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Monday, January 16, 2012

Yarn Bombs and One Shot Facades

01/16/12 #239 25m 43F 2h02m

I love riding a bicycle but it does take up significant blocks of time. Throw in sunrise/sunset times, a few obligations, and the vagaries of "partly cloudy" and it becomes difficult to get in a significant ride.

Today I made it out to the Bastille (Western Penitentiary) on the trail at 3pm just in time for the rain to start. I knew the forecast for the next few days would be worse to I started pedaling and after a few miles it was great to be back on the bike, just like it always is.

I rode around the stadia and out to Millvale, and took the 40th Street Bridge and Butler Street. At 3629 Butler Street, just a few doors down from fave coffee shop Espresso A Mano, I saw one of the now-ubiquitous Three Rivers Bike Racks in front of a clothing boutique named Pavement (fb , TribR), was no ordinary bike rack.

This one was very cool, and instead of my bike having to scratch up against a coarse and frozen bike rack, my bike was welcome with a warm and soft bike rack.

The bike rack had been Yarn Bombed, aka guerrilla knitting, urban knitting or graffiti knitting, which is a genre of street art that employs colorful displays of knitted or crocheted cloth. It's the way your Aunt Betty might do graffiti.

I've seen one previous incident of yarnbombing in Pittsburgh, when somebody had knitted a red sweater for the Mr. Rogers statue by the stadium. Sometimes it's the little things. My compliments to the Crochet Commandoes.

{Pavement is (according to the website) a locally-owned, neighborhood boutique featuring a creatively curated selection of shoes, clothing and hand-made accessories. If they're the people responsible for the knitting on the bike rack I think that's very cool.}

I continued along and joined the trail at the Cork Factory, but as I passed the Strip District I saw some unusual things: uniformed American GI's conversing with Middle Easterners in traditional dress, hobnobbing and making happy talk as if the lion had lain down with the lamb.

As I slowed to see what was up, I also saw a Humvee parked next to some sort of a Middle Eastern house. The bright lights and the Burgh accents from the people standing around helped me to realize that this was filming for the movie One Shot, based on the book by Lee Child and due in hexamegaplexes on Feb 8 2013.

A friend of mine J. works as an extra in these movies and I milled around trying to see if he was there. I was surprised that nobody asked me to leave, and then I realized that with my black pants and freshly clean yellow jacket, I probably resembled the Pittsburgh bike police on the scene. (Some people derisively refer to my type of jacket as a YJA, but I can't fail to use the high-viz). Something about my physique must have suggested donuts.

I got back on the trail, rode to the Point, Blvd of the Allies, Grant Street and the Jail Trail, Junction Hollow up to CMU, and back down the hill. Going north on the Jail Trail I exchanged waves with bicyclist Kordite, I was pleased to see him in a "seen-at" sort of way; for a long time his trip reports were the only thing you could find online about riding Pittsburgh to DC, and we really benefitted from his reports.

Continues north on the Jail Trail, across the Ft. Duquesne Bridge and back to the car. 25.2 miles, mostly in rain (but I needed a little Rule 5 time after wussing out the last two days), An excellent ride. It is always good to get on the bike.

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