I've been riding a bike for fun and for excersize, even competitively a for a little while, since I was nine years old. At nine my dad took me for a 50 mile bike ride in Shenendoah National Park in Virginia. We rode 25 miles two days in a row on Skyline Drive. That began my love of cycling and my love of hills. This year has marked my first attempt to not only ride for fun and to challenge myself, but to allow me to stop driving so much. Its been a really good thing. It's also been a challenge and something that requires discipline, time and a less frantic lifestyle.
Biking has really begun to hit big in Pittsburgh. There are many more serious cyclists out on the weekends than there used to be, both in the city and in the suburbs. There's also even more people out during the week using their bikes in place of a car or public transit. There's everything from the $3000 carbon fiber bikes that you'll see on Sunday mornings to the old clunkers that people have to walk up all the hills. In between are the hip and cool single speeds, the fixed gear bikes, and the hand painted steal frames with hand made bamboo fenders. In my book it's all great, as long as it's not just a short trend. My hope is that the transition that we see to bike more continues with more and more momentum moving our city away from fossil fuel dependency.
Now I still have a ways to go, and so do most people in our city. As I finish this point I sit inside a coffee shop on a very rainy Pittsburgh day with my car outside. I had planned to bike over for this meeting but decided to drive when the rain continued to fall. What would it take for you to start riding, not on rainy days, but on those beautiful days when you have no excuse?