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A bike / map geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish. by Vannevar Bush       about       /       murals       /       Pgh-DC bike maps new

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Marconi's Ride Through a Small World

2/22/2014 23m #220 43F

Back in the 20th Century, Marconi was remembered as the Inventor of Wireless -- but in the 21st Century, where wireless has taken on a new meaning for most folks, Marconi is much more likely to be remembered for his theory of Six Degrees and also as the Father of Kevin Bacon. It's a small world.

Started driving through Oakland, saw a friend of my daughter's walking on Fifth Avenue1. A few moments later I hit a pothole, sliced a front tire, spent a while waiting for AAA. The time passed well, and one of the advantages to being a high-viz Fred is you've got a lot of bright stuff to mark a disabled car with.

Ditched the plan to attend the bike flea market at the Wheel Mill, revised and rerouted to go to the Bastille and ride from there. Saw my friend L along the way2, a very pleasant surprise, stopped to say hello.

Met S at the Bastille. Rode the Chateau Trail and the Jail Trail, where we saw StefB3. Crossed the Hot Metal Bridge to REI and encountered South Side Soup Day. Met SarahQ4 and her son and husband (all the more special because her son designed the t-shirt for Soup Day).

Departed SouthSide to ride down to Costco. Several gaggles of trail-newbs out today; young, earnest, enthusiastic, no technique. I was going to write a hakui about it, but then I wondered if a doge presentation isn't more appropriate.

Entering the Valley of the Shadow of the Eagle just short of Keystone Metals, which lives in a world of persistent shadows and low temperatures, there was still quite a bit of snow and ice on the trail, which led to a 75-yard walk.

Stopped at Costco, still no bike racks. Sigh.

Returning, stopped to photograph a brand new drainage field across the trail, just southeast of the startup office incubator park along the Baldwin Borough Trail. This has been a trail segment chronically covered in water (and ice). In fact, it's the site of my most recent wipeout. They've built a drainage field on both sides of the trail and put a culvert underneath the trail. This is really excellent.

Hot Metal Bridge, Market Square. We intended to see the light show, but cancelled in favor of my getting my car (now riding on the spare) to a tire shop during daylight. Crossed the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, rode around the football stadium, prepared to take a left at the Science Museum.

Eagle-eyed blogger RustyRed saw us at the traffic light from her seat at the elevated T-station and took a picture of us5, in the lane, waiting for the light.

Joined the Chateau Trail. Saw a gentlemen cyclist wearing a kilt again. I'm assuming it's providing a skort-type cover over his bike shorts - although that's the whole mystique, isn't it?

At the trailhead, met Chris6, Marko7, and Yale 8. Wow.

I will note that my cars fail me a lot more than my bikes do.

This music was big (when I was little) and I remember going to the '64 World's Fair and hearing it:

footloosenote: Yes, we know Marconi did not coin "six degrees of separation".

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