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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Soupaneur 7, Two Flats, Escapes at the Penitentiary

1/04/2014 25m 32F
Started at the Bastille at around noon. The Chateau Trail was snow-covered and had some drifts, so S and I stayed on the roads to the Stadiums and headed out along River Road to the 31st Street Bridge.

Crossed the 31st Street Bridge, and S had a flat front tire coming off the bridge. I offered to help but she said she wanted the proficiency drill of changing the tube. She did a real nice, workmanlike job and her response gear was well organized. Neither of us could find any wire or glass in the outer tire that aligned with where the tube was perforated. It's great to ride with somebody for whom a flat tire is not a problem.

Rode through Lawrenceville - with a stop at Iron City Bikes to use their floor pump to top off S's front wheel - and then climbed up though the Allegheny Cemetery, which is always a pleasant transition. Stopped in Bloomfield at Taste of India restaurant in hopes of finding Mulligatawny Soup, but they were closed.

Took Friendship out to Whole Foods. Expected the bike racks to be somewhat open due to the temps, but they were full (as always). In the checkout line I did something I've never done before, I bought a magazine in a supermarket checkout line. I couldn't help myself, there was Jon Kabat-Zinn on the cover and I felt compelled. (related)

Soupaneuring 7, I think: I had organic Minestrone which was excellent along with pomegranite juice, S had chicken noodle soup which she said was OK.

Departed eastbound on Penn. Saw two curiously costumed individuals outside of Target, decided that I was dressed funnier than they were, gave them a shout-out. At Mellon Park we turned right on Beechwood, which has an awesome bike lane. Rode Beechwood to Forbes, rode Forbes across Squirrel Hill and into Schenley Park. Descended through Schenley Park to the Schenley Quad, then descended more and more to the Junction Hollow Trail and the Swinburne St. Trailhead on the Jail Trail.

Rode the Jail Trail, Smithfield Street and First Avenue. On the North Side we stopped for some photos at the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial (the pineapple-looking thing by DelMonte). Stayed on the streets, primarly Chateau, around to the Penitentiary. At the Penitentiary S's front tire went flat again - but fortunately, we were within an easy walk of the cars, and still within daylight.

We examined the tire and found the hole and the culprit this time. Also, while fooling with the tire we noticed that the guard vehicles patrolling the prison are Ford Escapes, which is sort of a mixed message I think.

25 miles on a very nice day.

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