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Friday, December 26, 2014

Boxing Day Recon with ORTC

12.26 30m
Was fortunate to spend Boxing Day with the Ohio River Trail folks as well as K and my neighbor Jack.

We started at the Bastille, and met the ride forming up at the Bicycle Heaven trailhead. Our first target was to ride out to Millvale so everybody could experience the new 40th Street Bridge bike lanes that PennDot built for us.

Our conclusion after riding the bike lanes: it is so wonderful that PennDot built this. It does seem that a little bit of end-user prototype testing could have made this even better. As it is today, it's a great bike lane that ends by leaving the bicyclist and the cars in an ambiguous and likely-to-conflict situation. Until it's improved, I can only recommend that cyclists avoid it and use the sidewalk instead.

Crossed the 40th Street Bridge, rode over to BikePgh to show everybody where it's at, demonstrated use of the Dero bike workstation. Back down to the river, joined the trail east of the National Robotics Center. Rode to the 40th Street Bridge Mural (Different Eyes), gave a quick briefing on what that's all about.

Rode around the trucking lot, through the neighborhood, stopped at Charlotte and 35th to see Jeremy Raymer's artwork. Rejoined the river trail at 26th Street, exited at the detour on 24th. Rode Penn Ave inbound to give the folks a sense of traffic and sharrows.

Used the Penn Ave Bike lane inbound to Sixth. Reversed, rode outbound to 10th Street, and used the Convention Center walkway to get down to the river. I think everybody liked that.

Rode to the Point. Took the obligatory group photo.

Departed Point State Park directly onto the Mon Whorf and explored. Rode up the ramp, over to the Smithfield St Bridge. Took the Pat Hassert Flyway to the Jail Trail, and continued down to the Hot Metal Bridge.

The only connections from the trail to Tunnel Park/Road is the Hot Metal/AEO junction or the Hyatt sidewalk, now that the northwest end of SouthSideWorks (SSWx) no longer supports the trail connection. This will take a bit of getting used to, I really enjoyed the way it was. (which is sort of a Pittsburgh mantra)

Stopped at REI. Saw that somebody took their tyke shopping on a mini-bike with training wheels. So awesome.

Rode south-east to the eagle's nest, and was rewarded with the sight of one of them landing in the nest and then hanging out for a while.

Departed via the Southside Trail, Smithfield St Bridge, Market Square, the Sixth Street Bridge, and around the stadia and the casino. 30 miles on a beautiful blue day.

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