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Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Icycle Bicycle Ride

1/1/12 22m 45F
Rode the Icycle Bicycle Ride today. I've missed this ride the last five years, either working or weather or slothy ennui. I'm real glad I got out there. (see images)

It was raining as I packed up and left, but the rain stopped for the ride and for a brief period the sun shone. I met S and S to ride with them, but I also got to say hello to several other people I've met, and that was kind of cool. It was kind of a cyclist year-in-review.

The ride itself was about 10 miles at a conversational pace. There were quite a few people participating with all manner of bicycles - tandems, folders, recumbents, road bikes, mountain bikes, touring bikes. Mary Shaw and Roy Weil were there on a green Cannondale tandem with a Jolly Green Giant figure as a head badge.

We started as a group from Southside REI to facillitate picture taking. We rode from REI across the Hot Metal Bridge, which presented an interesting challenge as the mass of riders negotiated the switchback ramps in two columns.

There were an awful lot of interesting bicycles. I met M, a rider with frame-mounted glow tubes and some excellent lighting - two P*0 flashlights on the front and a L&M 180 on the back, and saw another rider on a brand-new Surly Ogre which the goods folks at Thick Bikes had tweaked for him, it looked like a very cool bike - 29" wheels, disc brakes, very sharp looking bike.

Took the Jail Trail to the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, then along the Allegheny to the 16th Street Bridge. We rode into Downtown in two or three columns in the right-hand lane, it was an inkling of what a morning commute might look like in Copenhagen.

Had a nice conversation with a gentleman named Leo about the MS150 and changes in this year's route options, that was pretty interesting.

We passed by Occupy Pittsburgh, then took the Smithfield Street Bridge and the SouthSide Trail back to REI. Hot chocolate, floor pumps, rest rooms and then we three rode to the Greenfield Bridge, then back to where the cars were parked.

This was a very pleasant ride, more aesthetic and social than utilitarian and that's a nice atmosphere to start a new year off with.

After the ride, the wind really picked up and there was some heavy rain, we were fortunate to get a good ride in the sweet spot of the weather.

Mileage so far this year: 22 miles.

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