Want to learn how to ride a bike? Want to learn how to ride one more safely?
BikePGH has resources and opportunities for individuals, businesses, communities and schools/universities. See our offerings below.
City Cycling Classes
City Cycling classes will give first time riders, and veteran bikers alike, the chance to practice and learn first-hand the skills necessary for safe biking on city streets. We have two different courses for the different skill and comfort levels that beginning city riders may find themselves at: Fundamentals of City Cycling and Confident City Cycling. Take one. Take both. Repeat as many times as you need to feel comfortable.
Fundamentals of City Cycling
This class is taught at The Wheel Mill’s indoor practice facility on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. Veteran bike educators Karen Brooks and Harry Geyer are the instructors.
The Wheel Mill’s indoor venue, and the class’s small-group, drop-in style allow participants to learn and practice city cycling skills in a controlled, protected environment. Participants will learn some on-bike skills from the League of American Bicyclists’ Traffic Skills 101 curriculum. Each class’s subject will differ depending on attendance, participant-demand and instructor judgement; but if you come with a particular question, you’ll leave with an answer. Classes will deal with subjects such as:
- Proper body, hand, and foot position, and riding while standing up
- Skills for starting & stoping in traffic
- Using proper hand-signals to convey your movement
- Techniques for handling common obstacles such as railroad tracks, potholes and curbs
- How to perform a pre-ride safety check and select the right gearing
- How to adjust your bike for better comfort and control
Riders will have time before and after the class to practice new skills in The Wheel Mill’s Warm Up Room and Fundamental Skills Room.
Fundamentals of City Cycling is designed for riders of all ages. Riders 17 & under must have their parent present to sign the waiver or download one HERE and have it NOTARIZED.
Confident City Cyling
Confident City Cycling is intended for riders who know how to ride a bike, and are looking for instruction on how to operate it safely on city streets. These mobile classes will meet at different venues around the city, and are structured to give participants the education and experience for handling different traffic patterns, intersection layouts and types of bike infrastructure.
The class is taught monthly by Dan Yablonsky, a BikePGH staff member and Certified League Cycling Instructor, as well as Karen Brooks, an IMBA certified instructor. The class will teach skills from the League of American Bicyclists Traffic Skills 101 & 201 handbooks. Confident City Cycling will give first-time city riders a chance to acquire on-road skills and experience under a knowledgable, watchful eye, and allow experienced bikers to check that they are riding with city cycling’s best practices. The Confident City Cycling class will cover:
- Advanced hazard avoidance maneuvers such as: Quick Stop, Rock Dodge, Instant turn
- Safely crossing intersections
- Recap on control drills: starting/stopping/scanning/shifting
- Bike infrastructure: what is it, where is it, how to use it
- Group riding basics
- Managing topography: climbs & descents
Riders will begin the class in a traffic-free parking lot for practice of new skills. They will then follow an instructor’s lead for an educational ride on city streets. Finally, each student will be asked to safely demonstrate various types of intersection crossings.
Confident City Cycling is a class intended for participants ages 15 and up. All participants or their guardians will need to sign this waiver in order to participate in the class.
Urban Biking Companion
This is edition #2 of our comic-book style guide to urban biking. Since 2007, over 50,000 copies of this guide have helped people learn the tricks, tips, suggestions, and laws to stay safe, comfortable, and legal while biking.
All the information is laid out in an approachable style that gives you enough to grasp the concepts, but not too much to scare you away. The best part is: it’s absolutely free. Grab a copy at any of the bike shops in town, or feel free to stop by our office. Be green and skim through the online version. If you have any questions, there’s sure to be a helpful biker on our message board to give you some advice.
Urban Biking Forum
BikePGH has a teaching curriculum based on the Urban Biking Companion guide that we present in our Urban Biking Forums. We approach the Forum with the understanding that every participant comes with a question and useful insight. Through this peer-to-peer educational opportunity everyone has a chance to learn, share, and leave with a better understanding of how we all bike in Pittsburgh.
Forums can be hosted by businesses, community organizations or government agencies. They work well in lunch settings or guest-speaker settings. For information on hosting an Urban Biking Forum, contact email@example.com.
League of American Bicyclists’ Bike Smart Videos
Our friends at The League of American Bicyclists have produced a series of short, instructional how-to-bike videos. They cover topics, from starting and stoping, to riding in bike lanes, to basic bicycle laws; bike education from the comfort of your computer screen! See the whole series on the League of American Bicyclists’ website. Just as an example, here is their video on “scanning”:
How to find Safe Routes:
Through the City
- BikePGH’s Pittsburgh Bike Map: find a free copy of our map at any number of bike shops or Bike Friendly Businesses around town!
- Google’s Bike Directions: when in doubt, just Google it!
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected with a volunteer Biker Buddy
- RideTheCity.org Pittsburgh: another great resource for finding a safe bike route.
On the Trails
- Friends of the Riverfront’s Interactive Three Rivers Heritage Online Trail Map
- PA Dept. of Conservation & Natural Resources Pennsylvania trail map
PA State Laws for Bicyclists & Pedestrians
Title 75 is the State of Pennsylvania’s Vehicle Code. Check out the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation ‘s (PennDOT’s) resource that summarizes all the sections of Title 75 that are applicable to bicyclists and pedestrians.