Post Gazzette: I love my bike, but it's not safe on most roads
Summary: Person rides BSO on trails normall, takes BSO over highland park bridge to butler st to 62nd st bridge and is scared out of their mind. These are probably some of the worst stretches for cyclists.
I’d also like to point out that even though it seems to be a department store bike, the bike is probably fine on these roads. It is the rider that is scared silly and feels unsafe. Fine point in the language, but still…..
I just assume they were not educated about safe routes and what routes to avoid. They probably didn’t know they should be. I doubt they checked out the bike-pgh map or thought much about the route before they did it.
There are some hilarious comments.
“I agree, cats should really stop trying to live with people who weigh over 165 pounds. Cats don’t have airbags.”
“I stepped into a dojo once. Want to hear my opinion on karate?”
For once, reading the comments is more funny than depressing.
Thank you Pittsburgh. I think I giggled over every comment.
^ true, that. it is great that anyone gets out and rides. bummer that she had a crappy experience partly due to lack of info.
Anonymous 08/10/2012 at 10:05pm #
“It’s a simple fact of physics: disproportion is dangerous to the little guy.”
“Like bullets?” -Stephen Cummings
You could also make the same case concerning viruses, bacteria, and all other pathogens.
I wonder if forwarding a copy of Dr. Pawleski’s writing would entitle her to a refund for the physics classes she took in college. or maybe even a refund from med school…
This thread seems like a good spot to add this:
The P-G piece was very interesting. First thing I noticed was that every single top-level comment was pro-bike (though I didn’t have the patience to go past the first dozen or so). Nice! But hey. It’s been a long day. Let’s do some Friday night deconstruction on Dr. Lisa’s piece.
I love my bike: a simple $79 model with a $19 comfort-wide spongy seat upgrade.
I don’t properly know how these things scale, but would you pay for a $100 seat to install on a $400 bike?
My usual haunt is the off-road trail from Millvale to the Carnegie Science Center. One Sunday afternoon I circled though Sharpsburg, across the Highland Park Bridge, inbound on Butler Street, back across the 62nd Street Bridge and home.
What is home? O’Hara Township, I never realized, is 4 (or 3 if you’re being kind) geographically disjoint tracts surrounding Fox Chapel [and what might that be all about?]. One chunk does abut Sharpsburg, but in any case you’re talking some serious climbing/descending to get between the two. Let’s say you drove down to Sharpsburg, with your bike on the rack.
Biking across the Highland Park Bridge from there can be a bit tense, depending on the time of day. But it’s not the scariest bridge crossing in town. Google seems to suggest that there’s an (inbound!) pedestrian walkway (I’ve never noticed it though, or knew that it was there). There to the 62nd Street is actually pretty benign: the road is relatively wide and the car speeds are ok (certainly subjectively slower than Allegheny Blvd or 2nd Ave). I’ll admit that the left exit off the 62nd could be tense; but if you know that the traffic lights behind you create gaps, it’s not a crisis. The rest is easy; there’s even side streets.
If, in the context of Dr. Lisa’s normal routine, “home” is Millvale, then this ride is truly cool, especially on her bike. Did she do Friday or the ballast? I would have complained about the ballast, if anything.
The sidewalk on the HPB sucks, its usually covered in trash and glass. The only times I’ve ever hated riding HPB was during rush hour out of the city from Washington Blvd. That on ramp sucks and people are not friendly at all. Otherwise I ride across the bridge a couple times a week to ride hills in the Ohara/FC area and don’t really ever have issues.
You guys are crazier than I am. I do sidewalk only on the HPB. That said, I used to ride it (the sidewalk) 2x daily for yrs. when I lived in Sharpsburg. It was a great commute, there are lots of options from HPB. Even better is Millvale. Getting to either of those from here sucks though, I don’t feel safe on ARB or Freeport Rd (before Blawnox) so I have to drive in order to ride safely.
OTOH, I love my bike, I love riding in the burgh, and I love beer!
I also take the sidewalk only on the HPB. There was a crash on it yesterday and taking the road would have been very dangerous for a cyclist, as it was dangerous for me as a motorist who was being safe when other motorists decided to do whatever thing they wanted to get across the bridge faster.
> would you pay for a $100 seat to install on a $400 bike?
Did that. I never noticed much of a difference between when I had a $100 bike and when I had a $400 bike but I noticed a tremendous difference between a $25 bike seat and the $100 bike seat I use now.
@ahlir, re. OHara Twp: once upon a time OHara Twp included what is now Sharpsburg, Aspinwall and Fx Chapel – and maybe more. But as the municipalities formed and the land was subdivided, we ended up with some odd municipal boundaries. For instance the land beneath the north footing of HPB up to about halfway across Freeport Road is City of Pittsburgh. The ramps at the north end of HPB rest on OHara Twp. To the east is Aspinwall, to the west is Sharpsburg.
About the sidewalk – yes you need to be careful of glass, but its not that much different than many shoulders in terms of likelihood of encountering debris and glass (IMHO). Otherwise sidewalk inbound is preferable, as automobile traffic inbound is coming off of Rt. 28, and usually going very, very fast.
“I don’t properly know how these things scale, but would you pay for a $100 seat to install on a $400 bike?”
Yes. The seat and the tires are the only things that have to be just-so. Everything else either works or it doesn’t. I’ll only spend more for longer product life.
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