Monday, November 7, 2016

2016 Coffeeneuring #5 - Northern suburbs

If the Oakland Carnegie Library was my ace, this was playing my next highest card. I live north of the city, so the challenge was to bike to someplace new, or in a new way, north of the city, but not the North Shore, and far enough from the house to qualify.

My choice was the McCandless Panera, if only to replicate my son's commute. He works at this very restaurant (though not the day I went there), and commutes by bike, but I had never traveled there via his route.

The first 3/4 mile is identical to my trip to the bus in the morning, but he makes a left into the nursing home, where he cuts through a parking lot, a fence, and a yard, then down a steep hill, into the parking lot for a new bit of suburban sprawl -- a parking lot for a hotel, a gym, and a restaurant. I almost did this without error, but did not see and so overshot the mowed path, and ended up bushwhacking my way through 30 feet of tall weeds.

Normally I would prefer to avoid national chain restaurants, but I also know how the business works, so the best way I knew to keep my son employed was to give the place some business. Plus, I needed dinner anyway, and it was getting late. I wanted to ride earlier, but the To Do list at home took priority, and further had to hook up my lights to Bike #2. The whole point of having Bike #2 operable is so he or I can hop on it on a moment's notice to make this exact trip. Coffeeneuring simply made the drill a more enjoyable chore.

I don't know where he ties up his bike, but I could not find a single rack in the entire set of restaurants in that little sprawlplaza. The only post that I could fit the U-lock around was a temporary sign I could pick up which weighed less than the bike. I will not lock to trees. I ended up wedging it between a bush and the wall of the building.

[Update: New photo] In my rush to get out the door, I forgot the cell phone. Here is one pic of my meal, a still from my helmet cam.

I also managed to get a video of the ride (here), and this pic of the receipt. The chili and sandwich were decent.
The trip back was uneventful, the biggest concern being that it was now dark. I somehow found my way back up the path through the grass to the nursing home, then it was the usual 3/4 mile on Perrymont I already know pretty well. All told, round trip was about five miles, barely enough to qualify, but certainly with a good deal of exploration and experimentation under my belt.

Only two more rides to go in my Pittsburgh series -- level south-of-the-rivers, and west of town.

1 comment:

  1. Ride #5, staying close to home but an adventure nevertheless.