We Were Featured in Thrillist

By @megstesprit

When visitors arrive in the tiny, rural Pennsylvania hamlet of Confluence, it’s often by bicycle. Nestled in the Allegheny mountains, the town is home to just around 600 people—and biking wasn’t always so popular here. For generations, life in Confluence revolved around coal mining and logging. The town hammered out a rhythm of life familiar to rural Appalachian outposts for over a century until those industries began to dry up. When opportunity floundered and left, the town found itself full of shuttered storefronts and empty eateries. Residents wondered what would save their town. They never expected it to be bikes.

“Let us consider what has happened. This town went through the boom and bust of timber, coal, and railroading. And now it has been revived by bicycling,” says Larry Walsh of the Confluence Tourism Association. The overflowing bike racks situated outside of various Confluence businesses are there because the Great Allegheny Passage—a 150 mile bike trail that runs between Pittsburgh and Cumberland, Maryland—now passes through the heart of the town. Locals and bike enthusiasts call it the GAP.