9.6.2015 Sunday 21mThis was an "essential Pittsburgh" kind of day. I started riding just after sunrise at the Bastille, going south toward the Casino.
On a bench along the Casino trail, a homeless man was sleeping wrapped in a blanket. His bicycle was leaning against the railing, and his possession were in two bags leaning against the bike.
This brings me again to my ongoing internal dialogue about Homeless Folks and Touring Cyclists and class distinctions. I am glad that Pittsburgh doesn't roust the people sleeping outside. I've seen a new homeless mini-camp under the 31st Street Bridge and I am glad the City allows these folks to be.
I got to my workplace for the day a bit early, and sitting on a public bench nearby my mind turned to napping, which is where it often goes when I have a spare +15 minutes. If I had laid down on the bench, with my bike and single pannier, I would have been doing exactly what that other man was doing, but society would view it so very differently. I know that's wrong. I can't articulate society's underlying reasons without perceiving class and privilege.
Anyway. Met a cyclist and exchanged a few pleasant words. Later I was told he's a local entertainer who has made some unwelcome comments about cyclists in his act. I'm glad he's on a bike, but I'm sorry he resorts to that shtick.
I met two cyclists rolling on Pedego e-bikes, really sweet bikes. Talked to them about where they were going, they were trying to figure out a commuting route from Squill to Allegheny General. JoanneP was riding by and joined us, and told them: follow me, I'll show you the way which is an Essential Pittsburgh response. Traditionally it involves cars, but now it involves bikes. (related: RenoRambler on ebikes)
I took a photo of a mother and her daughter starting out on a ride to the Point. The kid was awesome, she was a person of few words but so excited to go ride.
Took a group of newly-arriving CMU grad students out for a tour. Mentioned the lunar lander mockup that was on the Alomono site, working on the Space-X project. We took them up Panther Hollow which was a bit steep for some of them, and took the lane on Second Avenue which was an adventure for some. It was a good group and they were amazed at how many neighborhoods were accessible on a bike.
The rivers were packed crowded, the LST is still on display, and the Northside was as crowded as I've ever seen it (there was some kind of a RibFest going on). A tremendous, vibrant exciting day in Pittsburgh.