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Friday, July 4, 2014

Big Wheels Keep On Turning; Dashiki Weirdness

7/4/2014 37m #221
Rode with my neighbor Jack, on the road bike. Started at the Bastille, and with this being both YaGotta-Regatta time, the 4th of July, and the Furry Anthrocon I thought there might be congestion at Point State Park. There were Pgh Police at the entrances (smiling, happy Pgh Police mind you) with big signs encouraging cyclists to dismount and walk their bikes through the park. I thought that was a very effective move and the PoPo presence was very positive-friendly-proactive. Kudos.

Noticed that they had some British flag with St.George's Cross flying over Point State Park. Just to get out of the throng, walked briskly over to the Ft. Pitt bridge to put downtown in the rear view mirror (which I don't have on my road bike). Saw this great big hulking riverboat tied up at the Mon Whorf:

My bikePgh buddy B-E points out that when Pittsburgh sliced up its world for the new ribbons of superhighway, the city really gave up its river access - to the point where the downtown streets just don't have any river access any more. There really isn't any way to get to the Mon Whorf, accept for one isolated access road. So a city that grew based on river commerce (and river-fed industry) now has no river access along most of the shoreline because: cars.

Continued through Keystone Metals, Sandcastle, Waterfront, down to Riverton Bridge and reversed. I believe I've spotted another clothing trend - I was possibly the first to spot the Women-Using-Bras-as-Phone-Holsters and didn't say anything about that, and I've always regretted it so today I'm seizing the moment and speaking truth to power Marketing, darn it.

Made the third sighting in ten days of what might be a new trend - cyclists in dashiki's. I've seen three (middle aged male) cyclists wearing dashiki's around Pittsburgh just recently. What it most reminds me of is what FrankB (a plainclothes policeman) told me in 1970: these are the best shirts for carrying a concealed weapon. I don't know if the NRA has started selling them, or if their use has just gotten some viral buzz, but three white cyclists in dashiki's is too weird.

Looking forward to seeing a Yinzer with a Mullet in a black-and-gold Dashiki with "Four Feet N'At Please" on the back, riding a bike through SouthSide.

Surprised at how few people were out - the trail was certainly being used, but there wasn't the throng I anticipated. Saw several larger groups, great to see people bringing gaggles of folks out on bikes. In general, the level of trail etiquitte was very high.

The wind was high, and the ride back in to town was a bit slower than the ride out of town. Took the Hot Metal Bridge, Jail Trail, Grant Street, Blvd of Allies (TIL BoA), Market Square, 6th Street Bridge (closed for a baseball game ftw!), Reedsdale, and Chateau back to the vehicle. 37 miles on what might be the nicest weather-day of the year so far.

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