It’s time to get familiar with runnels
With more than 800 staircases, Pittsburgh has more city steps than any other city in the country. 60 out of our 90 neighborhoods feature at least one set of municipal steps. Some steps even have a channel for bike tires, called a “runnel”! Next time you see one, here’s what to do.
4 Steps to Properly Use a Runnel:
1. Approach the stairs
First, dismount your bicycle and approach the stairs. Identify the runnel and the path it takes before you go any further. Runnels have a few different designs, but, most times, they will be on the right side of the steps.
2. Grip the saddle and handlebars
Before you start scaling the stairs, be sure to securely grip the saddle and handlebars on your bike. Getting a strong grip on the saddle and handlebars is crucial to getting up the steps safely. If you don’t, you run the risk of falling while climbing.
3. Insert wheels into runnel
Insert your front wheel and align the rest of your bike with the runnel. It’s important that both wheels are correctly lined up in the runnel. If not, it may be difficult to balance your bicycle while climbing the stairs.
4. Walk up the stairs
Walk up the stairs with a hand on your saddle, a hand on your handlebars, and both wheels in the runnel. Some runnels may be close to the railing, so you may have to angle your bike away from the railing in order to get up easier.
Steps provide access between neighborhoods so that people can get around more directly. With a channel for bike tires, steps that include a runnel encourages people in the community to ride their bicycle. Share these tips with a friend, and help them get around town on two wheels!
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