The morning got off to a confusing start, with various family members and I not quite on the same page of who had to go where when. I ended up getting a ride from home to Northview Heights, on the city's North Side, then got the rest of the way to Heinz Field under my own power. This itself was fraught with some irritation, as I got a horn from an ignorant motorist on a 25 mph city street, when I was likely going at least 20. She apparently did not accept that cyclists were allowed to use city streets at all. I chose not to further engage.
The main activity was to assist with the fourth annual 3-2-1 Ride, a charity bike ride to raise funds for pancreatic cancer research. I've helped on this ride each of the four years, and had this on the calendar, in ink, months ago. I wasn't sure where I'd be helping, but it's notable that on a single hour, the arranging of getting me there and in place involved four Sarahs: my wife (Sarah Strickland), the volunteer organizer Sarah Pearman, and two I've worked with on past rides, Sarah Quesen and Sara Walfoort. My life also features about six other Saras or Sarahs on a regular basis, and another half dozen I run into less often. I am awash in Sarahs. Next up, spend an hour or two manning a sticky intersection -- Penn Avenue at Stanwix Street -- where the bike lane ends and riders have to merge into regular traffic. That ended up being a fairly easy problem to manage. I did get asked a dozen or more times which way to go, by those on the ride, and directions in general by random passersby. It felt good, just standing there on a beautifully warm autumn day.
What's wrong with this picture? Hint: mixed messages. pic.twitter.com/Vwm2QaFnoI— Stuart Strickland (@bus15237) October 16, 2016
Eventually the cleanup crew came through, so I took off with them to the ride's end, and the promise of some food. I hung out with friends I hadn't seen in a while, nibbled bagels and orange segments, then headed to the next task: work.
Getting downtown was simple enough, with that minor risk of managing not to ride into the river as I biked toward and past PNC Park. As I got to my building, I noticed that Grant Street was shut down entirely for a celebration called Pittsburgh Food Day, an effort of the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council. Various booths and small exhibits were set up to explain various aspects of recovering and not wasting food, sustainable community gardens, vegan diets, and other aspects of food production in the city.
Sitting at a picnic table in the middle of Grant St, having a great little meal! #pghFoodDay event.— Stuart Strickland (@bus15237) October 16, 2016
"You can't feed the kids donuts for breakfast and expect the Keystone test scores not to be affected."— Stuart Strickland (@bus15237) October 16, 2016
I spent about an hour at work, tracking down a couple of problems, and packing up a few more things to take home in preparation for the company's move next week. I returned to the food thing, and got in line for the quick little meal they were serving people. I met a young lady, whom I know only as Kat, who lives in Millvale and knows a lot of the same people I do, since I pass through Millvale almost daily myself.
Next up, bike to the North Side, to run into Amanda at Crazy Mocha, and catch up on things. For living in the same city, I hadn't seen her in years. Got a brownie and a "monkey mocha", a banana-chocolate coffee concoction. Yum!
Lastly, I caught a bus most of the rest of the way home. I had a bagful of junk from my cubicle, it didn't tie to the bike at all, and didn't feel like riding eight miles with a bag in one hand. Sometimes, it's best to take the bus, even on a nice day.
Soon enough, I was home, showered, and got on with the rest of a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Coffeeneuring Week #2 is in the bag!