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Monday, May 26, 2014

FEL862 30-Secong Timeout in the Penalty Box; Failure to Communicate

5.26.2014 #221 48m
New Business: an excellent post from Invy involving police residency, white privilege, conflation of sexuality with vehicles, abuse of police authority, and the high utility of ubiquitious digital photography.

As for me, I started today at the Bastille, quite early in the morning while it was still cool and the trails were empty. Rode to the Waterfront and escorted some transient cyclists out of Pittsburgh. Very nice ride.

Parted ways at Boston, PA and turned back along the Versailles Bridge and the McKeesport Loop. Came upon a well-attended Memorial Day service at the McKeesport eggshell.

Riding back through the Waterfront in the lane, encountered a driver going to SandCastle who seemed disinclined to support my existance in the roadway and made a few gestures to that effect. Sandcastle is open now, and I guess some portion of the new season's cohort of customers is discovering that there are bicycles in the universe.

Rode through the Valley of the Shadow of the Eagle's Gauntlet, Now! with road traffic going into Sandcastle. I actually got off my bike and walked across the roadway, it just seemed prudent. The Keystone Metals path was jamb-packed and resembled a street fair more than a pathway or trail.

AND: that's great. More people using and enjoying the trail, who may identify as trail-users; I need them.

I also needed caffeine in a big way, so went to Big Dog Coffee and asked the staff's advice. I said I needed: caffeine, cold, in volume and they suggested: iced coffee. It was sooooo good, it did not seem like hot coffee put into a cooler - it had a completely different taste. Quite possibly a new summer riding habit.

Coming back into town, took the Hot Metal Bridge and the Jail Trail because I think it's more tolerant of the crowding that happens on weekend-holiday afternoons. Had the great treat of encountering Marcel, Jordan, and Mrs. Marvelous - that was awesome.

Stopped at Golden Triangle Bike Rentals, it was crowded. People were doing yoga in the grass, the place needs an espresso machine, scones, and wifi. All their bikes were rented and people were waiting for returning bikes. Wow.

At Grant Street, chose to take Blvd of the Allies to move away from the volume of cyclists. On the NorthSide, I was riding on Allegheny Ave north of Reedsdale, moving toward Western Ave. There's just a single lane there, it's narrow, and it's climbing.

A driver of an RV saw fit to get just a few feet behind me and then felt the need to blow his Large-Marge double-air-horn to get my attention, signalling I suppose his displeasure with having to slow down so as to not kill me.

I turned and waved, which was easy because the RV was right close behind me, but the driver seemed to want to demonstrate his air horn again with a longer blast. At that moment, I felt like we had a failure of communication so I stopped to speak with him.

To get down-into-the-weeds-detailed, I stopped in the lane and turned to face him and his monstrous motor home while occupying (if I may use that term) the lane, and it appeared that he was not interested in profound communication but preferred pantomine while we faced each other, neither moving, which was OK with me because I am interested in understanding my fellow travelers.

My understanding of his gestures was that he wanted me to move to the extreme right of the lane so that he could squeeze his Bismarck by me somehow, but I slyly pantomined in reply that I wanted him to sloooowwwww dowwwwnnn. We did two rounds of that and I'm not sure that anything became better but I think sometimes process is undervalued.

Anyway, I got back on my bike after making him stop and endure my personal version of 30-seconds Timeout in the penalty box, and he was right back on my fender. When the street grew to two lanes he passed me and then cut back to the right to make his right-hand exit ramp - but that did not surprise me. What surprised me was the bicycle strapped to the rear of his Hindenbergh-on-wheels.

Reflecting on it, I should have used our face-to-face moment to take a photo of him. The license plate on the behemoth was FEL-862, from some other state where they must not have a 4-foot rule or even a 1-foot rule. Back to the Bastille, 48 miles, great ride.

I need to become more Zen-placid about these fools, because G^d made a lot of them and I don't know why She did that.

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