First ride to work of 2011

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edmonds59
Participant
#

Did my first ride in to work today, from Robinson, so I’m patting myself on the back.

Left the house at my usual time, said hi! to my bus stop friend, so the bus hadn’t been by yet. Headed on in. My bus passed me in Crafton, at about the halfway point. Climbed the dang whale of Steubenville pike. Tried doggedly the whole way to keep my effort at or below 50% so I didn’nt get too gassed. Screaming downhill into West End to the daily traffic backup. Caught my bus at the WEC. Much satisfaction. Toodled into town, in the office by 9:00. Beautiful day so far.


rsprake
Participant
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That’s bad ass that you caught up to the bus from all the way out there.


edmonds59
Participant
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Thanks, but not really, I have to thank the other hundred or so drivers who tied up the WEC for me!


argylepile
Participant
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that’s awesome! congrats on the first ride to work for the year.

riding to work = work day always goes well, i don’t stress as much, have the ride home to look forward to if I do happen to get stressed, no waiting for busses, experience the gorgeous weather firsthand…ah, so many great reasons to do it.

this morning’s ride was just awesome. sunshine! and so many other cyclists to wave to.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Bill, was that the 29 Robinson you were pacing?

I’ve beaten what’s now the 13 Bellevue in from the edge of West View, a Perrysville (which used to take a 7-minute detour down Connie Drive), also a 71A from Negley and Stanton all the way Downtown, and a 48 Arlington from the Milkshake Factory down to Station Square (using Sidney). I think the point is, bikes are no slower than buses much of the time, and a good bit faster when there’s congestion.


Swalfoort
Participant
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I am a really slow rider, but even I can keep pace with the 19L (Emsworth Express) and the 14 on their route into town most days. I am a tad slower than they are on the outbound, in part because the hills and in part because the 19L doesn’t make a stop, and has only two stoplights between downtown and Bellevue. I am willing too concede the outbound race to them.


edmonds59
Participant
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Yeah, Stu, 29.

Also, the part I didn’t mention is that my total mileage since December is about 20. Miles. And I was consciously trying not to break a sweat. If I was in any kind of shape, and trying, I would have smoked the bus handily.


gimpPAC
Participant
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nice!


salty
Participant
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If you can make it up Steuben on 50% effort and without breaking a sweat after not riding all winter… well, hot damn.


edmonds59
Participant
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I think I said TRYING not to break a sweat. There may in reality have been some sweat.

:)


reddan
Keymaster
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I find extreme under-dressing helps prevent most perspiration.

That said, the banana hammock and flip-flops ensemble, while good for temperature regulation, is also quite effective at attracting the attention of other road users. It’s a win-win, really.


gimpPAC
Participant
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banana hammock

Thanks for the unwelcome mental images reddan…


edmonds59
Participant
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Kinda makes test riding any of his bikes less…apeeling.


cburch
Participant
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banana hammock + bent = way too much sharing


salty
Participant
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but it’s not nearly as bad as utilikilt + bent (or is it?)


reddan
Keymaster
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Honestly, wouldja rather see the banana hammock comfortably ensconced in a nice wide solid seat, or hangin’ out over a traditional saddle?

[Edited to add:]Scott/Erok, maybe that should be the next front-page poll…


orionz06
Participant
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Got mine in on the new bike today, went very well. Forgot how much I enjoyed riding. I cant wait to see the car parked for a week on end.


Mick
Participant
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@reddan maybe that should be the next front-page poll…

Choice isn’t always good.

Anyone have a good mental image cleanser?


reddan
Keymaster
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@mick: Does this help?

Okay, I’m done threadjacking. Sorry, edmonds!


edmonds59
Participant
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I like it. Reminds me of my wife’s family.


quizbot
Participant
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Erica
Participant
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Lyle
Participant
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Edmonds59, I wondered if you rode in when I saw an orange Bottechia with upright bars and a blue bag on the seat, locked to a railing. But the bike in your avatar has drop bars.


edmonds59
Participant
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Yep, me, I switch bars for fun. Bar-hopping?

I like the moustache-y setup for traffic.


stefb
Participant
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I would high five anyone riding in a banana hammock.

Great job on riding in. I use you as an example when people are in disbelief that I ride a whole 7 miles into work and follow it up with “well i live in *insert location within 15 miles of the city that is totally bikeable from*, so I can’t do that”


edmonds59
Participant
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Feel free to include in your example that I am old, overweight, and not Lance Armstrong. The ability to do or not do something is 90% in your skull.


stefb
Participant
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Well i wouldn’t say that, but I often say that if you can walk, you can pedal a bike in granny gear, especially up a hill.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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*insert location within 15 miles of the city that is totally bikeable from*

McCandless. Plus carry your bike across a small stream. I used to think it was impossible to ride along that old trolley line because of the stream. Once I got it in my mind that I could carry the bike over, that freed me from having to deal with Perry Hwy or McKnight Road. Like Stef said, it’s all inside your head.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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re: reddan and banana hammock on bent: Just be sure there will be no HAIL that day.


Lyle
Participant
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edmonds: fwiw, I lock up in the Forbes garage rather than leave my bike on the street all day.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Minor obstacle on the trip into town. The water is a bit higher here than normal (up over the axle) but I got across with dry feet.

Across_stream_by_Perrymont_highwater


edmonds59
Participant
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Holy cow, Stu, is that part of your normal commute?

Reminds me of the movie “Bridge to Terabithia”, saddest thing I ever saw. Careful.


fungicyclist
Participant
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@stu:

May I prevail upon you to detail your detour North bypassing McKnight and Perry, please?


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Yes, fording this stream is part of my routine trip to Oakland, Larryville and points east. (Downtown I usually take Perry.)

I live just off of Perrymont, which runs between Perry Hwy and McKnight Road. This gully starts about a quarter mile N of me, and becomes the stream that has flooded Millvale. It parallels Babcock Blvd between Three Degree Road and Millvale.

North of the Three Degree intersection, this former trolley line is maintained in a very rough form by Equitable Gas, which dumps gravel in some of the soupier places. Note I said “some”. After fording the stream, it’s about a half mile of muddy, rutted two-track, with frequent standing water, then it pops out by Northway Car Wash. I figure it’s the only waterlogged two-tracker with a traffic light in Allegheny County.

It takes me 8 minutes from driveway to car wash.

If you’re headed up Babcock, don’t make the bend-right peel to head up to Northway Mall, but cross to the car wash and go to the back. It gets soupy fast; on a wet day you’re in hub-deep water unless you pick your way carefully.

For all this, there is a hundred-yard section that is a public street, with houses and driveways, up on the McCandless end. The street leading down to this is an insanely steep hill. I could avoid fording the stream if I wanted to deal with a probably 20% grade and add a half mile to the trip. No thanks, I’ll just jump.

Crossing the stream is usually a bit easier than yesterday, where I rested the bike against the gas pipe and hopped across, then dragged the bike from the other side. Usually I can just carry it. Since I’m part mountain goat, scrambling down and up the rocks isn’t too difficult.

Did I mention the thick mat of poison ivy at the top? You don’t dare trip.

Yeah, that’s my commute.


fungicyclist
Participant
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Thank you Stu.

It’s not just a ride; it’s an adventure. (By the way, the way I like it.)

Apologies for jacking the thread.


ejwme
Participant
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Stu, once again you are my hero.

My view of commuting was changed the day I saw that british video of the bmx commute… I’m fairly certain that with a modicum of trespassing my commute could be much better, I just haven’t looked into it yet. I haven’t ridden to work yet this year either, it’s high time.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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Just for comparison, this is how the stream looks normally. Note the stepping stones visible that are under water in the above photo.

Across_stream_by_Perrymont_lowwater

Today’s attire: Dress pants, dress shirt, and a necktie.

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