Flock of Cycles

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salty
Participant
#

I’m still getting over a cold, I really want to ride but don’t want to regret it…


reddan
Keymaster
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Nice playlist, but where’s the Simple Minds? (Don’t You) Forget About Me…


alnilam
Participant
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Last week I showed up at Dippy at 6:30 wondering where everyone was, and realized I was dumb and had added an hour to the meeting time in my head.

Then I realized I was even dumber and had subtracted a week in my head.

That said, I’m afraid I can’t make it today :(

So it’s the second-LAST friday of a month, right?


robjdlc
Participant
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Oh its on there, thats only a small portion of the playlist.


jakeliefer
Participant
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Uh oh, those clouds don’t look too friendly


robjdlc
Participant
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Forecast/radar says we’re going to get a little wet, should pass quickly.


dwillen
Participant
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Looks like a small drop of rain. Not too worried about it. Not many blips on ye old weather.com radar.


quizbot
Participant
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if I wasn’t watching the kids tonight, I’d be there


bikeygirl
Participant
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Just got out of work and there’s no tweets at #pghfco to where the flock is…


dwillen
Participant
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Fantastic ride! Perfect weather, nice company, and fun music. Thanks Nick for starting this, and thanks to everyone that came along.


StuInMcCandless
Participant
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dwillen
Participant
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dmtroyer
Participant
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bahahaha, @ Stef are you in the middle of rolling your eyes at the helmetless dude???


Impala26
Participant
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The other thing this particular FOC Event helped to foster was how bike-friendly South Oakland generally is. Pleasant, wide, one-way streets and let’s not forget proximity to virtually every hot spot within the city within less than 3 miles. Amazing!

(Like I may have said earlier, where I grew up in Indiana Township you had to go at least FOUR miles to get to ANYTHING, and those suburban roads are anything but bike-friendly)


mustion
Participant
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What a friggin’ blast. I haven’t had that much fun in months. Biking with a friendly group, with friendly onlookers cheering us on, and with not only our own soundtrack, but a CHOICE of soundtrack! 80s pop or 90s punk & ska, on two stereos? Heaven.

Nice to meet you all, looking forward to Midnight Mass…


saltm513
Participant
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It was really fun. Wish I had been able to hang around later. @david: haha, not sure what the expression is for, but we did have this convo! in some fairness, he did just move to Pittsburgh 6 days ago. He has in mind to protect his own, and will purchase a helmet soon.


bikeygirl
Participant
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Damn….. I so wanted to do this but didn’t get outta work until 6:30pm, and then when I checked the Twitter #pghfco updates, there was’t one until around 8pm about vagely being on the Milvalle trail. Needless to say, I went home after work hoping to see the flock, but nothing…. :(

Next time, please help a sister! How about updating more often, or more accurately, where the flock is heading out to for the late commers? Or, setting up previously planned ‘key stops’ where one can try to join the ride in process?

Bummed :/


edmonds59
Participant
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26+- riders, by one 8-year olds count. 24+- miles. 0 traffic conflicts. 0 meanness. Flocking awesome.

I got to tell someone new to Pgh about BikePgh.org. (the little family by Sta Sq.)

I got to talk to some elderly folks who thought the whole thing was darn cool.

Helmetless dude who collected pizza money – are you Impala? Did I overhear you say that was the farthest you had ridden? If so, outstanding! Cool bike too.

saltm, we didn’t chat – I thought you were exaggerating when you said in some other post that you had too much hair to fit under a helmet. Whoa.


dwillen
Participant
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Bikeygirl, Sorry you missed us. I’ll see what I can do about getting some google latitude-type tracking going for next time so latecomers can track us and catch up. I think there was also talk about pushing the start time by a half hour or something so people getting off work late can still make the ride.


edmonds59
Participant
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I like the idea of several staged starts with meeting locations, or pickup points, like dippy – 5:30, east end somewhere @ 6:30, the strip somewhere 7:30, something like that. that way the earlies can be riding and people can jump in.

BTW, I thought the route yesterday was excellent, I wouldn’t mind if that became sort of a base route. Esp since when dark hit we were quite a bit off of roads and in the hollow. That was cool.

Also, Nick, thanks for everything, awesome job.


Nick D
Participant
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I’m glad to see everyone that made it out.

I think we proved that there is no reason a group ride has to break laws. FOC was more fun than any of the CM rides I’ve been on (5 years worth).

The entire 24 mi we had one automobile driver who seemed a little perturbed. One.

We are thinking about pushing it back a half hour–meeting at 6:00 with the goal of leaving by 6:30. Thoughts?

A bunch of us plan on going to CM next week, and then leaving from Dippy how we did yesterday.

Who wants to host the post-FOC party next month?

Also, thanks for those who contributed beer money–it helped. I still have a case of PBR and some tequila that I’ll bring to the next post-FOC party.


Nick D
Participant
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Also, Impala is Nick.

The helmet-less fellow is Mike.


robjdlc
Participant
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Was a wicked good time. Bikeygirl – I did post under #pghfoc as did a few others (http://twitter.com/#search?q=%23pghfoc), but a latitude tracking system would be better. Its hard to ride, take photos, post a location, and catchup, all at the same time, haha.

I’ll have my photos up sometime later. I’ve got a lot to sort through.

Great post, Stu!

I’m down with leading at 6:30, I’m off on fridays so anytime works for me.


jakeliefer
Participant
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I…. I just died in your armmmms tonight…. musta been something you saiddd.

Had that stuck in my head for a few good hours.


mustion
Participant
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Oh yeah, the family who were counting us were awesome. They were so into it. That was the thing, we had not only positive feedback from onlookers, but especially enthusiastic feedback. The vibes really helped push me along on the longest ride I’ve taken so far this year.

I would also like to point out that the journey the ride took was a very helpful orientation for biking around Pittsburgh – we covered the majority of the trails and back-ways near to downtown. It was like the bike map set to real life. Fun AND educational…


Nick D
Participant
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Like I said yesterday, I think FOC really shows what the cycling community in Pittsburgh is really like.

Rob, I look forward to seeing your pictures.


dwillen
Participant
#

I setup glympse on my android phone (real google latitude is buggy as hell). I will do my best to keep this running when I go on a large group ride in PGH, including the FOC rides. It seems to have crashed at least once just sitting here on my couch, so we’ll see how successful it is.

I’m a little paranoid about this being used for evil, so I’ve made it as private as I can.

How it works:

* You request to follow the private twitter feed where I will send the links ( http://twitter.com/trackpghcycles ). If you are adamantly opposed to twitter, let me know and we can arrange something else. If you don’t have a well-established twitter account that I might recognize, also sent me a PM here letting me know your twitter username. Just trying to keep the riffraff out.

* To follow a ride, login to twitter, click on the most recent link and it should pop up with a nifty googlish-map in your browser, with my location, direction of travel, speed, and a short tail indicating where I just was.

* If you have an iPhone or android phone, you should be able to install the glympse app, and use it to follow the 6 digit glympse IDs in the links (XXX-XXX).

If you are interested in co-glympsing with me, we could make the twitter account a communal place to post the links. Just PM me.


Impala26
Participant
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@Edmonds: To clarify who I was, I was the guy who was wearing his helmet MOST of the ride, had the blue bike, blue helmet, white tee shirt with blue sleeves and my single right-side open pannier. Also by the time we finished in South Oakland I managed to throw on my simple reflector vest.

Also, I would be down for “timed” checkpoints. The funny thing is we ended up doing that anyway on this last ride, just randomly. No reason we couldn’t have “scheduled” stops like that in places like the Strip, Downtown, South Side, etc. I mean, we basically did that anyway without scheduling.

Also, I’m for any route that doesn’t involve major climbs or steep stuff. I mean, I can do those on my own, but we don’t need this to become a marathon. That said, I’m glad we came DOWN Polish Hill. Personally I would have rather seen a route through the Strip and maybe part of Uptown with the Armstrong Tunnel and 10th Street Bridge.

My point is that there is no reason we need to follow a similar route each time or anything. I would love to hit lots of Pittsburgh neighborhoods with this as we do it over the months. That said, I understand there is definitely limitations with going to places like south of the South Side Flats or the Hill District or something, but I think the more people that see something like this, the better.


bikeygirl
Participant
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Thanks all for looking into this!!! I think tha just setting pre-determined stops along the route will suffice!! Specially for the people who are less technologically advance.

I mean, if you think about it, when birds migrate they pick-up other birds to join the flock during the way…. :)

Allrighty, a month from now then!!!

And Midnite Mass… I will put it on my calendar :)


mustion
Participant
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Impala: I am just now looking online to find one of those open panniers after admiring yours. Where did you get it? Hell I might just make my own…


dwillen
Participant
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I, myself, prefer a random route without a lot of predetermined time points or destinations. But I am only one cycle in a flock.

Part of the fun of these rides for me is being able to spontaneously pick someplace to go, and go there. If we have to get over to southside to pick up a couple people up who may or may not be waiting there, we can’t be very spontaneous.

Before he blew it off, there was talk of routing the ride to the North Side to drop mustion off at a Pirates game. Last midnight mass we rerouted the mass to drop someone off at home. If we have time points or places to check in, we wouldn’t be able to do things like that.

Get a phone number from someone you know will be there, have them route the ride over to where you are.

Just my two cents.


Impala26
Participant
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@dwillen: True, but I think we could still be spontaneous while accommodating for perhaps one other time-point. I think we should opt for something like and start on time, or not do that and do what Nick said and start one half hour later.

@mustion: I actually got them at REI on the South Side. I’m pretty sure they currently sell the exact same design. They are great for holding a bunch of random crap like I often have, not to mention a bunch of groceries. They’re not so good in the rain because they don’t have anything like a built-in cover, but I’m sure that’s something that’s not hard to jerry-rig. I often just have a heavy washcloth or something to cover over the stuff (like papers) that could be damaged by water.


Nick D
Participant
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I agree with Dan.

I think what made FOC fun was the “Rider in the front is the leader” rule I pushed on the guys up front works well.

The rotating leader system allows people to see parts of the city they have never seen before–everyone takes the group to their favorite places.

Bikelygirl, I’ll PM you my mobile number.


dwillen
Participant
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6:30 start time works for me. Especially in the summer when the days are long. I will have tracking going next time, which shouldn’t be that complicated to use.

Go to twitter.com, make an account, go to http://twitter.com/trackpghcycles and click follow. When you are ready to join the ride, visit http://twitter.com/trackpghcycles again and click the link(s) that will be there. It will bring up a map with a continuously updated real-time location of the ride.


alnilam
Participant
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About the finding us thing:

If I can get it working more reliably, amateur radio has the answer!

http://aprs.fi/?call=KB3QYG&dt=1241308800&mt=m&z=15&timerange=3600

This website will update with my position real-time while I’m running the system. We used it in the marathon to track where the lead and last hand-cycle racers were (the link is the log of that route). I could bring this along to the next one, and anyone could go to aprs.fi and check where KB3QYG is.


mustion
Participant
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I too prefer the spontaneity. If we can get some sort of online update system together it’d be perfect. I think last night, we just sort of forgot… we were on panther hollow and someone checked this board and said “oops, we forgot to post updates!” Kind of hard to do while biking.

I just read the thread where this ride was proposed… I’m glad we proved the nay-sayers wrong. The ride was very very successful.


Nick D
Participant
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They nay-sayers were mainly talking about trying to change CM.

But, I am also glad they were wrong, because it means I was right.


dwillen
Participant
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@alnilam, that looks exactly like this glympse thing I tried out. If people don’t care and it makes it easier, I’ll just make the glympse feed public. I just wanted to avoid some crazy person with a grudge tracking down a bunch of good mannered cyclists.


robjdlc
Participant
#

Who was the dude in the purple shirt who left with Stef when we got pizza?

And what was the awesome street in polish hill we went through with the signs and ‘interesting people’?


dwillen
Participant
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You mean Gold Way? My coworker that came along on the ride lives on that street.

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