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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Ride to Dunkin Donuts and the Bastille at Sunset

12/08/11 #236 29m 33F

Rode 29 miles in 2h29m, temp 33F on a beautiful sunny day. As I prepared to ride I was resisting the notion of riding in this temperature, but once I got on the bike it was excellent and the sun felt very good.

Started at the Manchester Bastille (Western Penitentiary), rode around the stadia and out to Millvale, deviated through the Lawrenceville neighborhood instead of using Butler Street - I really like the little two-story houses, they're like the Burgh version of shotgun shacks, I could see having one as a pied-à-terre if I was that sort of a person, but I think that I am not.

Took Washington Blvd up to Bakery Square. I stopped near Bakery Square because I was overheating in the climb, I took off the helmet cover and opened my jacket's pit-zips and things got better quickly. Back on the bike and rode to Squirrel Hill.

Stopped at Dunkin Donuts on Forbes at Shady; totally excellent. The interior is classic Dunkin Donuts - the coffee, the pastries and doughnuts - but the sitting area is quite large, couches, tables, wifi, fireplace! This place totally rocks as a caffeine bike destination.

Departing Squirrel Hill on Forbes to Braddock, managing to synchronize my passage with the simultaneous release of every school bus and kiddy-car-pool within range. A very nice crossing guard (in a very high-viz overcoat) actually stopped traffic for me on the bike, that was a first.

Took the Nine Mile Run Trail and the Duck Hollow Trail to Second Avenue, Second Avenue to the Jail Trail. I wanted to go over to the South Side but the sun was descending behind Mt. Washington and so I skipped SouSide and headed north on the Jail Trail.

Crossing the Ft. Duquesne bridge I encountered quite a few black-and-gold-garbed fans on their way to the evening's Steeler game. There were a few tailgating cookouts getting underway.

The ride back to the Bastille was quick. I was joined by a rider on a Soma, nice bike, we discussed sprung saddles and Brooks. The mini-detour north of the Casino is very well marked. I got off the bike at 5pm, a perfect time to take a photo of the Manchester Bastille at sunset.

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