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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Labor march, chain splicing, Jungian mandalas: another bike ride in Pittsburgh

11/19/2013 #210 25m
Started solo at the Bastille, rode to the Jail Trail abeam the Second Ave parking lots for a quick bit of freelance trail marking. Reversed to meet S.

Encountered a labor protest march at Rivers Casino; it was professional, organized, and well attended. Nice to see democracy and the right-to-organize in action.

Met S at the West End Bridge and we rode around the stadia and the Clark Bldg and worked our route to Federal Street and Fineview. Note to self: include "View" on the list of street names that are code-words for heart-breaking climbs.

Was rewarded with a view of this hard-to-find backyard mural that turns a sloped yard into a bamboo garden, it's really very nice.

Departed and rode a bit further up the hill to see "how fine is the view?" Ended up at the Fineview ball field, and it is a great view now that the leaves are down. I had to climb up a hill to get out of my position and I tore apart the drive chain, third time I've done that with this chain. It's time to replace it, I suppose. Still, you've got to love the robustness of a drivetrain design that let's you snip out failed sections, splice it together, and keep riding - three times!

The climb up to the top of Fineview was a lot of work but it was very pleasant. The descent was quick and it was rather uncomfortable because I was freezing at the bottom of it, particularly after having had my gloves off for the chain repairs. Wow was that cold.

Crossing downtown, we noticed some art embedded in the sidewalk outside of Market Square and realized we'd stumbled across something Stu had told us about recently. This installation by Philomena O'Dea is a fusion of Jungian archetypes, mandalas, and digital photoshop techniques.

I hope that these are Jungian mandalas and not Buddhist mandalas, because I'm under the impression it would be very disrespectful to have pedestrians walking over Buddhist sand mandalas.

Joined the Jail Trail, saw a lady using roller skis to get ready for the cross-country skiing season, that was pretty cool. Continued and took the Hot Metal Bridge, and stopped at REI for odds and ends. It was a luxury to warm up. Returned via the same route. 25 mles.

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