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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

Friday, April 18, 2014

Surly ECR Test Ride at Thick Bikes

5.18.2014 52m #215
Started in Coraopolis at the Park-and-Ride at Route 51 and Thorn Run Road, timing some segments for an upcoming BikeTrain / BikePool for Ride Your Bike To Work Day (RYB2WD). The idea is, a "bike train" of several cyclists rides along a published, scheduled route so that commuters who prefer to ride in a group can ride their bikes to work.

Departed the 51-ThornRun Park&Ride lot. Crossed over to Neville Island, passed by the Robert Morris ice hockey rink and the I79-Park&Ride (which I think I'll be using for the BikeTrain). Back to the mainland, then the McKees Rocks Bridge. West-to-east is an uphill slope and I used the segregated sidewalk, because I imagine that's the path of discretion with a group of commuters; there's a lot of debris on the sidewalk.

From Route65 I took McClure St. down to Western Penitentiary, and joined the North Side Trail around to the Casino. Passed by the north-east corner of the baseball stadium, which will be another BikeTrain stop, then crossed the Allegheny River via the 6th Street Bridge into Market Square. Fifteen miles, sixty-seven minutes at a moderate pace.

Putzed around a bit; Jimmy John's for a sandwich. Back to the North Side. Notably, the ADA-ramp from Chateau Street up to California Street is now open which is an awesome bit of bike-infrastructure.

Met S back at the Bastille. We rode out to Thick Bikes because I'd left my high-viz vest there. I bought a new bell for my bike, the simple one-ding classic I've been rolling with wasn't cutting through the ear buds sufficiently. This one has a more br-br-br-br-ring-ring-ring-ring-ring sound.

S. is shopping handlebars and bikes, and I got to testride one of Thick's Surly ECRs. I really like this bike: I like the Jones H-bars, I liked the 29" ride and the 3" tires, I like the disc brakes. It felt like a bike that wants to go all day long.



I have heard different notions of what ECR stands for. As in, "extremely cool ride" etc. Today one of the shop mechanics said it stood for, Escape (the) City Rapidly.

Rode out to the Valley of the Shadow of Eagle Watchers which now has yellow placards warning people about Eagle Watching Activity In Progress, which is probably a great head's up for bicyclists coming quickly upon the scene. I could see how there could be conflicts and the signage might inform people better.

Rode out to the Waterfront, and reversed. Back to the North Side. Dropped S off at her vehicle, then climbed McClure up to the McKees Rocks Bridge, Neville Island to Coraopolis which took +55 minutes, I kind of surprised myself at that time.

52 miles, excellent day.

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