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Friday, March 2, 2012

Friday Fence Crossing

03/02/12 #235 22m 53F


Rode with my buddy M. Started at the Bastille and took the Casino Trail, the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, the Ft. Pitt Bridge and the Station Square trail. Encountered two opposite-direction Segway riders. I don't have any problems with Segways on the trails, I know some people do. To me it's a bit problematic for bicyclists, who protest hey we belong too! to say "sorry you can't be here". I get barring quads and dirt motorcycles (damage and risk), and I can anticipate legal implications in acquiring land for a bike trail and permitting other uses, but I think the Segways belong. they steer, they're here, get used to it! < /rant off>

Continued on the trail to South Side Works. Took the new AEO-HBH (American Eagle Outfitters - Hof Brau Haus) trail plaza to Hot Metal Bridge, then rode over to my favorite southside coffee shop Big Dog Coffee for mocha blancas (mochas with white chocolate - creamy goodness!)

All the bike racks out front were filled (with among others, a very nice Surly CrossCheck), we made due with an impromptu mooring. We spoke with (I believe) the owner's wife out front, and then went in. The coffee was excellent, the biscotti was wonderful, the vibe was way cool. I really like Big Dog Coffee. Later in the day, I found this photo of our bikes on the Big Dog Coffee facebook page:


Departed and rode south to Keystone Metals. I enjoy riding with M, I've ridden with him more than anybody else and I think we both have a good sense of what each other are going to do, it's nice to not be riding defensively vis-a-vis your company (among other reasons).

Sometimes you see a curious thing up ahead and you wonder "what is that" and bicycling gives you a moment to appreciate the puzzle before you get there. In today's instance, on the Baldwin Borough Trail abeam Becks Run Road, we saw a bicyclist climbing the fence between the trail and the railroad track. And then he came back and climbed it again, stopped and taking a position at the side of the fence, and as we approached (and stopped) it was clear that he intended to reach down, pick up his bike, and self-portage over the six-foot chain link fence. This was, indeed, a hard-man cyclist.

We stopped and asked if we could help and he was very appreciative. He explained that he routinely rode the trail to this position, where the gate was consistently closed but unlocked, and transitioned across the tracks to Becks Run Road. He was surprised to find the gate locked today.

I so wanted to take a photo of him reaching down and lifting his bike (which was a nice bike) but it seemed poor form to take a photo of somebody in difficulty prior to helping. So we eschewed the photo and embraced the karma, lifted his bike over to him and he went on his way. I was really impressed at his resolve to get himself and his bike over the fence all by himself.

We got down to Keystone Metals, reversed with the feeling of a few rain sprinkles and rode via Ft. Pitt and Ft. Duquesne Bridges back to the Bastille. It was great to ride with M.

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