Saturday, February 28, 2015

Critical Mass Pittsburgh, February 2015

I had a nice little ride all by myself. Without really trying, I laid out a challenging course, which I might do again next month when the weather is more conducive to gathering a crowd.

From Dippy:
* R Forbes
* L Craig
* L Fifth Ave
* R Sixth Ave
* jiggle across Liberty to Seventh St
* cross Andy Warhol (7th St) Bridge
* L Lacock
* becomes Reedsdale
* L Allegheny Ave
* becomes North Shore Drive
* L Mazeroski Way
* R West General Robinson
* R Federal St
* cross Roberto Clemente (6th St) Bridge
* L Liberty
* R Sixth Ave
* R Grant St
* L Forbes and return to Dippy

On that last entry, I actually did that earlier, biking to the start of the ride. Afterward, since I work in the Frick Building, I stopped at my office for a bit, then caught a bus home.

Some of the more challenging aspects of the route:
* getting left on Forbes
* lots of foot traffic on Craig
* lots of car traffic on Fifth, the whole way in
* passing buses in Oakland
* claiming and keeping that lane on the rise after the Birmingham Bridge
* claiming and keeping that lane on the rise up Sixth Ave to Centre
* really bad pavement on Sixth from Smithfield to Wood
* claiming and keeping the lane across the bridge
* the transition to Reedsdale is NOT bike-friendly
* Reedsdale itself is one lane, then two-lane, and bikes use the LEFT lane
* if Stage AE is having an event, as it was last night, people and cars are everywhere going every direction
* WGen Robinson might have a lot of parked cars, might not, but if it does, you might get a lot of grief from motorists who want to double the speed limit past PNC Park
* the transition off the 6th St Br requires a left lane change
* Grant requires a left lane change at Forbes
* claiming and keeping the lane all the way out to the Birmingham Bridge
* THE toughest part of the ride is claiming and keeping the lane AFTER that corner
* the second toughest part is getting directly in front of cars going 65 mph off the bridge and forcing them to slow to 15
* the third toughest part is claiming and keeping the lane on the climb up to Craft

To reiterate, if you can negotiate this seven-mile loop through the city, you can deal with most anything.