for him 100 miles a day is nothing.
Photo: Michael and Matthew McNees ready for the ride
PG: How did you become a cyclist and how did you prepare for this ride?
Mike McNees: I took on cycling this year, really. As a young man, I was a cycling enthusiast. I used to bike in the Pittsburgh area when I was based there (Editor's note: McNees' office used to be in Pittsburgh until 2005). For this ride, I have been training 3-4 times a week in Annapolis, Maryland. I usually ride along the B&A Trail park. It runs along an abandoned railway, the Baltimore and Annapolis Railroad, it has been converted into this 13 plus mile-long rail trail.
PG: You are a Pittsburgh native, what do have to say about cycling in Pittsburgh?
Mike McNees: I sense that Pittsburgh has caught on fire as far as cycling is concerned. There are so many new trails, new developments, enthusiasm. I see it as a positive development. That brings me to the point why Syndicus chose cycling rather than, say, tennis or swimming, it is because of the ease with whith you can integrate cycling into your lifestyle. Any member of your family, at any stage of their life and cycling career can adapt cycling to their lifestyle. We also chose biking because it’s also environmentally correct thing to do.
Follow the McNees’ adventures on Twitter @SyndicusInc.
Here is today’s photo of Mike McNees crossing the Eastern Continental Divide
From The Roundabout blog by the PG's Jon Schmitz, who "gratefully shared these before-and-after photos provided by Bob Genter of Mackin Engineering, one of many companies that had a hand in the trail development. The “before” shots are from 1997."
Above and below: Keystone Viaduct (Mile 30 on the GAP, which the Point Made! group crossed today)
To see more 'Then & Now photos" visit The Roundabout.
PennDOT is adding to the Route 65 orange barrel fun zone. A $6.3 million project begins in Avalon and Bellevue on Thursday, weather permitting. It will bring overnight lane closures in both directions on weeknights starting at 8 p.m. and concluding by 6 a.m. through mid-November from Elizabeth Avenue in Avalon to the McKees Rocks Bridge. Weekend work will begin June 21 and cause around-the-clock lane closures from 8 p.m. Fridays through 6 a.m. Mondays on at least eight weekends.
At the Interstate 79 work zone in Butler County on Sunday, several drivers in the southbound traffic jam were forcing their way into the right lane well before the merge point, where the left lane was closed. It made things go faster for those who stayed in the left lane until the merge point, but overall, such behavior leads to bigger backups and longer delays.
A week after postponing it because of bad weather, PennDOT will try again to close the southbound Interstate 579-Crosstown Boulevard ramp to the eastbound Boulevard of the Allies for construction this weekend. The ramp will close at 8 p.m. Friday and reopen by 6 a.m. Monday while crews seal cracks. During the same time, a lane will close on the ramp from southbound I-579 to Sixth and Seventh avenues in Downtown Pittsburgh, but the ramp will remain open and serve as the detour for traffic headed to the Boulevard of the Allies.
The Fort Pitt Tunnels will have single-lane traffic from 10 p.m. today to 5 a.m. Thursday during maintenance of lane signal lights.
Second Avenue traffic will be restricted to one lane from Brady Street to Bates Street in Oakland from 7 p.m. Thursday to 5 a.m. Friday during paving.
Camp Meeting Road will have alternating one-way traffic at Magee Road Extension in Franklin Park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today during relocation of a utility pole. Flag crews will control traffic.
Inspection of the ramp that carries northbound Interstate 79 traffic over Campbells Run Road toward the inbound Parkway West will close the shoulder from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today. The ramp will remain open.
Crack and joint sealing on Pittsburgh-McKeesport Boulevard and Mifflin Road will cause slow-moving lane closures in both directions from the Mansfield Bridge to Lebanon Road in Lincoln Place, West Mifflin and Dravosburg from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily through Friday.
Crack and joint sealing on Route 837 between the Glassport-Clairton Bridge in Clairton and West Station Square Drive on the South Side of Pittsburgh will cause slow-moving lane closures in both directions weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through June 28.
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