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Friday, July 26, 2013

JetPacks and HOV Lanes

7/26/2013 25m
Great ride today. Started after work at about 5pm on the NorthSide, which always makes me mindful that Friday evening is the peak time of week for cyclist fatalities.

Rode along the Jail Trail and saw somebody flying a JetPack on the opposite shore at Riverfront Park. That was very cool, and I was surprised to see they were towing a small boat or raft behind them.

Crossed the Hot Metal Bridge, stopped at REI and picked up some chain lube. Applied the lube and boy did my chain sound happier. Rode west to Riverfront Park and found a gentleman overseeing the removal of the JetPack from the water.

He was very busy but I have an unusually gifted sense of entitlement, so I asked him - Hey I haven't seen a JetPack since the 1964 World's Fair, what's going on? Very nice man, he explained that this version (the JetLev R200) operates on a stream of high-pressure water for vertical thrust. The boat behind the JetPack operator (pilot?) contains a motor that pumps high-pressure water along a pretty substantial hose, up to the JetPack.

Instead of the JetPack pulling the boat, which was my perception, the boat is pushing the JetLev operator up. I imagine the engine-out procedure is (1)ohshit, (2) hey I'm in the water. Very cool to see, and they were very cordial in explaining it. Quite an operation, they had three or four people on JetSki's protecting the JetLev's footprint.

Rode around to Ft. Pitt Bridge, then the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, watched the Triathlon folks picking up their packets. Climbed up Observatory Hill and rode around to Perry Traditional Academy, and a cyclist may (or may not) have made a safety check on the closed-to-cars HOV highway they're going to use for the triathlons this weekend. They may (or may not) have looked like this:

You're presented with some funny choices at the southern end of the HOV lanes. Do I want 579, or 279, or 376?

Rode around to the casino, back to the car. JetPacks and HOV lanes, great ride. 25 miles.

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