Monday, November 15, 2010

Some thoughts about Cycling

Photo Credit: The Colour Blue

I have noticed some things this weekend. These aren't earth shaking revelations and to be honest they are things I realized before but have been brought into a clearer focus for me as I have them repeated. I have been house-sitting for a friend in Brentwood and I have been enjoying cycling to work in the mornings and being walking distance to several shops (including Giant Eagle, Liquor store, and Caribou Coffee)

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The Idea of becoming less car dependent has been brewing in the back of my mind for several months. This is just a little ironic since I don't have a driver's License so I am by my very nature very car independent. Still I have seen that there are many things that go into making a neighborhood more, or less, Pedestrian/Cyclist friendly. I have always known that I live in a Very Pedestrian/Cyclist unfriendly township (Penn Hills).

I ride my Bicycle in Penn Hills, I visit my family, go to the store, and sometimes (not often enough) I go to the gym. I am not afraid to ride my bike in Penn Hills but I admit I feel out of place riding my bike in Penn Hills. The roads are narrow, the shoulders are worse, and the drivers seem to have no idea what to do with me. So these last few days have been something like a Bicycle Heaven for me.

Now granted we are much closer to the city where I am staying and I know this is part of the reason for it. I also know that I am lucky in that even in this neighborhood I am on the main ridge and close to shopping area. even a few blocks away from the main road and you are facing some rather daunting hills. What I am saying is that I begin to see what a neighborhood built around the idea of a Pedestrian/Cyclist being the main form of transport would look like. I also see just how far we are from ever achieving that.

and that is a very sad thing.


  1. I completely understand what you mean. I live in Brentwood, it is a very ped. friendly area, biking on the other hand....its friendly enough BUT the hills are the killer. We live(my girlfriend and I) between Brentwood Town Square and the Get-go on 51. Its all up hill to the Giant Eagle and other stores there and just for a quick run down to the Get-go its down hill to it but all up hill coming back.

    When I'm in other areas of the city I think I would be freaked out to ride my bike here I think its because of how close everything is here in Brentwood and the fact that its "fairly" bike friendly.

    As you said....there is still a long way to go.

  2. P.S. Have you stopped by Goodeelicious yet? Its on Brownsville right across from the highschool. Its my girlfriends shoppe, she is there after 6pm, her Mom works in the store during the day. If you do stop in tell her I sent you...hahaha.

  3. Doug,

    yeah I was staying on Brownsville Rd so I didnt have the hills. I thought about Goodeelicious but never managed to make it there. to tell the truth I have been trying to avoid sweets and I have a feeling going in there would start something that would leave me looking even more like Jabba the Hut just before hottie slave leia killed him