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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bicycle Nightmares

5/11/11 #229
26.8m 2h02m

There are the standard nightmares: you arrive in school late to find out you have to take a test that you didn't prepare for, or you're falling through space, or you're in church and you realize you are naked, things like that. Normal nightmares.

The bicycle nightmare, I think, is driving to meet somebody for a ride and finding that you're missing some essential bit of equipment - your clipless shoes (that clip in), your shorts, a Presta pump, etc. My car is beginning to look like a cross between a homeless man's shopping cart and Kraynick's bicycle shop. Fortunately, I had all the gear I needed today, and the nightmare bides its time for a later opportunity.

Met M. by the Western Penitentiary in what I hope becomes a regular ride. We rode south along the Ohio River to the Stadia, then north-east along the Allegheny River, took the side-spur onto Washington's Landing, continued out to Millvale and Pamela's P&G Pancakes for, well, pancakes and coffee. This was my second time this week eating Pamela's pancakes, and life is good.

We returned to the Allegheny River, rode across the Ft. Duquesne and Ft. Pitt bridges, and took the Station Square Trail to Southside Works, stopping to see the significant progress on the new trail segment on the riverbank behind/below the HofBrau Haus and the AEO campus. Continued on the Baldwin Borough Trail to the closure for the American Water project.

Saw a man riding an interesting bike, a Dream7 model from Day 6 Bicycles. It was pretty cool, a step-through frame with a pedals-forward, semi-recumbent design. The gentleman riding it was very pleased with it.

Crossed the Hot Metal Bridge, pausing to appreciate the new ramp to the AEO trail segment, and then rode north along the Monongahela via the Jail Trail. As we rode in the streets from the Smithfield Street Bridge into Point State Park, we were in the lane and came to a stop at a red light, and I was pleased that there was another cyclist in the lane. When the presence of bicycles is such that there are a few stopped at the same intersection, that's a good sign.

Back across the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, down to the river by the Science Museum. Parts of the trail through there make abrupt turns while descending, and if you fail to navigate the turn you're going to end up in the river. It's heresy but I wonder if speed bumps might not be appropriate on the downhill ramps.

Back to the Penitentiary and the cars that were still there, 26.8 miles in 2 hours 02 minutes, a really nice ride, good food and good company.

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