I ended up playing Hashtag-Fall-Down-Go-Boom (#FDGB) due to my own bad judgement and poor skills. Fortunately, as K explained to me, Goofus sends the distaff rider first to encounter any risks while he rides safely in the rear (under the ruse of protecting her from overtaking cars), while Gallant goes first to encounter the risks himself, and occasionally take advantage of learning opportunities to demonstrate poor response techniques to the less experienced rider behind. Yeah. Color me f**king-A-Gallant, sprawled on the cement on the plaza, worried tourists looking aghast. I am an idiot.
Rode with much less eventfullness down to Thick for some shopping, then down through Sandcastle (where I realized for the first time that the blue parking lot posts present a rising and falling wave) and the Waterfront. Departed the Trail and crossed the Rankin Bridge to get to Braddock, took K to lunch at the Braddock Community Cafe. Excellent as always - two fresh, high-value-content salads and a very tasty tuna wrap, a Pellegrino lemonade and a peach tea. Totally excellent, very reasonably priced. I love riding out to the the Braddock Cafe.
Came out of the Cafe and headed uphill. Checked out the what seems like a new mural on the back of what used to be the Mayor's house (now Kevin Sousa's abode), checked out Brick Woman, further up the hill checked out the Super Adobe Abode, took a look at the Transformazium - unfortunately, Swoon's Sea Goddess is not weathering well and there's some atrocious racial graffiti on the fence.
Rode across the ridge to the North Braddock Aviary (tagline: male birds in courtship plumage!) which simply must be seen to be appreciated. Back to the main drag, back across the Mon and back on the trail. Riding through the segregated bike lane around Marciagaglion Metals I saw a curious, familiar friend in the distance; I thought it might be a sculpture or an out-of-control plush doll, but it turned out to be an inflatable Clifford The Big Reg Dog at Scholastic Books:
North to BigDogCoffee where I had my first-ever IcedChaiLatte; cold caffeine goodness. Back on the trail, through Station Square without falling, around the Casino which is now an obstacle course with tents to keep out People Who Don't Belong (which seems to include me). Back to the Bastille and the car that is still there. 34 miles.