A primer on the best burgeoning bike scenes in North America
Good Magazine put us on a list of seven cities with “burgeoning bike scenes” in North America in their recent transportation issue. It’s funny to hear about your city’s cycling scene from an outsider’s perspective. It’s good to note that we also have three nationally known cycling magazines here: Urban Velo, Dirt Rag, and Bicycle Times.
- Population: 311,000
- Workers commuting by bike: 1.1%
- Alley cats a year: 9
- People at Critical Mass (approximately): 100 per ride
- Bicycle Friendly Community rating: Not registered (working on it, though)
- Miles of bike lanes and trails: 36
Scene: The city recently appointed Pennsylvania’s first bicycle and pedestrian coordinator, and the mayor is pushing for cycling infrastructure improvements (and here). An advocacy group called Bike Pittsburgh more than quadrupled its membership to 800 in three years and throws a ten-day BikeFest annually. Volunteers at Free Ride repair old bicycles to earn their own, putting 500 back on the street a year. “We’re the ‘gateway drug’ of cycling,” says coordinator Eric Boerer. “People get a cheap bike that works, and some get hooked and move on to more expensive ones, then give their old ones to friends.” Members of the fixed-gear scene ride in events like the peg leg race during the Pirate Bike Olympics, and polo matches happen twice a week. The terrain ranges from the flat banks of the Allegheny River to Canton Avenue, arguably the steepest hill in the United States. The city’s hills make for good mountain biking and some wicked soapbox derbies by the Pittsburgh Illegal Soapbox Society.
Other cities on the list:
- Salt Lake City