Sunday, August 24, 2014

Leap-frogging through Pedal Pittsburgh and Serenity 2.0

Today was Pedal Pittsburgh, a large, supported event bike tour of Pittsburgh.

This would be my first Pedal Pittsburgh and my first experience as a cyclist in a large scale ride. For the past 12 years, I've been on the Staff side. It would be strange to be She Who Must be Served.

There are 4 choices of routes.  I had trouble deciding which route to take, I would definitely have trouble with the 62 mile route, both in stamina and the hour at which one had to start. There was a 25 mile route with a 45 mile option. I'd have to tack on the 13 miles to get to and from the start line, so I would wind up doing 60+ miles anyway! There was also the 25 mile route, but that didn't include much territory that I hadn't already seen. I wanted to hit new places, like... Highland Park, Riverview Park, Frick Park. These were all places I'd not yet been, so I gritted my teeth and chose the 45 mile route.
It was hilly; really damned hilly.

Today's efforts earned me my first 30K steps badge at Fitbit! W00t!

Would you believe I wore wool? It's August and I'm wearing wool. I'd understood that wool is awesome to cycle in even in the summer, so I took the advice of seasoned cyclists and invested in some wool. They have nice summer sale on right now, so I got some winter base layers and some summer shortlseeves, a dress and a skirt. They're no warmer or cooler than the synthetics, but they cause you to slide around on the seat much less. They dry quickly too. Love the wool skirt. I'm somewhat anxious to wear the longsleeve wool dress and baselayers, but I don't want to rush the seasons.

At the start, I crossed paths with VB and Mrs Q. I got hung up at waiting for a train to pass through the South Side before we could continue, so I thought I'd never catch up and we wouldn't cross paths for the rest of the day, but I kept running into them in an accidental game of leap frog. I'd catch up with them, they'd ride ahead, I'd catch up and get ahead of them and they'd come up from behind and leave me in their dust again. I think it happened at least 4 times, funny. Naturally, I ran into Yale because: he's everywhere. I also played leap frog with Dan Y, he was at EVERY rest stop I stopped at except the first one in Riverview Park. Goes to show you how hard event staff work. Met Ms Garrison of BlackGirlsDoBike who was volunteering at a water stop and said hello to Mr Woods of Major Taylor again while he was running SAGs. He looked at Fizz and said "I see you've upgraded!". Waved at Mikhail while he barked from his marshalling station. Marko kindly drug Fizz out of the poor position I'd dropped her at the finish line where he was volunteering... she was just too heavy at the end of a long day to try and prop up. Volunteers are awesome.

Along the way, I got some nice shots of the new bike against some interesting scenery.

Flocker Street!

Needed to get the Trucker in front of the Serenity sign.

Another day in paradise

I'm hoping the top tube pad will be covered in patches one day.
I'm finding that the Trucker is prone to depositing grease on my right inside calf. I'd show you a picture, but I'd already scrubbed off the grease.

Imagine it looks something like this:

...But on a bruised, chubby, oddly-shaped Popeye calf sporting lots of red and blue spider veins.

I'm having a hell of a time scrubbing it off too. I spent quite some time scrubbing away and some marks just weren't coming off no matter how hard I rubbed. Then it dawned on me: that's not grease, those are bruises and spider veins. Soap ain't fixing those!

The ride was rough, but fun. Everyone was friendly... like this couple:

The day's mileage was 60.29. I hit 60 at the casino on my return to base. I wanted to get a shot of the 60.00 on the computer, but I overshot it. A record!

I noticed today that I have FI'Zi:k bar tape on FIZZ. Huh.

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