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