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

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sand, Chamois Creme, Yoga, Cold Water, Soft Serve, Iced Coffee: These are a few of my favorite things

6.28.2014 31m #221
Great weather, started at the Bastille in Chateau-Manchester. Surprised there weren't more cars at the trailhead. Rode down to Point State Park, where sand sculpting was in progress.

Took a turn around the fountain. Rode out via Blvd of the Allies and the Jail Trail, Hot Metal Bridge (which I thought was covered in glass, turned out to be festive mylar slivers from a party or a photo shoot). Stopped at REI Southside to by some new-fangled chamois creme, so new it's not on REI's website yet. Looks like another year of Saturday morning yoga, I was surprised to see it back at Tunnel Park - I would have thought the Riverfront Amphitheater might have provided more shade.

Rode out along Keystone Metals and Sandcastle. Pleased to see Sara Petyk of Bike-the-Gap.com doing trail advocacy and cyclist support.

Also so very impressed at Mitchell's Seafood, who's always been so kind to cyclists by leaving out coolers of ice water and paper cups on the trail. Looks like they've had a little comfort station fabricated. Unbelievable level of trail good-neighborliness.

Rode down to the Phantom's Revenge and reversed. At KeyStone Metals in the Gauntlet of the Valley of the Shadow of Eagles, saw that an ingenuous birder had rigged sunshades along the fence, very nicely done. Stopped at a small gate further north along the fence, trail-portaged and enjoyed some wonderful soft-serve ice cream from Page Dairy Mart, considered by many to be the best soft-serve in Pittsburgh.

Back to the NorthSide without event. On the drive home, stopped at Anchor & Anvil Coffee in Ben Avon, a newly bike-friendly coffee house with brand new bike racks outside. Great place.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

3K Recon: WideWater, WMRT &Weavers, Pike2Bike

6.26.2014 45m #219
Today was a Recon Ride with R and S. Drove out to Williamsport MD and checked in with the very helpful NPS, talking about the washout and detour at MP106 (which they say is no problem) then we biked out to see the new C&O Trail segments at Big Slackwater between MP84 and MP88.

The newly opened trail segment, replacing the long-standing road detour, is truly outstanding. Lots of engineering yet it blends with the environment, flows with the river, just wow. We did 8 miles along the Big Slackwater.

Back in the van, drive north to Hancock and ate at Weaver's because that's what you do in Hancock. Rode south to the final interchange between the two trails, then back into town. 20 miles on the WMRT.

Drove to Breezewood, PA and biked the Abandoned Turnpike Trail, or PikeToBike. I haven't been here in about six years; still the same. Remarkably clean and untrashed.

Advice: Ride toward the light. It's 17 miles to ride back-and-forth on the section of the abandoned turnpike available for bike riding.

Crossed 3000 miles so far this year on a great day.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Blue Canary. Such cipher. Much numbers.

6/24/2014 #220 35m
I needed today's ride so much. Departed the Rez via Route51 to Sewickley, came back northwest-bound and stopped at Blue Canary Coffeehouse in Ambridge for Iced Iced Coffee with frozen-coffee icecubes, which just pleases me to infinity.

Great to see another bike out front, second time that's happened. Listened to "Television Personalities" on vinyl and a young man explained it all to me, which was kind of a public service on his part. Continued northwest on Route 65 through Rochester which went well, Route 18 into Monaca, everybody was very nice. 35 miles.

I'm floating pretty consistently in the 28 to 30 position on the Pittsburgh roster of the National Bike Challenge, and it seems like my end-of-June mileage will be 3000 miles, which a quick calculation tells me suggests that my end-of-year mileage might be 6000 miles. High level maths n'at.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Street Art in Beaver

6/23/2014 #219 9m
Rode to work today, took a slightly longer and less radical route in (no interstate bridge) so as to pass by Starbucks for iced coffee goodness.

Saw this on a wall at a gas station on 3rd Street, never noticed it before. Very pleased for the Borough of Beaver, didn't think they had this in them. Pretty soon they'll have sharrows and bike lanes and n'at.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Ultimate Trailer Accessory for the Well-Equipped Touring Bike

6.22.2014 #220 32m
Started at, all of places, CMU (where the progeny is spending some time). Rode over to Schenley Quad, down Junction Hollow to Four Mile Run, where I saw the ultimate trailer accessory for the fully equipped Surly Long Haul Trucker:

I mean, with a small chainring of 20-teeth, why not? I believe I saw local cyclist Shequaya B (who is knocking down major mileage on the National Bike Challenge on the Jail Trail, and then I saw BurghMan cycling on the Hot Metal Bridge.

Rode out through the SouthSide Trail. Observed the Eagle Groupies yelling slow down!! en masse at a Cat-6 Strava-cyclist who was probably slightly over the 15mph speed limit through the Voyeur's Gauntlet of the Valley of the Shadow of Eagles, at a speed probably inconsistent with the thronging crowd clogging up the trail like the cholesterol in Honey BooBoo's mother's arteries.

He was a tough act to follow because they were stirred up and then I was the next cyclist through. One bird watcher snapped at me, tell him to slow down and I just said hey I can't catch him going that fast. And I smiled and bade them all "good morning". Looking back on it, I should have tried to get away with bonjour and played it ala "Breaking Away".

Rode out across the Riverton Bridge and to McKees Marina. Reversed. By that time, major activity at the community center known as the Pump House. Took the lane through The Waterfront, still kind of verklempt about the best path through that development.

Rode through the Voyeur's Gauntlet of the Valley of the Shadow of Eagles again, very congested and gentle bell-ringing and low ground-speed seemed to dispell some agita. Some of those folks have some very expensive equipment set out, I could seem them being ungruntled about it getting bumped.

Some kind of major football activity going on at the Steeler's practice field. Across the Hot Metal Bridge, up Junction Hollow, back to the start. 32 miles, very nice day.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A good day for blackjack?

Sat 6.21 #221 21 miles.
Started at the Millvale trailhead. Rode across the 40th St Bridge to Lawrenceville, rode up through the cemetery for grins, back down again and over to Espresso A Mano. Good iced coffee and shelter during a light rain.

Rode through the Strip, around the Jazz Festival location, out to the Point. Back out via the trail, ate some berries by the Convention Center.

Went out to Highland Park and Taza D'Oro for the best. iced. coffee. of 2014. Wow. Returned to find Millvale packed with a Solar Festival, on an overcast day.

Today is brought to us by the number 21: 21 miles, June 21, weighed 221. Not sure what that means, maybe it's a good day for blackjack.

Friday, June 20, 2014

June Flock Ride

Fri 6.20 18m
Started with dinner at Conflict Kitchen and then joined the June Pittsburgh BIke Party (Flock Ride) at Dippy. A nice group as always, perhaps slightly smaller - maybe 28, 30 riders. An excellent route, sort of through the East End and winding its way to Regent Square and Frick Park.

MM took this picture, I think it contrasts the relative strength of several tail lights. The very bright one is a Design Shine.

This was a really nice flock, a great group, tremendous sound track, a very cool vibe. Did not stay for the post-ride picnic. Instead, departed via Tranquil Trail, Nine Mile Run Trail, Duck Hollow Trail, a bit of sketchy-hobo portage across a few railroad tracks, Second Ave through Homewood and Junction Hollow Trail back to Schenley Quad.

I really look forward to some eventual connection of the northwest end of Duck Hollow Trail to the Alomono property and the Jail Trail, that will be an awesome corridor along that side of the Mon River just like the Sandcastle-KeystoneMetals segment has opened up StationSquare to Duquesne on the other side of the Mon.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Thick Bikes : Very Positive Experience

6.18.2014 9m
I took my SUrly LHT into Thick Bikes for what should have been some meh minor work, and I got it back in much better condition than I expected. I asked them to replace a Problem Solvers "travel agent" that I had damaged, and to tweak some cables. They noticed some small things and inquired if they might make some changes and man-oh-man is this bike riding so much tighter now. Really remarkable.

I did not have my helmet with me, but wanted to ride it anyway. From the 18th St. Riverfront Park I took Hot Metal Bridge, Jail Trail, Point State Park, Smithfield Street Bridge - only 9 miles. The interaction between the cross-brakes and the hood-brakes was tremendous, it had never been that good before.

Also, put on a new pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, I've worn through another set. Managed to get the front- and rear-racks a bit more square-rigged and I think it's a bit more attractive this way.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Bike. Work. Bike. 2 out of 3 Ain't Bad

Mon 6/16/2014 8m #216
An unremarkable day, saved only by the bike ride to and from work.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Coolest Thing I've Seen in 100 Days

6.16.2014 17m #218
Started at the Bastille with K. Happily encountered MC and M on a Father's Day ride. As we left the prison complex, there's a very old, disused concrete wall between the trail and the river and hidden behind the wall somebody was playing the bagpipes. Rode around the North Shore, crossed the 6th Street Bridge, rode under the Convention Center and ate some more June Berries, aka Shad Berries, aka Service Berries. nom-nom-nom.

Rode to Point State Park, checked out the Arts Festival just a little bit. Took in a show by the Squonk Opera, very awesome. In the middle of the performance there was a bagpipe player, I wonder if we'd heard him warming up earlier on the Ohio River.

Went over to where BikePgh was providing valet bike parking services and saw the coolest thing I've seen in at least 100 days. A homeless man with his possessions in a shopping cart wanted to check his cart and walk around the festival, just like everybody else was checking their bikes. The BikePgh folks (staff and volunteers) treated him just like everybody else, never blinked or balked just checked his cart and he went about his way. That was soooo cool.

K registered her bike in the BikePgh "I Heart My Bike" program, where they record a photograph, the frame number, and digital info about the owner and the bike in an online database for easy retrieval in case of bike theft. Awesome with all-Caps.

Rode to the Smithfield Street Bridge, took the Southside Trail to Big Dog Coffee for iced-coffee goodness. Returned via Jail Trail. Decided to penetrate Point State Park and the Ft. Duquesne Bridge, realized that meant walking the bike in the ArtsFestival-FathersDay-NiceDay crowd.

I thought the situation was well behaved with all the people, all the babies and carriages, all the bicyclists. I thought is was well behaved even with the Pedicabs, and even when the Segway tour came up on the Ft. Duquesne bridge. I knew it was a bit beyond the normal parameters when the two people riding the Vespa motorscooter came up on the Ft. Duquesne ped-bike path - that was so idiotic.

Back to the vehicle, no casualties. 17 miles.

DuBirBri, Foraganeuring 001: Service Berries, June Berries, Shad Berries

6.14 48m #218
Rode this morning from Southside Rivefront Park (or as I prefer, DuBirBri - Down Under Birmingham Bridge). Rode down to the Waterfront and met some cyclists going to DC, rode out with them to the PumpHouse and Boston PA. It's always interesting to see the trail and the area through the eyes of visitors. He was riding a (Greenspeed?) recumbent trike which was an awesome machine but I think it's going to be quite uncomfortable on the C&O.

Crossing the bridge from McKeesport into PortVue there were several cyclists in both directions, and our group with the (wide) trike met an opposite-direction cyclist who was also on a 'bent and they seemed unlikely to both fit. The other gentlement quickly hoisted his up on top of the divider, I thought it was very spirit-of-the-road of him, +1:

(and yes, there is a recumbent trike in there, look below the orange flag and you'll see the visibility issue)

In Boston, we happened upon a somber scene as there was an event dedicating a stone marker at the Lt.Cdr Wise Park. Reversed, saw Marko and Terry on the Hot Metal Bridge (where a few hours later, a cyclist would be hit by a driver's car).

Took the Jail Trail north-west, happily encountered fellow-traveler and epicurean touring cycling RCA who was just starting off to DC. He's the most sophisticated camping cyclist I know. Always has lots of stored {dynamo and solar] electricity, cooks from scratch on an alcohol stove (scones!), and this year is grinding and roasting beans each day along the trail. Wow.

Saw Marko again who suggested a ride for foraging "service berries" [more technically known as Amelanchier] which I've never heard of, but I do not have any background in nature. (implicit shoutout to Brooklyn, NY, you got a problem with that?) According to WildManSteveBrill,

The shrub is called the juneberry because the fruit ripens in June. It's also called serviceberry because it blooms when in mid-April, when long-delayed religious services were held throughout 19th century New England, as snow covered roads became accessible again. But not everyone was religious, and others would just as soon go fishing, especially when the first run of shad migrated upstream from the ocean, heralded by the blooming shadbush.

So we rode around to the Allegheny River, below the Convention Center; there was a bunch of bushes with berries and we got our snacks on. They were very good. The darker the color, the better. A few people stopped and asked about why we were eating the bushes.

We consider this activity Forageneuring: riding bikes to forage and consume food. I am relying on Marko to identify our next non-poisonous opportunity.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Isn't "Under the Weather" a Universal Condition?

6.13.2014 52m #218
It was soooo good to get to ride again after a forced interregnum. Started at the Bastille. Met R and S at Big Dog Coffee, continued to Homestead and met some cyclists who came all the way from London just to bicycle Pittsburgh to DC.

Rode from the Waterfront to Boston, PA. Reversed. Stopped at REI. Found our way to The Milkshake Factory and between us, we had an egg cream (me), a milkshake and a sundae. The skies opened, the rain fell, we sat inside and watched the people in the weather from a dry, air conditioned space. Shelter and an egg cream does not suck.

So regarding weather, which is above - we have a phrase: (name) is under the weather, meaning: they are sick. But when you consider it, really, who isn't "under" the weather? Are many people above the weather? OK, some aircrews and passengers navigating at high altitudes are on top of some weather, but they're still very much in the weather, and there's still weather above them. This bears further scrutiny. Would you completely trust somebody who wasn't under the weather?

We are told by some, who claim to know such things, that "under the weather" means that on ships, people who were ill were sent below, that is: under the weather-decks; and this anachronistic term persists in a way similar to the term posh which once meant "port-outbound, starboard homebound" (which were the preferred accomodations on a round-trip passage from Britain to India). In the end, it's all the Brit's fault. Sailors.

Went to REI in diminishing showers. I am not above riding in the rain. Rode to the Bastille in the sunshine. 52 miles.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Eyelets

I broke off one of my right-side, rear dropout eyelets in March 2013 and I thought: no biggie, I've got a redundant set of them. And I shifted my fender and rear rack mounting point to the other pair of eyelets. Then the other day, I sheared off the remaining right-rear eyelet and I thought: oh shit.

Fortunately, I found somebody who can make things with metal and he fabricated new ones for me. I said, Hey while you're at it, add anything else you think I should have, but he thought restoring the eyelets were sufficient.

It's amazing what people can do.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

USCGC Peduto : Icebreaking on Penn Avenue

6/10 #216 23m
A later-afternoon, after-work ride, on the road bike because the Surly is just falling apart. I replaced the Surly's front wheel, the rear eyelet sheared off (costing the rack-and-fenders, the bike's ass is just gone), and I've worn the rear tire down to where the bright blue inner anti-flat layer was exposed when I checked it this morning. In summary: time for Bike-B.

Started at the Bastille, rode down to the Waterfront. Stopped at the Starbucks and sipped some Wifi and surveyed teh interwebs. 23 miles round trip.

Big News: by the most excellent Jon Schmitz, Bike Only Lanes in Cultural District. It's an 18-month prototype, it's all very conceptual, it affects bus routes (cue in, County government and PAT), and they want to have it effective and in place in 90 days. Just the right way to implement change: flexible and with a specific, short deadline.

It is, like many trial-balloon-compromise-by-committee's, not extremely painful and not extremely effective. And that's good; it's not extreme. It's not extremely painful because it displaces fewer transit routes than other streets would have, and it's not a primary artery. It's not extremely effective because it parallels the existing bike trail only two blocks away along the south bank of the Allegheny River, as shown in this depiction of the proposal on a Google-Map which includes existing bike lanes:

So it doesn't introduce new capability to an area that doesn't have any, and it doesn't introduce worst-case harm to transit, but it does break the ice and introduce a new thing in Pittsburgh - which is not easily done. So maybe it's a best-possible-achievable in a Kissinger-sense of the possible. Which is to say: well done!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pump House is a Community Center, not a Trail Head (and that's OK)

6.08.12 37m #218
Started at the Bastille at 0900, hoping to be out before the Art Festival folks. Crossed Point State Park before the crowds mustered, Blvd of the Allies, Grant Street, Jail Trail, Hot Metal Bridge.

Rode out to Sandcastle, took the road around Costco, came upon a big traffic jam with police cars and blinky lights and feared that perhaps a cyclist was down but it turned out to be a dog-walking parade which was a great thing.

Continued out to the Pump House. (Read later in the day that Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area gave this statement:
"Due to the increased traffic at the Pump House and the need to be able to use our space for events, tours, the market, etc. we will be installing gates on the lot sometime within the next few weeks. The lot will be open for trail parking as usual the majority of the time, we will however be reserving the right to close the gates/lot for events. We appreciate your help in making the public aware of these changes."

Rode out past Kennywood to the Riverton Bridge, across the Mon. Stopped for a few minutes then reversed. We missed the scene of the overnight train derailment.

Rode past the Valley of the Shadows of Eagles, saw People With Guns who seemed to be Conservation Officers standing among the Eagle Groupies. 'merica. Encountered Yale Cohen (although I think it's more correct to say, YC encountered me because you don't find Yale, Yale finds you).

Stopped at Big Dog for coffee. Iced coffee thank you, soooooo good. Southside Trail in a downpour which did not kill me but did cause me to miss my rear fender. Ft. Pitt Bridge, saw the Water-Jet-Pack folks flying/operating near Point State Park. Crossed Point State Park only long enough to transition from the Ft.Pitt bridge to the Ft. Duquesne bridge. 37.4 miles.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Public Bike Lockers, Who is John Savage? S24O/2

Sat 6/07 21m
Started with a hotel breakfast in Cumberland, glommed some apples for later in the day. Took a picture of these excellent public parking bike lockers in Cumberland.

Usually, in DC or on Long Island, I see bike lockers that are "owned" by an individual via long-term annual lease - so the leasee rides their bike to the Metro station, puts their bike, helmet, shoes, bike jacket in the locker and puts on their work shoes and jacket and boards the train to work. But this is a first come, first serve self-serve bike locker, which I imagine supports shopping in the local business district.

You wheel up on your bike, put your bike, helmet, panniers etc in the box and lock it. With your bike confidently secured you go to a restaurant for a meal, go to several stores in the shopping district, maybe see a movie etc - the notion of leaving your bike exposed is gone and you can shop the area rather than just the store you're locked in front of. This is most awesome.

Went to the train station, got an action shot of bikes as the train pulled in.

Rode the train up Savage Mountain to Frostburg, PA. Why is it called Savage Mountain, why is the town called Mount Savage, why is it called the Savage Tunnel? It's all named after John Savage, and although the details vary the gist of the consistent story goes like this:

John Savage led a surveying team in 1730 that was trapped in the mountains in the snow. Food had run out and the party was starving. John Savage went snow blind and was sick. Either he volunteered or the men took a vote, but there was an agreement that on the next day the party would eat John Savage's flesh for the survival of the group. Fortunately, good fortune prevailed and (depending on the version) a rescue party found them the next day. The mountain, the creek, the town, and everything in the area took the name of John Savage.

Riding uphill from Frostburg, encountered Bob, Jonas, Else, and Julie who I'd ridden with on Thursday in Pittsburgh; a very pleasant surprise. At the Savage Tunnel vista, encountered trail advocate and expert Larry Brock. Friends wherever I go.

The ride uphill from Frostburg to the Continental Divide was unhurried and pleasant enough. The downhill from Deal to Meyersdale was even nicer, and we continued two miles past Meyersdale to see the Salisbury Viaduct. It's really an impressive sight and such a treat to ride across the span.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Over the Top and Down the Hill S24O /1

Fri 6/06 33m
Drove to Meyersdale PA. Breakfast at GI Dayroom, best breakfast on the GAP. Signed in the vehicle at the staffed trailhead for an overnight, I really appreciate that.

Rode east. Saw the "Dick Stiffey" memorial bench. Passed the place where there was a bear sighting early in the day. Made the Eastern Continental Divide fairly soon, then wwhhhheeeeeee all the way down.

Sat and enjoyed the Savage Tunnel Vista. Tremendous visibility and blue skies. There's a perma-potty in place now that I didn't remember from last year. Reached Frostburg, decided that everything was going well and no need to stop.

Descended into Cumberland. Stopped at the Canal Place Bike Shop for a rear wheel issue. Checked into the hotel, very bike friendly as always. Ate at Crabby Pig. Walked over to Queen City Creamery, fantastic ice cream as always.

There was a music festival in downtown Cumberland, people in the streets, restaurants serving dinner to tables on the plaza it was very nice. I was glad to see something of "real" Cumberland rather than the noveau-Cumberland along the recent Canal Place development.

Encountered a group of local cyclists getting ready to kick off a Friday 7pm street ride. They said they were the "Cumberland Bike Party", hmm I've heard of a similar thing in Pittsburgh. A few of the riders wore whimsical costumes, such as the image above.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Bouncing Bumbles and Taco'd Tires

6/05/2014 #217 48m
Oh, what a day. What a great day, I got to ride my bike.

Started early at the Bastille. Riding along the Jail Trail, someplace between Golden Triangle Bike Rentals and Bates Street, I put myself into a bad position that I needed to extricate myself from. I turned the front wheel hard over in an attempt to countersteer, then locked up the front wheel because I didn't have 'world enough and time', and I ended up in a situation where the bike was moving forward in a straight line at about 13 mph with the front wheel turned perpendicular to the direction of movement, with the front brakes fully engaged and the front wheel locked in place. This use of the front wheel as an airbrake or snowplow is inconsistent with the material constraints of a bike wheel, and it succumbed to the harsh abuse I was giving it and the wheel folded like a taco quite dramatically (and it was my fault).

This is the second time I've taken a major fall because I locked up the brakes on the front wheel in a deteriorating situation, and in both cases it was the braking and not the situation that led to my downfall. I might need anti-lock brakes. This was a really good wheel, that I'd spend major change on about 18 months ago. It's a tandem front wheel, 40 spokes. So bummed at ruining this wheel, I thought I'd get ten years out of it.

Anyway, I bounced off the Jail Trail (because: Bumbles Bounce!™) and after picking up the yard sale of bike paraphrenalia strewn around the crash scene, the logistical options were limited. We ended up putting my two panniers on Rusty's bike, and I started walking my bike (holding the front wheel off the ground) along the Jail Trail, intending to cross the Hot Metal Bridge.

After a while Rusty suggested, why don't you hoist your bike on your shoulder like cross riders do? (Excellent song title, btw) and that was an excellent suggestion. Kept hoofing until the Hot Metal Bridge, where I posed for a photo op.

Walked the bike over to a shop which wouldn't open for a while yet. Rusty and S departed to escort some cyclists out of town, and I settled in to wait for the store and bike shop to open. Happily one of the wrenches who was early saw me outside and got me a new wheel toot-suite and I was back on the mission.

Joined my buds at the Pump House, and we escorted some cyclists from Sacramento CA out to Boston PA.

Reversed and rode back into Pittsburgh. Was disappointed that at the Waterfront Costco, the gas station attendant waved us off as we attempted to ride on their lot (around the back of their building); he told us, 'you have to stay on the trail'. I was real sorry to hear that because I think when the cyclists go around the back of the warehouse, it's safer for everybody and presents fewer delays, but it's private property.

Continued northwest past Sandcastle. We got off our bikes and walked across the roadway at the Sandcastle back gate and got grief from a trucker in the road: I'm glad you people can read, most of you cyclists can't. I guess he had us to yell at.

Ended up at OTB. I had Tacos, in keeping with what happened to my front wheel. This was a great meal I really needed. Saw bike-buddy Andrew sitting outside. Discovered that the rack-mount eyelet had sheared off my frame and took a minute in the street to wrestle the rack off. The owner of an adjacent business took great umbrage at our presence in the street, in spite of the fact that there were four open parking spaces; apparently she had dibs on the one we were standing in, and felt that her dibs meant we should run away when she honked at us and edged her car into our space.

So I've been having a non-harmonious week with just a few drivers.

With my rear rack and rear fender now tied to my aero bars, started riding back to the North Side. Rode across Point State Park, saw enough congestion that I don't really need to be there again until after the Art Festival is over.

When we got back to the cars, I was beat. I'd fallen and bounced, I'd trashed a front wheel and broken parts of the rear of my frame. But it was a great ride and no significant injuries, we were able to adapt to the events, and my buds took good care of me. Who could ask for more?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Buzz Jobs, F117s, F18s

6.4.2014 34m #216
Started out at the Bastille, rode over to the South Side and with a sense of ambition that can only be attributed to the early hour set about climbing 18th Street. I did not have the Climbing MoJo today. I certainly packed everything else, but not the climbing mojo.

Rode through Allentown, Grandview Park, and Mount Washington proper. Thought that perhaps fuel was the problem so stopped at The Micro Diner for an omelette. Nice place, good coffee, great omelette.

There doesn't seem to be any bike infrastructure up on top of Mount Washington. Certainly, no bike racks or places to lock up bikes.

Descended via Broswell St, Welsh Way, and South 12th Street which was a lot of fun. Stopped at Thick and REI because: Thick and REI.

Came out of REI, met an itinerant cyclist looking for the trail. I thought I recognized the accent and asked what part of Brooklyn he was from, he said New Jersey. Ha, he thinks New Jersey isn't just a suburb of Brooklyn.

Rode to the Waterfront, into Homestead, up another hill to see It's Your Turn by Ian Green, which is possibly my fave mural. There's just so much in it and it's all so awesome.

Descended down to the Homestead main drag (Eighth Street, I think) and saw this bling-bike-beauty locked up outside a barbershop. It has it all; steering wheel, dually exhausts, "playa" mini-hubcaps, and - like all Pittsburgh vehicles - a Sunoco sticker.

Rode into the Waterfront, stopped at McD to fill up on ice water.

Rode up to Station Square and the Ft Pitt Bridge. A lot of people thought there was going to be a 15-minute set of fly-by's, buzz jobs if you will, by the Blue Angels in F18's. What most people didn't know was that before the Blue Angels, there was a 15-minute demo of the F-117 Stealth Fighter. This is a photo of the formation of F-117 Stealth Fighters over the downtown skyline:

Pretty impressive.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Montour Trail from McDonald to McMurray

6.1.2014 #222 32m
Rode from McDonald, PA (under the trestle) out to the Starbucks in McMurray, PA (grieving the loss of FarmHouse Coffee)

Trail conditions were excellent. Not too crowded, and everybody behaved predictably. Nice experience all around.