My children will remember their “first” real bike ride. You see, right before they graduated from high school, each one had to ride the 50 mile leg of Pedal Pittsburgh with me. This ride was and still is an amazing way to see the city of Pittsburgh.http://www.pedalpittsburgh.com.
What I found was that it was an amazing way to teach my kids how to get from point A to point B with the drive to never give up. Riding through the hills of Pittsburgh is not a small accomplishment…it is not for the faint of heart or spirit. I’m happy to report that they got through those 50 miles, though it wasn’t without a few mishaps like my son Alex taking a shortcut to the finish line (without telling anyone). This miscue caused me to get the police involved and possibly report him missing. Where was Alex?—Oh he got thirsty and hungry when we didn’t show up, so he helped himself to some food from Hooters-yes, apparently, the staff at Hooters felt sorry for this 16 year old who lost his biking group. And then there was, my son Nico, who got lost at a turn—fortunately after spending two hours trying to locate him, he came pedaling up to all of us at the Washington’s Landing rest-stop. My daughter Tory did get lost-and we had to request a rescue van to go find her. Needless, to say she was very embarrassed. And finally my youngest Effie…well she breezed through it without incident, since she had plenty of her sibling’s experiences to draw from.
Biking is more than just a way to exercise. It creates memories and makes you get to places you might not ever visit by car.http://www.thenation.com/ it’s important to note that biking etiquette is in the news. There are more bikers on the road than ever before. Mayor Peduto even put a bike lane on Penn Avenue!
By the way…It is National Bike to Work Week this week!
So, please keep in mind these manners when biking.
- Face it-If you like your Face…Wear a helmet, and wear it the right way. Be sure to clip on the chin strap. Why wear a helmet if you can’t keep it on your head.
- Never ride more than two abreast.
- Pass to the left.
- Follow the traffic lights and rules of the road.
- Maintain a distance, no more than 12 inches from your shoulder to the shoulder of the rider next to you.
- It only takes one person to call things out. This should be the person in the front. Ideally a bell on your bike, or a point of the hand is all it take to indicate obstructions or turns.
It is a great way to see any city if you are visiting…Pittsburgh, like many cities in the US and Europe are gearing up for a Ride Share Program. It is an inexpensive and energetic way to get around.
These Top Six Rules will actually improve your riding, and keep you safe.. There are many unwritten rules of cycling etiquette, and we just don’t have the blog space to list all of them!
New Bikers – Do some searches before hoping onto your new wheels and learn the biking routes, as well as tips from other bikers in your area.
Experienced Bikers – Don’t get lazy about biking etiquette! Just because you have biked a bunch, doesn’t mean the biker in front of you has. Make sure you stay alert while biking.
By the way, both Lisa and I rode in PedalPittsburgh-the whole 50 miles! We love to bicycle around any town that we are in…and we hope that our MMI fans fare well this summer by bicycling safely and sharing the road with the right social biking behavior. Let us know about the paths you have taken on your bicycle. We are always open to go for a ride.
Demetria and Lisa
Co-Founders Mother, May I – Etiquette Experts