Thursday, May 1, 2014

Kennywood bugs me

As I write this, I'm freshly showered. I raced to the bathroom as soon as I got home to rinse away the insect assault I was subjected to while riding along the Steel Valley trail near Kennywood. I'll get to that later though.

I went for another after work ride. I'd wanted to go beyond the Pump House at the Waterfront, so I made a beeline there, well I attempted anyway. I ran into Yale again (*DRINK* Cheers!) on the narrow sidewalk down to Station Square from the Fort Pitt bridge. I thought I was stopping to let a fellow cyclist pass so we didn't crash into one another, but it was Yale, we stopped to chat and I saw another cyclist was coming up behind him. How was she going to get past us? Oh, it's Sue! We all chatted for a few moments and I showed them the new shorter hair and I was on my way. It seems they were wrapping up for the day while I was just starting out.
I tried again to beeline for Kennywood, but as I passed through the Bald Eagles' Nest area, I saw one of the adults was resting high in a tree and in a very photogenic fashion. I had to stop and shoot this.

The kids are getting big.

OK, off I went again after waiting a few minutes for the bird hoping it would take flight. I got my wish.

I rode through the Waterfront with traffic and only had one impatient driver lay on the horn at me at a light and then pass me within a foot and half or so. She was in a hurry to get to the convenience store to buy smokes. Jagoff.

When I crossed over the bridge that leads to the Steel Valley trail, the assault began. Gnats everywhere, a wall of them, Every cyclist I passed was spitting them out of their mouths, snorting out of their noses and waving their hands in front of their faces in a futile attempt to ward them off. I got one or more in my left eye and spent a few minutes digging it out, blinded by the gnat corpse in my eye. This was a moment I wished I had the disability of needing corrective eyewear to shield my eyes from the swarms of bugs. I got out my safety goggles and continued still getting a few up my nose as I went. It was awful.

I met another cyclist at the ravine where the Thunderbolt dips. She noted that it looked like I was going on a long trip. I sheepishly told her I'm just an over-packer.

I made an about face as she told me that "It gets dicey up ahead in McKeesport."
Back through the bugs, and back to base for a day that I rode a total of 40.2 miles in three trips and ventured to a new place. I brought Ruby back home with me for Montour Trail riding this weekend to avoid the weekend's marathon madness. The Point is already set up with marathon tents and villages. I'll be riding the Monster tomorrow, which should be interesting as I've not ridden her since December.

Broke 1000 miles for the year and I've got 60 Bike Challenge points so far!


  1. Congrats on 1000 miles. That's more miles in four months than in all of last year, right? Very nice.

    1. Thanks, when I reach 1246 that'll be another milestone.


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