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Saturday, March 21, 2015

Viking Biking, Bridge Bike Block

3.16: 10m
3.21: 28m
First a late entry from 3.16: 10 miles, back and forth to Vanport the short way; nothing epic or sponge-worthy.

Today, though, was Viking Biking Day. I started on the North Side at the Bastille w/K. Rode around to the Roberto Clemente Bridge, a four-lane bridge which is going to close in April and re-open two weeks later as a two-lane, two-bike-lane bridge. Progress rolls forward.

Took the Smithfield Street Bridge, and the South Side Trail. Met at 18th Street Riverfront Park which I wish had a "real" name like: Yinzer Landing. There was a great turnout for Lucia's Viking Biking Ride and foodstuffs and cash were brought for a local foodbank. I think the folks were happy for what may be the First Group Ride of Spring.

The ride starts (as all Viking epics do) with the Tri-Circling of the Roundabout, then we took the Hot Metal Bridge into town. Stopped at Market Square; some folks made beer-or-coffee stops. Rode out the Penn Ave bike lane. Our group of 30-ish cyclists made a big presence on the bike lane.

Out to the Strip District, reversed at 22nd Street (ish), bike box, bike lane, Convention Center down to the river. Headed to the Point but we encountered a lot of mud which was remarkably slippy as they say here. (The trail was underwater a few days ago).

Photo by Joyce Wasser

After a brief respite at the Point we started crossing the Ft. Pitt Bridge. The Ft.Pitt Tunnel has a tube closed, and for some reason warning the Cars about a detour was worth closing the Ft.Pitt Bridge sidewalk.

This is so stupid. For one, think about a person on a wheelchair or a scooter that has to get halfway across the bridge to discover they need to backtrack; shouldn't they have signage advertising the blockage at either end?

Two, a well-designed sign could be in the space over the Jersey Barrier, or in the roadway. It's not like there isn't a reasonable anticipation of needing to place signs on the bridge in the future.

Some cyclists left the sign better than we found it. After-photo below.

Continued along the Ft. Pitt Bridge. Found the sidewalk blocked at the right turn into Station Square by a black Lexus just parked on the sidewalk. Considered calling the police. Turns out, sitting in the Lexus Back is a uniformed Pittsburgh Policeman, surfing his cellphone, apparently there to monitor Car traffic on Carson Street during the detour. Once again: block the sidewalk because CARS.

Used the SouthSide Trail back to the start. Bid farewell to the Viking cohort, who were arranging mead and building a fire to roast victuals. I'm sure that later in the day, Epic Tales of Conquest were shared.

Rode over to OTB for provisions, then back on the Jail Trail to the Bastille. An articulated PAT bus flirted with right-hooking me, but when I pulled up to the driver and asked what's up with that? they had nothing to say. Insert witticism about speechless driver, articulate(d) mega-bus here.

Really a nice Viking Biking ride. Best-Dressed Awards to Marko, Drew, and BarbaraJ.

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