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Hooray for Bikes!

August 20, 2006

My primary mode of transportation for the past year and three months has been a combination of foot and pedal power. Although I'm not yet able to ride my bide up Seton Hill (I tried it last week - I made it halfway on my rickety mountain bike. Next time, I'll try a lighter bike and see where I end up), I am able to make it up most of the hills in the GBG, which, if you've ever paid attention to Greensburg topography, is pretty darn impressive. This is probably why I felt proud, and not embarrassed, when my neighbor's four-year-old told me I had chubby legs yesterday. "That's right, " I said, thinking of my bike ride earlier that morning, "I'm very strong."

I think biking is set for a pretty big comeback. Not that riding bikes has necessarily ever disappeared, but with ever-rising fuel costs, I wouldn't be suprised to see more and more people turn to the bicycle as their primary form of transportation. I mean, bicycles! Come on, they are perfect! Bicycling is the most efficient form of transportation - no need for gasoline or anything other than the power of my legs - and it's an excellent full-body work out (well, if you incorporate your arms in your riding style). More importantly, it's fun! And, if you live in the city*, like I do, it's also fast.

An example: I need to go to the post office. I could borrow a car, drive down Pennsylvania avenue, and then find a place to park. If it's a busy week-day, I could spend more time circling the block for a parking space (admit it, you've done it) than the actual drive from my house to the p.o. Or I could hop on my bike. I can keep pace with a car (due to the three traffic lights between here and there), and I never have to worry about finding a place to park. I bet that if someone driving left my house at the same time I left on a bike, I would beat them there, easily. (Wanna race? You're on!)

I took my first biking vacation last week. Three friends and I drove to Presque Isle, Erie where we camped (Props to the Hills Family Campground) and biked the gorgeous penisula's 13.5 miles of bike trails. When we needed a break from biking (who needs breaks?!?), we went to the beach to tan and to swim. Fabulous!

My new hobby is fixing bikes. Yesterday, I learned how to adjust the brakes on the $10 touring bike I had just picked up. From the looks of things, fixing bikes is something I'll be able to learn pretty quickly. I'd never be able to say that about a car (I'm the chica who never owned a tire gauge.). After doing some research online, I discovered that the Sears Spaceliner I just bought was a worthy investment. I can probably sell the parts alone and make back the money I've spent on my recent bike obsession. Sweet!

Pittsburgh has a neat organization called FreeRide.

"Free Ride! is a non-profit recycle-a-bike shop that enables people of all ages to obtain, recycle, and maintain bicycles. Through educating people on how to recondition used, donated bicycles, we are putting forgotten bikes back on the streets in a reliable, safe condition. We aim to enhance the health of our community and environment by promoting active living and encouraging bicycle transportation."

This organization teaches people how to repair bicycles. I know where I'll be spending some free time in the coming months!

For those of you who ride, Happy Biking!

* kinda. Greensburg's primary charm is its small-town feel.

Moira at 01:08 PM :: Comments (0) :: ::
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