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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Solstice Ride to Braddock: Kickstarter for Kevin Sousa's Restaurant, Superior Motors

Sat 12/21/2013 20m
Started at the Southside Riverfront Park, accessed via 18th Street, and joined S and YC under the Burmingham Bridge. This is a great place to muster for rides in the rain, because you're under shelter while assembling bikes n'at.

This was going to be a rainy day, with periods of rain broken up by intermittent heavy rain. BUT it was also going to be 60F, so it was a glorious day to be riding, on the winter solstice, wearing short pants. Plus I wore my rain cape, the Christmas tree garland pseudo-boa, and the Christmas bells on my bike from the previous night's Flock ride. Subtitle: "One Hot Mess".

The destination today was Braddock, for a reception at Mayor John Fetterman's digs for Kevin Sousa's new restaurant, Superior Motors. The concept is for more than a restaurant; it's a community-bootstrap project with local gardens, job training, housing for the restaurant's trainees. There's a Kickstarter campaign to get it going.

I love riding to Braddock. There's two primary routes from my side of the globe, and I far prefer to ride the GAP trail through the Waterfront in Homestead, take the Rankin Bridge across the Mon, and then teardrop on the sidewalks into the main drag of Braddock. It's a great ride.

Very impressed to see a new addition: the Red Lantern Bike Shop (Facebook), which I assume is a play-on-words from the Tour de France's Lanterne Rouge.

We were pretty thoroughly soaked when we rolled into the gutted space that's going to house the restaurant. I think we startled the staffers, who were like "whoa, got to take a picture of that".

The reception was in Mayor Fetterman's residence, a very cool space. We also got to see the rooftop greenhouse they're going to use for some of the restaurant's greens.

It was raining real heavy when it was time to depart, but we waited a few minutes and then we went for it, and as always happens once we stepped up it was not bad at all, and kind of a blast. Riding through the Waterfront, one lady driving a white car gave us shout-outs of encouragement.

We continued to Big Dog Coffee, hoping for their Most Excellent Oatmeal which had struck us as a perfect fuel-food on a rainy day, but we arrived too late in the day. I had a mocha bianca, S had tea, we split a scone; it was great. We sat with YC for a while and then we got back to the cars in a lull from the rain.

This was a great ride, on a day we might have easily dismissed over the rain. We got to go to the reception and see things we'd have never intersected with ordinarily. Very cool. Check out the Kickstarter campaign.

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