About a year ago I got over my fear of new places and built a bike at Free Ride. I named him Fish.
Sadly, Fish mostly sat in my basement or in my apartment and did nothing. Then I started to feel pretty guilty about that. So I joined Bike Pittsburgh and got a really cool t-shirt. And continued to ignore Fish.
But I kept meeting nice people who ride, and nice folks from Bike Pittsburgh and everyone was really encouraging about me riding to work (Highland Park to Downtown). So even though I’ve never taken Fish more than around the Highland Park reservoir, today we went on a grand adventure.
Highland and Stanton Avenue to Ellsworth (via Alder). Ellsworth to Neville to Pather Hollow Trail to Eliza Furnace Trail. 8 miles – 76 minutes (includes one frantic phone call to roommate in order to get from one trail to the next). I took the long way on less traffic roads to avoid being mauled by a car.
Things I learn:
1) Hm, seat’s still loose. Thought I fixed that. Also, mushy gel seat cover required.
2) Trail signage? Please?
3) Rearview mirror would be mighty helpful.
4) Center of gravity still feels high. Maybe I need a bike with a bigger frame?
5) It CAN BE DONE! I wouldn’t even need to leave that much earlier to get to work.
So, for the month of August and hopefully until the weather gets nasty, this is how I plan on getting to work. I’ve a very novice rider, and it really was not that hard although I did take a few short breaks. (I will confess, I’m taking the bus home. I’m not ready to go both directions on this).
If anyone else would like to ride with me, I know it would be really helpful in convincing me to continue to do it. I figure I will have to leave Highland Park no later than 7 am to ensure time to get to work and change into work clothes.
We live in Friendship and take Liberty to Aiken to Ellsworth then the same route to the trail. Our total distance is right at 7 miles and takes us 35-45 minutes depending on traffic and lights. We could go straight to downtown via Liberty and Penn, but I find the long route more relaxing.
If you have a tendency to swerve a bit when you look behind you or feel uncomfortable looking behind you then maybe a rearview mirror would help you.
make sure to check out the bikefest calendar too, there are tons of rides. you have a good community of cyclists in highland park too. do you know about the Team Decaf ride that meets at tazza doro?
as far as the center of gravity thing, the size of your frame is really dependent on your body. i feel like when i started riding, i had a similar feeling too. especially once i put my seat up to the proper height.
it could just need some getting used to. GOOD LUCK!! I don’t live on that end of town