Type 2 Diabetic. Clydesdale Bicyclist. #NextBurgh Flâneur. Caffeine User and Coffeeneur.
A bike geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish. by Vannevar Bush       about       /       murals

Friday, July 31, 2015

Natasha, Boris, Hoofsayer

7.31.2015 21m
Started at the Bastille. Rode around the North Shore, saw this below Route 28:

Rode out to Pamela's for strawberry crepes. Back to the 16th Street Bridge, Grant Street, Hot Metal Bridge to REI for some supplies. Return via Smithfield St. bridge. All the cars were very copacetic.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Montour Trail Infra Goodness

7.30.2015 20m
Started at MP24. Rode north to see the bridge construction in progress at the Route50/980 intersection in Venice. This is so cool.

Then we reversed and rode to see the Valleybrook Road bridge project, which has the concrete deck poured and they're installing the side beams. More infra goodness.

Continued down to where Farmhouse Coffee used to be (sigh) and went to Starbucks instead. A very nice day for a ride, I was surprised how many bikes were out on the trail.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Greiving the loss of Persephone

7.17.2015 22m
Lots of riding today. Took a tour group out in the morning, about 15 teenagers and 4 adults. Very nice group.

Later in the day, rode into East Liberty to pick up the audio trailer for the Flock Ride. Carried that around to Dippy.

I ended up in front of the Flock ride but didn't know the route, but J. kept me on the path. I was a bit sad when we rolled from Larimer into EastLiberty because the house that my favorite Pittsburgh mural was painted on has been demolished to make way for new housing.

The mural tells the story of Persephone, who got into trouble putting seeds (pills, if you will) into her mouth due to great curiousity, even though she knew she shouldn't. I really liked this whole-house mural.

I think the remembrance of Stuff That's Gone is a uniquely Pittsburgh phenomenon.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Thick Soft Opening

7.13.2015 22miles
7.12.2015 13miles
7.9.2015 11miles
7.8.2015 7miles

7.7.2015 21miles

Monday July 13. Started at the Bastille. Rode to an errand in Uptown. Took Armstrong Tunnels to South Side, stopped at Thick Bikes and was very pleased to see the new space is open for business. It's a Soft Opening at Thick! Excellent shop, I hope they thrive in the new space.

Sunday, July 12. So good to be back in the Burgh. CMU to Flock meeting. Flock to Gus' Taco Stand in the rain.
Dinner w Yale. Butler-Penn inbound, Grant Street, Jail Trail, Junction Hollow, CMU.

July 9: Round trip to beach: 11 miles

July 8: Round-trip to drug store and mother's house : 7 miles.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Much-Needed Day of Rest

July 5, 2015 25m
It's been 12 days since I rode my bike. It was also seven days since I've slept in a bed - and I missed the bike much more. I rode from my sister's house in Wantagh NY down to Jones Beach. I was following a group of cyclists who seemed pretty sure of where they were going when they turned onto a bike path I didn't know existed. new stuff!

This trail starts at the Jones Beach Monument and runs east for 3.5 miles. It is most excellent. (there's a plan to extend it further east) At the end, there's a fence with a subway turnstile to keep bikes out, which is a bit unfriendly I think. On the other side of the turnstile there's a snack bar, restrooms, and a wooden frame with a bunch of water spigots so I poured cold water on my bike sandals and toes. Coolest thing ever.

Saw a combo-kite: a heavy-lifting kite on the top of the rig, holding up a kite-sculpture of a horse. The horse's legs and tail move around in the wind, giving the impression of galloping.

This is a picture of my Trek830 in 2005, when my Dad was fighting cancer, with the Jones Beach Monument in the background. I gave this bike away in Spring 2015 to Bill Haley.

Took a picture today of my Surly LHT with the Jones Beach Monument in the background, while my Mom is recovering from cancer surgery. I'm beginning to develop a negative association with this Monument.

I often joke that when bicyclists get access to a new place, or some new infrastructure, it takes about 3 hours for a cyclist to ask: yeah, but can we get some wifi in here? So I was very pleased to see that Jones Beach has wifi on the beach:

It was so good to get back on my bike today.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Relative Horizon

Tues 6.23
Started the day by riding with my 4th-grade nephew over to his school. I was very pleased to see a lineup of bikes in the rack.

After I picked him up at 1230 (short days the last week of school) we rode our bikes all the way to Wendy's. Possibly the first time he's ever gotten anywhere besides school without a car or an airplane. Fortuitously, the best of all possible things happened - one of his buddies passed by in a car, and called out "Hi John" in a sort of "what are you doing - how come you get to do that?" tone of voice.

Rode back to the house. Not a big ride for me, but new horizons for the nephew.

Monday, June 22, 2015

First World Privilege Whining

Sat 6.20 7miles
Sun 6.21 16miles
Mon 6.22 6 miles
So far, none of my 2015 bike plans have actually happened. Didn't go to Natchez because: rain; didn't go to LakeErie because: ferry schedule; didn't go DC-Pgh or the Solstice Ride because: sick family. First World Privilege Whining.

Saturday I rode over to my mother's house to do the sit-down and review-the-meds meeting. Arghhhh. This place has blue ribbons tied around most street poles, because "blue lives matter". Double-arghhh.

Riding out of my mother's place, I got caught in a rainfall. I needed to spend a bit of time out before I retired so I went into Starbucks to do some work via their wifi, but first I needed to dry off - just like Mr Bean using the hands-dryer.

Sunday afternoon I got away to ride to Jones Beach. There's a tremendous bike path that goes down there. I was concerned that bikes would be banned on the boardwalk but this sign set the tone:

Stopped for a few slices of pizza, came out to a flat rear tire. This time I patched rather than replaced the tube, I haven't done that for a while. Great fun but time for new tires.

Monday I went out to buy at least one new tire. I rode over to LBS Brand's which is a great bike shop. Not as downright loving as ABS, not as convivial as Thick, but an excellent shop. They do a lot of volume; there's at least 8 people working the floor, 6 mechanics turning wrenches, and a couple of old guys (my age) handling the unusual. They manage to deliver consistently excellent service; it's not a supermarket like Performance. Walk in and ask for Schwalbe's, and after you pronounce it three times the staff will introduce you to one of the old guys which was great.

They didn't have any 700x32 Schwalbe's, so I bought one 700x28 Armadillo. Rode the bike back to the place I'm staying, with the tire around my neck which wasn't very elegant. Put the 28 on the front, put the (better) 32 on the rear. Pinch-flatted the front tune while mounting it, maybe because my 32 inner tube was too fat for the 28. Went back to the shop to buy a smaller tube, bought two because: me. I was amused to see that between the bulk Gatorade and tri-athlete powders, they sell coffee:

Mounted the 28 tube in a 28 tire: success. My on-bike pump wasn't really up to driving the tires to 85psi, so I rode to Brand's again (third time is a charm) to use their floor pump. While I was there, bought a patch kit to replace the one I'd opened the day before, and also bought a frame pump that goes both ways - Presta and Schrader. All the new floor pumps are bivalves, I don't understand why the better frame pump manufacturers aren't embracing it.

Rode to Starbucks, bought expensive standardized corporate coffee and sucked at the trough of their wifi. Joined my sister and her husband for pie, rode to base in the dark. I love night riding.