Sunday, May 17, 2009

Pedal Pittsburgh



Today was Pedal Pittsburgh. Based on what I experienced in Mt. Washington the picture is of a guy removing signs just to play a dirty trick on those riders who chose to climb up Josephine and 18th and then do a series of about ten very steep rollers. After a while all signs that we were on an organized ride disappeared. Ultimately signs reappeared near the intersection of Grandview and McCardle. These signs lead us to the near death experience of descending Sycamore Street. Every year I think about how stupid it is to end this ride by going down one of Pittsburgh's steepest and windiest streets. Of course every year I do it again. I am really a Pittsburgh lemming. This year we had an added treat. In a very steep section there is a hairpin turn covered with gravel. We made it to the bottom without incident, but probably without any brake pads left either. As an added treat after we got to Carson Street they turned us onto a street by Terminal Way that is steep down hill, Belgian block cobblestone and empties into a fairly busy street: a trifecta of risky business for cyclists.

One other thing that we clearly realized from this ride is that Luke is clearly not getting it done as far as repaving streets. We traveled 60 miles of city roads and for the most part they were horrible. Burma has better roads. Bikes and bodies were abused from riding over through and into crumbling and rutted pavement.

At least one politician cares. At the finish area at the Southside Works it was nice to see Alex Bicket, who is running for Common Pleas Judge. He was the only one who apparently realized that cyclists do have the right to vote. Alex is a good guy and a very good lawyer. The Bar Association has rated him Highly Recommended. Seeing Alex made me think about the article in today's Post-Gazette: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09137/970776-181.stm. Alex wasn't mentioned, but the topic was the outrageous amount of money that candidates for Common Pleas Court are spending. The critical factor should be who is best qualified, not who raises the most money. It is a sad state that both the winners and losers will go deeply in debt to finance the campaigns. Does anyone even like watching the TV ads for Judges? If I have to watch that one with the mug shots one more time I will break my TV. Campaign spending for Judges is out of control. Has anyone noticed what has been going on with the local judiciary? We had one Judge thrown out for allegedly soliciting bribes. Another Judge quit because he needed to make more money, so he became a private mediator. A third judge recently resigned amid controversy relating to a real estate dealing and financial ruination.

I like biking better than running, and certainly better than running for Judge. If only we could get our roads repaved.

2 comments:

Charlie said...

D,

Nice job on Tuesday. Of the 31 polls in District 1, the one you staffed came closest to pulling out a majority for Christine:

Ward 14, District 6 (Chatham)
Democratic Ballots Cast: 99
Dem. School Board Votes Cast: 79
Shealey: 37
Stone: 35
Brooks: 7

That's a solid effort under trying conditions - I hope we're behind the same candidate at some point so I can get you to work a poll for me. You clearly brought the same rhetorical fire to that effort as you did to the PG letters page.

All the best,

Charlie

Pittsburgh Guy said...

I love backhanded compliments. Honestly the Shealey supporters did an excellent job promoting their candidate. I may not have thought she was the best candidate, but she is a very impressive person, a clear improvement to the board and I wish her the very best. Let's keep in mind that all three of these candidates were running to become volunteers. Anyone who would do that should be appreciated. We have the same goal hopefully: a better city.
Of course the post that you commented on had absolutely nothing to do with the School Board race.