new commuter, mt biker and tandem captain from pittsburgh
My name is Marco and I have been bike crazed since 6 when I learned to ride in a day. My early years were spent just riding and BMX. I won soo many trophies way back when in the late 70s. I don't race much anymore but I did win a bunch of swag from the Trek/OLN bar-bike promos around the time of the Tour De France last year. Now I love to ride to work, mountain bike and go tandeming.
I've lived all over -- Oly Washington, Chicago, Gainesville FL, Madison WI, even spent 2 years in South Africa shortly after Mandella was elected. I rode every where I lived and each had high points and low. Now I live back in the town of my birth-- Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
My daily commute is 15 miles one way. That includes about 4 miles of mountain biking, 6 on-road and 5 on bike path. My p.brain bike computer tells me that I climb about 1800 feet per 30-mile day.
I think bikes are great but I am very disappointed that there where something like twice as many bikes sold in the United States in 1974 than in 2000. What happened? Anyway Pittsburgh is building its bike culture--like "Free Ride", home of "Dirt Rag Magazine", Critical Mass rides and I have seen 2 ghost bikes. But the city is slow to accept bikes. For example last year a city councilperson said--"but won't putting in new bike racks draw more bikers into the city?"
I live near Frick Park, which has about 15-20 miles of loop trails, and elevations ranging from 720 feet to about 1200. Also about 12 miles away there is the "Great Allegheny Passage" (http://www.atatrail.org) which features a 100 mile rails-to-trails that parallel the Youghiogheny River.
I am a bike collector and have about 14 bikes. I support my habit by doing network engineering. I think that the best non-biking thing that imporve bikability is yoga.
OK thatís enough for now.
Welcome, Slagjumper! You'll find this a great site for exchange of info and ideas. By the way, we're probably neighbors. I live in Point Breeze and commute daily through Schenley Park and the Jail Trail into downtown. Biking in 'da 'Burgh' is definitely a challenge, but well worth it.
Hi Slagjumper, I don't see much in the way of Pittsburgh becoming bike friendly, well I define bike friendlyas the drivers don't try to kill you.