who rides in pedal pittsburgh?
want to tell a reporter what its all about? Let me know!
I’d talk about it, but I’ve never done it.
I rode in it last year, and will again this year. Which publication does this reporter work for?
I’ve done it last year and as long as I’m in pgh I’ll do it again this year.
Pittsburgh live i believe. Would you guys want to talk about bike commuting as well? You can PM me your e mail addresses.
i think this will be my 6th year riding pedal pgh, but i don’t have much to say other than it is a great way to see the city, especially if you do 60 miles. i have only been commuting consistently for 6 months, so i fear i wouldn’t have as much to say on the subject as someone who has been commuting for a longer period of time.
@thelivingted: I’ll send PM you email address for commuting. I’ve been doing that a few days a week for a year now. Actually took this job partially so I *could* commute. Prior to that I was a telecommuter.
As for pedal pittsburgh–*SIGH* I started cycling in 2008 and have missed it every year. 2008, 2009 I was out of town. 2010 I overslept… but did ride along with a few of the stragglers in the afternoon. 2011, its the weekend before my wedding so chances are very small that I’ll be able to do it.
Should we start a new thread or even a survey question: How long (distance, time, and when did you start) is your bike commute?
you guys are perfect, Stef definitely send me your e mail, you are the only woman who has responded so far and hence have a unique opinion on both topics.
@thelivingted I PMd you my email as well. I have ridden in Pedal Pgh and am a daily bike commuter (and a woman to boot!). I’d be happy to talk about it.
@helen: start the mentioned thread (in separate thread). I’d be interested in participating and also be curios to see the results.
i would also suggest additional questions:
how frequently (each week) do you commute via bike?
in what weather conditions won’t you commute (min/max temp, rain, snow on the roads, etc)?
do you have a shower facility available to you at or near work?
I love Pedal Pittsburgh. So many event rides are out in the boonies – I’ve always preferred riding through my own city. (That’s actually changed a lot in the last 10 years, with so many urban groups running informal riding events.) Love that it highlights architectural history, and the fact that it supports CDCP which helps us do wise renovations. Don’t know when it is this year but I hope I can make it.
I actually HATE pedal pittsburgh. I’ve ridden it several times, but always get frustrated with idiot riders who don’t know the rules of the road, don’t know basic bike etiquette, etc. But, that might be because I’ve been rehabbing a bad knee for several years and usually do the 25 mile ride. Maybe the longer rides are better in these regards, as the cyclists are more experienced. And yes, I have tried to use this as an educational session, but after the 40th reminder to hold your line, or the 50th near road rage incident after someone runs a red light or cuts someone off, I’ve stopped riding it.
@swalfoort: IME, the longer rides are much more pleasant in that regard.
I’m going to do this as part of my training for the MS 150! Haven’t been able to do this for several years in a row. This is the year.
“I actually HATE pedal pittsburgh. I’ve ridden it several times, but always get frustrated with idiot riders who don’t know the rules of the road, don’t know basic bike etiquette, etc. But, that might be because I’ve been rehabbing a bad knee for several years and usually do the 25 mile ride. Maybe the longer rides are better in these regards, as the cyclists are more experienced. And yes, I have tried to use this as an educational session, but after the 40th reminder to hold your line, or the 50th near road rage incident after someone runs a red light or cuts someone off, I’ve stopped riding it.”
Ditto that. I’ve pretty much given up on big group rides for that reason. When I heard riders on the MS City to Shore bragging about cutting off a car, I knew not to come back.
This is why we started Flock Of Cycles here. It just seemed wrong to us, too.
it’s no big shocker that in any group of people there are going to be some dumbasses. FOC is not immune from that either, FWIW. I don’t see any point in letting that crap dissuade you from riding.
I didn’t want to be negative about pedal pgh but since it’s already out there…the thing that I’ve never liked is that all this money goes to something that has nothing to do with bikes.
The first year I did it, I thought I was helping out Bike Pgh and had no idea what the community design center was. Granted, it’s my own fault for not paying attention but still, shouldn’t arguably the largest bike event in Pgh (barring the keg ride) have something to do with helping out bike organizations/infrastructure?
I may still be very unclear on what pedal pgh does, so I would really like to know – how does the cdc help pgh? (i mean actual examples, not just the mission statement on their website) Is there a tie-in to biking? what has the cdc done for you? I would like to know since I would be happy to give them my registration fee and ride in it if it made sense.
The CDCP has been around longer than Bike Pittsburgh. They’ve long been advocates for having people reside in and restore houses inside the city, and a lot of their efforts go toward helping homeowners figure out how to do that.
I’m pretty sure the origins of their ride stem from thinking of an interesting way of showing off some of the amazing architecture in the city and promoting activity inside city limits, while raising money for their non profit.
I’ve gone on the ride a few times (not in recent years, though) and really enjoyed it.
I own a (~1920s) house in the city, and I’ve been thinking about applying to their RenPlan, which seems like a pretty neat program.
I suppose indirectly it has to do with bikes in that they encourage and help people to keep their homes in the city, which hopefully leads to better infrastructure.
 I’m curious if it follows that you have similar feelings about the MS ride or other charity events that have cycling as a main activity?
Oh, I think there’s a regular poster to this board who works there (Rosemary???) Hopefully, she’ll have something to add.
Pseudacris – thanks for the information, that’s about what I thought they did. it seems like a good program. it might be nice if they connected the ride more to their projects. maybe put out an information sheet on some of them that you would pass on the ride?
i do think differently about a ride supporting cdc than a ride supporting an organization like MS or breast cancer awareness. In part, because it’s obvious with those rides what you are supporting. Clearly the MS ride helps support organizations doing research, etc. to fight MS. It think, like I tried to say above, I just don’t see the connection with the ride and cdc. do folks taking part in pedal pgh really do so to support the cdc? i’m sure many do, but for many it’s also just a ride. And sure, the MS and other races are also “just rides”, but, at least in my very subjective opinion, they’re very clear about what you’re supporting/riding for. Again, it was my own fault for not really looking into the ride and realizing who it supported, but perhaps there could be more of a connection?
I rode Pedal Pittsburgh for the first time last year. I liked it, but then again, I have low expectations for large group behavior. I plan on riding it again this year.
And FWIW, I’ve seen that type behavior on a Team DeCaf ride (granted it was by a few younger guys – not the older farts that seem to make up the larger portion of the group, but it was where I witnessed it, so you can get that behavior just about anywhere).
CDCP is a very cool organization, and RenPlan is a very cool resource. It is tailor made for a lot of the folks here on this board: live in the city, want to do it for themselves, and/or find ways to do it affordably, and to avail themselves of cheap professional guidance.
Does CDCP exist to benefit cyclists in Pittsburgh, of course not, but most “name sponsors” of events do not. Pedal Pittsburgh could be sponsored by Bayer or Eat n’ Park, for instance. But I do think CDCP’s mission would appeal to those people I described above.
Interesting points, saragpgh2! I haven’t participated in it for several years, but in some ways I’d have to agree with that as criticism of the rides I was on. I would have been interested to check out “points of interest” marked as cdcp projects.
BTW, I might be mistaken, but I don’t think Pedal Pittsburgh is necessarily a “fund raiser” like MS150, etc. CDCP is more of a “naming sponsor” than a non-profit looking to raise cash, they are trying to raise awareness of their program, etc. So in that sense it is more of a marketing thing. So I’m not sure it’s an appropriate comparison.
@AKMKLM – I just looked at the cdcp web site again, and I think you’re right.
I’m curious to ask the people on this thread who get frustrated w/ idiots on group rides: where/when/how did you learn the best protocols for group rides?
Did a friend show you? Were you on a cycling team with training or mentorship?
The CDCP web site lists a bunch of projects where they awarded design grants. Most have little to do with bikes directly, but they do say they supplied Friends of the Riverfront with a $7500 grant to help design the South Side trail segment just east of the Station Square part, getting that segment started.
well, maybe the ride is meant to fund a variety of things then?
Clearly the MS ride helps support organizations doing research, etc. to fight MS.
Tricky that is. If you check out the western PA MS tax returns, it appears to me that much of the money goes towards patient services and advocacy, not research. I suppose it is possible that the national society takes a cut from all the funds raised before they would appear on the tax return? The national society spends all their “mission money” on research grants and fellowships.
Hard to market a fundraiser around wheelchair ramps, handicap-accessible bathrooms, and support groups though. “Research” is much more glamourous. That said, I work in a biomedical research lab and I know how fast a lab can burn through a pile of cash. The MS150 event here would fund maybe two academic labs for a year. Not likely to yield a cure anytime soon doing research like that. I strongly feel that the relatively small amount of money they raise is better spent helping people deal with life. I’ve raised $600 so far!
The pedal pittsburgh ride isn’t really that expensive. It is a fully supported ride, with lunch, t-shirt, snacks, water, signs. It gets a ton of people biking around Pittsburgh, and all the leftover money is funneled into a nonprofit, so you know it isn’t just making some guy rich. I don’t really see any downside at all. You’re also free not to eat any of the food or take any of the water at the rest stops and just ride around town if you are really that opposed to giving money to a non-cycling charity.
@pseudacris: I learned protocols for group riding several ways. First, I rode with a “Sunday mornings” group from a local bike shop. Then I started riding with a racing club, and learned a few more things (not all of them good). The LAB has a group-riding course that was developed for the MS150 which covers the basics. And there is some more advanced formation riding stuff that I’ve picked up over the years that I almost never get a chance to use on account of crappy roads and lack of appropriate partners…
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