Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Eagles' memorial and mastering bungees

Having received my REI dividend and 20% off coupon recently, I was compelled to go shopping. I 'needed' a new pair of cycling sandals. While I like my current pair that show off the work of a skilled pedicurist, they leave my toes open to injury and I've jacked up my toes on more than one occasion while wearing the open-toed Tevas last season. I found a pair of Keen sandals that offered more toe protection and got them almost free! To top it off, they were giving away tee shirts.

New shoes! New shoes!

After leaving REI, a cyclist and his ladyfriend approached from behind... "Hello, Colleen!" I turned around and returned the hearty greeting and was mortified: I had no idea who this was! He knows me BY NAME, had I met him on a group ride? He had a beard now... had I met him before he grew the beard? I pondered this for several miles. I am notoriously bad at remembering faces and names, I hate having this disability. 

Then I headed down to the Waterfront, I hadn't been out that way since December.
The Hays eagles have lost both of their eggs, so there will be no brood of eaglets for birdwatchers to oggle this year. A makeshift memorial was placed at the viewing area with offerings of both live and plastic roses as well as a branch.
I'm not sure if I found it touching or odd. Both, I suppose.
Oddly touching?
I don't think the eagles will care, they only care about killing, eating, protecting their territory and reproducing. A fitting symbol for America, yes?

At the Waterfront, I hit Bed Bath and Beyond... now I had several things to bungee to the rack: the shoes and now a set of sheets. The long green bungee I got at Ollie's Outlet not too long ago proved to be essential today. I'll need to be a master bungee user if I plan on commuting and shopping solely by bike.

I stopped at Big Dog for a dose of caffeine. While I was standing in line, I noticed EVERY seat was taken, even in the back patio. Wow, I'd have to get my coffee to go. Then I realized I hadn't locked my bike! Idiot! Fizz was still there, thankfully. I got back in line after locking her. I sat outside with my coffee in the sunshine. Twas glorious.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Secret Word of the Day is "Stunned", kids!

You all remember what to do when anyone says the Secret Word, right?

This morning started out with witnessing another vehicle on the trail behind my employer's building. Pretty fast too, the shot is blurry. Me: not stunned.

I'd arrived early in the hopes of getting over to Bloomfield to pick up a tag in the Tag-O-Rama game. Then, I set a new tag at Kindred Cycles.  I forget how awesome the "Wheeeeee!" is coming back down Liberty.

On the way there, I noticed a towhee that had stunned itself by flying into the glass windows at the casino. You don't often get opportunities to hold wild birds, so I picked him up and placed him closer to the river, off the walkway to recover from his concussion. I learned towhees have stunningly gorgeous red eyes with my close inspection of him.

I really need to stop giving motorists enough room to squeeze into my lane. Here, I'm trying to be courteous and give the minivan behind me a chance to pass before we're funneled into a construction chute where they aren't able to pass. There's room to change lanes to pass and no oncoming traffic, so I ride further to the right. Instead of changing lanes, the minivan SQUEEZES in the lane with me! I make a gesture with my left arm to let them know they're going to pass way too close and I see my fingers are just a few inches from touching the minivan. WOW.
I shouldn't be continually stunned by this, but I am.
I'm becoming less and less concerned about letting motorists pass me to I can give the appearance of being courteous. I'd rather be alive then courteous.

Later on my lunch hour, I went to the library. This happened as I turned onto Smithfield.

She looks rather stunned, no?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Hi-Viz Photobombs

Today's Interwebs obsession: I've visited the right-off-the-bike-trail Eagles' nest live camera several times today, the egg is due to hatch soon. While I watch, I can see cyclists riding past in the background and they're rather distracting. Knock it off, you bright yellow weirdos!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Box Blocked

I'm experiencing continued frustrations with bike parking at my employer's building. While I appreciate indoor parking for my bike(s), I find there are those who continue to use the loading dock where the racks are located as a smoking area and a staging area for cardboard box recycling/bundling. This is not cool.

Seriously, people... stop smoking indoors. Stop piling boxes up against and on top of my bike(s).

I went on a lunch hour errand today... I had to move boxes to get to Fizz. When I returned, I had to wait for the copier company employees to clear a spot... while I was gone, they'd managed to fill the spot where I park with a 10 foot high mound of boxes.
The copier employees told me "We didn't think anyone used these bikes."

Why, yes... I DO have reserved parking under that pile of boxes.

I got back to my desk and realized I'd left the library items I had picked up back in my pannier and returned to find Fizz box-blocked AGAIN in the 4 minutes I was gone. Ugh.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

5th Annual Viking Biking

Today was the 5th year that Lucia's hosted Viking Biking. I enjoy anything where I can get in costume, so I was happy I was well enough to attend. A main artery tunnel was closed, so I decided to take public transit into work and then meet Su at my building after I got costumed up in my Viking armor, braids, horns and crown.
I always find it interesting to ride public transit, the conversations one overhears and observations I make of others is fascinating.

After seeing myself in this getup, I was reminded of one of my favorite movies...

I brought some items to donate to the food bank as did many of us.

Several other riders come costumed or decorate our bikes in Viking themes.

There was much mud along the Convention Center's trail along the Allegheny where floodwaters had just receded.

That mud probably has a high fecal coliform count. Ewww.

Ray managed to get his shoe clip stuck in his pedal. We helped by laughing at him mercilessly.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting out in the sun and finally seeing/talking with friends I'd not laid eyes on for months. Yaaaa Spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Oblivious Pedestrian meets Lovely Rita


Why do people think I'm a parking enforcement officer or a police officer? *shrug*

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Errandonnee 2015: it's a wrap

Friday the 13th I rode over to the Library to pick up some music CDs

One of these things is not like the others.

On my way there, this guy was heading right for me, on the wrong side of the road while playing with his phone. Bad luck for me if I were to be crushed by a driver not paying attention on Friday the 13th!

Saturday, it was raining but I wanted/needed to get some vital errands accomplished, Errandonnee or not!

I checked out the Saint Patrick's Day parade because: MEN IN KILTS.
17 pounds of dead laptops dropped off at Goodwill computer recycling
I'd apparently bent the valve on my recently installed tube *again*. I hate presta valves. I was headed to Thick to see if they could show me what I was doing wrong and sell me a converter for my floor pump. Chris immediately suggested drilling larger holes in the wheels to accommodate schrader tubes and be done with the fragile prestas. Brilliant.

While I waited for Ethan to drill my new schrader holes, I got a coffee. The South Side was starting to fill with exuberant drunks dressed in green. Delanie's Coffee was the temporary headquarters for the police assigned to head-thump the inevitable throngs of idiots. This police bike was parked there and many more police and troopers showed up as I enjoyed my black and gold latte (chocolate and caramel). They'd commandeered the loft.

Getting back on the bike with full tires was a treat, I'd been riding around on soggy tires for a week or more and it felt sooooo good to have nice firm tires.

My final errand was to add a few more dollars to my Port Authority ConnectCard.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Errandonnee four five and six


Mailing back my Netflix DVD

For the 'personal care' category, I decided to get a shoe shine. I've had this pair of Doc Marten's Since I was in my early 20's. That's a long time. They've been through mosh pits and various other abuses over the years. I love these shoes, they're Quality with a capital Q.  I polish them myself with dubbin regularly, but they needed some extra love today. A professional shine.
I learned that women don't often come in for shines, as I was ignored by the shiners initially. I had to make it clear I was there for a shine and not one of the other services they provide at the repair shop.
A shoe shine!

Old school, baybeee!

My morning ride was glorious.

You couldn't see Downtown through all the fog.
A flooded RiverWalk

A foggy sunrise
Mount Washington, shrouded in fog
With the good camera, I got some nice shots of the red-headed ducks on the North Shore, they weren't the Canvasback ducks that the birder with binoculars had misinformed me of a few days ago.

This guy bugs me, I see him on a regular basis on my lunch hour riding his bike as well. I've tried being friendly to him initially, but he never returned my nods or smiles.
Over time, I noticed he would pass me and pedestrians without "on your left"-ing or ringing a bell. He nearly clobbered a family walking behind the Science Center one day. Jerk.
Today, because the RiverWalk was flooded, he SALMONED down North Shore Drive right at me and the vehicle behind me. Ass.
I shook my head at him because I've had enough of his dangerous riding.

Wrong side, twit.
On our commute home in the car, driving on the Fort Pitt bridge, I saw Marko and Yale on the pedestrian walkway and was able to give a shout and wave to them from the passenger side of our car.

 It was good to see faces I've not seen in months.