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

Sunday, September 25, 2011

South Oakland, Manchester Bastille, Lower Lawrenceville, South Side

9/25/11 22 miles
First of all: three months until Christmas.

I enjoyed a very pleasant ride downtown today. Parked in South Oakland, rode to the Manchester Bastille, to Lower Lawrenceville, SouthSide Works, back to South Oakland, 22 miles.

As I drove to the trailhead I was listening to NPR and specifically RadioLab, over WDUQ which is now WESA, and they were talking about the difficulty of maintaining rigid classification structures at the micro level - which I thought should have invoked Forms and Universals, but they didn't go there.

Coming out of the South Oakland trailhead on the Jail Trail I was emboldened to inspect the status of the new bridge and trail segment over Bates Street (official opening: Oct 3 at 1200); they've done a very nice job.

Rode across the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, and near the Science Center I saw a cyclist riding an "ElliptiGo", a two-wheeler with elliptical levers instead of a pedal-crank-chain linkage. It was a curious follow-up to the RadioLab show in that this machine is clearly a bicycle but it falls outside the normal range of the classification.

Coming back from the Bastille (Western Penitentiary), I saw the Elliptigo parked and took this photo:

It has a very long wheelbase, and I wonder if it's not difficult to move through doorways or transport on a car.

Rode along the Allegheny River, took the 31st Street Bridge, and decided to investigate an Indy coffee shop I haven't been to before. The Google indicated that the closest was Espresso a Mano at 3623 Butler Street.




It's an excellent coffee shop. It was a very cool atmosphere, lots of bikes, books, and Wifi-ing. There's a glass garage door on the storefront, and it was rolled up and the cafe was open-air.

I saw a Surly Cross-Check there, it was very well appointed with a Minnehaha saddle bag, an orange reflective triangle, and a brass bell. It was a beautiful bike, and there were quite a few bikes there.

Sitting outside the coffee shop I saw a lot of bicycles being used, some for pleasure riding but also a fair portion being used for transportation. The coffee was excellent, the biscotti was fresh; I'll be back at Espresso a Mano again (especially given my new goal of becoming a flâneur , participating in the observer-participant dialectic in the urban/cyclist way, and not at all as flâneur in the fop/dandy/wanker way).

Coming out of the neighborhood I saw ClankWorks, a local shop specializing in "accessories for the modern cyclotourist". There were some very nice wooden fenders in the window. I need to stop there again sometime.

Rode through the Strip District, under the Convention Center where the fountains were running, to the Point, over the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, SouthSide, and across the Hot Metal Bridge back to the car. A very nice ride in ideal conditions.

My left knee felt great, it feels better after riding than it does in a period of inactivity.

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