In case you didn't know, our mayor has been in Denmark recently. Here he is on a bike (!) with our own Scott Bricker.
And we see that they don't wear helmets! :)
GREAT NEWS! People need to get over that way to get a feel for what a city can be like. Healthy and happy! Thanks for letting us know.
here's a bit of peduto on the trip
best quote from the story:
"I wouldn't want that at any expense to the motor vehicles or people's private individual rights to do anything, as far as operating a motor vehicle (is concerned)," said Rvan Reitinger of South Side.
If we can't beat that kind of inspired opposition, then we need to seriously evaluate our tactics :)
they found one of the smartest guys ever to interview.
i'm just going to assume you are talking about me...
Peduto announced at today's bikeways press conference that after this trip, he and ACE Fitzgerald are both buying bikes of their own now... and that Peduto, at least, plans to ride his to and from all meetings in Downtown, North Shore, and South Side.
That was another item I was very happy to hear.
Nothing informs like experience.
Now, if we can get them to actually ride into work, too... (believe Fitzgerald is in squirrel hill, Peduto in Point Breeze).
Probably works best advertising first as a bikepool in, bus it home combo.
Even I contemplated bussing it home before mapping out that the sustained climbing part of greenfield avenue was only about half a mile, short enough to walk without feeling too self conscious or wasting that much time.
Peduto did say that he plans to start biking around to his downtown meetings which is cool. i wanted to ask him if he'll get his own mayoral bike rack in the portico
...or, you know, any bike rack that's actually nailed down...?
Maybe we could convince Peduto to lead/join an East End bike ride into work a few times a year (or even just once, for Bike to Work Day).
Pfft. Too far off. I think the bike/ped conference is a nice goal date to get him riding in. I'm sure our mayor would be delighted to know all the plans we're making for him. Now who wants to let him know?
More on point, who actually knows more specifically where these guys live and would be willing to reach out and ride with them if they're amenable?
If our potentates are going to be getting bikes, I hope someone guides them to wise bike choices. To be honest, I would like to see them on E-bikes. News clips of them huffing and puffing red-faced around town would do more public relations harm than good.
(edit - I am a realist, not a purist)
The right bike for them is whatever puts a smile on their face. Maybe that's an e-bike, maybe not.
To the extent there's guidance I'd just say it should be around outlining bike styles and characteristics and encouragement to go on a decent number of test rides.
Imagine you were thinking about, on the precipice of starting to ride and found the idea of being in the street without dedicated space stressful. Would you want to worry about how you look, too? Gah!
Sure, if you're workaday Joe, do what works and puts a smile on your face. But these guys are in the public spotlight constantly. Do I want to see them on bikes? Of course. Do I want to see them on bikes looking like schlubs? Def not. Perception is everything. This is a marketing process to the general public as much as anything.
Big thing I want out of our leaders is informed decision making with the first hand perspective on riding.
I'd prefer to leave promo advertising to athletes and celebs if you're into that sort of thing. These are normal looking guys. Once you put on a bike helmet it's already pretty dorky. And so what?
And come to think of it, I think that's actually one of the better possible messages to I think the many folks on the precipice of riding but worried about their professional image. Their LEADERS out there, looking dorky, sweating, but having fun, and doing their jobs. Now really, what was the problem again?
With Fitz and Peduto both competing for space for bike lockup at City-County, chances are excellent that I'll be rubbing handlebars with both of them. I regularly tie up at one of the Three Rivers racks on the Forbes side of the building. The two racks on the portico were already more of a pain than a help.
That whole area up by Forbes-Grant-Fifth is sorely in need of some bike racks, once this idea of biking to work really starts to catch on.
Part of getting public ridership to the next level is convincing the general public that using a bike as a part of everyday life is not the sweaty, dorky activity that it has historically been perceived to be. Scott B, even Mick, can pull off sect cool on a bike. Pedro and Fitzy, not so much. Like it or not, the image of a red faced, sweaty, huffing county executive is not going to trend anyone toward giving it a try. Even if he lives.
What if they keep at it? Can they join the sect then?
This is just so juvenile and I just don't think there's any benefit in catering to it.
I don't think the barrier to biking is that it's perceived as uncool, I think the barrier is that it perceived as not normal.
Anyways, if we're so fixated on cool, the essence of cool is NOT caring what people think.
And what's with this even if they live crap? Even as a joke. C'mon man. It's hard work, sure, but it's really not so dangerous.
On a lark I stayed on blvd and continued all the way up Panther Hollow Rd. today. I worked like hell because I felt a little residual guilt but the drivers treated me FINE.
For the record, Iron City already offered via tweet to get them outfitted on rigs, should they come in the shop. Quick initiative, and amusing.
Byogman, you are completely missing the point, and you seem intent on refusing to even consider the idea. Your attitude is ridiculous. The whole idea is exactly about NOT being a sect, and the idea is for it to EXACTLY be perceived as normal. If the majority of the public is going to accept biking as a part of every day life, they need to see that they can ride somewhere in a suit, or a dress, or whatever they are wearing, and show up where they are going not sweating, not mussed, fresh, as if they haven't even ridden.
Step outside yourself momentarily, if you can, and imagine yourself as a 55 year old man or woman who hasn't ridden in 40 years, what image of biking is going to move you to get out there and try it? Certainly not the image of red face and bulging eyes struggling up a Pittsburgh hill.
Anyway, that horse is well fucking dead. I'm done.
If the currently non-biking public is going to accept cycling as a normal thing, I don't think pretending it won't make you sweat by hiding the evidence is going to help. If you're in terrible physical condition, then yeah it would take some effort to start up and you might get out of breath. That's the only way to make progress, though, and I assume most people would prefer a well-functioning body to a weak and useless one. Maybe seeing other people struggle, including high-profile people, would actually motivate people to try.
In places like Denmark and Sweden where most people are very active, it's not like they got that way by magic and Pittsburghers are incapable. Your body is the product of your own actions for the most part.
I speak from my experience. Just two years ago I hadn't ridden but for (rare) recreation and didn't own a bike. And I was out of shape from a stretch of, give or take, five years without any real exercise at all. What convinced me to ride? A diabetic friend a bit older than me than I was talking about how he missed it (we were both working out by Robinson and carpooling) and seeing
folks out there on the roads. Basically a combination of three messsages. This is fun, doable, and normal enough that I probably won't be killed. Is that an easier sell if the bike is assisted? For some, sure. But a lot more people wouldn't pony up for an assist bike but have something in.their garage they're not riding. And I think maybe there's benefit to acknowledging that people sweat amd saying that's ok. But end of the day, I think it's just over thinking things. If our leaders are seen out there on bikes we win. So let's just encourage that in whatever form it takes, whatever makes them want to ride.
Stumbled upon this:
Before it went back to policy themes it was about him going to a studio for private boxing oriented workouts plus some weights work and the fact that he let them observe the workout.
I take a couple things from this. First, that this is someone who's trying to get in better shape. Second, that this is someone who probably doesn't care all that much if you see him sweat.
I enjoyed a couple of the quotes:
"For some people, going to the gym is social," Peduto says. "But I hate it."
"I don't like working out at all," Peduto says, a bit breathlessly, between rounds. "So if I like doing this, it means a lot. It allows me to think about things — and punch Tyler."
All we have to do is replace "and punch Tyler" with "and beat traffic".