Ride Your Bike.

TheLEAGUE-BikeMonth

May is National Bike Month!

Today is Bike to Work Day!

CarFreeFridays2013.indd

I live about 5 blocks away from where I work, so riding to work feels almost like cheating.  It’s all downhill and takes literally two minutes. Riding home on the other hand…

As of today, I have worked at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh for exactly nine years. Before that I was a bike messenger. Yes, in Pittsburgh. Yes, Pittsburgh has bike messengers. Yes, it’s an awesome job. (In the summer. Not so much in sleet and snow. I’m a baby about the cold.)

After I quit, I stopped riding my bike and promptly got fat. I got back into bike riding again and recently bought a spanking new bike. It’s a thing of beauty. Every time I walk past it, I pet it.

MY Raleigh RX 1.0 Cyclocross Bike

I’ve already put a bunch of miles on it and I’m planning some big rides this summer. I’m doing a 50-mile ride to raise money for Diabetes research. I’m also planning some overnight camping trips on the Great Allegheny Passage and in September I’m going to Washington, D.C. via the Great Allegheny Passage and the C & O Canal.  All camping. Pray for me, folks, because a camper I am not. I’m more of an eat-in-restaurants-sleep-in-hotels kind of girl. For example, I made a list of what to take and it included make-up, hand cream and perfume. That’s definitely a tough guy fail.

Carnegie Library’s website has a whole section of helpful cycling information, including links to trail maps, tour and advocacy groups and even a book list about cycling (fiction and nonfiction!)

BikeBooks

Here are some of my favorite resources. And a bicycle cafe.

Bike Pittsburgh

A Pittsburgh-based cycling safety, advocacy, and awareness organization offering
a wealth of local cycling information, news, events, links, and community
information, including an online bike map.

Free Ride Pittsburgh

Free Ride! is a non-profit recycle-a-bike shop recycles bikes. Located inside
Construction Junction.

And this is just awesome bike stuff.

So if you see me on the trail, say hi! I’ll probably let you pet my bike.

Ride on.

-suzy

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Ride Your Bike.

  1. I haven’t been on my bike for a while. I’ve transferred over to hiking. However, when I turned 60 my doctor (who is also a friend) and her husband took me on a 62-mile bike ride. I didn’t die. We spread it over two days. The lingering effect was the “rope burn” I felt between my legs for days afterward.

  2. I would love to ride a bike to work (or better yet, walk!) but I live in Mt. Washington & work in Oakland and I’m terrified of the traffic and the hills. Also, I’m from flat Michigan where it was A LOT easier. Lucky you who can bike to work.

    • hey maria, i live in mt. oliver and work in the strip, so i feel you … but you can do it! on days that i can’t face the hill on south 18th street, i just throw my bike on the bus. maybe try it early one saturday morning — i guarantee it’s not as scary as your mind thinks it is right now!

      suzy, you are my biking hero. i didn’t even know you were a bike messenger!!

    • Yes! M!ch!gan! I’m from Ann Arbor, myself, and there are a bunch of other Michiganders cycling round Pittsburgh. It’s definitely more work, but it’s doable!

      A tip that might help: In addition to the buses, you can also take your bike on the Mon Incline! See http://www.portauthority.org/paac/RiderServices/BikesonTransit.aspx
      (In part since it’s not actually owned by PAT, it’s unclear if the Duq Incline allows bikes, but it couldn’t hurt to ask…)
      From the Incline, you can ride the Station Square/South Side Trail or the Eliza Furnace Trail and then connect to the Junction Hollow Trail for a nearly traffic-free ride to Oakland.

      Check out the messageboard at http://bikepgh.org/mb/ for more (mostly) helpful tips and (mostly) friendly pittsburgh bikers … Depending on your schedule, you might even be able to find someone there to ‘bikepool’ with.

      I also second the suggestion to try it on a weekend or perhaps mid-afternoon on a day off—sometime when you’re not stressed about getting to work on time and in one piece and traffic is lighter. Explore your route options, including alternate roads and trails, see where you can stop and take a break and get out of traffic, etc.
      (Another note: While traffic is “heavier” during rush hour, it’s also usually *slower*—so in some ways it can actually be a safer time to ride, since all that traffic is keeping people from flying down the road at twice the legal limit! Er, unless that road is Bigelow Boulevard….)

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