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       /       Pgh-DC bike maps new

Monday, July 25, 2016

Mid-July in Confluence

7.15.2016 21m
7.16.2016 3m
7.17.2016 22m
7.18.2016 3m
I was pleased to spend a few days cat-feeding and house-sitting in Confluence. I really like this town, and got to ride around a bit.

7.21.2016 13m
7.22.2016 12m
July 21 was an errand day, I love riding around Pittsburgh on my bike. Treated myself at the top of Allegheny Cemetery to cooling off my feet with their water spout.

July 22 I got to ride with some visitors, and encountered a Scout troop from Texas that I'd had a small part in planning their trip. They had tremendous jerseys, the three pockets on the back each had a city's flag: Pittsburgh, Cumberland, DC. Totally cool.

Roly Poly is my Spirit Animal

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Ashtabula Ohio

7.4.2016 19m
mtd:19 ytd:1114
Rode with my wife Karen along the Warren, Ohio to Ashtabula Trail (Western Reserve Greenway). The trail ends just beyond a bench that I was remiss in not taking a photo of the last time I was here.

I imagine this gentleman's friends called him Mike, which makes for an immature phonetic play-on-words:

We continued beyond the trail head to Harbor Perk coffee. What an excellent coffee shop.

Then we rode around to Lake Shore Park which was very nice. Drivers on the roads up here are used to bicycles and very cooperative.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

6.29.2016 4m
6.30.2016 18m
June eom: 314 ytd: 1095
Riding along Baum Blvd, saw this billboard put up by the American Orthodpedic Association. I like the Orthopods, and I like a public message that reminds me that cyclists are fragile.

What I don't like about the sign is the negative opening.
It flows like: We all know that some cyclists break rules
BUT REALLY you should remember they're fragile.

What kind of opener is that? Here's some parallel examples.
  • Not all women are sober and modest. BUT Fund Planned Parenthood
  • Not all black people aspire to "white success". BUT Restore the Voting Rights Act
  • Some children really misbehave. BUT store your guns securely, and where kids can't find them
I really prefer the sign carried this message: Great day for riding. Got to see Jon, JP, YC, and SB. Heard this later in the day on NPR. Excellent listening:

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Bane, Shrub, Tunnels & Ice Cream

June 7 22miles
June 8 24 miles
June 9 45 miles
June12 9 miles
June 14 18miles
June 15 12 miles
June 18 26m
June20 23m
June22 15m
June 25 19m
June mtd: 292 ytd: 1073

In case you've missed it, I have an ongoing internal question about the difference and similarities between homeless people and camping cyclists, and our social response to each.

This is a new campsite along the SouthSide Trail (notably not the GAP) - It's a marvel. Carpet, planters, hummingbird feeder.

The explicit, "out" campsites along the trail have recently been augmented by this, at Hot Metal Street and the GAP trail:

It's right across the street from a rather upper-end hotel, I imagine they'd prefer it not be there.

Tuesday June 7th I rode with a couple from California from the Waterfront out
to Boston PA (using the McKeesport Loop detour).

Wednesday 6/08 I putzed around town and ran some errands, which included picking up the second print run of my Pittsburgh to DC bike trail map. Took a picture of my newest water bottle with the Water Cube on Penn at 8th: free cold seltzer!

June 9th I met an outgoing tour group at their Penn Ave hotel. We rode under the Convention Center, along the Allegheny to Point State Park. Then I rode with them out along the GAP, using the McKeesport Loop detour because the Durabond Bypass was being paved. Very nice people. One of the folks, Gordon, was a frame-builder.

June 12, Golden Triangle Bikes had a GAP Trail Day event. I put up my tent & hammock to demonstrate camping gear, and loaded up a rental LHT to show how the bike looks with panniers etc.

As summertime warms up, the overhead misting station at Golden Triangle Bikes is getting more appreciation:

I had a chance to participate in a Brews & Bikes Tour, featuring beer from Mt. Lebanon's Hitchhiker Brewing. This was a sampling of their Bane of Existence on the Hot Metal Bridge:

We also rode around to the North Side, and in the archway of the former Manchester Bridge we had a beer sampling with Mr Rogers. There was audio of his TV show playing, I don't remember that from previous visits.

June 20, Golden Triangle Bikes hosted a bike tour of Pittsburgh for a Mt. Lebanon Vacation Bible School group of about 45 youngsters.

The trail always presents new things. Here we encountered a few ballerinas on the Hot Metal Bridge. The scrounge campsite is about 100 feet south of this location:

Rode with my wife Karen to Caffe d'Amore (Butler and 54th) to experience their Shrub Sampler. Shrub is a vinegar-based fruit drink (which by itself was once known as drinking vinegar) mixed with club soda. It was a refreshing, novel taste and I'm glad I got to try it.

June 25 we met Denny and Doreen, Rusty and Donna, and Kevin, Mari, & Mindy in Breezewood for a ride on the Abandoned Turnpike Trail. This was a great ride. We pre-positioned a van at the eastern end of the publicly accessible trail. Our ride started at the western end, in Breezewood on Route 30.

It is "darker than the inside of a cow" in the longer of the two tunnels. A great place to evaluate your lighting kit.

When we reached the eastern end, we rode north on Pump Station Road (428), then north on North Hess Road (4007), and then turned right (east) onto Mountain House Road (4006) which takes one directly into the employee parking lot Sideling Hill Turnpike Plaza (where they have ice cream). We really enjoyed the ice cream and it was very cool to bike into a turnpike rest stop.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Sacramento on the Mon

6.4.2016 30m
June mtd: 40 ytd: 819
Met a couple of Californians at the Waterfront and escorted them out to Boston PA. Riding through the-town-formerly-known-as-McKeesport, I was surprised to see that the municipal building -slash- police headquarters looked like this:

Probably there's a movie going to film there. This got me wondering about the origin of the name, Sacramento, and the machine suggests:
The city was named after the Sacramento River, which forms its western border. The river was named by Spanish cavalry officer Gabriel Moraga for the Santísimo Sacramento (Blessed Sacrament), referring to the Catholic Eucharist.

The web advertised a trail closure at the Durabond Bypass for repaving, so we took the McKeesport Loop detour. It had been a year since I'd taken the Loop. Although it often has glass on it, there wasn't any and the alt-transition went well.

Sitting at the Boston Trailhead, I saw riders coming and going on the normal route. A Trail Monitor who came by explained that the contractors didn't show up, so they left the route open.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


40m May eom: 239
June mtd: 10 ytd: 789
Saturday 5/28 I got off to a late start. Made camp in Dravo Campground. Saw this most excellent Dutch bike and a hammock set up on the lower level:

Late at night I saw a message, Sarah and Noah and JohnA and JonP were inbound. Very excellent. They arrived late in the dark, and I was impressed at their makeshift MidRats of cheese & bacon on hot dog rolls.

Noah, who is a photographer, took this most excellent photo.

In the morning, I was treated to a Master's Seminar on camp coffee procedures. All the coffee was wonderful, and I was stunned by this Ortlieb drip-coffee thingy:

Monday I hoped to enjoy the Buena Vista pool, but it was not to be; they open next week. Read a book, caught some rays, took a nap, rode some bike. Nice day.

Tuesday evening there was a quarrel in the campsite between two 20-something kids that would be called Crusties in the SouthSide, and an older man who regularly sleeps at Dravo. My quiet inner voice told me I should pack up and get out of there, but I didn't and I should have. In the morning, one or the other had stolen my camp stove and my solar-shower rig. Learned a lesson.

Rode into Pittsburgh. Ran errands on the bike which is really a great way to get around town.

Thursday I dropped off a new document for the next revision of the Pittsburgh to DC Trail Guide I've been working on with Golden Triangle Bike. Had an email from PaulH, with a picture of him picking up the map - very exciting.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Icarus at Big Savage Vista

Mon 5.23 3m
Tues 5.24 36m
Wed 5.25 18m
Fri 5.27 18m
mtd: 209 ytd: 749
Monday I drove to the GAP's Deal trailhead rather late in the day. Parked the van, loaded the bike, rode all of 3 miles to the Big Savage Vista. I've had a bucket-list item to camp overnight there, and see the sunrise over the hills, for too long a time.

click to embiggen in new window

Sunrise was cool. Unfortunately, there was a big fire in the town of Mount Savage, which you can see in this close-up:

This very much reminds me of Pieter Bruegel's Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, in which tragedy is almost hard to identify in the midst of daily activity. In Bruegel's art, Icarus is making a splash in the bottom-right corner, between the galleon and the shore.

After breaking camp I rode back to the trailhead, got in the van, drove to Meyersdale for breakfast at GI Dayroom. I see a place with bikes outside and I think, My tribe is here.

Parked in Frostburg MD. Used the Wifi at Mountainside Coffee to get some work done, then rode down to Cumberland checking coordinates of cross-streets. Saw this Snake, indulged the tendency to document it:

Riding into Cumberland, there's a bit of new bike infrastructure that removes the need for an at-grade crossing of a fairly busy street. Thank you Cumberland!

Wednesday I rode around Pittsburgh accomplishing small details. I did stop at Pittsburgh's nicest homeless camp and asked permission to take a picture. Bird-feeders! Carpet! Spoke with the resident, an eloquent person who invited me in and offered hospitality but I demurred.

Friday I rode with my wife Karen, McDonald PA out to Walden's Restaurant in Burgettsown PA via the Panhandle Trail. Trail conditions were excellent. And finally, let I take cycling too seriously, this comes from Pearls Before Swine: