Sunday, November 23, 2014

Light-Up Night, first fall on Fizz and Bike Dancer

On Friday, Su, Marko and I had made plans to do a group ride organized through 'Meetup' for Light-Up night. I'd been getting Pittsburgh Cyclist Meetup emails for over a year now and had never taken part in one of the rides. I think we all had a 'let's see what this is all about' attitude towards a Meetup ride. Flock rides were on hiatus for a few months (booooo!), so we were looking for an alternative.

The 3 of us rode down to Dippy (the normal Flock starting point) to make sure that if there was anyone who didn't get the memo about the hiatus, we could let them know and possible coerce them into riding with us. Nobody showed, but I had a chance to cool down, I wore too many layers for a 20 degree night. I didn't take into account just how warm 2 layers of wool, a jersey and a jacket are. I need to re-learn all over again the perfect layering for certain temperatures. I think I was dressing for 5 degrees.

Dippy needs a scarf when it's 20 degrees

We wait for no one! Literally.
No one showed so we headed down to First Ave, there we met Gary, the organizer and Mikhail was already there.
We rode down to REI and they had cookies and hot chocolate for us, which was quite nice. Then, we headed down to Station Square, but some of the group took the 'official' detour around the gravel company, while I took the shortcut. I waited at Station Square, walked my bike through a crowd of people and was told I should "Bike somewhere else!" by an passer-by. What the hell, you're blocking a bike trail and you give someone grief for walking a bike through? Whatever.
I thought by now those who had taken the detour would catch up with me. I pedaled sloooooowly. No one was catching up with me. Had they stopped at a bar there? Should I go back? I'd not heard a call come in from Su who was wondering where I was, I texted her as I'd arrived at Point State park convinced I'd lost them to a bar. Then, the group pulled in right behind me. Whew.

I snapped a few shots of an extra bright Downtown as I waited.

As we left the park and headed over to the North Shore, a woman in our group was yelling at pedestrians: "BIKES! COMING THROUGH!" We were mortified. A bike bell or a "On your left!" in a normal volume will suffice, lady! You don't need to frighten children with the militant barking!

She reminded me of this guy:

I didn't want to be associated with her and Marko and Su felt the same way so we parted ways with the group and Marko was kind enough to escort the both of us back to our cars.
Our toes were frozen by now and I let Marko thaw out at the building. He gave me a pair of his soon-to-be-patented handmade helmet ear warmers! Woot!
Yes! Warm ears are a good thing.
On Saturday, I'd planed on riding, but a wicked case of black ice broke out all over Pittsburgh. I'm glad I slept in and got the dire news as I was getting ready to go.
Sunday was glorious: it reached 60 degrees!

In the past week, I'd been experimenting with the iron-on reflective tape I'd found at a fabric store. I put some on my super-warm winter boots:
 ...and on one of my neck gaiters as well:

I also ironed onto one of my panniers the Surly patches and a strip of reflective tape:
I also have a reflector zip-tied to it.

I have a problem with my saddle. It slides back on the rails. Today, I decided to use some electrical tape to perhaps keep the saddle from sliding back. I think it's working, at the end of today's ride it was still in the same position.

I also might have a bike bag addiction. This is a cry for help.

I found another piece of cubism paper art glued to a wall along the trail:

I've decided I LOVE the new Dero pump down at the Bastille. So convenient.

Also, the valve is magnetic and it sticks to the pump!

I got tailgated by another cyclist on the Fort Pitt bridge (this sidewalk is so narrow, passing is difficult and I yield to climbing cyclists and all pedestrians here).

The first fall on Fizz: while going a snail's pace and trying to make up my mind which way to go on the trail at an intersection, I turned the front wheel too hard to port and fell on the starboard side. I got my legs all tangled up in the pedals, bruised both shins pretty badly and landed on my right elbow. Good thing nobody saw me make an ass of myself! Doh. I heard a clatter and saw plastic pieces strewn under us. Cripes, I'd busted something on Fizz! I checked her over carefully and couldn't figure out where these parts broke off from.

I think they were just there on the sidewalk before we fell.
I wandered down to the Waterfront and only had one bit of rudeness: an impatient driver beeps at me, annoyed that they have to change lanes to get ahead of me. You can almost see at the end of this video a car get t-boned by performing a Pittsburgh Left very poorly. I wondered what all the angry beeping was back there and the video showed me later what all the fuss was. Sometimes, they aren't actually beeping at *me*.

 Found some graffiti that pertains to me and my brightly colored brethren.

Fixed it for you.

Got hungry and stopped on the South Side.

Seitan wings!

On the way back into town, there was a guy ahead of me *dancing on his bike*. He had music in his headphones blaring and he was air-guitaring, gesticulating and singing along to his tunes... oblivious that I wanted to pass. I didn't see him touching the handlebars very much! I just hung back and just enjoyed the show rather than try and pass and have him crash into me.
Then I admired the bit of trackstanding another cyclist was doing waiting at at a light with me downtown. I wish I could trackstand.

21 miles on Friday and 28 miles today. I might make 4000 miles yet!

1 comment:

  1. Love that Portlandia skit!

    I'd like to know how well those iron-on reflectors work out. I like to think I'm pretty good with reflectors and lights. But honestly where I fail on visibility is cycling clothing. My "bike clothes" drawer is darker than a funeral on goth night during an eclipse.


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