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

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sat Aug11
Mon Aug13
Wed Aug15
On Saturday I parked my van at the former Western Penitentiary, aka SCI Pittsburgh, which is a lot less crowded than it used to be. Rode to the Jail Trail and Golden Triangle Bikes, dropped off a package. Stopped at Point State Park, and watched the world walk by for a while. While I did not get sick, I did not feel good and it is a great puzzle to me.

Monday I parked under the Birmingham Bridge, and biked to an appointment at Murray and Shady. I was distressed to get sick twice on the first leg, once on Boundary and once on Wilkins. The second and third legs, to Oakland and then back to Southside, went better but not great.

Monday's experiment was to wear overly large shorts, in case my bike sausage-casings were causing the discomfort. Factor One: ruled out.

Wednesday I rode from my residence to the local mall for a haircut, attempting to eliminate or confirm Factor Two: overheating due to too much hair. This factor is still OPEN. This was about 7 miles on local roads, and I am continually impressed at how well drivers behave out where I live.

Although I know one should never look up symptoms on the Google, it may be gastroparesis which is both a known outcome for some diabetics, and consistent with my experience.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

I Blocked The Bike Lane But I Didn't Block the HOV

Aug 4, 2018

In response to Letter to the Editor, Washington Post: I blocked a bike lane. So What?, by Claudia Burke.

[Chorus] I blocked the bikelane
But I did not block no HOV.
I blocked the bikelane
never make you slow your SUV.

Yeah, all around in my home town
Homeland trying to track me down
They say they want to bring me in guilty
For the blocking of the HOV
For delaying the HOV
But I say Oh, no, no, oh

You can't delay the HOV,
sad commuters in their SUV
I blocked the bike lane just
for pastry at Au Bon Pain,
a quick stop at Au Bon Pain

[Chorus] I blocked the bikelane, oh Lord
But I swear just for a little while
I blocked the bikelane,
But so does Fedex, and the U.P.S

Cyclists want to use my route
For what, I don't know
Every time they take the lane
I honk pull over so I can go
I say stop on red so I can go
(cry) I pay my taxes how 'bout you?

[Chorus] I blocked the bike lane
Didn't park by no fire hydrant
I blocked a bike lane
I hope it's now just a traffic court complaint
Lot of noise about some white and green complaint

I share my road, it's got to be
I let Cars and buses use it too
But Scooters, Bikes and now Scoobi
They just won't let me through
My time is short, I must get through

[Chorus] I blocked the bike lane
It's nothin real it's just some paint
They say, that bike lane is not for me
And now this is a criminal complaint

Freedom came my way one day
And I drove straight outa town
All of a sudden I saw bikes (three!)
Intending to slow me down
So I hit, I ran them down and I say:
If I am guilty I will pay!

[Chorus] I blocked the bike lane
It was a matter of lifestyle defense
I killed a cyclist
and they say it is a capital offense

Car culture had the better of me
And what is to be must be
One day the traffic will slow down
Yes one day the traffic will slow down

Friday, August 3, 2018


Aug 3, 2018
10 miles
Parked under the Birmingham Bridge, rode around town, saw the memorials on the Hot Metal Bridge for recently deceased cyclist Austin Bible. RIP.

Went to Market Square, where there's a Cool Globes display on. Cool. Somewhat puzzled by the globe that put a Penguins logo on Africa, but: Pittsburgh.

Met R at Starbucks. Watched the world go by. Met (as agreed) MikeB and his scout troop from Severna Park, MD. Escorted them through downtown and out to the Hot Metal Bridge. It'll be a big deal when the Mon Wharf Switchback is open.

I really did not feel well when I returned to my vehicle. The route and conditions were not demanding. I'm not sure what's up.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

5/18 escorted a tour group from the Renaissance Hotel to the North Side, the Point, and down to the Hot Metal Bridge. 12 miles. This was also BTWD, so I saw quite a few folks I knew.

5/20 rode with my wife Karen from Birmingham Bridge to Taza D'Oro in Millvale. 16 miles.

Friday, June 2, 2017

May: gone so soon?

Tues 5/30 11m
Wed 5/31 8m
EOM May:148 ytd:587
Tuesday, rode around town with my wife Karen. Her front brake was rubbing the wheel so we disconnected it. Rode around town, got crepes, saw a Singing Busker - I guess voice majors got to make a living, too. Nice ride. Afterwards we stopped at Thick and they replaced the front brake mechanism.

Wednesday, I rode around Exurbia where I live and people aren't used to bikes. Everybody played nice.

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.