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

Monday, February 8, 2016

RIP Michael Prater #CrankOn

Michael Prater, a 42-year old cyclist from Cincinnati, was killed by a hit-and-run driver. He was a father, husband, and an REI store manager. The local cycling community had a Ride of Silence for him, and 600 cyclists turned out.

I was impressed that the Cleveland REI store came down and provided staffing for the Cincinnati location so those folks could all have the day off.

At the ride, they read aloud this poem by Mike Murgas, which I learned about from the local news coverage.

The Ride of Silence...

Tonight we number many but ride as one
In honor of those not with us, friends, mothers, fathers, sisters, sons
With helmets on tight and heads down low,
We ride in silence, cautious and slow
The wheels start spinning in the lead pack
But tonight we ride and no one attacks
The dark sunglasses cover our tears
Remembering those we held so dear
Tonight's ride is to make others aware
The road is there for all to share
To those not with us or by our side,
May God be your partner on your final ride

Marcha en Silencio…

Somos muchos esta noche, pero marchamos como un solo hombre
en honor de padres, madres, amigos o hijos que ya no tienen nombre...
Con el casco bien calado y la cabeza agachada
marchamos en silencio, prudente la mirada.
En cabeza oigo ruedas su recorrido comenzar,
pero hoy solo marchamos, nadie quiere atacar.
Disimulan nuestras lágrimas las gafas oscuras
recordando nuestros seres queridos con ternura.
La marcha de esta noche es para otros advertir
que las carreteras son y están para compartir.
Para aquellos que con nosotros ya no están:
¡que Dios les acompañe en la marcha final!.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

You Are Here

Feb-td:24 ytd:84
Really a nice day today. Started in Oakland, rode over to Millvale. Saw this e-billboard while crossing the 40th Street Bridge and I was really glad to see it; I think the Max Vanka murals are some of the finest art in Pittsburgh, and they represent an anti-war, economic-justice view of Christianity that's no longer emphasized.

Saw this new mural at Sidewall at 608 South Millvale, done by Lizzee Solomon.

You Are Here transports the viewer from the dreary land of
“eternal twilight” into a tropical paradise. The smell of
coconuts is thick in the air, hibiscus petals gently tickle
your cheeks, your skin is crispy with sun and salt. You are
never too hot because there is always a cool breeze to catch
and a broad, palm shade to retire under. You hear a samba
band in the distance. It is almost Carnival. You are here
and the world is waiting.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Helmet Not Required

Feb-td:16 ytd:76

When I travel and get my gear in different bags - I often end up with the wrong gear. Today I got to the trailhead and didn't have a helmet or my Buff. I missed the Buff more. Apparently riding without a helmet, which certainly worked in my Youth, is still possible.

Rode into town, stopped at Gasoline Street Coffee. Great hot chocolate and some excellent cake-bread mashup.

I think this is the coffee shop closest to the GAP Trail's end in Point State Park. Ride the plaza off Golden Triangle Bike Rental and you're there. Park your bike just outside the big windows. Totally excellent.

Met Y and hung around for a bit, then went out in search of a little-known spot in Pittsburgh. Happily we found it after a bit of searching. I don't know what this started off as, but it's ended up probably as a different space than the original intent. The place is known to some as "Temple of the Dog".

Temple of the Dog, Pittsburgh

It was so nice to be out today.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

A Learning Opportunity

1.29.2016 - 1.31.2016 20m
Jan-td:58m ytd:58m
Traveled to Florida with my friend R. to take a seminar with Adventure Cycling. There wasn't a lot of riding in the program, but there was a lot about logistics and philosophy and some role-play exercises. It was really an interesting class.

AdventureCycling, #acaLFE_2016, #acaLTC_2016

We camped in a Florida state park for the course, it was very nice.
AdventureCycling, #acaLFE_2016, #acaLTC_2016 photo by Ron

On the trips I've gone with, you start off with a group that knows each other and generally, the trip leader's job is to avoid catastrophe and ensure the riders have a good experience. The A-C task is a bit different, and they approach it in a different framework.

A-C participants generally don't meet until the night before the ride commences, so they're not a group. There is shared cooking equipment, shared meal preparation, and shared meals every day and that drives the group culture. Dinner's always at 6pm, breakfast is always at 8 am, and on a rotating basis people do food shopping and meal prep - within a budget.

I was kind of at a loss about what to do about "Presentation" when it was my turn in the rotation, so I made a centerpiece of out an ice cube sculpture which representing Stonehenge. It wasn't much but I was trying. The staff had a good sense of humor.
AdventureCycling, #acaLFE_2016, #acaLTC_2016  photo by Sherry

Once it gets rolling, it's a daily routine that keeps the self-contained group moving forward. It was very interesting to see such a different model. A-C pushes problem solving to the earliest level and expects participants to resolve their own issues whenever possible; it's not a hand-holding exercise. I got a lot to think about out of this course.

Group photo taken on the last day:
AdventureCycling, #acaLFE_2016, #acaLTC_2016

It's always cool to meet and get to talk operations with experienced cyclists. It was great to have briefings from Adventure Cycling leaders that have an established culture and body of knowledge to draw from.

And it was awesome to ride bikes in Florida in January. A young local told me, Clermont is the only place in Florida with hills. I hadn't really noticed them, I thought it was a very gentle terrain, but he seemed quite proud of them.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Steelers Flamingos

mtd:38m ytd:38m
If there was a three-strikes-you're-out program for bike lane parking, this driver for Giovanni's just hit the trifecta. I don't ever want to call the Police on a delivery guy, but Giovanni's is a habitual user of the bike lane to park. In another forum, StefB said we need bollards and that would certainly solve the problem.

IANAFF (I am not a football fan) but I've got to give a shout-out to the Steelers Flamingos.

Awesome ice and water and teeming life in the Koi Pond on the Chateau Trail.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Bike Trip Duration Estimate DC Pittsburgh

DC-Pittsburgh Bike Trip Duration Thingy

Please answer two or more of these questions to see
an estimate of the duration of your bike ride from Pittsburgh to DC.

How old are you? Age-Based Estimate:
How many bicycle miles/year?
Bike-Based Estimate: days.
How many running miles/year? Running-Based Estimate:
How many pounds overweight? Weight-Based Estimate: days.
Your Mileage May Vary. There are factors not considered: all you're traveling ultralight? Camping and carrying four bags on your bike? etc. How many packs of cigarettes per day? This is a simplified first wag.

Please click here for info on our Pittsburgh-DC ChartPack:

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Talking About Shaft

1.7.2016 15m mtd:25 ytd:25
Went out for a short ride with Y today. Rode from Oakland to Baldwin, saw ice on the trail in Baldwin's The Valley of the Shadow of Eagles. Went over the Ft Pitt Bridge and called it a day because: no gloves! I hate when I do that.

Saw a lot of cyclists out. It's really great to roll up to an intersection and see a handful of cyclists waiting for the light.

Today the design winner for Portland Bike Share bicycles was announced. The program will be called BikeTown and will be sponsored by Nike. If you were to design a bikeshare for the rainy Pacific NorthWest, what would you do different from Pittsburgh? Shaft Drive instead of chain drive.

This will be really interesting. A major fleet of drive-shaft bikes in a city with wet weather, detailed maintenance records and diverse riders. Evidence instead of anecdotes. So much goodness.