FitLabPGH is a podcast about movement and movement opportunities in the Pittsburgh, PA area. Once a week we also highlight a FitLabPGH mover…someone who understands that movement is a lifestyle…not just an activity. The questions are lightly edited to allow for easy readability. Click FitLabPGH Features for more info if you want to be featured/know someone who should be featured.
This Week: Rich Petyk
Are you a Pittsburgh native? If not, what brought you to the Pittsburgh area? If so, why are you still here? Born and raised in Perryopolis. Left after graduating from Cal U. Went to Harrisburg/Lancaster for 7 years and then to New England for 3.5 years. Returned for parents’ health and my work was routinely bringing me back to PA for pipeline projects.
What are your three favorite movement activities in the Pittsburgh area? Mountain biking in Frick Park and surrounding areas. The numerous rail trails including the GAP. And, probably the city steps although I don’t get to walk or run them as much as I would like.
Describe the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Where did you go? What movement activities did you include? Oh man so tough. Two years ago the wife and I did a 5 week western trip with mountain biking in Sedona, Bentonville, Palo Duro, Santa Fe, and we topped it off with snowboarding at Ski Cooper in Leadville, which was so amazing. We also did some hiking and snowshoeing, which was a first for us.
What is your favorite pre- or post-workout snack? Pre- would be banana chocolate oatmeal with blueberries. Post- maybe a Probar or watermelon in the summertime.
What is your favorite thing to eat in Pittsburgh? Note: it does not need to be healthy. Tough question but I would say Pizzeria Davide or Spak Brothers cheesesteak.
Do you have a movement activity on your “bucket list”? If not, what’s a movement activity/event you’re looking forward to in the next year? I deeply desire to spend a winter season in the west snowboarding. Events that I’m considering in 2021 include another go at Crush the Commonwealth, the GRUSK Venti 200 mile bikepacking route in WV, and I hear there’s an 850 mile gravel bikepacking route dropping soon in PA.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle to getting people to move more? I think people are too afraid of being uncomfortable and I’ll include myself in that trap. But once you get out there you realize you won’t melt in the rain, or freeze, and that with the right clothing and mindset being outdoors year round is extremely enjoyable.
What do you feel is the most adventurous movement activity you’ve ever done? I really think 2017 Crush the Commonwealth was probably the most adventurous. However, I did recently complete a 3 day solo bikepacking trip around the Laurel Highlands that involved paralleling the LHT (Laurel Highlands Trail) and stealth camping one night.
What is your favorite recovery or self-care practice? Without a doubt foam rolling.
What is your favorite spot in Pittsburgh? (Bonus points if it is a “hidden gem”) Toss up between Emerald View trail in Mount Washington and the Slags/Summerset trails in Frick Park. I also really like the abandoned ghost road next to Carrie Furnace, any place off the beaten path.
Contact info for Rich Petyk: