Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Go East for them Hills!

I have been in two cities I did not know too much about, but have driven through the area. The first city is Pittsburgh, I was here for a few days and I just was mostly working and I did not fare too well getting served in a locals restaurant, and that happened to me again on this visit.

I arrived to do the store here with Robert Brehn, with our bikes in tow. I think that if it was not for Karen all the Brehn boys would eat only spaghetti and burritos! So while he was here I at Chipotle which is a burrito chain, a pretty good Oriental place and a burger joint... So food (or is that fuel?) was consumed!

On the first day after work we headed out south, to find out we needed to make a few detours as bridges were out. I later found out that Pittsburgh had had two major floods this year that had taken out several bridges. Detouring routes around bridges or cyclo-crossing over bridge construction became the "theme" of Pittsburgh riding. So without any further adieu here are the Pittsburgh rides:

These are by my lonesome:
This one the "pigtail" to the West is where on a descent the paved road just disappeared, turned to a rock road and it took me awhile to slow to a stop and turn around.

Friday after my ride I went to the southside flats where the "hipsters" hang out, here there wanna be's and really just college students on bikes. But I found a very nice restaurant with an inexpensive dinner (bonus). While down there I found Pittsburgh Pavé.

Now on Saturday it was Thunderstorms (feels like a theme for this summers travels), then it cleared up about 2 p.m. So should I ride or see the town, I went out to see the town. There is a tram that lets you see the whole of the city and the stadiums.

It seems that there are very few cyclist for all the great riding, but no shortage of bikers, and if your into sports and bars to watch sports in this would be a fantastic city. 

Sunday a.m. I was up early to head off to my next assignment Baltimore, but via Gettysburg... I grew up with a Civil War buff, and I took Civil War history at A&M with one of the great scholars before he retired. I did run Strava on this, just to see where I had gone, but if you do get a chance, a bike is a great way to do it, but bring a MTB or a cross bike with shoes you can walk in, and a lock. I had the lock and a change of shoes, but riding up Big Round Top I met up with people walking down and I had to dismount and walk the rest of the way up, in road cycling shoes. If you don't know what they are well go here. I have a lot of photos of the fields and views but here are just a few...
David Wills on Lincoln Square where Lincoln stayed while in Gettysburg

This is general Unknown, but there also by state plus all the known.

The plak from cemetery ridge

The real thing

view from Warfield ridge of little round top and artillery ridge

artillery ridge looking at Devils den.

Then on to Baltimore, I arrived not knowing much at all, and found out I was in the middle of the shoppers mecca of Baltimore. Monday was a nice evening and I sat at my computer looking for the best place to ride, I had picked a few areas that were drive and ride (not my first choice). Tuesday it rained and rained and thunderstorms, so I went looking for food, and Yelp failed me BIG time, shoppers mecca means chain food places, and no real good places to eat. I was depressed no ride and no good food. 
Wednesday it rained and then looked like it wanted to rain, but a co-worker had told me about Fells Point and Bertha's Mussels. It is a historical part of Baltimore and in a revival. I had parked down at O'Donnell and  Boston at a park and talked to several dog owners, this is Michael Phelps home turf. I walked down the waterfront promenade to Fells Point, which is where Meg Ryan lived in "Sleepless in Seattle" and had nice evening looking at all the old buildings.
Oh BTW Baltimore Pavé

Thursday RAIN again, but again a co-work had told about a place call Iron Horse for good food and Nati-Bo's on tap. I binged on "junk food" I had $5 pound of wings with, OF COURSE, in Baltimore Old Bay seasoning and Sweet Potato fries, ah well not healthy but good, and this place was out of town a bit... on rollling hills. "Oh my what's a cyclist to think?"
Friday as some may know from my post it was raining after work and I began my laundry which was FREE at this hotel, score! As soon as I got the first load in the sun came out! Stupid Baltimore weather! So I planned Saturday while laundry was going. It was going to be tricky, light showers in the a.m. cloudy afternoon and a T-Storm at 4:30. The weather was not quite so stupid, it became sunny around 1:00 and I got a little red, and the evening was cool and fantastic (cept the mosquitoes).

Sunday I wanted to see the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum so after hotel breakfast off to see planes and spaceships! The engineer in me.

Once I got back to the hotel it was just too nice not to go riding so... 
Monday was just a very long day of work, then hop in car and drive all the way up to Long Island, getting late. Today rained but after work it cleared up. I was oh so tempted but just too too exhausted, so I made the Thai Curry recipe that Greg Niemialkowski had given me, its easy and forgiving for travel with small grocery stores. Tomorrow's ride is planned and no rain in the forecast!