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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Bikes on the Train, Millvale-Neville

2/13 23M
Rode around downtown on a day with temps in the low 30's.

Started at the Bastille, which IMHO is the best trailhead in Pittsburgh, mostly because of the security presence of the Penitentiary's security sweeps passing through the parking lot every two minutes.

Rode to the US Steel building in search of another outside DinoDays dinosaur, which was not in evidence. We did stumble across this mural, Challenge Pittsburgh, 1985, by HR Schuler in the tunnel between USX and the T-Station:

Since we were poking around the T-Station, we put our bikes on the T and rode to Gateway Center just to check out the Bikes-On-The-Tee option (which worked very well). In Gateway Center we saw the now-famously-valuable Romare Bearden mural:

The mural depicts the region's progress from early days to the exciting technology of magnetic tape drives, which were both a real advance at the time and kind of a PITA.

Passing by the Heinz History Center we saw another dinosaur through the window which kind of tested our outdoor artwork standard: Yes, you can ride your bike right up to the artwork and oogle it, but No it's not outside. Decided to consider it outside-friendly. The museum staff was nice to let us inside to take a better picture. This dinosaur is named "Liberty" and decorated by Burton Morris.

Rode out in the Strip District to Kelly O's, omelettes and FrenchToast, totally awesome. Continued east through L-Ville and rode uphill through the Allegheny Cemetery, which is becoming a favorite ride segment - pretty, green, quiet, low traffic, with an occasional burial. Actually encountered a late-in-the-day funeral procession, we stopped riding and stood respectfully as the cortege passed by, it really didn't feel like a share-the-road moment.

Went to the new Children's Hospital (obligatory Pittsburgh genuflection to the way things UsedToBe) looking for another dinosaur, found it across the street on the site of what was once St. Francis. A very cool dinosaur and a serendipitous find of Art-Deco stonework from St. Francis' Hospital.

Rode the Vale-Ville route (Millvale and Neville) to Oakland and descended on the Panther Hollow Trail, thence Jail Trail to the Hot Metal Bridge. Took the SouthSide trail to Station Square, and the Ft Pitt bridge - Ft Duquesne bridge combo back to the North Side.

Stopped at the Carnegie Science Center hoping to glean some info on their unnamed dinosaur, but it seems as if the dino's identity and provenance may be lost to the ages due to personnel turnover and progressive entrophy.

Got off the bike about a half-hour before a light rain started (priceless).

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