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Try-A-Bike Jamboree! Saturday, Aug 24, 2014

Try-A-Bike Jamboree Saturday August 24, 2013 10am – 4pm For the third year in a row, Flock of Cycles will make use of the city’s Bud Harris Cycling Track to host the free “Try-A-Bike Jamboree.” Bicycle enthusiasts from around the region will bring a variety of bikes and trikes from their personal collections and allow short test rides around the half-mile paved oval loop normally used for racing. For less experienced riders, the flat interior surface of the track — a former driver’s ed course — provides a traffic-free area to get a feel for something they have never tried before. This year we are anticipating E-BIKES, CARGO BIKES, RECUMBENTS and more. The DEMO RACK from PAT TRANSIT will be back. Visitors can learn to load and unload a demo bike to the rack seen on city buses. Bring your own bike if you want to give your panniers, fenders and odd-sized frames a trial run. Try-A-Bike is not a sponsored event, it comes together entirely with the good will and enthusiasm of volunteers from the cycling community. Although the bikes will be adult-sized, supervised teens may also enjoy this event. Volunteers will be on hand to point out which bikes are available for test rides and to adjust seat heights. Bike-based tailgating and picnicking under the shade trees is encouraged. Bathrooms and vending machines are available at the neighboring Zone 5 Police Station. No dogs please. Helmets and waivers required. A map and directions to the track are here: WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! If you can help with the event and/or want to share your own bicycle(s) for supervised test rides, we will have a sign-up form posted here in the next day or two. We could also use a shade tent or two. Setup begins at 9am. Event begins at 10am.
2013-07-31 16:59:13
Let us not forget unicycles Edit: I forgot I'm riding one at this very event last year in my avatar
2013-07-31 18:57:36
My mother-in-law will be in town for pedal Pittsburgh that weekend. I hope that there will be some small hybrid/roady type bikes for her to try (she is 5 feet tall). Right now she has a comfort something or other.
2013-07-31 19:40:40
Fun event, looking forward to it.
2013-07-31 20:39:16
We have a 10x10 pop up tent we can bring. Along with a few bikes...
2013-07-31 23:58:58
Thanks, @stefb & @cburch!
2013-08-01 00:13:39
¡Volunteers Wanted! ¡Volunteers Needed! ¡Volunteers Loved! We need your help to make the Try-A-Bike event a success. Everyone is welcome to drop by and hang out all day, but for the sanity and safety of the organizers and everyone else, please indicate if you can cover a specific 2-hour shift to help things run smoothly. Simple tasks, friendly people, awesome bikes, beautiful setting (not counting Washington Blvd). Follow the link below for a description of shifts/tasks. :::: :::: If you can bring bikes or gear (in safe working condition) for people to try, please also enter it on the web form so we can work on ensuring VaRiEtY! Participants are instructed to ask each bike owner's permission before taking a bike for a spin around the oval. We need help with set-up, clean-up, hospitality, waivers, seat adjustments & very basic safety-minded mechanical stuff, photography, and a few other things.... Your hosts, Pseudacris, NickD, Reddan .....
2013-08-01 00:30:12
@Pierce ...and you first tried to ride a unicycle at the 2011 Try-a-Bike. With some success even that day, I might add.
2013-08-01 10:28:35
Submitted. Stefb, I can bring an old Fuji road mixte with flat bars that rides really nicely, would be a nice transition and much sportier than a comfort. Also, not on the form, but would be happy to work with any adult learners/first time riders. Pseuda, if you are finding any gaps in the type of ride offerings, let me (and others) know, I might be able to fill in.
2013-08-05 08:18:59
Aug 24, 2014...looks like I'm busy. :P
2013-08-05 08:47:58
Thanks, bill!
2013-08-05 09:18:26
Thanks to everyone who has offered to bring bikes so far. It would be great to have single speed or fixed gear bikes in a few different frame sizes. Also, mountain bikes and a bigger range of folders could be fun. So Far..... Dirt Rag/Bicycle Mag is bringing some CARGO BIKES (& possibly e-bikes)! Adam Solar Rides is bringing E-BIKES! PAT transit is bringing the DEMO BUS BIKE RACK! People from the message board are bringing 80s-era mixte bikes in a few sizes, a small commuter setup with pannier & brooks saddle, a vintage folding bike, a unicycle, a titanium road bike, recumbents. Awaiting confirmation on a few other things. THANKS to the 2 people who are bringing shade tents! If anyone can offer transportation help (pick up and/or drop off) between Brighton Heights and The Oval, please pm me. Bring a picnic blanket and pack a lunch: it is a nice place to hang out between rides.
2013-08-05 10:06:45
i'm filling out the form now, but i'm bringing a few mountain bikes, including my downhill bike as well as a shade tent.
2013-08-06 08:39:45
Pseudacris: I may be able to help transport stuff, I just got rear ended by some jackwagon that wasn't paying attention though, so we'll see how long the shop takes to fix it. Just don't tell Mikhail I own a truck though.
2013-08-06 10:49:02
If there is interest, I could bring either my inexpensive single speed or my utility hybrid on which I am trying to add enough hardware that the weight of the various odds and ends is greater than that of the bicycle itself. (I should start a build log)
2013-08-06 13:03:34
Thank you @cburch! @rice rocket, that would be super helpful, especially if you can do the morning run. I'll be in touch soon with the info. @andyc, either would be great, especially if your frames are medium to large. If they are small frame, the singlespeed would fill a nice gap. In the past, people seem to enjoy checking out some very basic stuff (eg; different saddles and handlebars) as well as the more "exotic" bikes. Good news: THE BUTLER WOBBLIES WILL BE BACK! Last year they brought a huge assortment of unicycles and quite a few people learned to ride.
2013-08-07 20:21:45
Topping this... THIS SATURDAY!!! THE CYCLING OVAL @ WASHINGTON BLVD (aka the Bud Harris Cycling Track) Thanks to all who have volunteered, I'll be sending out confirmation emails & requested time slots within the next day or two.
2013-08-20 10:49:08
Pseudacris wrote:Topping this… THIS SATURDAY!!! THE CYCLING OVAL @ WASHINGTON BLVD (aka the Bud Harris Cycling Track) Thanks to all who have volunteered, I’ll be sending out confirmation emails & requested time slots within the next day or two.
I am volunteering 10-2 at Bike PGH, after this I can stop at the event to help you, guys. Is it OK?
2013-08-20 12:06:35
Bad news, truck is still in the shop, and not expected to be done for at least another week. I have a Honda Fit currently, which can haul a surprise amount of stuff given its diminutive size, but still not a replacement for a truck. I was going to bring my 650b hardtail for people to try, but there's only so much MTB-ing you can do at the oval anyways...I can leave it at home if we need more carrying capacity.
2013-08-20 12:25:31
Guys, I can care two bikes and one extra person. But I have to be at REI by 10 am. So if we can make it before 9:20 am then it would be fantastic.
2013-08-20 15:33:43
@ricerocket + @Mikhail if you coud get in touch with @reddan, that would be helpful. he has access to another vehicle for hauling but may need help with driving at the beginning and at the end of the day. I will be there at 9 for setup, event starts at 10.
2013-08-21 09:19:49
^ this is awesome! Hope to see lots of folks tomorrow. There's even more stuff showing up for you to try: mountain bikes and beginner obstacles, fat tire mtn bike, reverse-steering bike, singlespeed tandem and lots of recumbents!
2013-08-23 18:52:27
In the garage now trying to decide what to bring.
2013-08-23 20:59:05
Bring them all! That's what I'm doing. Plus a forester full of lumber and Harry from the wheel mill is meeting me there with some larger obstacles. And some other cool stuff.
2013-08-23 22:36:11
I will be riding all of cburch's bikes.
2013-08-23 22:42:53
cburch wrote:Bring them all! That’s what I’m doing.
except I don't have a box truck. But I do have the Volvo packed. See u in the am!
2013-08-23 23:12:58
I will be bringing one unicycle, and I haven't decided if I am getting there by bus or motorcycle. This is complicated by the fact that the tire that will need to be on it is still, at half past midnight on the-day-of, sitting in the bike shop.
2013-08-23 23:27:41
Stu, the Butler Wobbles are bringing a bunch of Unicycles. It would be great to have yours in the mix, too, but don't stress too hard if you can't get that tire out of the shop: just show up & enjoy yourself!
2013-08-23 23:59:59
If anyone has a few extra pylons to lend, please bring 'em. I'd like to make a second visible crosswalk on the oval this year...a spot where a lot people ended up crossing the track to get to the event.
2013-08-24 00:01:43
I could come by way of that W. Carson construction zone.........
2013-08-24 06:47:20
9:30 am, haven't left the house yet, let alone gotten to Scholl's to get the tire or fixed it. So maybe I will leave the wheel at home. But! I do have three big orange highway cones I can try to bring with me (likely on motorcycle, at this point). As soon as I can figure out how to strap them to the fender, I'll be on my way.
2013-08-24 08:25:34
Hey Stu, I'm thinking of bring mine, if you're not bringing yours, that'd be an incentive
2013-08-24 09:00:39
10:15, cleaned up the cones and trying to figure out how to tie them to the m/c. Not easy, I've figured out. No chance of bringing the uni at this point.
2013-08-24 09:17:59
If you had a bungee net, that would be perfect for the cones I'm bringing mine if you'd like to use it for instructional purposes; probably won't arrive until 12ish (still waiting on somebody else)
2013-08-24 09:57:39
Thanks to everyone that did this! Reddan was working hard with people lining up to try all the recumbents! There was a great selection of bikes and I saw a lot of smiles on people riding around in the front of the cargo bike! Nice event. Nice job. I hesitate to upload photos of kids, but I did take a few (because the kids seemed to be having sooooo much fun). If you saw me snap something with your child and would like the picture, just PM me.
2013-08-24 14:48:32
srpit wrote:Thanks to everyone that did this! Reddan was working hard with people lining up to try all the recumbents! There was a great selection of bikes and I saw a lot of smiles on people riding around in the front of the cargo bike! Nice event. Nice job.
Seconded!! @Reddan was a tireless and gracious host with his large collection. I had a blast checking out his wide variety of recumbents, even thought I did need a boost from him to get going on all of the two wheeled varieties. And I couldn't help but chuckle a bit every time I saw somebody else being chauffeured around in the front basket of that aforementioned orange cargo bike. Pleasure talking with @StuInMcCandless as well. Thanks for demonstrating the PAT bicycle rack for me. So simple, but I now have much more confidence to use the bus rack should the need arise. Finally, thanks to Isaac and Danielle (I think? Sorry if I'm getting the name wrong), I can now tell my friends that I've been on a unicycle. We'll leave out the part where I never left the safety zone of holding onto the bleachers ;-). Kudos to everyone that helped to make this a GREAT event!
2013-08-24 17:43:15
That was a fantastic day. I think I have as much if not more fun getting people on bikes as I do riding myself. Having cider now. Photos to follow.
2013-08-24 18:15:09
yes, great event. Thanks for the peaches Colin, Stef and mumma. I needed food bad by the time I arrived, I was starved.
2013-08-24 19:55:30
Most bike fun I have had in a long time.
2013-08-24 20:28:37
Great event! Three cheers to Hyla, Dan, Bill, Colin and all the others for organizing and bringing their bike collections. Also, I think we had almost two dozen folks not affiliated with Bike Pgh or Flock show up and try riding the bikes. Just bike-curious folks driving by or who saw the event in City Paper; and Aaron AKA bumper-bike! Ps – peaches were awesome!
2013-08-24 21:53:29
I shot over 40 minutes of video, haven't figured out what to do with it all. Those that are just me, I will post, but I don't want to post anyone else without checking with people first. Snippets here and there might make a nice montage for next time. So if you have any video editing skills (mine are meager), hit me up, okay?
2013-08-25 06:43:03
That was hella good fun. Thanks to all who volunteered, loaned, or just showed up and helped make for a fine day. And thanks for those fantastic peaches. :-) Out of idle curiousity, did anyone get an overall head count?
2013-08-25 12:48:32
The mountain bikes and obstacles were a fun new addition: who knew going over curbs and logs & such on a fat-tired bike was so much fun? This event is nothing without many volunteer hours + goodwill + bike loans + Flock of Cycles as presenters...thanks to everyone for making it happen (although I think a Dan B gets a special prize for tireless enthusiasm and bike hauling). We definitely had a bump in attendance due to the City Paper listing, but due to its brevity, some important details were left out, such as that it was all adult-sized bikes and that helmets were required. So several us lent our own helmets (ewww...but you can't just shampoo away a concussion...) The peaches were awesome. I counted around 70 names on the waivers, including a half dozen kids who were signed in so parents could give them rides on the cargo bike or whose kids were tall enough to try a few things. That plus probably 10-12 more who had signed the waiver in the past year and didn't need to do so again. A few people showed up who were expecting it to be more commercial and run by bike shops and/or who were hoping there'd be kids bikes. So, those are areas that could be expanded, but it would be very hard to do without more volunteer support and/or financing. Some bike shops/businesses extended very generous loans to this non-commercial event, which was well rounded out by bikes from individual collections. We had at least 50 different bikes and unicycles. Special thanks to Thick Bikes, The Wheel Mill, Dirt Rag/Bicycle Times, RBR, Adam Solar Rides, Fiks:Reflective, the 321 Ride, Butler Wobbles, PAT Transit, Dan B, Colin B, Ben G, Marko, Sara P, Bill E, Mikhail, Fatguy on Orange Bike, Mary & Nate, Jimmy, Karen B, Marcel, Stu, Sarah P, Terry D and many other folks who meant to stop by, but stayed for a long time, pitching in or lending bikes they rode to the event.
2013-08-25 13:57:26
Glad I was finally able to make one of these this year. Got to try out the tandem, a couple of the recumbents, both of the cargo bikes, a folder, the Krampus and that sweet single speed All-City. Had a lot of fun and look forward to next year. Thanks to all of the folks who donated their bikes or their time to make this happen.
2013-08-25 14:09:19
2013-08-25 21:54:26
The people who showed up to try the bikes were very cool. The old dudes who re-connected and met from distant compass points. The mother and daughter team were something, they had a blast. I hope that teenager has some sense of how cool her mom is.
2013-08-26 08:48:20
This was so much fun. Thanks for having it. And I found my new bike love-vintage Raleigh folder. We're already arguing about whether to find a green or a red one. So cute!!
2013-08-26 10:47:20
sarapgh2 wrote:We’re already arguing about whether to find a green or a red one.
The answer is obvbios -- both! :)
2013-08-26 11:25:32
@Mikhail ha! Husband just fixed up a green Raleigh sprite so I want a folder to match.
2013-08-26 12:14:39
i think my mom is totally sold on a mixtie now. thanks Hyla and Sarah!
2013-08-26 16:41:35
sarapgh2, if you're still liking the Raleigh folder, I can probably make you a deal. Thinking of making some changes in the stable. PM me if interested.
2013-09-02 08:46:02
edmonds59, you've been pm'd!
2013-09-02 09:02:13
If we are repurposing this thread for 2014, can we please get the date right? My 2014 calendar shows that Saturday to be August 23.
2014-01-16 06:47:04
To my knowledge, no date has been set for Try-A-Bike in 2014. It is likely to be during BikeFest, and probably a Sunday this year (so those with lack of Saturday availability get a chance to attend for a change).
2014-01-16 08:34:49
Deleted. Nevermind! Found the info for this year: Try-A-Bike-Jamboree: Sunday August 10th, 2014 10am--4pm
2014-08-06 08:36:17
Thanks, @RustyRed. I completely forgot to update this thread.
2014-08-06 10:21:40
Note also that the title of this thread is incorrect, as it was originally for last year's event (don't ask me why it says "2014"). As Rusty posted, the event is this coming Sunday, August 10th, from 10 AM to 4 PM, at the Bud Harris Oval on Washington Blvd.
2014-08-06 10:33:41
I realize it's probably too late for this year, but I think getting the Party Pedaler to show up and run people around the track could be fun. They could sell soft drinks instead of beer if alcohol sales would be an issue.
2014-08-08 11:46:22
There's gotta be a safer road than Washington Blvd to access this, right?
2014-08-08 14:53:31
Negley Run to Washington (New bike lanes!!), but then you can wiggle your way through the fire training area and police station lots to get to the oval and avoid Wash Blvd itself.
2014-08-08 15:03:03
Man, huge thanks for all the folks who put this event together. I love it so much! It always takes me a little while to get un-shy at events like this, but it's always so worth it. the two total surprises for me this year were: a) how much fun the electric-assist bikes were. I had kind of set them up in my mind as something for people who are not me -- people with mobility issues or whatever other reason for needing an assist. It seriously never occurred to me that it might just be fun to HAVE the assist, rather than to NEED it. They were a total blast! b) I feel like I finally understand why people like to ride fixed!
2014-08-10 11:24:22
That was fun! Thanks to everyone who organized this. I'll post photos soon.
2014-08-10 15:29:04
Fantastic day.
2014-08-10 18:01:58
Can the moderators really not edit titles? Or just too lazy?
2014-08-10 18:20:33
Had a blast! Special thanks to Hyla and Nick for bringing water and Dan for shuttling extra bents all the way from State College for our trying pleasure. Lots of great bikes, so thanks to everyone who brought one! Thick had some notable crazy bikes. If budget weren't an issue, I'd be running out and buying at least two bikes after today. Walked up a trail after the event which was a fun challenge and coasted back down via Negley Run (really nice route, actually).
2014-08-10 19:10:32
Hyla's Facebook album of the event. [link]
2014-08-10 21:35:11
Thanks to everyone that made this happen. Dan really goes above and beyond getting all the recumbents and working all day with people. I don't think he gets a minutes break, adjusting, explaining, spotting... Very good of him! Appreciate everyone that brought bikes, especially all the unusual ones - Chris (Thick Bikes) brought a great selection! Very nice event.
2014-08-11 05:00:44
That was a ton of fun! Thanks to Flock of Cycles, Fiks, Thick, Adam Solar Resources, edmonds59, Stu, Marko, Monster Trikes, Sloaps, PAT Transit & several individuals who also brought bikes to lend. Tons of fun. Reddan does deserve some kind of prize for tireless and enthusiastic Bent'ophilia. I think was the biggest range of ages yet. Check the photo album link Stu posted above to see Thick's Penny Farthing in a PAT bus rack!!
2014-08-11 09:48:18
That was fun! I tried a bunch! Somebody should fix the subject line of this thread. It was 8/10 this year, not 8/24. This is a very strange bike. I hated it. Pressing on the pedals affects the steering - a lot. Prone to wobbling. Nick’s tall bike. I tried it. It handles quite well! Getting on & off takes practice. Nat gets on the penny farthing. With a wheel this size, your legs must be long or you won’t be able to reach the pedals. Getting on the seat is tricky, also. It's a fixie, of course. Does anybody in Pittsburgh have a short-adult-sized or kid-sized pennyfarthing? short, medium, tall
2014-08-11 14:31:33
More pictures Reverse-steering bicycle. Even walking it was exhausting! The cargo bike was popular. Stu on Nick’s bike Marko & Nick
2014-08-11 14:37:19
"This is a very strange bike. I hated it. Pressing on the pedals affects the steering – a lot. Prone to wobbling." I tried it twice before I gave up... almost as awkward as the reverse-steering bike, but at least I made it more than five feet (actually made one full lap on the front-wheel drive recumbent).
2014-08-11 16:28:30
Yes, I am wearing a motorcycle helmet. That's how I got there, and I didn't think to bring the bicycle helmet. Or I thought about it and didn't want to be bothered carrying it.
2014-08-11 17:16:02, it's the brompton of cargo bikes? I can get behind that... (...or is it the cargo bike of bromptons?)
2014-12-11 10:24:16
In a decade or two, when I switch to an electric assisted trike, I might need that thing.
2014-12-11 13:05:57