7/19/2013 #250 27mThis was a Flock of Cycles Pittsburgh Bike Party day, but when I left work(!) it was 92 and I was brain-drained (which is a good thing, I got to spend the day solving difficult puzzles and thinking about novel things) and I so felt the need for a nap. So I took a 15-minute nap which put me at risk for missing the Flock Ride but I headed out and I'm so glad I did.
I left the NorthSide Bastille at 5.45 to make the ride start at 6.30 at Dippy in Oakland. Rather than take the Jail Trail and then climb up Junction Hollow, I rode Forbes Avenue all the way out from downtown which was a nice ride. It was quite warm but it was great to be on the bike, and I was taking one of my new Fiks-Reflective shirts out for a first ride and it was really quite comfortable in the heat and humidity.
I got to Dippy the Dinosaur just a few minutes before the ride commenced, glad for the break because I had pushed hard to make it on time. I haven't been to a Flock ride in a few months and it was nice to see those folks again along with new faces. There were probably 40 riders.
We started out through Schenley Park which is closed for the Vintage Gran Prix races but they let us pass through the corner of the park, which was very nice of them. I love riding with this group, I don't know how to phrase it other than "they do not suck" and they're very copacetic and I love riding with the boom-box playing at the front of the group. They play music I wouldn't hear otherwise.
The ride route looked like this:
Once we were underway it started raining, not a downpour but a light rain that broke the heat and it was really very pleasant. All the riders turned their lights on (these cyclists come well equipped) and just kept on going, it's nice to see that.
The ride stopped at the East End Food Coop so people could pick up some food. There was some kind of an artsy soiree across the street, and people started spilling out and taking pictures of all the cyclists. Then the Flock rode over to Westinghouse Park for a picnic. I departed to make my way back to the car, with a trip ahead of me to get home.
The ride across town was half-twilight, half-dark but very nice. 27 miles. At the end I took a flash photo of my Fiks reflective shirt to see how light bounces off it, I was very impressed. (I also found it a very cool and dry shirt on a hot, humid, and drizzly ride.)