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Pedal PGH 2017

I signed up for the 43 mi ride for Pedal PGH Sunday.  Looking forward the ride, but this will be my first ride with other humans.  Are there any specific things I should or shouldn't do beyond the obvious bring food, water, and don't ride like a dick? As a fun note I received my # yesterday and I am 404 so good luck finding me :)
2017-08-22 09:10:34
Are there any specific things I should or shouldn’t do beyond the obvious bring food, water, and don’t ride like a dick?
Well, probably the last thing you mentioned is the only bit that's important. But I assume you've been doing the right thing on your other rides. Bring a water bottle and refill it at every stop, which will feature enough food (including fruit) to keep you going. A single bottle is maybe not enough (if you sweat, uh heat regulate, like some of us); carrying two bottles is a good idea. I've been on rides where you spy a water faucet on the side of a building and just go for it; there's always some solution. I should note that the pedal-pgh ride actually has had decent food (to date). With few exceptions (such as the Neighborhoods ride), ride organizers seems to strive for the cheapest yet technically edible stuff they can scrounge. Much of which you would never willingly eat on your own. (Wonder Bread and baloney that's been sitting out for a few hours? Grey-baked salmonella burgers? Yum!) I won't mention names, but if you've done rides in the area you'll know what I mean. Oh, and that 100km ride is not all that bad... just start early. The initial stretch is just there to scare you, the rest is easy.
2017-08-22 19:14:37
Hey, have people gotten their registration packets in the mail?  Mine has not shown though I registered (with event brite confirmation) on the 17th of July, but I don't think event brite actually knows my address...
2017-08-23 08:56:49
I received mine and signed up on Aug 15.  I am guessing they have my info from being a member or from when I inputted the billing address of my credit card.
2017-08-23 15:04:26
neil- did you get yours yet? we just sent a bunch out. If you haven't yet, feel free to contact me
2017-08-23 17:05:49
Yep it showed last night.  See you at 6 ish!
2017-08-24 09:37:08
And @jstalnaker2112 to expand on your last point yes, just being respectful of all modes of transport (other cyclists, pedestrians, cars, busses, trains, plains I suppose) is the only really important thing.  These are open roads so obey the rules of the road.  The vast majority of cars I have encountered on the Pedal PGH ride have been driven by respectful drivers, and this is an opportunity for the cycling community to reinforce good feelings with others. The weather looks like it will be really nice but it will be chilly at the start.  If you bring a light rain jacket that will serve to keep you warm at the start and then if the forecast is wrong (trust me, I actually AM a meteorologist) you will have some protection.
2017-08-24 09:48:43
At the risk of sounding like a  judgemental old grumpus-butt... On Sunday I think it's vitally important to ride extremely defensively. In PedalPGH, you're in the middle of a pack of 3,000 people, many of whom aren't proficient riders, and almost none of them have ever ridden in a group before. Expect other riders to stop in front of you without warning, ride head-on against the flow of traffic, and swerve and do everything they can to crash into you. It's a wholesome, healthy event that's fun for the whole family, but with so many amateur riders it can also resemble a rolling free-for-all mass melee demolition derby on steroids. Not riding like a dick is laudable and appreciated, but you should still expect others to ride like a dick, and be extra cautious in the interest of safety. IMO.
2017-08-24 12:49:26
that's good advice
2017-08-24 14:23:02
Might I add my 2-cents:  Pedal Pittsburgh brings out quite a range of riders; from 5-day a week commuters, to spandex roadies, to some who only ride on city streets once or twice a year.    For this reason I think it is important to call out cyclists who are riding dangerously by running red lights & not even slowing for stop signs.  Novice riders tend to follow other cyclists' lead and will start to run lights too.  You can do this politely by saying "please stop for red lights", then even if they continue to run lights at least those within earshot will know that they are expected to stop.  It's hard not to follow the heard sometimes, so lets try to teach safe behavior.
2017-08-24 16:53:02
great job, bikepgh folks! this was such a well-run show! i love the hills in reserve township so much and am so glad the route goes through there! So stoked to see many familiar faces, too! <3
2017-08-27 16:44:10
@marko, Completely agree on your comments. It is/was important to follow the rules of the road, provide a good example to other more novice riders, and also demonstrate group riding etiquette. I only did the 25-miler because of lack of riding this year and realized going in that the vast majority of those in the 25 mile ride would have little if any group riding experience.  It still surprised me though at how many riders did not communicate at all, i.e. hand signals, car up or car back yells, pointing out potholes, etc. The Hilly 100 in Indiana actually has a mandatory safety video that all riders have to watch.  That might be overkill for Pedal PGH, but providing a video online or a pamphlet with your number which explained basic group cycling etiquette might not be a bad idea.
2017-08-28 12:33:58
I agree about the 25mile riders communicating less.  I had never used any group riding communications before today, but picked them up quickly and was getting the hang of things till we came off the 16th st bridge and joined up with the 25 milers. I think a safety video would be a great idea. The ride was fine after that, but definitely put me more on edge the rest of the ride. Still had a great time and hope to be less lazy and do the 62mi next year.
2017-08-28 13:11:40
Get the same weather for next year, because that was absolutely perfect.
2017-08-28 13:22:11
BTW, I did a quick Google search and did not see a single news story on Pedal Pittsburgh this year. Is that right?  Not one?
2017-08-28 13:52:17
This year's ride was great, in no small part due to the weather. Some random thoughts:
  • I liked the directions discs posted at eye level; better than having to always be scanning the ground in front of you (but keep the ground stuff!). Some intersections could have used "keep going straight" signs, but on the whole it worked really well.
  • I agree with previous commenters that things would get rowdier during the bits shared with shorter rides. Some riders seemed like they really had to prove something. City riders mostly obeyed the signs, to their credit.
  • I sort of missed having to do that last climb on Virginia in Mt Washington. But I feel conflicted: it was nice to not have to do it but it was always one of the highlights of the ride. If I do this, the rest is easy! Maybe offer an option?
  • The ride on the trail along the Ohio was meh; maybe I've been on it too many times. More to the point, the trail is used by a variety of people (like the mom with a stroller that I passed). These people should not have to deal a bunch of Cat-6'ers bearing down at them at +18mph speeds. The previous route through the industrial district was more interesting. Not that this is a suggestion, but maybe McClure-Antrim-California-Beaver could be a way to get there. Or just have an all-out race to the casino along Beaver.
  • As always, I am truly grateful for the high quality of the rest stops. If I had just a bit less self-control I would have spent way too much time hanging around. One suggestion: the canned music was ok, but what if you got some local musicians to come and do some live music? Musicians I talked to seemed willing to try it (hey, it's an open-air jam or a practice, modulo schlepping the sound system).
2017-08-28 20:22:47
Thanks for the feedback anyone.
2017-08-29 13:24:12
BTW, instead of calling the safety video a "safety" video, call it instead a "group riding" video. Everyone hates safety videos, but if you labeled it as hints and tips on group riding more people, especially those who may have never ridden with a group, would probably watch it. Maybe have a link to it when a registration confirmation email is sent out.
2017-08-31 14:10:20
First off, many many thanks to the BikePGH crew for putting on such a phenomenal event.  In a time where bikes have been turned into a wedge issue, PedalPGH seems to rise above as a positive event for the city and those beyond. Just my two cents, but the beauty of PedalPGH is power in numbers.  The ability for inexperienced riders to see the city and transportation in a different light, without the fear of cars bearing down on them alone.  Unfortunately, I saw far more riders than cars put these people in danger on Sunday.  There has to be an understanding that this isn't intended to be the time for you and your roadie buddies in lycra to come busting down Junction Hollow at 20mph.  This should be an opportunity to help folks who aren't normally street riders have a positive experience in a new environment.  Experience is the only way we'll increase day to day mode share.  These people should be the target audience. I won't criticize the route or structure because I can only imagine all that must go into planning an activity like this, but providing a better way to separate out road riders who clearly are only interested in getting their ride in from the rest of the pack would improve the experience for everyone.  It also seemed like there might've been a couple additional left-turns on this route between the Strip and Highland Park, a couple of which required lane changes in mixed traffic.  That can be a difficult move for the inexperienced who get separated from the pack.
2017-08-31 14:50:16
There has to be an understanding that this isn’t intended to be the time for you and your roadie buddies in lycra to come busting down Junction Hollow at 20mph. These people should be the target audience.
I disagree on both accounts. I think BikePGH did very good job trying to accommodate  widest audience possible and to separate them at the same time by using different start time ans routes (of different difficulties). So fast people go earlier and harder with more climbs without mixing with novices. All audiences should be a target.  
2017-09-01 18:24:10