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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Ride of the Year: 4511 miles in 2011


12/31/11 #240 19m 38F
Rode 19 miles on the Montour Trail with R, going from the Ridgewood Drive Trailhead to the Bebout Road construction site. Then we stopped at FarmHouse Coffee in a bit of a drizzle for coffee and red velvet biscotti (excellent!), and rode back to the Ridgewood Drive Trailhead.

This was the latest in the season that I've ever been able to ride through the National Tunnel, usually the floor gets icy and it's problematic. We got to see the construction in progress at Morganza Road, Georgetown Road, and Bebout Road, and it looks like there's new cement and rebar at all three sites, maybe the mild weather has helped them along.

Today's 19 miles puts my annual mileage at 4511, which is a totally excellent number for the year.

I attribute the mileage to my support on the home front and the support of my bike-budz, my thanks go out to K, R, M, G, M, J, C, S, and S. And Kurt.

The annual mileage also means I have 6000 miles on my Surly LHT drivetrain, so I'm considering a new crankset/chain/cassette in the springtime.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Respect Ride for Killed Bicyclist Patrick Ytsma

From the Lehigh Valley (Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA ) newspaper, Bethlehem cyclist Patrick Ytsma remembered in memorial ride

A long stream of white lights added to Bethlehem’s many holiday illuminations Thursday night.

The lights were on the front of more than 300 bicycles rode by cyclists paying tribute to one of their own who was struck and killed by a car while pursuing his passion.

The cyclists rode past the spot on the Fahy Bridge where city resident Patrick Ytsma was struck by a car while riding his bicycle Dec. 4. The 53-year-old architect died four days later.

“It’s enormously touching,” Ytsma’s wife, Judith Parr, told the cyclists as they wrapped up their ride at Payrow Plaza. And Parr had another message for the crowd: “Keep on riding. Pat would want you to keep on riding.”

The other speakers at the Patrick Ytsma Ride of Respect adamantly agreed that Ytsma would want them to keep riding their bicycles. But some said it frightened them to know they could still be at risk even if they are strict practitioners of bicycle safety, as Ytsma was regarded to be.



I really appreciate that so many riders came out on a dark, cold night and represented so well.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fences and Rabbits

12/29/11 #242 27m
I had been out of town for a few days which kept me off the bike, but gave me a looking at all the bicyclists in Sadik-Khan's New York City. There are indeed a lot more bicyclists out there, and - in general - they're moving and advancing in the desired direction while the cars are stuck in traffic. There's a great variety of bicycles and bicyclists, of course, and the two surprises were that a lot of Chinese-food delivery bikes are electric-assist, and that the gasoline-powered mopeds of the 1970s have been replaced by quite a few electric-only mopeds.

Rude 27 miles in 38F tonight, a very nice day. Started at the Bastille and rode around the Casino and the Stadia to the 40th Street Bridge. Took Butler St. and Railroad St. to the Cork Factory and the Strip Trail and rode to the Point. There was a fence across the trail at the location shown below, it was there the last time I was here and I'm not sure what they're trying to accomplish. The fence did not seem to present a barrier to anybody's movement.



Rode the Mon Whorf Trail and surfaced near the Smithfield St. Bridge, and took the Jail Trail to the Hot Metal Bridge. I rode the (recently re-opened) Baldwin Borough Trail to almost the Glenfield Bridge, and then reversed northbound.

Took the SouthSide Trail and the Station Square Trail, enjoying the full measure of daylight (sunset today at 5:01 PM, oh yeah!) and the Ft. Pitt Bridge. As I descended off the Ft. Pitt bridge by the blockhouse and crossed Point State Park, (which is a great speedy transition, you catch a little bit of air in the descent) another cyclist came across the Portal Bridge and we were pretty much a DAT, he was in just front of me and I chased him up the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, it was great to have an unexpected sprint and very effective to have a rabbit to set the pace. This may have all been internal dialogue, who knows if he even realized I was behind him.


I got off the bike at the Bastille at 5.20 pm, a very nice ride.

Monday, December 26, 2011



12/26/11 29m 2h23m 37F
Started today's ride at the Bastille. As I was gathering my bike stuff from the disarray in my car, a gentleman riding a beautiful Rivendell Atlantis stopped by and introduced himself as F., and then he asked if I was the blogger he'd been reading.

That was an interesting moment, I guess somebody does read this (and now I've met him). His bicycle was extremely cool, it was outfitted just the way an Atlantis should be - leather saddle bag, dynamo, half-shelf rack on the front, cool bell. It was a very pleasant treat to meet him, he's a very nice gentleman.

I started my ride late today, I kept waiting for the temperatures to peak and inevitably I scheduled procrastinated myself into the hours of darkness again. (Although we are pleased to note that each day brings a skosh more daylight.)

Rode from the Bastille around the Casino and out to Millvale (some improvements noted at the ends of the Millvale Connector), and I took the 40th Street Bridge across the Allegheny.

I looked at the time and the sun and my front light and decided to stop at a convenience store for AA batteries for my front light, which turned out to be a good move. I continued on Butler Street around to Washington Blvd, then rode Beechwood Blvd as the sun set. Traffic was pretty light. Took Forbes and S. Braddock into Frick Park in the darkness, which was kind of fun.

As I rode Nine Mile Run Trail down to the river I was surprised that some sort of work seems to be going on in the lower section, just below the real estate development - I'm not sure if they're adding more earth to widen/balance the trail, or soaking it with river water and then levelling out the mud, but there's stuff going on there.

Not much ambient light, just a sliver of moon through a thin overcast. Took Duck Hollow Trail to Second Avenue, Second Avenue to the Jail Trail, and paused at the Hot Metal Bridge to check in with the home front. Something was awry with my phone, so I ditched my plan to extend my ride the SouthSide trail and went north on the Jail Trail.

Took a picture of the Point State Park Christmas Tree from the Portal Tunnel, which is getting a design review and possible rework according to today's Post-Gazette.

29 miles in 2h23m, 37F. An excellent ride, I wanted to keep going but the darkness and the phone snafu suggested prudence.

Monday, December 19, 2011

12/19/11 #245 27m 43F


Stopped at REI on the way out to pick up a can of BigAir (used my last one Saturday) and also picked up a Planet Bike BRT Strap, a reflective blinking LED strap that I'm putting on the back of my helmet. I saw a rider with one a few days ago and it seems like a good idea.


Started riding at the Bastille and intended to ride into the neighborhood and climb up to the Allegheny Observatory in Riverview Park. My initial navigation was poor, I missed a turn and climbed a hill to reach a point at which I could see where I was supposed to be, and inevitably there was a valley between present-position and desired-position.

I really disliked descending and climbing back up, I took it as a lesson to get the nav right the first time.

It was quite warming to start out climbing, and I was aware of my lungs as I climbed the first (unnecessary, wrong) hill.

Once I got on the right road, Woods Run Avenue, it was a more civilized serpentine climb to the top; nothing character building, just a good, long climb. The view from the top was great, and it surprised me how many people were walking with their dogs to the small dog park at the summit.

Departing the Observatory the descent went as planned, it was refreshingly brisk, rode Perrysville Ave. to a steep descent on Milroy Street (first time I remember S-turning on a descent to stay in control) and then via East Street. I noticed my rear tire was feeling squishy and under-inflated, so I decided to deviate to the nearest bike shop to use a floor pump.

I took the Ninth Avenue (Rachel Carson) Bridge to the Strip District Trail, the Ft. Pitt Bridge and Bingham Street to Thick Bikes. They kindly let me use their floor pump and I pumped the rear tire up to 85psi and got back on the bike. This was the tire where I'd recently added a tire liner and a Slime tube in hopes of preventing future flats.

I continued south, past SouthSide Works to almost-Sandcastle, and when I turned north I noticed the rear tire was quishy again. I rode it to SouthSide REI and the bike mechanics took it right into the shop. Several pieces of glass had penetrated my tire strip and my Slime tube, and they said it was time for a new tire. They took really good care of me, I have no complaints.

I am really disappointed in the performance of the Slime tube and the tire liner. It took me three weeks to get a flat, which was not the promise. Every bike mechanic I've discussed this (after my purchase) recommends not getting involved with Slime tubes, for reasons varying from increased rotating weight to the goo not sealing leaks but making a mess of the interior casing. I won't do that again.

Back on the bike and into the dark, rode the Station Square trail. I came upon one fellow walking, I think my blinky blinded him, he stopped walking and held his hands up to his eyes until I passed. I did notice an improved ride due to decreased rolling resistance with the tire liner and slime gone.

I took the Ft. Pitt Bridge, the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, and back to the car. Got off the bike at 6.20 pm, which is kind of dark for riding these days.

It didn't go as planned, but it was a very nice ride. The GPS track was not very accurate, I've revised it a bit.



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Mundo Cargo Bike by Yuba, first time at Thick Bikes

12/17/11 7miles

Ride 7 miles on Pittsburgh trails in 35F. I rode with the Grupetto Pittsburgh for the first time, the ride was planned to go from the Bastille up to Observatory Hill, which is a route I've recently become interested in, and also it's always good to meet a group of local riders, especially a group that's riding in 35F.

Nice people, strong riders, friendly spirits. Unfortunately the group had a number of flat tires exceeding the number of spare tubes, so the ride was cut short and we'll do that route another day.

The ride was still good. Saw this beautiful bike parked outside of REI when we stopped for tubes:


It's a Mundo cargo bike by Yuba and it's a thing of beauty. I've seen XtraCycles and BigDummies before but this takes the prize, I don't think I've ever seen such a long cargo platform.

Later in the ride we doubled back to Thick Bikes for help in diagnosing a persistent flat tire. I think the best evaluation of a bike shop is what happens when you're not a regular customer and you walk in on Saturday afternoon with a flat tire. They were excellent, took it right into the shop, diagnosed and fixed the problem (sliver of glass embedded in the tire), reasonable charge.



I really enjoyed walking around the stop, and they had a lot more in the way of bike stuff than I would have expected. It's really a well-stocked store. They had the biggest display of Ortlieb that I've seen outside of Boston, they had Minnehaha bags, nice shop. I saw a Surly Cross-Check that was painted in what looked like Bianchi green (aka Celeste), that was a bit surprising. I was really impressed with Thick Bikes.




  12/17/11
Week 49
  
this week:
62 miles
  [4th quarter: 1143 miles]    
2011: 4409 miles

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mon Whorf Bike Trail Switchback Ramp; Design and Permits

12/15/11


No riding today; rainy 55F, and other things to do. Looking forward to a good forecast for tomorrow.

There's only a few projects remaining to complete the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) and realize Dan Onorato's Tom Murphy/Linda Boxx' vision of a trail from DC to Pittsburgh; there's the Sandcastle/Keystone Metals segment (debut 2012) and the Mon Whorf / Jail Trail connection at the Smithfield Street Bridge. (There are also efforts to improve/complete existing segments - McKeesport, Southside/AEO; and there are also initiatives to extend the GAP along the Ohio River to Beaver, and along the Allegheny River to Freeport.)

Bike-Pgh.org brings news that the permit request documenting the design has been submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers, and page 7 of that PDF presents a depiction of what the project will look like.

Click the image below to embiggen in a new window. The perspective is from the Smithfield Street Bridge, Station Square Side, looking toward Downtown; the Ft. Pitt Bridge is off to the left.



Very cool stuff.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Utility Bicycling: Running Errands



12/13/11 #237 35m 40F
Rode 35miles in 40F, running some errands by bicycle rather than in a car. This was utility cycling, Serious Cycling with a Purpose damn it, so I tried hard not to enjoy it but I screwed up and had a great ride.

I've had some problems recently using my helmet cover to keep my head warm, it's essentially a shower cap that builds its own moisture zone and it hasn't been effective, I've ended up with salt burning my eyes. Today I dug out one of last winter's new geegaws, a Halo Anti-Freeze, and it made for a much more pleasant ride.

I started at the Manchester Bastille, and rode the trails to Millvale, took the 40th Street Bridge, Butler Street to the 60th Street bridge, and then Main Street in Sharpsburg and Freeport Road to the Water Works complex.

Stopped to run my errand, which was a pickup at Barnes and Noble. Currently BikePgh has a forum theme on whether stores are permitting bicycles inside, I can report that I had no problem bringing my bike into B&N, a quick right turn inside the double doors and there was a place to park the bike. I did not ask permission, because I strive to not ask questions that I don't want to hear answers to.

My next errand was in Squirrel Hill, so I stopped enroute at Performance Bikes in Bakery Square and bought some more SmartWool socks, they usually only have a few pairs in my preference, so I scored two pair and got back on the road.

Rode over to Squirrel Hill, enjoyed the climb, and then I really enjoyed the descent out of Squill on Forbes. At Frick Park I was surprised to see a significant sheet of ice in the gutter for about a hundred yards.

Took the Nine Mile Run Trail to the Duck Hollow Trail, and on the Duck Hollow trail I was surprised to see another of the new trail markers (see above). I'm glad to see they're staking out the perimeter trails. I hope to see 10- and 20-mile markers on the GAP.

The sun was setting so I took Second Avenue to the Jail Trail. There's a lot of cyclists out on the Jail Trail at sunset sporting some really effective lighting rigs, I was really impressed. I think I passed by local commuter and bike-guru Kordite in the dark.

As I was crossing into Point State Park I saw a labor protest at Gateway Center, about 25 people chanting What Do We Want? A contract / When do we want it? Now! I wanted to stop and see what it was about, but it was dark and I needed to wrap up the ride.

It was seriously dark as I came across the Ft. Duquesne Bridge and proceeded along the Casino to the Bastille. At one point, I was fairly blind in terms of forward visibility because of a flood light in one of the industrial yards, and I almost intercepted a bike Ninja — black clothes, no reflectors, and no lights. Fortunately, I was able to hear him talking on his cellphone, and I pulled over to the side and slowed down just before he appeared out of the glare.

It was a magnificent ride, especially so because of the time of year.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Mr. Roboto, Occupy, Joe Hill, Mile Markers

12/12/11 21m 40F
Rode 21 miles in 1h42m at 40F around the city. Started at the Bastille, rode around to the 31st Street Bridge, and stopped at Espresso A Mano for a cafe-a-lait, a blueberry muffin, and some sort of a fruit-nut-pastry wrap; they were all excellent. The barista's handiwork at E-a-M is always impressive, which is in keeping with their "a mano" (by hand, artisanal) claim.


Saw a poster about Mr. Roboto celebrating the upcoming anniversary of Beethoven's birthday (12/16) with music by Burnout Warcry with collaborations by Ian Bonnet, Matt Wellins, and Brad Kline. Other performers are Michael Johnsen & Margaret Cox, Mousy Razor, and Ken Kaminski. (facebook). I'm glad to see people remembering Ludwig's birthday.


Rode around Lawrenceville, joined the Strip Trail at 24th Street, rode under the Convention Center and popped over to Occupy Pittsburgh to see what was up. Today was the day that BNY Mellon told the Occupiers to get off the property. Everything there was very calm.



Two television vans were on location in case any news broke out. At first I thought there were small pockets of people-vultures waiting to see a crisis, but then I realized they were the normal smoker-addicts huddled around their approved smoking areas.

There was one policeman in evidence, and he was keeping a very low profile at the corner T-station. I got to hear a few "mike-checks", that was interesting. The Occupiers that I spoke with were positive and courteous, very effective presenters.

They had a poster proclaiming "Joe Hill lives here" and I was happy to see that, I thought people had forgotten Joe Hill. The rest of my ride, in my head I heard Joan Baez singing "I dreamt I saw Joe Hill last night".



When I ride around town I see where people are living under bridges and overpasses and that really doesn't get too much attention, but when a few people publicly challenging the status quo go camping without a license it's a major issue.

Took the Jail Trail to the Hot Metal Bridge, crossed to the Southside Trail and Station Square Trail, took the Ft. Pitt and the Ft. Duquesne bridges. Along the trails today I saw newish mileage markers giving distance from "the Point" along the Casino Trail, the Strip Trail, the Jail Trail, and the Station Square Trail.

  


It does seem as if the markers are giving mileage to "the Point" based on whatever side of the rivers you're on. For instance, I'd think "the Point" is at Point State Park, but you can be at Mile Marker 0 north of Station Square and be across the river from the Park. It seems like "the Point" is the general nexus of the confluence of the rivers.

Today was warmer than the previous ride, started at 38F and ended at 42F. I skipped the helmet cover but did wear neoprene "booties" (overshoes) and I was nice and warm for the whole ride.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Toe Warmth 1.0 : Duck Tape and Waterproof Socks

12/10/11 #236


Rode 15 miles in 1h20 min, 30F. Committments to be hither and yon constrained my ride but it was a great short ride on the Montour Trail. One great thing about riding on cold days is that the people you meet are either (1) true believers, (2) nuts, or (3) both.

Today was an experiment in Toe Warmth, or more to the point Avoiding Toe Discomfort. Toe temperatures are diminished by the wind chill (top of the feet) and the effect of the clipless pedal clips (argh!).

I know that proper investigation involves changing one single variable while holding all other factors constant, but I'm more focused on creature comfort so today I implemented two changes. I covered the screen-vents on the top of my shoes with (hi-viz orange) duct tape, and inside of my shoes I wore SealSkinz waterproof / breathable socks which I've had in my bag for quite a while.

The duct tape across the upper vents on the shoes seemed to confer some benefit; my feet stayed warmer, longer. The SealSkinz waterproof socks are more of a moisture barrier than a thermal barrier, and at about the one-hour mark the bottom of my feet were quite cold, which I attribute to the heat sink of the shoe-clip-pedal connection.

I use Crank Brothers pedals and cleats, which provide a fairly direct metal-to-metal connection between my feet and the steel bike frame. I have read that a plastic cleat (ie Look) may be better, and another option is to go with traditional rubber pedals - but I am loath to change pedals and fool with my bike's seat height, which I've pretty much got dialed in.

  12/10/11
Week 48
  
this week:
44 miles
  [4th quarter: 1081 miles]    
2011: 4347 miles

Friday, December 9, 2011

1/1/12 Icycle Bicycle Ride, REI @ 1100



12/09/11 #234
from: Western Pennsylvania Wheelmen
2012 Icycle Bicycle Ride

When: January 1st
Where: REI Southside Works
What time: 11 a.m.

"REI Southside will again be our sponsor with coffee, hot chocolate, tea and cookies the morning of the ride to help get the ride off in its 4th decade. REI will open at 10:30 a.m. to accommodate those who have last minute ride shopping needs.


"The ride will leave REI at 11 a.m. Parents and small kids can head across Hot Metal Street on the South Side Trail while big people can cross the Hot Metal Bridge and head towards town. The ride will cross the Ft Duquesne Bridge and up the trail to the 16th Street Bridge. From there its down Penn to Smithfield St Bridge and over to the South Side Trail back to REI.

"Ride goes no matter what the weather.
Helmets are mandatory.
For more information contact Marc Yergin 412-559-0054

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.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Winter Bike To Work Day?

12/06/11 #235


Arrgghhhhh. I did not ride today. I planned to ride after I had lunch with some friends, and in fact I brought my bike along. The company was good and the time passed by and it was 3pm with sunset at 4:53 and launching into drizzly darkness just challenges my assumptions.



I discovered a new concept on the Google the Internet: Winter Bike To Work Day. How cool an idea is that?

December 14, 2011 is Ft. Collins Winter Bike to Work Day.
January 18, 2011 is Boulder Winter Bike to Work Day
March 3rd is the date for Madison, WI WInter B2WD

Chicago has done Winter B2WD on Jan.20th, no easily found info on this winter's upcoming date, but here's a photo from 2010 Winter B2WD--


I hope we can have a Winter Bike To Work Day in Pittsburgh. It delivers a few benefits:
  • Public awareness and media coverage of bicycling
  • expanding awareness of bicycling and commuting into winter months
  • motivation and celebration of bicyclists
  • Chanting We're Here, We Steer, Get Used to It! (needs a little work)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ohio River Trail: Coraopolis - Monaca - Rochester - Beaver - Midland


Attended a meeting of the Ohio River Trail Council in Bridgewater that discussed various routes for the Ohio River Trail (ORT).

The southern portion connects Coraopolis and the Montour Trail to Monaca; the northern portion connects Monaca to Rochester, New Brighton, Fallston, Beaver, and west to the Ohio state line.



I got to meet Dr. Vincent Troia, Executive Chairman & CEO of the ORTC (Trail Council) along with several of the consultants working on the project.

An unexpected treat was the presence of Roy Weil, who along with his wife Mary Shaw were the 2004 recipients of REI's annual Stewards for the Environment award. I had the pleasure of meeting Mary Shaw in the spring, and now I've met Roy Weil. It was an honor to shake his hand.

The feasibility study for the southern portion of the ORT has been completed, and that project is now in design and funding phases. Tonight's meeting was about completing the feasibility study for the northern portion.

Sean Garrigan, a principal at trail design firm SGA which specializes in routing trails through industrial areas, gave a brief presentation and explained that the rationale for investing in the trail is twofold: quality of life and economic development. He mentioned a story where trail development infuenced a company's decision on where to place a new location.

In a response to an audience question about security concerns along a new trail route, Sean Garrigan described the demographics of trail users - generally upscale, affluent, and healthy - and the experience his firm has seen in other locations, where design decisions were able to mitigate concerns and there haven't been problems with trail security.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bike Surfing

12/04/11 #235

No bicycling today. Beautiful weather, clear and 55F, but there were higher priority (ie, even more pleasant) duties.

Today does, however, bring news of Bike Surfing, which is a completely different sort of activity than Bike Power Napping.




It seems that "hardcore" bike surfing is done by the bicycle rider themselves, while "softcore" or "kiddy" bike surfing is done by a passenger standing on the rear rack, or in a perfect situation on the rear deck of an ExtraCycle.

In the photo at right, you just know that's not the Mother pedaling, that must be the Cool Barren Aunt who is clueless about children and braces and HMO referrals for orthopedic surgeons.

We look forward to further refinement of the sport into even more obscure niches, such as Fixie Bike Surfing, Recumbent Bike Surfing, Tandem Bike Surfing, and - inevitably - Hipster Bike Surfing.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Best Bicycle Cake Ever Made

12/03/11 15m 45F
I was very pleased and honored to receive this bike-theme gift from a friend yesterday:



This is the officially the Best Bicycle Cake Ever Made. The level of accurate detail is amazing: the brake hoods, the headlight, the water bottle, the cable routing, the rear light, the derailleur routing, the chainring bolts, the cassette on the rear wheel. There's actually a smaller chainring behind the big/outer ring. The bike on the cake matches the paint on my Surly LHT.

Rode 15miles in 1h30m today, from the Cranberry Starbucks to Sewickley Creek Road. I like the ride through the industrial park and out on Warrendale-Bayne Road, it's not congested and there's a couple of hills. I did hit 36.5 mph on one of the descents, that's a little faster than I'll usually go.

  11/12/03
Week 45
  
this week:
87 miles
  [4th quarter: 1037 miles]    
2011: 4303 miles


Saturday Sunrise:

Friday, December 2, 2011

Bike Power Naps

12/02/11 #235 23m 42F
Rode 23 miles in 42F (feels-like 36!) but that's not the first story of this blog post.

From ChasingMailboxesDC comes notice of a newly recognized bike activity that I'm all about: Bike Power Napping.

There's even a Flickr group, "Bike Power Nap", that documents various accomplishments.

A power nap is a short sleep which terminates before the occurrence of deep sleep or slow-wave sleep (SWS), intended to quickly revitalize the subject. Scientific experiments and anecdotal evidence suggest that an average power nap duration of around 15–30 minutes is most effective.

Near as I can tell, Bike Power Naps involve
  • riding your bike somewhere
  • taking a nap in an incongruous spot
  • having a picture taken
I've been doing this for a long time. This is a photo of a May 2004 Bike Power Nap along the C&O Canal Tour:



I think the bicycling community needs to embrace Bike Power Naps, and hopefully we can get some corporate sponsorship. Just like RedBull sponsors Extreme Sports that require a high level of energy, I think we could find some sponsors willing to associate with Bike Power Naps — Ambien for one, Serta for two, the possibilities are endless.

Bike Messengers take power naps.


Rode 23 miles today, in 42F-ish, which passes for relatively cold given the recent temps. In the context of early December, 42F isn't really extreme.

Rode on the Montour Trail from MP0 in Groveton to the Enlow Five-Points, rode north on the airport connector to the 576 toll road, and then reversed. It was a nice ride although a bit brisk.