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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Autumn Ride to Targets of Opportunity and Occupy Pittsburgh

10/15/11 #234 34miles 50-60F
Rode 34 miles in the city. The day started off cold but warmed up nicely.

Began at The Bastille (Western Pen) intending to ride to McKeesport, and proceeded via the Casino Trail and the Ft Duquesne Bridge. Crossing Point State Park there was some sort of re-enactment going on.

Continued on the Mon Whorf Trail, Jail Trail, Hot Metal Bridge of 4000 Brassieres, Southside Trail, Baldwin Trail, walked the tracks and rode Sandcastle to Riverton Bridge discovered that the Sandcastle lot is closed.

I'm mildly disappointed that Sandcastle bike access is lost. Even though it was a wink-and-nod arrangement, it was really nice to ride through there in the summertime, and the loss of Sandcastle will mean fewer bicyclists going from the Point to Boston. The (presumed) notion that bicycling stops in October is misinformed.

I rode 885 uphill to Century III Mall, met a friend at Denny's for coffee and pumpkin pie!, reversed on 885 and 837 to Southside, Station Square trail, and then I ran into a fully loaded, visiting cyclist who had just passed the West End Circle and was trying to figure out how to get into downtown.

Walter had rode from Cleveland in two days, stopping overnight and camping in Rogers Ohio. I really like the idea of bicycle camping and hope to give it a try.

He told me he'd had two flats and broke a few spokes, but that he's stopped at Ambridge Bike Shop and they'd taken great care of him. Which doesn't surprise me, Ambridge is the Best Local Bike Shop 4eva. We rode together across the Ft. Pitt Bridge and the Strip Trail to his destination, I think the city's trails and the easy transition across town made a favorable impression on him.

Then I rode crosstown to the #OccupyPittsburgh site. It seemed reasonable and well mannered, I spoke to a police officer who said there wasn't any tension at the site. In the throng there were ACLU attorneys wearing yellow armbands observing. I saw an observer wearing a Pittsburgh Police Accountability Review Board jacket which I though was extremely excellent.

I'd say the population skewed young and old, with fewer 40-year olds than there were 20-somethings and geezers like myself. Other than the age phenomenon, they seemed representative of the general public. Quite a few signs, which I suppose works well in a world of omnipresent cameras and social media. I didn't find much (if anything, really) to disagree with. The P-G has a list of sign messages.

The weather started off cold (50F) and ended up warmer (60F) and quite pretty and blue. It was very windy which made for an interesting ride. It was a day when having airspeed indicators on the bike would produce interesting data. Descending down 885 it felt like I was descending with a tailwind, that was a pretty quick segment.

Week 39
this week:
109 miles
  [4th quarter: 275 miles]    
2011: 3541 miles

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