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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Trying to Discern the Meaning of Wheeling Heliocentric Orrery

02/05/12 #238 34m 41F
A remarkably beautiful day in Pittsburgh. Started riding from the Bastille in Manchester, and as I rode around the Science Center I took the picture above. About one inch in from the left margin, you may note a Goodyear blimp loitering over the Lawrenceville-Bloomfield area.

I rode along the trail to Millvale, and then transitioned to the 40th Street Bridge and across to Butler Street, and turned east into Lawrenceville. At 49th and Butler I took a photo of this mural, by Eric Luden for Zombo Gallery:

Continuing further east I took this photo at 5165 Butler Street:

Wheeling Heliocenter Orrery by Kevinn Fung (sic) 2004

I like the mural but I'm not sure I can meaningfully correlate the work with the title, "Wheeling Heliocenter Orrery".

An orrery is a mechanical device that illustrates the relative positions and motions of the planets and moons. In 1704, the first modern device of this type was given to the Earl of Orrery — whence the name came. If the sun is presented at the center of the planets, it is considered a Heliocentric Orrery.

Does it intend to convey that the universe rotates around Wheeling, WV? Or, as I prefer to think, does it signal that the universe rotates around the center person wheeling on the bicycle? Insufficient info for conclusion, unable to find much via the Goog, I'd love to know more about it if anybody has more...

It seemed like two mural photos should be a limit of some sort, so I reversed and rode to the Strip, at the Cork Factory I joined the Strip Trail, and continued to Point State Park. It looks like major earth scraping is still in progress around the fountain.

I took Blvd of the Allies to Grant Street, which is a complex intersection, and then joined the Jail Trail south to Swinburne Street. I rode around the corner and took the Junction Hollow Trail up to CMU and refrained from shoaling a bicyclist at the light. Took Fifth, Wilkins, and Murray to Squirrel Hill.

From Squill I took Forbes and South Braddock around to the Nine Mile Run Trail, which showed signs of recent work on the southern half. Rode down to the River, and took the Duck Hollow Trail to the railroad tracks. Cross the tracks, Second Avenue to Greenfield Street, and back on the Jail Trail.

Took the Ft. Duquesne Bridge and the Casino Trail back to the Bastille, 34miles in 2h53m. All along this route there were a lot of people out enjoying the weather, bicyclists, joggers and walkers. An excellent outing.


  1. You can look at the people as the sun and planets--girl with the blazing hair is the sun, the artist wearing sandals is Mercury, his girlfriend is Venus, and so on.

  2. Very nice. excellent thought, thanks!