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

Saturday, October 29, 2016

An Incomplete but Aspirational Complete Street

Fri Oct.28 4 miles
Sat Oct.29 18 miles
Oct.EOM 218m ytd:2416
Friday was kind of a short-errand ride. Ended up at Constellation Coffee for a bit of wifi, nice coffee shop.

Saturday I biked some errands. Stopped at Gasoline Street Coffee to see a presentation about Blood Memory, a documentary about adoption of Native Americans. The documentary is being made by several Pittsburghers.

Kind of amazing, and I didn't know:

Between the years of 1941 through 1978 when the Indian Child Welfare Act was passed we know that 25% of all First Nations children were removed from their homes and placed in orphanages and white foster homes, as well as adopted into white homes.
(from, We Are Coming Home)

Rode to Thick Bikes. Saw a Surly Porteur House bag that was a great temptation. Concerns: it's water-resistant but not water-proof, and I really prefer water-proof. Nowhere does Surly refer to the inner liner bags as dry bags. Temptation: it's a really great bag.

Stopped at REI for some stove fuel.

Rode up to CMU and Schenley Plaza, found Yale. This week's headlines touted Pittsburgh's first fully-designed complete street, so we checked it out. It's called Signature Blvd because: Marketing. It's rather Incomplete, but it has aspirations of Completedness. It's being the change, I suppose.

It was a Saturday, things were quiet, so when we saw an open entree point with no "DO NOT" signs we availed ourselves of the opportunity and took a look around. I remember riding on the recent, now gone, ersatz initial trail that ran from the Hot Metal Bridge to Hazelwood. As we poked around, we found a really nice paved service road or trail down along the river.

This photo comes from a spot on the Mon directly across from the American Water Plant:

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Coffeeneuring 2016-5&6: Gravel and Grind, Lost Dog

Tues Oct 25, 2016 50m
Wed Oct 26, 2016 4m
Oct.mtd 196m ytd:2394

Wednesday I rode from Williamsport, MD to Shepherdstown, WV with my wife Karen, for lunch at Blue Moon Cafe and Coffeeneuring 2016-FIVE at Lost Dog Cafe.

This is the Big Slackwater:

Thursday we rode around Frederick, MD at the amazing Carrol Creek Park, and Coffeeneuring-VI at Gravel and Grind:

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Optimizing Granny

Oct.23,2016 11m
Oct.mtd 142m ytd:2340
There's no time like a Steelers game to enjoy a nice quiet ride on local roads, which Frazz taught me a while ago.

I took the ECR out for a ride which involves a little bit of climbing. It's a fun bike and it works going uphill, but I found myself wishing for another level of Granny.

Gear Inches: TireDiameter x ChainRing Teeth / Cassette Teeth = _____

On my Surly LHT with 700Cx35 tires (27.2" outer diameter), my gear-inches calculation goes like this:
27.2 x 20 / 36 = 15.1 gear-inches, which is pretty low.

On my ECR with 29+ by 3inch tires (30.5" outer diameter), a 22/36 chainrings up front, and a 10-speed (11– 36t) cassette it looks like:
30.5 x 22 / 36 = 18.6 gear inches, which is still pretty low but not as low as I'm used to

So that's something that seems amenable to adaptation. The rear cassette is a Shimano HG50-10, 10-speed. I need to study what I can do with the rear cassette.
A 40-tooth cassette would get me to 16.8 gear-inches.
A 42-tooth cassette would get me to 15.97 gear-inches
A 44-tooth cassette would give me 15.25 gear-inches, which is very close to the LHT's 15.1

Or, attacking the front chainrings:
Replacing the 22-tooth with a 20-tooth, same cassette, would give me a 16.9 g-i granny.
20-tooth chain ring, 40-tooth cassette would give me a 15.25 g-i granny.

Documenting this for reference: rear derailleur Shimano DeoreLX RD-T670 SGS, 10-speed ;
front derailleur Shimano SLX FD-M676D, Problem Solvers direct mount adaptor(28.6);
crankset Surly O.D., 22/36t note: 64mm inner BCD and 104mm outer BCD

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Pamela's, Taps, Sukkot

Tues Oct.18 2016, 8miles
Wed Oct.19 2016, 11 miles
Oct.mtd 131m ytd:2329

Tuesday I was fortunate that my friend RM suggested a bike ride, so we jumped on a pair of Healthy Ride Pgh bike-shares and rolled from the NorthSide out to Millvale for Pamela's. A tremendous outing. I like the Healthy Ride bikes a lot, especially the simple shifting - no combo of front/rear derailleurs to manage, just a simple linear selection of 1 to 7. 8 miles.

Tuesday night, my friend Stu was riding his bike and struck from behind by a driver. No life-threatening injuries, the driver stayed on the scene. Leaves me angry

Wednesday, I started in Millvale. Climbing up in the Allegheny Cemetary, I heard three volleys of shots fired, and as I continued up the hill I heard Taps bring played. At the crest I saw an honor guard of four men with M-1's, old guys with old guns, paying final respects. Tugged at the heart strings.

On Penn Ave I saw this wheatpaste by Elizabeth Barreto, who was clever enough to fold her Instagram handle, cookingood onto the character's shoulder.

Stopped at Adda's Coffee for a two-shot machiatto, which is presented with some seltzer and a tiny biscotti.

Saw a tremendous piece of artwork titled Man in Defiance (presented on postcard, available in other formats) by Dawn Pogany, a designated Featured Artist at Adda. If your coffee shop doesn't have a Featured Artist, maybe you should stop by Adda.

Met Yale. Saw the Sukkot shelter on the CMU campus.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cups of Gold: Coffeeneuring 2016-IV, St. Benedict

10.16.2016 6m
Oct.mtd 112m ytd:2310
#Coffeeneuring 2016-IV: Tazza D'Oro with Karen. Started at CMU's East Garage with some progeny-logistics, then rode a not-too-efficient route to Highland Park.

By the numbers: a double-shot latte, a two-shot machiatto, two pastries. 6 miles.

Later I stopped at Mercy Hospital, and saw this view out of the window:

This reminds me of a current issue in Germany about how the architecture and decoration of buildings documents the tone of their times (see, Anti-Semitic sculpture at Martin Luther's church.

This Pittsburgh church is St. Benedict of the Moors in the Hill District. While usually, a Catholic or Christian church has Jesus up on the roof, I was surprised to learn that this statue isn't Jesus but rather St. Benedict of the Moors - and to use the apt phrase of another writer, it's an inaccurately white-faced St. Benedict the Moor. Because Benedict was black and African, a child born to slaves; it seems to a modern reader that the Church couldn't bring herself to acknowledge his Blackness, and relied on euphemism to convey the meaning. The Italian il moro (the dark-skinned) has been misinterpreted over the years as a reference to Moorish ancestry.

This church was originally built in 1894 by the staff of Duquesne University as an outreach mission to black Americans. The official history skips over the fact that the 1968 demolition was made necessary by damage during the riots after the assassination of Martin Luther King (slideshow , essay ).

Friday, October 14, 2016

Coffeeneuring 2016-C at Thick Bikes' popup coffeeship

10.15.2016 6m
Oct.mtd 106m ytd:2304
A SouthSide day. Started with breakfast at Nadine's, pleased to see that it's gone smokefree since the last time I was here.

Rode with my wife Karen for Coffeeneuring at a pop-up coffeeshop at Thick Bikes. There was: Intelligentsia Coffee from Big Dog Coffee, world-famous chocolate chips from Nancy B's, doughnut holes from Just Good Donuts (a major division of Pub Chip Shop). So much SouthSide goodness.

Mega-thanks to Chris and Beth for hosting. Got to see kindred souls & fellow-travelers. Also got to pick up an inner tube for the 29x3" tires I'm rolling on.

First Ride, Surly ECR

Oct14 2016 14m
Oct mtd 100m ytd:2298
I parked my vehicle at Southside Riverfront Park, and found a bit of an archeological demo left in the rocks:

I received this today, a Surly ECR. First ride, 14 miles w/Yale.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Columbus Day: I claim Pittsburgh for Queen Isabella of Spain!

Monday Oct10 17m
Tues Oct11 36m
Wed Oct12 43m
86m ytd:2284

A brief trip from Pittsburgh to Cumberland, in which I did some van-driving duty.

I was fortunate to ride with Denbo The Provider of Great Weather, Rusty, AJ & Amy, and Ron & Denise. Excellent folks. AJ & Amy came from Arizona, and Denise & Ron came up from Atlanta. This is what the start looked like (it's always nice weather when The Denbo Effect ™ is engaged.

We started on Monday, a/k/a Columbus Day, and in honor of Columbusing I 'discovered' a new land and claimed it for Spain. On Facebook:

Hear ye and Know All by these Warrants; today 10 October I have discovered and claimed these happy lands at the joining of Three Rivers in the name of good Queen Isabella of Spain. I call the new place Tres Rivera, and find the habitants play a game named after our own Futbol but quite different. The scruffy people living here seem obsessed with choosing a new Leader, having a choice between an Entitled Princess and a vulgar Buffoon; there is no speaking with them about any other Topix. They seem docile, wear Gold & Black as their tribal identity, and should pose no barrier to our Great Plans. #ColumbusDay

Monday night we camped out at Roundbottom, being certain to bring in water from elsewhere. There wasn't much firewood around but we scrounged what we could, and it turned out quite well. The temps hit about 37F but I think we were all mostly comfortable. At one point, I did fill a small Nalgene with Jet-Boil'd water, and then put that in a Ziplock, for the foot of my sleeping bag. I love my sleeping bag.

Tuesday we re-formed the group and started out. Saw a tiny house in the Connellsville trailer park, I'm going to have to check that out. Tuesday night we camped at Husky Haven, which was excellent - clean, quiet, great firewood supply. And heated showers across the river at the campground bunkhouse/office. Breakfast sammiches at Rockwood Mill Shop.

Wednesday we rode Rockwood to Cumberland. Just downhill from Frostburg, we encountered notorious free-spirit Ras, who pulled his cart from Washington State destined for DC to spread the Good News about Marijuana and do the Lord's Work. Funny guy.

Finished up with dinner at Crabby Pig, always a good meal. Followed up with dessert from Queen City Creamery.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Coffeeneuring 2016-B: Without Walls at Frick Park

Oct.9. 2016
Oct mtd: 102m ytd:2198
Saturday I got to see a very pleasant sight: my Trail Guide for the GAP- C&O Trails on the shelves, for sale, at the National Park Service bookstore in Cumberland, MD. They're available at NPS, or via Amazon at Trail Guide for GAP - C&O Trails.

Today Emma and Q hosted a Coffeeneuring Without Walls event in Frick Park. I love it when the directions to an event look like this:

In Pittsburgh, this is how we spell #Coffeeneuring:

When I arrived, there was an individual (who seemed to have a lot of unmet emotional needs) engaging the group of cyclists in a lecture about Manners. Not all cyclists, mind you, just some; and lest you think he has a problem with cyclists, he used to ride himself. Article online about the same induhvidual getting a ticket for his unleashed dog, crying Foul!

It was a great turnout. 20 people. Two younglings. Lots of transient doggies parading by. And the treats! Pancakes, doughnuts, apple fritters. wow!

Friday, October 7, 2016

Coffeeneur 2016-A: Walden's in Stuebenville

Oct mtd: 98m ytd:2194
Rode with my wife Karen from the intersection of the Montour & Panhandle Trails in McDonald, PA, via the PAVED Panhandle Trail west to Burgettstown, PA (a name with possibly more letter-T's than should be allowed)

Stopped for Coffeeneuring (2016-A) at Walden's @1709 Main. Totally excellent, as always. In addition to coffee, omelettes and eggs and hash browns and sweet potato (recommended!) fried were experienced.

There's a new trailside building, between the trail and Walden's, just completed. Sometime soon it should open with bike rentals, antiques, and object's-d-arte.

The benefits of paving of the Panhandle between McDonald and Burgettstown by Washington County PA cannot be over-emphasized.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Wed Oct5, 3m
Thur Oct6, 21m
Oct mtd: 82m ytd:2178

Wednesday I rode around East Liberty and Shadyside. Saw this; I think Andy Warhol would approve.

In a lot of areas, navigating by bicycle in Pittsburgh is a lot like navigating hospitals and airports: just look up. Generally you'll see a landmark for orientation. I'm sorry to see the rotting spires of the former Saints Peter & Paul catholic church at 130 Larimer (used in the movie, Dogma).

Thursday, happened across a creepy clown hanging around on Freedom-Crider Road.

Rode to Spoked.Pgh, had an amazing 5-word combination: Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Bisque. Wowsa.

rc donna joannep
fenders flowers

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Ersatz Arborist, Perpetuating the Gender Binary

Sat Oct.1 17m
Sun Oct.2 18m
Tues Oct.4 23m
Oct mtd: 58m ytd:2154

My clients from last week got some link-love from Bike Friday!

Saturday, I got to ride around with my friend Yale. When you ride with Yale, you don't just observe conditions; you fix things! So I ended up as a ersatz arborist:

Sunday I got to ride around with a group of CMU students, pictured below with Mr. Rogers looking over my colleague Becky's shoulder:

Bike Porn: I really like these Salsa low-rider front racks, and the way they embrace both the inside and the outside of the front fork:

Tuesday I got to ride on the Montour Trail with my friend Rusty, and then I got to ride around in Pittsburgh for a little while to run some errands. Took this picture along the Montour Trail:

At the Peters Starbucks I noticed they've implemented new signage for their single-user restrooms, which I think is an improvement on the previous installation.

It's better than what existed before BUT it does perpetuate the gender-binary. Why is that necessary? If they really want to get involved with gender criteria, isn't this better?

lest Ye Groan: I would point out, this is what happens when we conflate "how we've always done it" with actual communications needs. It's ridiculous to have to come to terms with social gender constructs, when the task you want to accomplish is to convey: there is a toilet behind this door.

I believe this sign actually accomplishes the communications need; it says, 'this is a toilet and it's ADA-compliant'. I don't see any need to use the gender-words, but: why quibble? This is so much better.

Monday, October 3, 2016

CMU Bike Safety Survey Charade

Received a few emails and pokes suggesting I take a CMU Bike Safety Survey,
because: My Voice is Powerful!™ What a sucky charade. First there's terribly worded, incompatible questions.

These are not parallel questions. Pedestrians and Bikers are people. Cars, Buses, and Trucks are inanimate objects. For me, Cars, Buses and Truck DRIVERS are my problem. So I don't know how to answer that question; and when people don't know how to answer a question, you'll get both SA and SD's.

Another terrible question, where ambiguous wording left me unable to answer:

On some surveys, you can tell what the desired outcome is. For instance:

Unsurprisingly, it looks like the desired outcome is going to be pointed at the Objects and Vehicles, rather than the People, which completes the circle back to the bias demonstrated in the early question.

Remarkably, there aren't any questions about "should drivers have an App to help them stop killing bicyclists", or "should drivers have an App to tell them to slow down when they're speeding". This is about: building an App so we can blame the Victims that don't use the App.

As to what this cyclist does want, which was the last question they asked:

I need driver training.
I need, Cyclist Can Make Use of Full Lane message on signs, billboards, and in driver's heads.
I need speed limit enforcement.
I need 4-foot passing enforcement, using police and/or volunteers in passing-checks (just like speed-checks) as other cities do.
I need PennDOT to only consider projects complete when they provide for all road users, including cyclists.

This survey sucks. The people who asked cyclists to participate will lose credibility over supporting it. Did they ever proof-read this thing they asked me to spend time on? You can tell now what the outcome is going to be. It is a charade.