Saturday, October 26, 2013

Coffeeneuring Trip 4: A Wicked Long Trip

I couldn't think of a better subtitle for this one, but it was wicked long, or at least felt that way. Southside doesn't usually feel like a long ride, but somehow going 3+ places while down there seemed like a long trip. Maybe I'm also a little low on sleep as well, so better get this written before the urge to nap becomes too much.

First off, Southside is nearly 5 miles from my house, and Pittsburgh can be a cruel mistress towards those who aren't used to hills. It didn't help that the best way to describe the weather would be a string of profanities with the occasional "windy" or "cold" mixed in. Maybe gloves would have helped? But I have yet to find a single pair of (non-fingerless) gloves that are both reasonable for biking and don't feel like the seams digging into the sides of my fingers. Maybe it's because I have stubby fingers and child-sized hands, so anything will either be too long or too narrow. Plus mittens are super toasty and my fingers can all huddle up for warmth.
Right to Left: Cherry, Haavis, kdanger
Upon arriving in Southside I did the usual low traffic path through Southside works (I generally favor that or the bike trail over East Carson St.) which led me to Pierogi Fest as they were setting up. It was a kind of an odd event to see, with pierogi pillows, amigurumi pierogies, as well as actual edible ones. Alas, when I returned the line for the pierogi truck was super long and not going to happen.

And I had filled up on food from OTB (oddly enough pierogies, but we had already made the decision to go to bikebar, and kdanger preferred a sandwich). So first food related stop was for iced tea, pierogis, fries, a panini and iron city bites. OH MAN I CAN EAT IRON CITY BITES. THIS IS EXCITING. I FIND THIS EXCITING. I should also figure out whether or not I'll get got by the burgers. I should head down there on a day with minimal obligations and someone who wouldn't mind giving me a ride home.
Didn't feel enough like coffeeneuring...
I couldn't shake the feeling that OTB didn't really count (lack of coffee) so I decided to go somewhere else for a hot drink after that. We stopped in at Goodwill (with a slight lack of success) before kdanger caught a bus back to a meeting. The Bus is Late by Satellite High is pretty appropriate in Pittsburgh, although there wasn't rain today. I hopped back on the trail to head over to Beehive Coffee for my coffeeneuring stop. Woo, the apple chaider is pretty good, spicier mulled cider good. Would get that again, but with less worrying about getting my bike fixed.
Nice and warm.
Which leads to the last major errand. Making my bike less of a death-trap. For the third time in as many days I stopped by Thick. The first one was for dropping off my bike to get the brakes and seat fixed up (and a couple other things like a missing cotter pin). That bike was pretty much going to kill me if I rode it on any kind of slope, and now she's super pretty and ready to ride around town.
Haavis before getting the handlebars adjusted
Unfortunately, my tiny little hands couldn't reach the brake levers as they were, and I was getting worried that the bars would have to be rewrapped after taking the tape off, and I just got it yesterday, but they really just needed to be rotated into a more sensible position so that when I brake I'm not hanging on by my thumbs and stretching out as far as possible, but have some part of my hand still on the handlebars. It's way better, but I'll see how well it works over the next couple days before declaring everything fixed for good. I also got that darn kickstand off, because even after it was tightened I would hear that little clink, clink, clink as the pedals hit it. Keeping these adjustment in mind, I ended up with a pretty scary game on the ride home. In fact, you can play along with:

What's that jingling sound?

So you're on the Hot Metal bridge after your bike stopped being a death trap. You're still not used to exactly how she rides. You pass over one of the concrete seams and hear a metallic jingling. It happens on the next one. It doesn't sound like it's coming from in front of you, so you'll have to stop to take a look. Unfortunately it seems like you're going to have to get off and shake the back of your bike vigorously to find out if you're about to get thrown off or something.

The answer is the pedal cover. Of which you only have one. And it's missing a screw. I should really just take that thing off, but at least it doesn't mean the back wheel is about to fall off or something. After that excitement I had some even better things happen. Namely I found 2 new protractors! No idea how many times I've passed them without noticing them, but 435 is under the bridge at the start of the Eliza Furnace Trail in a little wooden frame. 433 used to be on the same box as 289, but it was glued to the remains of a sticker and I found it on the ground. So........ I adopted a protractor. Sorry.
Paper isn't a super great backing. And paint leaves better ghosts.
In conclusion:
Date: 10/26/2013
Coffee shop: Beehive Coffee
What I had: Apple Chaider
Miles: Good Question.
Party: shank, kdanger

Bonus Protractor:
By interpolation I should be able to find 434.

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