Type 2 Diabetic. Bike tour guide. #NextBurgh Flâneur.   Coffeeneur.    Errandoneur
A bike / map geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish. by Vannevar Bush       about       /       murals       /       Pgh-DC bike maps new

Friday, May 16, 2014

Vitruvian Jolly Green Giant

5.16.2014 #220 61m
Today was Bike To Work Day 2014 (BTWD14) so I had agreed to lead a BikeTrain from Sewickley, through Coraopolis and Neville Island, into the NorthSide and Market Square with the intent of providing some group-ride comfort and encouragement to a potential commuter who would not have otherwise ridden to work.

My train was scheduled to begin at 0630 and nobody had shown up, and at the last moment A. arrived in hi-viz and we started riding together. She was a strong rider, well-equipped bike, she knew what she was doing. Said she'd always wanted to figure out a way to get into the city from Sewickley.

The ride in was uneventful. We took Neville Island, McKees Rocks, and then the McKees Rocks Bridge. We tear-dropped down to the Western Penitentiary and I pointed out the trailhead and that seemed like the valuable take-away of the day for A, the notion that she could drive into Chateau, park at the trailhead and ride into work - it would save her $40 a week in parking, she explained. So: win.

Stopped at the BikePgh Coffee Station so that A. could pick up a map of bike-friendlier streets, and C. took this picture of us coming in. I got to meet Jeff, who was running the opposite-direction train: Millvale to Ambridge, and we talking over the finer points of the route, I enjoyed that.

I rode with Marko over to Market Square, where there was a media event and some speakers. It was kind of cold once you stopped riding. Pedaled over to Tunnel Park at SouthSide works where R. and S. were staffing the booth. Got to say hello to Kordite and his award-winning moustache/beard, who I haven't seen IRL in like five years. Saw but didn't greet @Shadow, who I know URL but not IRL.

Couldn't stand the cold any longer, bailed out on R and S and went over to Big Dog Coffee for shelter. They have new artwork on display, I particularly liked DaVinci's Vitruvian Man version of Jolly Green Giant in the Backward Hat Club.

R and S joined me, we had coffee and treats. I had a pour-over coffee for the first time, much more flavor-full than Sanka. Departed and rode to Thick, then to Point State Park, then continued solo back to Sewickley. On this leg I routed via Chateau Street because I wanted to see that the new ADA ramp would deliver in terms of moving from the river-bottom streets to the top of the hill.

The bottom of the ramp looks like this:

The GPS track of riding the ramp:

The top of the ramp looks like this. It's an effective way to move up the hill.

Continued back to Sewickley via Route65. A lot more traffic, and faster traffic, than the Neville Island / Route51 route, which I think was the right way to take unknown riders. 38.5 miles in the morning.

In the evening, K and I went out for the Flock ride. We parked at the Bastille and rode Jail Trail, Panter Hollow up to Oakland. We met Kitaira who joined us for a snack at Conflict Kitchen.

The Flock ride probably had 50 cyclists, it was (predictably) a very nice time. The group stopped at a grocery for supplies for the post-ride picnic and K and I kept riding, since we were parked off-route and had a ways to go. 22.5 miles in the evening and a good group-ride experience for K.

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