Type 2 Diabetic. Cyclist Flâneur.   Coffeeneur.    Errandoneur
A bike / map geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

March Madness: Northside to Dead Man's Hollow

Rode 51 miles in temps from 20F to 30F, thoroughly enjoyable.

I started riding at the Bastille at 0620, intended to meet friends for breakfast at DeLuca's at 0700. The streets were a bit slippery but fortunately traffic was very light. As I reached Penn Avenue I saw C&C, two out of town cyclists who were riding to DC. (They'd been riding a red-eye bus to Pittsburgh since 2400.)

We went to Deluca's and met their friend L. Excellent breakfast, I haven't been there in 15 years. The last time I ate there it was rather (cigarette) smoky, but it was great today. Progress does occur.

After breakfast we rode to Point State Park for obligatory photo taking, using the Blockhouse in lieu of the Fountain. Rode Blvd of the Allies to the Jail Trail, Hot Metal Bridge to REI for some needed mechanical assistance.

Departed REI, took the Baldwin Borough Trail and traversed Keystone Metals - Sandcastle where progress is also occurring. The fence panels on the Keystone Metals high road are being put in place, and in Sandcastle the light poles in the eastern parking lot are being moved back to make room for the trail.

Stopped at the Waterfront Marriott for warmth, restrooms, coffee, and a bit of sitting by the fire. Very nice people.

Back on the trail. We skipped the Waterfront Trail and stayed on the main road to the Pump House, then joined the trail again. Passed Kennywood and Duquesne. Crossed the Riverton Bridge (to McKeesport) which I just love riding across.

McKeesport to PortView, to the DuraBond bypass, to Dead Man's Hollow. When the pavement ran out and the trail became packed limestone it was extremely rough, it had been rutted and puddled and then frozen and it wasn't Type-I fun.

At Dead Man's Hollow I parted ways with our hearty adventurers who are continuing to DC and camping overnight. These are hard cyclists. I offered to top off their water bottles with one of my own but mine had frozen shut, couldn't work the valve or the threads.

The ride back was pleasant, stopped at the Waterfront Hampton Inn for coffee and warmth (trying to balance the love). At Southside Works I stayed on the SouthSide Trail to Station Square, Ft. Pitt bridge to the Ft. Duquesne bridge and back to the car which was still there.

The last three miles I was feeling pretty tired, but it was an excellent ride. It was a bit of a stretch both in terms of the distance and my personal standard of minimum temperature but it was an excellent ride.

After six days off the bike it was wonderful to ride again. Be careful in the rabbit hole: dummest thing I've read all day.

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