This past Friday (June 12th) I rode in my second ever Rainbow bike ride – flock of cycles -> 412 Flock hosted monthly bike ride, pride edition. I rode about 2 years ago but this year I was able to ride for the whole thing, which was really cool since there were some historical stop sights (specific to queer culture) along the way.
actually ended up riding some extra miles (to and from home) totally roughly 20 miles for me 😀 It rained on & off but that didn’t stop us! We were also fortunate to have three police officers accompany us and keep traffic at bay as we rode through some intense intersections and turns.
Tour de Pittsburgh:
We started at the Carnegie Library/ Quad area by Dippy the Dinosaur … ended up taking refuge under the big tent by the carousal due to the crazy down pour that decided to take place and waited out a few extra minutes before riding out.
We rode through park of Oakland/ Schenley park then stopped briefly at “the Paint Party” – a friendly water(color) balloon fight put on by Roots Pride.
We continued on via Panther Hallow/ Sq Hill and stopped at “the Fruit Loop” – a section of Schenley Park found along Prospect Drive. It is at least 30 years old and is the ‘traditional area of town where gay men sun bathe during the summer.’ Back in the day this was also a common hook up spot for gay men, they would park their cars along here then meet up with other men in the woods. This also happens to be the site where “David Piergalski was beat to death in 1989 by two 20-year olds who found entertainment in harassing queer” and later claimed that they were frightened when David approached them. One of them got sentenced 6 years the other 12.
We then rode on through the south side on E. Carson riding through the Armstrong Tunnels, which was super fun with all the lights, bells, whistles and music playing.
After the tunnels we popped up to the GLCC on Grant St. where we met up with Jason who gave us a quick briefing – they also happened to be celebrating their 20th Anniversary Friday-night Teen Party.
We rode through town down Grant then Penn circling back around via Smallman then Penn again. Quick stop at the Brewers Hotel (33rd St and Liberty) not only is Brewers a bar it also serves as an SRO – sleeping room only – serving as an Aids Hospice during the 80s. We had the pleasure of meeting up with Harrison Apple on site who gave us a brief history of the place and the role of SRO’s as bachelor housing during Pittsburgh’s industrial times.
We rode on back to town down Penn again, was a really nice ride, people out and about were cheering and dancing with us when we stopped at the lights. Our journey took us to Market Square, where we did a couple victory laps then ended our ride at the Point Fountain.
Another successful ride. I had a lot of fun and look forward to the next one!