Next Sunday, April 17 2011, there's a bicycle race in downtown Pittsburgh - the Steel City Showdown. At this time there are 210 registered racers.
Bicyclists will race a rectangular course framed by the Roberto Clemente Bridge and the Andy Warhol Bridge — two of the "three sisters". The first race starts at 0830, and races of riders of various categories continue until the Kiddie Race at 1.30pm. Prime spots for spectators are the walkways along the two bridges.
Showdown Tailgatefrom the website:
The Showdown Tailgate began as a friendly competition among bike shops, and local shops will definitely "bring it" as they compete for the award of Best Tailgate Tent. In addition to the shops, fans will also mingle with national cycling brands and retailers as well as AGH Sports Medicine, Cycling Fusion, and other sponsors.
We are also excited about several nonprofit and local advocacy groups that will bring their unique perspectives in cycling to the Showdown Tailgate. These groups include Team H2Ope, a RAAM team from Ohio, BikePGH and Venture Outdoors, as well as other charity organizations with a cycling focus.
Beautiful day, sunny, 75F, dry. Road out on a local four-lane, there was a lot of debris on the shoulder - rocks, glass, wire - and I thought I should stay out of that but it wasn't a situation where taking the lane was appropriate.
It was wonderful to be able to dress for warm weather. I wore short and a jersey, and instead of wool socks, shoes, and booties I wore my Lake clipless sandals which I love. The sandals do have one downside - there's reduced protection from any rocks etc that a passing car might kick up, and for diabetics a foot injury is really bad news, but I'm living on the edge and loving the wind on my toes.
Eventually about 14 miles into my ride I had a flat rear tire. On the one hand, what a pain - but on the other hand, what a pleasure to be able to work with my fingers and not have them be numb in the cold.
I took the necessary gear out of my trunk bag - levers, tube, pump, C02 canister, inflator - and then I realized, man there's a lot of stuff in that bag besides what's necessary to fix a flat. It may be that I don't really need my orange reflective survival blanket, I'm thinking about that.
I put a rubber medical glove on my right hand, which I usually do to avoid getting it all greasy and dirty when I change a tire. I got so dirty from sitting in the road, handling the tire etc that when I took the glove off my hand, I think I looked a little like Micheal Jackson.
A passing bicyclist stopped to see if I needed anything, I really appreciated that. He was wearing an orange-red kit on a red/white Cervelo road bike, I really appreciated his courtesy. I was pleased that my hand-pump got the tire up to 70 psi pretty easily and I didn't have to use my CO2 cartridge (they're $8 each).
I stopped at a McD to wash up and bought to a diet Coke and a baby ice cream cone, I though I had a treat coming. The new tire held up well on the ride home.
I rode a few hills today, my max speed was 37 and my min speed was 2.6 mph, that's a pretty good spread. I ended up riding a little bit shorter than I'd planned, 29.7 miles, but I took up quite a bit of time dealing with the flat tire.
It was a great day to ride a bicycle.