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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Grannies, Turbines, and Bents

01/10/12 #239 29m 45F
Rode 29 miles on Pittsburgh paved trails with S and S in a blue-sky, 45F day. Our group started at the Bastille, road around the Casino to the 31st Street Bridge, and took Railroad Street to the Cork Factory and the Strip District Trail.

I don't know what to call the Strip District Trail - the Strip Trail, the Convention Center Trail, the Lawrenceville Trail, the Larry Trail (I like that).

We continued to Point State Park (still, still under construction) and used the Mon Whorf Trail to the Jail Trail. It was a beautiful day.

At the south end of the Jail Trail (88 Swinburne Street) we rode around via Second Avenue to the Junction Hollow Trail. This was a very nice climb, but it prompted a discussion of yesterday's FatCyclist post in which matriarchs "of a certain age" object to using the term granny gear to identify the bailout gear, aka the lowest gear, aka the little ring in the front and the big ring in the back.

We are informed that alternative terms include Easy Gear, Geezer Gear or perhaps The Gear Formerly Known as Granny. One story calls them vegetable gears.

As we climbed Boundary Street we saw a vertical axis wind turbine on the CMU campus, it looked like a Helix turbine, very cool indeed. I would like it even more with a red stripe so it looks like it's screwing itself into the ground.

We reversed and descended down through the Junction Hollow Trail, and as we started riding to the Hot Metal Bridge we started seeing quite a few cyclists, almost as if the afternoon school bell had rung and they were coming out to play.

As we rode south on the Baldwin Trail to Keystone Metal we saw a few novel bicycles, a recumbent (with a bicyclist talking on his cellphone, I think), two recumbent trikes that looked very fast, and a LWB recumbent.

As we stopped at Keystone Metals for a snack I realized that I'd lost track of my time and I needed to get back to my car in order to make a meeting, so I left S. and S. and rode north with (what amounts to) dispatch. I took the HMB, the Jail Trail, First Avenue, the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, back to the car. This was a really quick pace for me, I would not ordinarily have done it and it made for a really good workout.

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