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Kittens & Puppies

Ohio River Beaver

I rarely write up rides of less than 100 miles, but given how disappointing 2018 has been, it’s worth mentioning how nice Sunday’s Pittsburgh Randonneurs Kittens & Puppies 100k (that’s 62 miles) was.

We started 25 miles down the Ohio River in Monaca PA, then headed north along the Beaver River—almost to Ellwood City—then paralleled the PA Turnpike northwest to New Middletown OH, and back along the same route.

So what was so good about it?

First and foremost, the weather was stunning, and the view from the start on the Ohio riverbank was gorgeous. We’ve had 14 inches more rainfall than average this year, which soaked or canceled several events and regular weekly rides. So we were very appreciative of a beautifully sunny late summer day. Later some high clouds from Hurricane Florence r »more

Ohio River Beaver

Ohio River Beaver

Morning on the Ohio River and Beaver, PA as seen from Monaca Riverside Park.

Escaped To, Then Pedaled

God Light on Tanner Road

In June I Escaped To The Lake, but Saturday I Pedaled The Lakes.

Actually, the Mercer County Trails Association’s Pedal the Lakes century has nothing to do with BikeMS’s Escape to the Lake charity ride, other than the vaguely-related names and about half a mile of Harmonsburg Road in Linesville… And the fact that I participated in both rides this year.

God Light on Tanner Road

Pymatuning Reservoir

All the cool kids hang out at the spillway

I rode the small-town Pedal the Lakes in 2016 as reported here, but skipped it last year due to a showery forecast and the organizers’ refusal to provide a GPS cue sheet. This year’s forecast was almost ideal, and they not only provided a GPS track, but updated it twice during the week leading up to the event to account for detours »more

Le Tour des Touristes

Pedal PGH

Last Sunday was my third Pedal PGH, the local advocacy group’s big city ride.

The forecast indicated a 30 percent chance of rain, and the radar showed several incoming thunderstorms crossing from Ohio into Western PA. I lingered indecisive, but eventually set out to ride.

Although I started 45 minutes late, that didn’t present any problem, and the rain I feared never materialized, as my route somehow danced around the downpours that happened in various parts of the city. But with heavy overcast, there wasn’t much point in taking any photos.

Being a populist ride, the crowd included a high proportion of neophytes who presented a danger to themselves and others, and I rolled past three or four major crashes attended by ambulances and large crowds. I felt safest on the parts of the lo »more

Into the Suppersphere

In March, when I was in Kuala Lumpur (heheh!) I scoped out a local bookstore’s manga, Buddhism, and cycling sections. In the latter, I discovered the intriguingly-titled Into the Suffersphere: Cycling and the Art of Pain. Which I set aside because it was pricey in Malaysian ringits. However, I later requested it from Amazon.

The book covers three predominant topics. The first is professional bike racing and cycling culture. The second—which derives from cycling—is suffering: its manifestation and methods of coping, and the doping that pervades the sport. That gives way to the third topic: the philosophical relationship between man and his suffering, seen through the lens of (of all things) Theravada Buddhism.

You might think “Orny, this is the perfect book for you!” And to some degr »more