A bike / map geek with a gadget obsession and a high-viz fetish.
Monday, February 29, 2016
The Steepest Street : Canton Ave in Pittsburgh, PA
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Baltimore - Annapolis
Baltimore Airport to Annapolis,MSStarted the day in Pittsburgh. Karen and I drove to Frederick,MD for a coffee-and-bike-fetish stop at Gravel and Grind, which was nice. Back on the road, saw two homeless camps in close proximity to the gentrification. Drove to the Baltimore airport, parked in the Econolot on the west side of the field.
Great route. Rolled into Annapolis in twilight, rode straight over to Davis' Pub which was just excellent. Karen had salmon, I had a chicked and sausage gumbo. Great place. Came out of Davis' Pub in darknesss, rode 5 miles across town to the Holiday Inn Express. All the drivers were very courteous.
This is a video of a Burma-Shave style set of trail safety signs:
Feb eom:126 ytd:160
Saw a velocipede buzzing along. We warmed up quickly, climbing over the Annapolis Bridge. Joined the B&A Trail.
In Severna Park, there's a very nice little cafe-seating area along the trail, and the businesses in the strip mall behind it open their rear doors for cyclists. We had crepes from Sofi's Crepes which were just perfect. There's also The Big Bean, a coffee shop, and a pizza shop in this complex. Wonderful scene. Saw a custom-built Georgina Terry rando bike, a Coto Donana, and it was a thing of beauty.
Rode further northwest. Stopped at Bombay Blue's Bistro in the mistaken belief it was a bakery. Enjoyed some wonderful ice cream: strawberry with pistachios and saffon, it was tremendous.
Rode back to the BWI airport. There was medium- to high-traffic on the trail for most of the ride, and everybody got along well. Departed the Airport Loop and bugged out to our off-airport parking lot, where the car was still still and it started.
This is a nice overnight trip. There's a model of the solar system laid out along the trail, and it demonstrates the tremendous distance in orbits of the outer planets as opposed to the inner plants. This video starts from mid-solar system, heading to the sun:
Sunday, February 21, 2016
When I Get Killed by a Driver: Evangelize, don't Critique!
I want the driver who kills me prosecuted and then litigated, not out of any revenge but rather from the desire to add a tiny, incremental slice of momentum to the forces of negentropy.
I am chagrined that some good cyclists seize first reports of a driver plowing into experienced cyclists as an opportunity to restate their fave SafeCycling Shibboleth and nitpick the obvious-from-the-WWW errors in their judgement and technique. We should assume competence and support the cyclist.
I do understand the desire to say, "if they'd only (had kickstands?)" because it lets us separate ourselves from the victims, but that's an internal benefit and should remain unspoken because: comfort in, dump out.
If you bother my dependants, survivors, and friends with arcane online discussions of lane position or visibility, I will haunt you and your bike and let air out of your tires at inopportune moments forever.
Saturday, February 20, 2016
Dropped; Dravo Disappointment
She did drop me climbing 40th Street. I want to say it happened because I have a much lower granny gear, but that would be inconsistent with her mad skillz.
The meeting was a 412Flock meeting. I think there's some good things happening with the Flock.
Disappointed to learn there's a gas-fired power plant that's going to be built in close proximity to the Dravo Cemetery campground.
The site is a former brownfield, and a power plant is probably one of the only things that could be built there. This plant will probably result in a coal-burning facility shutting down or reducing operations. The locality badly needs jobs, although the current trend is to minimize the humans needed to operate every business - business processes have moved beyond logistics into employee-minimization - and I'm not sure how many local jobs will exist after the plant is in operation.
It does bring to mind interesting implications: should the local economy suffer because of the gentry who want to ride through, enjoying the undisturbed nature of low-employment?
Friday, February 19, 2016
Homecoming Crowd, Brightside Light
Started at the Bastille. Rode into town with YC, checked out the new Smithfield Street bus stop with leaning rails (to keep homeless people from sitting, I guess) and solar panels. Disappointed there's no computery bus info displayed. Loved, loved, loved the flowers outside the Library on Smithfield Street:
Today was my first day riding with a BrightSide light. It's really not very daytime-effective, but I think it'll be interesting to see how it works at night.
Met JonP which was cool. Rode to the Pump House, ran into Jerry. I think using the Pump House for a rendezvous point for people-with-cars is going to be less effective this year; it seems to have locked gates pretty often. I think people will begin to say: meet you at USS across from the Pump House.
Met PH. Rode though the Southside, a Jeep with a bike on the back was very courteous to us (thanks DB!) Marko overtook us and joined. Stopped to check out Altar of the Dog, K. joined us. Saw SB on the Ft.Duq bridge, she warned us about an accumulation of salt that made the switchbacks behave like a gravel pit.
On the Chateau trail, rode past JohnM taking a walk. People everywhere, it was a great day to be out.
I think everybody tried to get out on the trails on Friday afternoon because Saturday they're likely to be crowded.
Monday, February 8, 2016
RIP Michael Prater #CrankOn
I was impressed that the Cleveland REI store came down and provided staffing for the Cincinnati location so those folks could all have the day off.
At the ride, they read aloud this poem by Mike Murgas, which I learned about from the local news coverage.
The Ride of Silence...
Tonight we number many but ride as one
Marcha en Silencio…
Somos muchos esta noche, pero marchamos como un solo hombre
Saturday, February 6, 2016
You Are Here
Saw this new mural at Sidewall at 608 South Millvale, done by Lizzee Solomon.
You Are Here transports the viewer from the dreary land of
“eternal twilight” into a tropical paradise. The smell of
coconuts is thick in the air, hibiscus petals gently tickle
your cheeks, your skin is crispy with sun and salt. You are
never too hot because there is always a cool breeze to catch
and a broad, palm shade to retire under. You hear a samba
band in the distance. It is almost Carnival. You are here
and the world is waiting.
Friday, February 5, 2016
Helmet Not Required
When I travel and get my gear in different bags - I often end up with the wrong gear. Today I got to the trailhead and didn't have a helmet or my Buff. I missed the Buff more. Apparently riding without a helmet, which certainly worked in my Youth, is still possible.
Rode into town, stopped at Gasoline Street Coffee. Great hot chocolate and some excellent cake-bread mashup.
I think this is the coffee shop closest to the GAP Trail's end in Point State Park. Ride the plaza off Golden Triangle Bike Rental and you're there. Park your bike just outside the big windows. Totally excellent.
Met Y and hung around for a bit, then went out in search of a little-known spot in Pittsburgh. Happily we found it after a bit of searching. I don't know what this started off as, but it's ended up probably as a different space than the original intent. The place is known to some as "Temple of the Dog".
It was so nice to be out today.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
A Learning Opportunity
We camped in a Florida state park for the course, it was very nice.
On the trips I've gone with, you start off with a group that knows each other and generally, the trip leader's job is to avoid catastrophe and ensure the riders have a good experience. The A-C task is a bit different, and they approach it in a different framework.
A-C participants generally don't meet until the night before the ride commences, so they're not a group. There is shared cooking equipment, shared meal preparation, and shared meals every day and that drives the group culture. Dinner's always at 6pm, breakfast is always at 8 am, and on a rotating basis people do food shopping and meal prep - within a budget.
I was kind of at a loss about what to do about "Presentation" when it was my turn in the rotation, so I made a centerpiece of out an ice cube sculpture which representing Stonehenge. It wasn't much but I was trying. The staff had a good sense of humor.
Once it gets rolling, it's a daily routine that keeps the self-contained group moving forward. It was very interesting to see such a different model. A-C pushes problem solving to the earliest level and expects participants to resolve their own issues whenever possible; it's not a hand-holding exercise. I got a lot to think about out of this course.
Group photo taken on the last day:
It's always cool to meet and get to talk operations with experienced cyclists. It was great to have briefings from Adventure Cycling leaders that have an established culture and body of knowledge to draw from.
And it was awesome to ride bikes in Florida in January. A young local told me, Clermont is the only place in Florida with hills. I hadn't really noticed them, I thought it was a very gentle terrain, but he seemed quite proud of them.