Magnificent day, started at 48F and ended the ride at 60F, winds out of the west. Short pants, UA ColdGear and a YJA jacket, light gloves.
Rode from the RMU hockey complex south along Neville Island then via Route 51 through McKees Rocks, continuing on to the West End and Station Square. Joined the Station Square Trail to Southside Works, then went "roadie" onto Route 837 South to get past the trail closure at Keystone Metals / Sandcastle.
Riding on 837 is a thrilling experience, and the drivers were very nice. I did have one fool yell "get off the road" to me at the 837/885 cloverleaf, which is built like a highway interchange; I attribute it to their riding around with their car windows open on a mild day.
Speaking of which, fascinating piece on Why Some People (drivers) Get Angry at Bicyclists. He argues that bicyclists are the Other, just like gypsies or immigrants, and so they are easily targeted by those who need to disapprove of another group to assuage their own insecurities, and he further suggests that the very act of cycling is perceived by the Angry person as a refutation of their (car-based) lifestyle, which makes them... angry. I'm not sure if these generalizations about angry drivers are any more valid than generalizations about punk bicyclists.
Continued on 837 through Homestead, where I took the photo to the right. There is quite a bit of street art in Homestead but I haven't found any large murals yet. It was interesting that (again) the current painting was layered over a previous painted advertisement. VLNUS.
In Homestead I turned left on Amity Street to enter the Waterfront Complex. What a remarkable difference from one side of the tracks to the other. From Amity Street I went directly behind the Eat N'Park onto the Steel Valley Trail.
The dirt-surface trail that runs through the Waterfront shows clear signs of maintenance since I was last through there in the fall. As I came around the Pump House I saw a few people taking bikes off cars and getting ready to ride.
I rode the bike lanes around Mahumnahumna? Steel and joined the paved trail that runs below Kennywood. There were quite a few bicyclists out on this section of the trail, including one "ambassador" that I see every time I'm out there.
I stopped in the middle of the Riverton Bike Bridge, and took the photo at the top of this post. It's a beautiful spot.
I turned around to ride north at about 2pm. I don't know whether it was the time of day or the balmy temperatures, but there were quite a few people out on the trail. Same route in reverse; north along the Steel Valley Trail, out on Route 837 to the FBI / Homeland Security complex, and back on the trails.
At South Side Works (SSWx?) I noticed that workers were assembled a gazebo on the plaza adjacent to HofBrauHaus. It will be great when that trail segment opens, I have to imagine the American Eagle people are getting tired of dodging bicyclists.
Riding north there continued to be a lot of people on the trail. Station Square, West End Circle, McKees Rocks, and Neville Island.
Neville Island is a barren, industrial place and I love it. It's flat, paved, good shoulders and excellent sight lines; there's a Subway and some big parking lots at the RMU Hockey Complex.
My computer showed 49.8 miles in 3h38m, so I figure it's 49. I had planned to ride 50, but I wasn't going to get back on the bike for another mile; that'll be another day.
Today's mileage put me at 318 miles for January 2012, which puts my average miles/day at 10 which is excellent for Me in January. In 2011 I didn't have 300 miles until March 18th.
Lest I become smug, the blog titled I Love Danny Chew, dedicated to Pittsburgh bicyclist Danny Chew, brings news that his January 2012 mileage is over 1000 miles. Incredible.