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Sunday, June 15, 2014

DuBirBri, Foraganeuring 001: Service Berries, June Berries, Shad Berries

6.14 48m #218
Rode this morning from Southside Rivefront Park (or as I prefer, DuBirBri - Down Under Birmingham Bridge). Rode down to the Waterfront and met some cyclists going to DC, rode out with them to the PumpHouse and Boston PA. It's always interesting to see the trail and the area through the eyes of visitors. He was riding a (Greenspeed?) recumbent trike which was an awesome machine but I think it's going to be quite uncomfortable on the C&O.

Crossing the bridge from McKeesport into PortVue there were several cyclists in both directions, and our group with the (wide) trike met an opposite-direction cyclist who was also on a 'bent and they seemed unlikely to both fit. The other gentlement quickly hoisted his up on top of the divider, I thought it was very spirit-of-the-road of him, +1:

(and yes, there is a recumbent trike in there, look below the orange flag and you'll see the visibility issue)

In Boston, we happened upon a somber scene as there was an event dedicating a stone marker at the Lt.Cdr Wise Park. Reversed, saw Marko and Terry on the Hot Metal Bridge (where a few hours later, a cyclist would be hit by a driver's car).

Took the Jail Trail north-west, happily encountered fellow-traveler and epicurean touring cycling RCA who was just starting off to DC. He's the most sophisticated camping cyclist I know. Always has lots of stored {dynamo and solar] electricity, cooks from scratch on an alcohol stove (scones!), and this year is grinding and roasting beans each day along the trail. Wow.

Saw Marko again who suggested a ride for foraging "service berries" [more technically known as Amelanchier] which I've never heard of, but I do not have any background in nature. (implicit shoutout to Brooklyn, NY, you got a problem with that?) According to WildManSteveBrill,

The shrub is called the juneberry because the fruit ripens in June. It's also called serviceberry because it blooms when in mid-April, when long-delayed religious services were held throughout 19th century New England, as snow covered roads became accessible again. But not everyone was religious, and others would just as soon go fishing, especially when the first run of shad migrated upstream from the ocean, heralded by the blooming shadbush.

So we rode around to the Allegheny River, below the Convention Center; there was a bunch of bushes with berries and we got our snacks on. They were very good. The darker the color, the better. A few people stopped and asked about why we were eating the bushes.

We consider this activity Forageneuring: riding bikes to forage and consume food. I am relying on Marko to identify our next non-poisonous opportunity.

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