Steel City Sights

There are a couple things you do not want to happen on a bike trip, number one is your bike being stolen. With that checked off the list, number two is something to go wrong with your bike in the middle of nowhere that you can’t fix. Prior to leaving Burlington I

grease hands rasing the roof

grease hands rasing the roof

attempted to learn how to fix my chain in case the situation arose that required such knowledge, but it never worked out and I left with the hope that I would not need to know. So of course my chain snaps on one of our climbs, and the time came for me to learn. A kind woman I met at the top of the hill was willing to miraculously squeeze my bike and trailer into her station wagon (her infant son in the backseat tolerated my wheel in his face), and drive me to where Laura was waiting. I took the next couple of hours to familiarize myself with the ways of the chain, and finally with some words of wisdom from Laura’s dad we were off like nothing had happened. Before now I had only seen Pittsburgh at night during


a short layover while taking a train cross-country, so I was interested in seeing the city without its mask on. What I found was a free jazz concert, a person who knew a friend of mine at UVM, a sandwich with default ingredients of cheese, cole slaw, tomato and French fries, and about a million bridges, some of them painted mustard yellow.
I also found Kraynicks, a unique bike shop owned and run by Gerry Kraynick who followed his father Steve who opened the shop in the mid-forties. Pictures can only begin to reveal the quantity of parts that cover the walls and ceilings, and that are stored in the floor above and below the shop. Six stands are in the back for anybody to come in and work on their bike. Bikers can come in and use any tool they can find, and swap out parts if they will it. Boxes of stems, seat posts, and pedals line the shelves. Gerry, who can sell you new parts if you need them, does not ask anything for these services. All he asks is that whenever you are working on your bike and somebody else needs help, you help them. Gerry, a wise, gentle, white haired recumbent bicyclist is revered by those who know him, and I strongly encourage you to stop by even if you are just passing through just to say hi.
Shadyside is the community where our Couch Surfing host, Michelle lives. We stayed two nights on her futon before departing in the rain, heading north to Youngstown, Ohio.

Kraynick's Bike Shop

Kraynick's Bike Shop


0 Responses to “Steel City Sights”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


July 2009
« Jun   Aug »

%d bloggers like this: