Friday, August 16, 2013

A Squonky Kind of Ride

Returned to Schenley Plaza today and stopped to get the photos of all the PNC Carousel animals.  The lady running the carousel graciously allowed me to walk around inside the fence while no one was riding.

"Pitt the Panther"

"Harry Skettle"

"Sea Diver"
"Krissy's Lily"


"Troy Polamalu"

"R Merry Seal"


The names for the animals were bestowed on them by the people or foundations that sponsored them.

This entire plaza (which is more of a small park) is a great spot.  When I attended Pitt, this was a parking lot.  A big slab of concrete full of vehicles with the heat radiating off of everything all afternoon.  What a remarkable difference with the grass, carousel, vendors and flowers.

I knew I was going to see the carousel this evening, but what I wasn't expecting to see just beyond it, parked on the grass, was the Squonk Opera Roadshow.  This is not your average park entertainment.

This unusual group of artists have been entertaining for over 20 years.  They began in Pittsburgh but have performed nationally and internationally.

Yeah, that's not going to fit through the Squirrel Hill Tunnels.

Their creativity seems to have no bounds.  The roadshow stage has a spinning piano and truck horn calliope.

They were warming up as we were marshalling bikes in front of "Dippy", across the street at the Carnegie Museum complex.

"Dippy" is a local landmark and the usual meeting spot for "Flock O Cycles"

While we were waiting for the rest of the group to show up, we walked the bikes over to the Oakland Farmers Market to see what they had.  To our great surprise and pleasure we found The Creped Crusader  had set up shop there today.  My friend had just emailed them trying to find out their schedule.

After fueling up with a "Danny Devito" (ham, cheese, pineapple, sourcream) crepe, we set out with Flock O Cycles for the Bike Fest Party Ride.  A good crowd turned out and the flock departed Dippy with Nick towing the Flock's music trailer.  Music, bikes, a nice evening and good people... it doesn't get much better.  But wait!  It does when the ride ends at the Point State Park fountain and everyone pulls out picnic supplies.

A beautiful evening by the river with friends as we watched the sun set behind the West End Bridge.  The ride back to the car in the dark was my chance to really evaluate which bike light I liked better.  I had both my Magicshine 16W light and my Cygolite Expilion 170 freshly charged and mounted on opposite sides of the handlebars.  The Magicshine lit up a wider area with all three of it's light on, but the Cygolite was definitely brighter and easy to adjust where the beam was directed.  Although I like having both lights, if I had to chose one I'd go with the Cygolite.  It's much easier to mount and remove, the beam can be easily repositioned, and the Magicshine folks never responded to an email asking about a battery recall on my model.  That's not good customer service.  

View of the fountain as we crossed the Ft Duquesne Bridge after the Flock O Cycles picnic.

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