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Monday, July 4, 2011

Nine Mile Run and Duck Hollow Trails

7/4/11 #223

Rode 40 miles in Pittsburgh, mostly trails. Started at the Western Penitentiary, and the Jail Trail (the cooling mist station was operating at the Jail Trail Bike Rental, very nice!), and rode Junction Hollow up to CMU.

I was caught in the rain coming up Junction Hollow, and when the rain got heavy I was standing under the semi-shelter of a bridge. I got to meet a father-and-son riding together, and a CMU student going back to campus, who were also waiting out the rain and we talked bikes. Finally I felt like getting on with it (I guess I lost the patience contest), so I launched into the rain (which immediately got heavier). I ended up soaked in a major way, and remarkably it didn't kill me.

After Junction Hollow I was breaking new ground as far as places I've ridden before. I went crosstown via Fifth, Wilkins, Forbes, Murray, Shady, Starbucks, Forbes (actual bike lanes!) to Frick Park.

I've always liked Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill, it reminds me of the time/place I grew up (except we didn't have Russians). I wanted to check out the BikeTek shop but it was closed for the holiday weekend. I enjoyed tea and a slice of cake at the Forbes Ave. Starbucks.

Frick Park was amazing, there was very little sense of being in a city. Navigation within the park and its multiple trails is a bit of an orienteering exercise, but I ended up on the Tranquil Trail and then the Nine Mile Run trail to the edge of the park, and then picked it up outside Frick Park. The intercept of Duck Hollow Trail was easy, Duck Hollow Trail is a great trail. DHT terminates in a place where if (IF) you portage across five active railroad tracks you end up on Second Avenue. Then I rode Second Avenue, bada bing bada boom, back on the Jail Trail.

Crossed the Hot Metal Bridge to the South Side Trail. I expected it to be closed at the American Water Works project but I was rewarded for my efforts by finding the trail open until the traditional endpoint, just short of the Glenwood Bridge.

Rode back to SouthSide Works, where I discovered that Pita Pit on Carson Street is an excellent place to get some food and fill bidons. (I am only using French words because of the TourDayFrance.)

Today we are pleased to introduce the first entry in an occasional series called "Cool Graphic of the Day", for Shop.412 (blog) which is an urban lifestyle boutique adjacent to REI. They've got the 412 area code, a hypocycloid (part of the Steelers logo), very nicely done. Somebody from Pittsburgh would get it. Somebody from New York City probably would not. They may be working the ironic yet iconic Hipster-Yinzer-Mullet niché.

I stopped at Golden Triangle Bike Rental at SouthSide Works to glomm a copy of their new Pittsburgh bike map:

Rode the trail to Station Square, crossed the Ft. Pitt bridge. I had hoped to ride the Strip District Trail but it was shut off due to the Regatta at the Point, so I crossed the Ft. Duquesne Bridge and rode the trail out to Millvale and back. The afternoon's baseball game had just ended and there was a lot of foot traffic, so I used a few streets and rejoined the trail at the Casino.

It was a great day to ride.

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