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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Roller Coasters and Magic Jelly Beans

03/10/12 239# 50.4m 42F
A beautifully crisp, clear day, calm wind and 42F.

Started from Neville Island at the RMU Ice Arena, and rode south on Route 51 through McKees Rocks to Station Square. Joined the trail, and as I passed under the Ft. Pitt bridge I saw that a photographer had somehow positioned a bride and groom up on a concrete bridge support to take a wedding photo with the bridge in the background. It must be a money shot for them to endure the difficulty of getting up there in their finery; the girl sure looked cold in her off-the-shoulder, sleeveless gown. Reminds me of the first line of a song.

Continued via the Southside Trail, the AEO-HBH trail, and the Baldwin Borough Trail, intending to see if the gate to the Sandcastle parking lot is open.

The fencing around Keystone Metals has been repositioned, the walkway (that dare not speak it's name) is now quite a bit closer to the tracks. When there's standing water from recent rain, as there was today, you're really quite close to the tracks. Nice breeze when you and the train are there simultaneously.

The Sandcastle gate was closed so I rode around the 837/885 CloverLeaf in the spirit of St. Patrick's Day and passed through Homestead to get to the Waterfront. One of the things I do like about riding through Homestead is it provides a chance to reflect on the promise of urban re-development; for all the money in the Waterfront, there's not much of it getting to the town - it's as if there was a moat.

Rode around the waterfront on the street, joined Pittsburgh's best bike line around Marcegehagehageha Metals, and then joined the Steel Valley Trail. Stopped to take this photo of the sun poking through the rollercoasters:


That's probably about as good as one can do with a cellphone located 93 million miles from the light source. I think the photographer I saw earlier doesn't have to worry about competition from me.

Stopped at the McKeesport side of the Riverton Bridge for a snack, some honey and I experimented with some Jelly Belly "extreme jelly beans", they were very good. Reversed course, Duquesne and behind Kennywood and through the waterfront, riding 837 out of Homestead. Really, 837 between Waterfront and 885 is much more bike-friendly than the same road is between 885 and SouthSide; the latter is always a bit of a forced sprint and an exciting ride, but perhaps avoiding the thrill is the better part of judgement. (Says the guy who walked alongside the train at Keystone Metals.)

Stopped at SouthSideWorks at the Subway for a sandwich. It's a great deal - a hot sandwich and a drink, and bidon refills for $6 plus a tip; can't be beat. Had to stop for a train just south of Station Square, got to discuss bike gear with a bicyclist riding an REI Novarra with a generator in the front hub and a Rolhoff internal gear mechanism on the back hub. She explained this was her "shopping bike", she uses it (among other things) to ride from the city out to Southside to go shopping. I think it had B&M lights, a very nice bike. We got to discussing the impending annual REI rebates and then the train moved past.

Back on the trail, 51 North to Neville Island, and I appreciated the flat finish. I did finish at sunset, and I'm looking forward to the artifice of Daylight Savings Time to help my afternoon riding.

50 miles in 3h32m. The drivers on the road were very courteous, as they generally are in Pittsburgh. I felt like I had good legs today and the bike did well.

   3/10/12 Week 9    this week:
100 miles
    1st Qtr 718 miles
10.2 mi/dayQTR
  
2012: 718 miles
Weight: Sat:239 Trend: BAD


1 comment:

  1. Nice 50-miler! Thanks for the update regarding Keystone Metals/Sandcastle.

    ReplyDelete