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Friday, July 20, 2012

Stanton, 'SLiberty, Frick, Smoke, Floods

07/20/12 234# 46m
Something different today, rode with B.H. on a mostly urban ride, 46 miles on a wet day.

I started at the Bastille, he started near Homestead, we met at Point State Park and rode along the Allegheny. He showed me quite a few ways to get through places that were much more effective routes than I'd been using, culminating in a ride up Stanton Ave to East Liberty, which the locals call 'Sliberty.

Took a break in Bakery Square, rode through Point Breeze (first time), penetrated Frick Park via the Tranquility Trail which was very nice. (BTW for those paying attention, BH reports that Nine Mile Run is called that because it's about nine miles from the Point).

Rode up to Swisshelm Park and took a look at the Triangle Bar and Grill. Noticed a street sign explaining the details of the local curfew; a whistle blows at 9.45 pm and anybody under 18 years old out on the streets after that is subject to 30 days in jail. That's something you do see too often.

Rode into Rankin, took the Rankin Bridge across the Mon River, stopped to look at the site of the Carrie Furnace. Teardropped into the Waterfront to join the Kennywood Trail Southbound, rode to McKeesport and discussed the development of the trail alignment behind the old newspaper plant and municipal building.

Although we'd planned to ride into Clairton and into the heights above Duquesne, my time was limited so we saved that for another ride and reversed back to the Waterfront and Homestead, stopping for something to eat at Smoke BBQ Taqueria (menu, Facebook, UrbanSpoon, Yelp). It was awesome food, generous servings, great staff, cool atmosphere, moderate prices. I had a Chorizo Taco and an Egg (w/chorizo) Taco, they were both excellent. I can see why this place has the reputation it has earned, I'll definitely eat here again. Wrinkles: no credit cards, no bike racks; deal with it.

After lunch the rain resumed pretty heavy and we split up, BH returning home and I turning north for the return trip. My cellphone went off notifying me of an urgent flash flood warning, it's only the second time I've had that - it's pretty cool to get real-time alerts on the bike.

The only difficulty I encountered was a lot of standing water along Keystone Metals, it was up to my hubs (axles) when I unclipped and started walking. After that things only got better. Hot Metal Bridge, Jail Trail, Ft. Duquesne Bridge, back to the Bastille. A great thing about riding in the rain is you get room on the trail.

This was a great ride through some new neighborhoods and I really enjoyed it. No photos, couldn't take the 'Droid phone out in the rain.

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