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Monday, October 20, 2014

Rough Diamond Trail and Braddock GAP Connection

10.19.2014 28m
In the beginning, the plan seemed dubious - parking on the North Side by Western Penitentiary (aka the Bastille) and riding out to Homestead (and returning) on a Monday evening in the same hours as a Steelers home game. But it worked out really well.

Started at the Bastille, rode through the South Side. Stopped at REI because I'd been given an REI gift certificate of unknown value and I wanted to ask them to scan it. I have often thought it would be a great prank to give somebody a giftcard without any money in it, because: awkward and maybe they don't say anything about it, and that would be fun to watch. But I wasn't being played (which would have been hilarious, hoisted on my own skewed petard) and it was actually a very generous gift so: wow.

Rode to the Waterfront, took the Homestead Grays Bridge into town, and rode to my mission d'jour: the monthly meeting of the Steel Valley Trail board. One of the topics was close to my heart, extending trail access into Braddock and I would love that so much.

Visitors from Westmoreland County and the Murrysville Trail Alliance came to talk about the Rough Diamond Trail which is a fascinating vision and a tremendous opportunity. Roughly, it's a quasi-diamond shaped trail network around Pittsburgh. You wouldn't have to ride to DC, you could just ride a big circuit around the metro area.

The Rough Diamond Trail Project from Ryan Bair on Vimeo.

That was really interesting, and there were a few other points mentioned that I haven't heard of before. I love a meeting of a dozen-plus people and 5 arrived on bikes. There was a stack of new Trail Books, Tenth Edition, and I found a picture of this guy making his debut as a male model (page 232)

Departed with YC for a dark-ride back to the Hot Metal Bridge. Encountered Mikhael rocking a pretty new red folding bike, getting some miles in after work. They rode with me up to the Bastille. Coming around the football stadium, you could hear the people chanting some two-syllable shibboleth. For a while I couldn't discern it, then I thought: it can't be SiegHeil can it, then I realized it was DeFense, DeFense. But it wasn't very dissimilar.

No problem at all riding around the stadium during the game. 28 miles, great ride.

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