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A bike / map geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish. by Vannevar Bush       about       /       murals       /       Pgh-DC bike maps new

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Bike Lane Trifecta; PA tag JPF4569; GoPro-freude

12/14/2014 23m
Started with K at the Bastille around 3:30. Met Master Cyclist and general bon-vivant Bill-E. at the trailhead and rode into town together.

Took the 6th Street Bridge to the Penn Ave bikelane, rode out and then reversed and rode back in, just because: it seems like I should. Coming back to the point, we encountered this individual:

Who was very friendly and took the time to inform us that in total numbers, global slavery is higher now than it ever has been. Later in the evening I did some research (meaning, I typed world slavery numbers into Google) and found http://www.globalslaveryindex.org/ which reports that 35.8 million people are in slavery in 2014.

Bill peeled off at Smithfield St, we continued to Grant St and the Jail Trail. Rode from the Swinburne St trailhead, around Second Ave to the Saline Street bike lane (2nd of the day!) Up the hill, up Joncaire to Schenley Plaza.

Stopped at Conflict Kitchen for a wonderful meal. Such good food. Enjoyed a mint tea with sage that was so pleasant on a cold, dreary, foggy day.

Rode over to Phipps Conservatory using the Schenley bike lanes (3rd of the day! Lane-Trifecta Unlocked!) Locked up outside, took our pannier and helmet inside where they have: LOCKERS. What a great thing.

Being able to secure our gear for 25cents: awesome. Pleased to see that a standard Ortlieb pannier fits into one of these lockers. (I also recently spied lockers at the Carnegie Science Center lobby, adjacent to their excellent rest rooms.)

The Phipps winter show was great. I haven't been to it before.

Came out into major darkness and a very light drizzle, 40F. It was a very pleasant dark ride.

At the end of the Jail Trail, riding from the PNC building out onto Grant Street an avid driver with PA license plate JPF4569 tried to kill me by driving right into me. The driver was approaching opposite direction, talking on their cellphone, and without signalling chose to turn left across my lane and right into me.

I would mention that I was running three front lights: a Cygolite 850 on steady/normal, a 90-lumen headlamp on my helmet on normal setting, and an Orp strobe/blinky. I was wearing a reflective vest over a YJA with reflective tape on the sleeves.

But this driver (who was well-dressed, as if for a party or a date) just kept yakking on the cell-phone, swerved slightly as I turned tight to get out of their way, and Just. Kept. Going. in demonstration of the avid driver's creed: None of my blood, no foul.

Idiot in a rush. Continued inbound on Blvd of the Allies. Stopped at a corner to text the license plate number to myself. As I sent the text I thought, gosh that would have made a great bike-cam video. I need a neologism for "the feeling of elation at surviving danger, followed by remorse at not having a video of the event"; until I come up with something better I'm going to roll with GoPro-freude. Maybe it's a techno-form of survivor-guilt.

Intercepted world-famous cyclist Yale-C, who is crossing somewhere around 12300 miles for 2014. Wow. Took PPG Plaza and Market Square to the Sixth St. Bridge, and rode around the baseball stadium to the Science Center, then the trail back to the Bastille.

Later I received a phone call from my son, who I'd inadvertently texted the license plate number to, wondering if it was like my dying last text. I really didn't mean to do that, and I assured him that if I do send a dying last text the message will reveal which one is the Fave Child.

23 miles and a great ride in a drizzly, dark, 40F conditions.

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