Type 2 Diabetic. Bike tour guide. #NextBurgh Flâneur.   Coffeeneur.    Errandoneur
A bike / map geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish. by Vannevar Bush       about       /       murals       /       Pgh-DC bike maps new

Friday, May 19, 2017

Almost Six Months

May 10, 21miles
May 13, 14 miles
May15, 8 miles haircut
May16, 15 miles
May 19, 19 miles
mtd:129 ytd:568

May10, rode to GTB, then went Southside, met Rusty. Rode to Thick, stopped at Big Dog, rode to Costco. Great day.


May 13, got to ride with some folks from the Duquesne Club all around town.



May 15. Short errandoneur type-ride; rode to a meeting and the barbershop.

May16, rode around town. Saw Ray, met Handsome Kyle. Stopped at OTB. Saw a Rivendell Cheviot and a pair of Farraday electric bikes which looked really sharp; belt drive and internal rear gearing. Wow.

May19, rode around town with some folks attending a seminar.


I can't believe it's the second half of May and I've only got 568 miles.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Cyclist and the Pennsylvania Castle

May 2, 2017 11m
May 5, 2017 41m

May mtd: 52 ytd: 491

The cyclist was wearing a helmet when his head struck the pavement.

There's kind of a contretemps in Pittsburgh politics, with a year-old video of a cyclist on the North Side getting honked at, then getting into a brief argument with, a City Councillor who's a candidate for Mayor. She drove away, and the cyclist gave vigorous chase, catching the Councillor at the next red light and re-engaging.

I know the cyclist, and he's a good person and an experienced bike commuter.

I've done that, chased down a driver and re-engaged them. Lately I'm thinking: you should never chase down a driver to argue with them. You should never chase anybody via any mode to argue with them, because: what if you catch them? How does that end well?

How does that end well when they have a legal firearm, a concealed weapon permit, and the PA Castle doctrine recognizes cars and vehicles as areas where lethal force is authorized if you feel threatened for serious injury?

A story in three parts: The Cyclist and the Castle, (2 roles, 1 Male 1 Female)

Part One: The Initial Exchange. The Cyclist is taking the lane on a street with one lane in each direction. There's no bike lane on the side. There's no generous shoulder. There's a slight incline.

The Driver is late for a downtown public meeting. They're listening to a few voice messages while they're driving in. Traffic is backing up. The sun is bright on the dirty front window, and the Driver is squinting into the glare.

The car ahead turns off the road, and now the Driver is following the Cyclist. Just one lane. No chance of crossing the yellow lines to pass, because there's continual opposite-direction traffic. Hit the brakes. Honk at the cyclist. Lose track of which message I'm listening to. Honk again. No way they're going to be even almost on-time for the meeting.

Coming up to a stop sign. The Cyclist shouts, What's your problem? The Driver shouts, Stay in the damn bike lanes, that's what they're for! The light turns green, the Driver passes the Cyclist. The Driver moves much faster, and in a second is out of range. Event One is over.

Part Two: The Pursuit. The Cyclist is emotionally dissatisfied at the state of affairs. He takes off, intent on catching the Driver. For five blocks, the video shows the Cyclist striving mightily. His Strava recording shows that he crossed the five blocks much faster today than he usually does.

The Driver is stopped, third in a queue of six cars at a red light. She's got the phone out, sorting through emails. She's texted her staff that she'll be late.

The Narrator speaks from the wings. Analysis will conclude that at this moment, the first exchange has been concluded, the actors have been well separated, nobody is at risk, and the Cyclist has gone to great effort (as documented by the heart rate monitor) to pursue and catch up to the Driver. This sets the stage for The Second Event.

Part Three: The Second Event The Cyclist squeeks to a stop right next to the Driver's open passenger window. Over-exerted, spittle flies from his mouth as he shouts into the open car window. He intends to have another word with the Driver.

The Driver is startled at the shouting, turns to see the Cyclist with neck veins popping and chest heaving at her open window, and fears for her safety. She is trapped, boxed in by other cars. She reaches for her concealed-carry pistol and shoots the cyclist twice in the chest (fortunately, not striking his chest-mounted video camera). Blown back by the impact, the cyclist falls to the cement.

Media coverage will include the phrase, The cyclist was wearing a helmet when his head struck the pavement. The Driver will tell the police, "I was afraid for my life". The Prosecutor will find no reason to file charges.

I just don't think it's safe or prudent for a cyclist to chase a driver to argue. I've done it in the past, but I've stopped doing it.



The reader may care to read the PA Law on Castle Doctrine, more recently known as Stand Your Ground:

  • "Vehicle." A conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, that is designed to transport people or property.
  • Read the Law. Keep an look out for the phrase "occupied vehicle", which is construed to be part of the Driver's Castle.


Tuesday May 2, I rode around downtown to two meetings. Got to hang out in Gasoline Street Coffee for a while.

Saturday May7, I escorted a couple from New Mexico from their downtown hotel out on the GAP to Boston, PA. Living in the desert, they were really impressed at all the springtime greenery along the trail.



Sunday, April 30, 2017

Summertime

Sun April 30, 2017 37m
Apr EOM 94m ytd 439
A group from PA Downtown, which is the Pennsylvania chapter of the National Main Street Center, is in Pittsburgh for a four-day conference so the people who were in town on Sunday got to take a bus out to West Newton and ride back to Pittsburgh on bikes from Golden Triangle.



A day before the ride the weather forecast was doom-and-gloom, the morning of the ride it was cold and dry, and by the time the ride started it was Summertime. These folks did a really good job, and the trail was in better shape than I expected after the recent rain.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Edibles on 4/20

April 20, 2017 21m
Apr EOM 57m ytd 402
Rode around town, went to an appointment, then met Yale for more scouting. There are these plants called Eastern Redbud that Yale taught me are edible, the buds are legumes.






Wednesday, April 19, 2017

RVA in the 412

April 19, 2017 12m
Apr mtd 36m ytd 381
A group of Richmond, VA community leaders (CEOs, business owners, n'at) are taking a tour of role-model cities so they got to take a bike ride to Point State Park.


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Honk if you Love Bikes

April 18, 2017 18m
Apr mtd 24m ytd 369
Ride errands around town. Stopped at newly opened, cyclist-owned coffee ship Arriviste on Ellsworth. Great coffee, nice space; has to be tough to open close to Crazy Mocha. First use I've seen of this TLD in a URL: http://arriviste.coffee/


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Color Park and Clearing Land

April 12, 2017
Apr mtd 6m ytd 353

I like this painted cement barriers used to define the trail. They look like Easter M&M colors.


This is on the Smithfield Bridge ("inbound" as they say), and the land on the bank of the river is being cleared for the new switchback ramp they're going to start building this year. No news on whether the transition between Mn Wharf and Point State Park is going to be upgraded, but this switchback in itself is a huge improvement.