That’s right, you can get involved and start making conditions better just by riding your bike or walking for your next trip.
Of course, physical conditions need to improve for a marked increase in bicycling and walking, but simply getting on your bike or walking to your destination are votes for these modes in Pittsburgh.
Tips for Riding to Work
One of the most common reasons that people don’t ride to work is because there are no shower facilities at their workplace and they are afraid of smelling bad. One thing that you can do is encourage your employer to provide showers for their employees. Sometimes it’s as simple as asking.
Failing that, there are ways to ride to work and still be presentable:
- Consider joining the YMCA or similar organization. They have shower facilities for their members, and conveniently have a location in Downtown Pittsburgh
- Get a water-proof set of panniers and some fenders for your ride.
- Change into your work clothes at work.
- If you can’t leave work clothes at work, you can carry them in your panniers. A good way to keep them from wrinkling is to roll them instead of folding them. Or, you can purchase a folding shirt carrier, available at many outdoor stores.
- Consider packing a moist towelette and deodorant. A quick wipe down is sometimes all you need to freshen up.
If you work downtown, there are Park and Ride Lots along the North Shore Trail and the Eliza Furnace Trail (Greenfield entrance). You can park there for free, and take the trail into town. You’ll be so surprised at how alert you feel when you arrive, that you might even consider cutting your coffee consumption (Yeah, right).
Encourage a Friend
Consider asking a friend or fellow employee to accompany you on your next ride. It’s a great way to show someone the ropes. Having a friend to ride with is sometimes the best encouragement to get someone on the saddle. It works way better than listing all of the reasons to commute by bike: health, environment, saving money. They’ll figure it out!
You can also consider joining or starting a BikePool. A BikePool is a group of riders who meet daily at a pre-determined location and ride together to work or back home. Group rides are safer, so new folks will feel more comfortable getting started.