Friday, August 30, 2013

That Ought to Get You Four Feet!

We started our ride this morning with expectations of pretty much "the usual".  That didn't last long.  Two and half miles down the trail another rider coming towards us warned us to be careful, that someone was being attacked.  My first thought was why wasn't he calling for help?  There was clearly no threat in the immediate vicinity, so if this rider had been fleeing danger, then he had succeeded and could easily stop now and call for assistance.  We rode a little farther on to an area with dense foliage on the side of the trail.  We stopped and listened - saw nothing and heard nothing.  We parked the bikes and walked along calling out to see if anyone needed help.  No response.  We couldn't locate anyone in need after searching the area for 5-10 minutes, so my friend rode over and notified some security guys in an adjacent parking lot.  They came immediately and took a look around themselves.  While we were initially searching, we noticed the rider that had warned us had reversed direction and came back to where we were.  He stopped about 70 feet up the trail, (didn't say anything to us) and took his bike into the brush and disappeared.  It was a strange encounter.

With professionals now alert to the possibility that someone could have needed assistance in the area, we continued our ride.  Our immediate goal was petit déjeuner.  My friend had heard about a new French bakery opening in Squirrel Hill and was anxious to try it.  I informed him that there was another French bakery in Lawrenceville (which was much closer!) that we hadn't tried yet, so we headed for Butler St.

Along the way we made sure we went past the new Bike-Pgh billboard at Doughboy Square.  They just launched a new public awareness campaign and it looks great!  I hope it gets through to some of the drivers out there.

By the time we arrived at La Gourmandine Bakery, we were hungry and ready to try something new.  This place is steadily busy and I can see why.

The problem here was making a decision!  Realizing we weren't riding far enough today to justify one of everything, we eventually made our choices.

Now with plenty of energy to burn, we climbed the hill to Garfield and started to work our way through Bloomfield and Shadyside  toward the Junction Hollow Trail.  That was when we encountered this guy:

I asked if he delivered car parts by bike all the time, and he told me no, that it was his bike-car... part bike, part car.  I thought he was kidding, but a friend informed me that Aaron is well known for his car-bike combo.  I did think it was a great technique for getting drivers to give you space.  I advised him to paint his bumper a brighter color though.  Maybe add some Fiks reflective stickers to the ends?  That ought to get you four feet!

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