By John D. Oravecz
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Bob Gottlieb, a bicycling enthusiast for years, plans to open a velodrome on Neville Island by December to capitalize on the rebirth of cycling in the United States.
Island 200, a $4.5 million indoor bicycle racing stadium holding 3,000 spectators, will offer track bike racing events along with membership-based training and recreation for cyclists, even in the winter. Concerts, trade shows and corporate events also would use the venue.
“I’ve been talking about this for 10 years,” said Gottlieb, who wants to take advantage of a growing number of cyclists here and nationwide. “I’ve never seen so many bikes in Pittsburgh with all the bike trails.”
Western Pennsylvania’s largest cycling event, Pedal Pittsburgh, which capped two weeks of Bike Fest, brought thousands of cyclists and several hundred volunteers out on Sunday to celebrate the activity.
“We broke a record today — 2,800 on the nose,” Scott Bricker, executive director of sponsor Bike Pittsburgh, told cyclists at the SouthSide Works finish line, where they relaxed after completing tours of the city ranging from a 12-mile, family-friendly trip to a 62-mile ride for hard-core enthusiasts.
The previous record for the 20-year event was 2,500 bikers in 2012 when it was sponsored by the Community Design Center of Pittsburgh.
“We see it as a community event,” Bricker said. “We hope it’s a fundraiser, but that’s not the primary reason we’re doing it. It’s really important to introduce people to our mission — to make Pittsburgh more bike- and pedestrian-friendly.”
Not a member of BikePGH? Join today! We need you to add your voice! Bike Pittsburgh works to protect cyclist’s rights and promote the vision of making Pittsburgh a safer and more enjoyable place to live and to ride. For more info, check out: www.bikepgh.org/membership
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