Type 2 Diabetic. Bike tour guide. #NextBurgh Flâneur.   Coffeeneur.    Errandoneur
A bike / map geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish. by Vannevar Bush       about       /       murals       /       Pgh-DC bike maps new

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Cantini's Tunnel, Bike Smoothies, and DNAsaur's Provenance

2/22/13 28M 241#
It was so good to get to ride after a week off the bike. S and I started at the Bastille on a foggy-cloudy morning. We rode across the Ft.Duquesne bridge and over to the USX Building, and found a pedestrian underpass decorated with artwork from Pittsburgh's Virgil Cantini.

To me the artwork looks like an archeoligist's excavation of an ancient city, like the maps you see of Pompeii.

The underpass is behind the USX building and goes beneath Bigelow Blvd. There is no plaque or explanation of the artwork, but in one corner of the piece shown above you can find his name. This video shows Virgil Cantini on the Fred Rogers show discussing his concept for a sculpture, and then shows the final product in Oakland; if you're from Pittsburgh, you'll probably recognize it.

Rode the Jail Trail to Junction Hollow and up to Oakland, and photographed this DinoMite dinosaur at the School for the Blind.

Riding through Friendship we saw a woman taking pictures of a bicyclist, and when we saw the bike we had to stop. Karrie and Jake were testing and making video of a prototype Bike Smoothie Maker, it was excellent to encounter them by chance and see what they were doing. The smoothie looked very good.


Rode over to East Liberty for Breakaneuring at Whole Foods, excellent omelettes. There are always all sorts of bikes parked at Whole Foods (today including a police bike while the officer was having lunch). Departed and rode over to nearby Greater Pittsbugh Orthopedic Group to see their dinosaur:

Went around the back of Whole Foods into Shadyside, and in the back of the building at 5871 Ellsworth Avenue we took some more photos of a busway mural. The mural is the work of several artists, Ashley Hodder did the "Mother Nature" face and Laura Jean McLaughlin did the bus with children. It's really quite excellent and if you're not a busway rider you'd probably never get to see it.

Rode crosstown to Junction Hollow, crossed the Hot Metal Bridge and took East Carson Street to the Birmingham Bridge to check out Sir Samelot (who does not seem to be decorated for St. Patrick's Day yet). Rode Fifth Avenue into town, went to the Strip District's Leaf and Bean to say hello our mutual friend MAC.

Crossed the Sixth Street Bridge and rode to the Carnegie Science center to take an updated photo of the red dinosaur out back. This dinosaur was a bit of a puzzle; it is not on the list of the 100 dinosaurs created in the DinoMite fundraising activity, and people at the Science Center didn't know the story of the dinosaur.

S. has sleuthed out the back story: this 101st dinosaur (DNA-saur) was added to the original list of 100 when GlaxoSmithKline wanted to commemorate the Pittsburgh visit of the Duke of York, who is quite keen on science and particularly England's contribution to the discovery of DNA. This explains the DNA strands, the atomic models, and the Union Jack on the dinosaur. The toothpaste on the hind quarter represents GlaxoSmithKline and their Aquafresh product. MegaKudos to S. for her detective work.

28 miles and a great ride. I have been nursing along an overused drive train, and today it kept slipping the chain on even the middle chainring, leaving me only the small chainring. I'm putting the LHT aside until my LBS gets my new parts in, and I'll be riding another bike until then.

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