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Saturday, April 12, 2014

Springtime in Pittsburgh

4.12.2014 #215 46m
Glorious day, spring has sprung n'at.

Started riding at the Bastille with my bike teacher MC at 0900 in a cold fog. Crossed to Point State Park as an MS 5K run and 1mile walk was mustering up, big crowds lots of tents; such chaos much goodwill. Busted out of the park, rode the Jail Trail to the Hot Metal Bridge by which time the fog was gone and we were fairly warmed up.

Continued down to Keystone Metals, through the bird-watching gauntlet, down to the pumphouse. Stopped for a drink. Restrooms still locked, keeping them safe from the hordes who would - what, exactly?

Reversed, passed through the Gauntlet of Eagle Groupies. Got to see an eagle fly around. A lot of people on the trail, some of them probably for the first time this year, still in shakedown mode.

Rode to South Side, stopped at Big Dog Coffee for oatmeal with fruit toppings and mocha biancas wow and also used the wifi to watch a movie from one of M's offspring.

Rode East Carson Street. Traffic was such that it slowed us down just a bit to take the lane, which is cool. Smithfield Street Bridge, back to the North Side. It was great to ride with MC again.

Coming back to the Bastille, we met S. by the Post-Gazette plant. I ditched MC and rode with S, back into town. Stopped on the Ft.Duquesne bridge to help two cyclists (CMU grad-student roadies, if you must put people into tiny boxes) who had a flat tire but no spare tube or patch kit. Another achievement unlocked.



At Point State Park we started riding along the course of the MS route, removing the route markers (by request). Prior to Grant Street we encountered two Cadilacs with Jersey plates who were confounded by Pittsburgh navigation and were flummoxed at finding their way up to GrandView Street, so we told them to follow us and led them over to the base of McCardle. I bet they don't get that kind of service in New Jersey.

Back to the MS-event course, where we removed the signs from the 1 mile route and then from the 5K route. That was pretty easy duty.

Rode out to Lawrenceville to see a new mural, still a work in progress, Stephen Foster on 42nd Street, on the river side of Butler. The work is being done by Jeremy Raymer, who's also using a house at 35th and Charlotte as an outdoor gallery and he does some excellent work.



Crossed the 40th Street Bridge into Millvale, where both sets of trailhead restrooms are locked to prevent the same sort of abuse that I guess the pumphouse is also afraid of. Took the North Side Trail around to Federal Street. Continued to the Bastille. Totally perfect riding conditions. 46 miles.

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