Urban Velo

About I Love Riding in the City

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I Love Riding in the City – Michael McCollum

michaelNAME: Michael McCollum
LOCATION: Columbus, OH
OCCUPATION: Mechanical Engineer

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I just emigrated from Louisville up to Columbus earlier this year. So far my rides have been recreational tours around the city while also dabbling in the local MTB trails with my fiance. Louisville was flatter than Columbus with a lot more riding in traffic, while Columbus has a fantastic network of bike trails through the city. The polo scene is also better and more invigorated here. I’m also still getting used to the level of biking infrastructure here and the convenience it provides – Louisville just got its first green ‘bike boxes,’ whereas, they’ve been around here for a while I’m told.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?

Chicago. Big buildings, stretch busses and bridges made for a welcome assortment of travel companions. Then hopping on the subway and doing it all again. Of course, renting a mountain bike for the day while on the Galapagos was also pretty awesome.

Why do you love riding in the city?
The state of zen it brings while taking the time to get where I’m going. The perspective you get while travelling by car, then by bike and finally by walking are always so drastically different … I enjoy the level of detail I can appreciate while on a bike and still get places quickly. It clears my head and calms my soul.

I Love Riding in the City – Piotr

NAME: Piotr
LOCATION: Warsaw, Poland
OCCUPATION: IT Administrator

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Warsaw . Officially 2 millions people lived here but i think this number is underestimate. Traffic is high especially when workers and pupils go to offices and schools. So in the morning and early evening main streets are jammed. Public transport is quite effective but “nothing compares to simple pleasure of a bike ride”. In bad circumstances to reach the place of my work by bus takes me about 2 hours, by bike – 30 minutes.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
In addition to the Warsaw I ridden in Berlin. Awareness and care of other who use road in Berlin impressed me. It was like “haven” for cyclists. But in the longer term could be boring.

Why do you love riding in the city?
Because of small amount and poor quality of bike paths I ride in traffic. Sometimes it’s very dangerous. I have to be focused, to have eyes in the back of the head and predict the behavior of other drivers. I have to be here and now – without thinking. I love it, especially after a hard day at work!

I Love Riding in the City – Matthew Pierce

pierceNAME: Matthew Pearce
LOCATION: Forbes NSW Australia
OCCUPATION: College Science Coordinator

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live smack bang in the centre of NSW, Australia in a town called Forbes. It is fantastic riding here as we have perfectly undulating rises and falls in the landscape. You can ride around Lake Forbes or take a leisurely ride throughout the town enjoying the safe wide roads.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Melbourne is by far the best place to ride. It is becoming a popular place for cycle commuters. There are plenty of bike stores, cafés, restaurants, and secret back alleys.

Why do you love riding in the city?
I love to beat my mates to work. I enjoy the feeling of human power beating motors! I love having a beer after I ride home from work and knowing I didn’t pay for fuel and I had a workout!

I Love Riding in the City – Justin Lalande

JustinName: Justin Lalande
Location: Sudbury Ontario Canada
Occupation: Engineering Student

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Sudbury (about 400 km north of Toronto). It’s very cold in the winter and pretty warm in the summer so my riding style and set-up has to change drastically by season.

Motorists pay little attention to cyclists because everyone around here drives huge trucks, there is little to no cycling infrastructure so I have to adapt.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
My favorite city to ride in was Sherbrooke Québec. the city has bike paths running through and out of it, you can ride for hours on the same path. There are a lot of people biking there and a lot of shops and group rides.

Why do you love riding in the city?
It avoids having one more car on the road, keeps me in shape, and is really fun.

I Love Riding in the City – Cassandra

commuteroutfitNAME: Cassandra
OCCUPATION: Customer Service/Inside Sales at Saris Cycling Group

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?

Madison, Wisconsin has been my home for almost 10 years. The riding here is amazing. There’s a great network of dedicated bike paths and lanes. The network keeps on expanding as well. New pedestrian/bike bridges and bike lanes are popping up every year.

The riding is pretty flat and easy going in the downtown area, but there are some pretty gnarly hills out westward of the city and near the state capitol building.

One of my favorite things about living here is that within a 15-20 minute ride, you can get out of the city and experience the rolling hills of the drift less region. Not to mention the smooth rolling on the rail trails.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Any city that has a bike share. It’s so much more convenient to see the city by bike and not have to pay the travel fees associated with bringing your own bike.

San Francisco, Portland, Chicago, and the Twin Cities have all been great places to visit due to their bike share systems. I base a lot of my vacations around what cities offer bike shares or have good bike shops.

Why do you love riding in the city?
I really love the seeing the diversity of riders on the bike paths. You have roadies, tri geeks, hardcore commuters, fixie kids, and retired folks on their recumbent bikes.

There’s nothing better than seeing all the cycling tribes that reside in the city. So many people benefit from our bike infrastructure. It makes me feel really lucky to live in a city that embraces cycling.

Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?
There are so many people out there who think that riding in the city is dangerous or stupid, but if you actually take the time to learn how to ride safely and intelligently…it can be a really great experience.

Cycling in a new city is also one of the best ways to get around and discover things you never would have seen by bus or taxi. On your next trip, rent a bike!

Check out www.spokehaven.com

I Love Riding in the City – Guitar Dad

Paul Dillon

Name: Paul Dillon
Location: Orlando, Florida
Occupation: Corporate speechwriter

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Orlando, Florida, which offers riders a great combination of urban settings, paved bike trails and interesting neighborhoods to explore. Most people know Orlando as a tourist destination of theme parks and resorts, but there’s so much more to this town, especially in and around the downtown area. If you venture into “authentic Orlando,” you’ll find a treasure trove of sights and sounds and celebration, all set against a backdrop of droopy Spanish moss, warm breezes and ever-present sunshine.

What was your favorite city to ride in and why?
I must say Orlando is my favorite because it’s a fun, lively town and it’s where I do most of my riding. I recently biked in Savannah, Georgia, and St. Petersburg, Florida, and both of those places are wonderful cities to cruise around in, for different reasons. But Orlando is my primary turf. It’s a manageable city to explore on two wheels, with lots of scenic lakes and parks and plenty of entertaining diversions.

Why do you love riding in the city?
There’s a sense of excitement and movement in the city that you miss in the suburbs or in the country. Riding in the city connects me to the heart and soul of the community and reveals its colors and contours in surprising ways. I love the city’s dynamics, its whiff of danger and its alleyways, courtyards and uneven surfaces. I especially like heading into the streets at daybreak on a weekend, when it feels like I have the whole city to myself.

Two-wheeling as often as I can
makes life more peaceful and true,
makes the world seem happy and alive
and altogether new.

Check out guitardad.weebly.com

I Love Riding in the City – Valdemaras

avatarNAME: Valdemaras
LOCATION: Vilnius, Lithuania
OCCUPATION: Airline agent

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Vilnius, Lithuania. Riding in my city is pretty much the same as in any other small capital of a small country. Cycling isn’t really popular and riders are frowned upon, but to be honest that just makes me smile and ride more. It was freezing last few weeks (below °20C) and people did give me strange looks. I don’t mind that. Makes me feel special.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Apart from Vilnius and my hometown I didn’t ride in any other city, but I plan to visit Amsterdam or Copenhagen this spring – it should be amazing. They are _the_ best cities to ride in.

Why do you love riding in the city?
Not only it takes me places and keeps me healthy and strong, it gives me energy and a great feeling of accomplishment, especially when I bike to work in freezing cold, snow or rain. Even if I have to dry my clothes and backpack afterwards, it’s still worth it. I wouldn’t give it up for a car or go back to public transportation. You feel connected to the street and even more aware of the surroundings. I’ve noticed so many things I didn’t see before in just a couple months, and I’ve been going the same route for more than 3 years by bus!

Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?
I am currently trying to persuade my girlfriend to cycling, bought an old bike and I’m now restoring it to it’s original state without her knowing it, and when it’s done I will give it to her as a gift. Wish me luck!

I Love Riding in the City – Greg Lang


NAME: Greg Lang
LOCATION: Philadelphia, PA
OCCUPATION: Designer, Writer, Entrepreneur, Graduate Student, Administrative Assistant.

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?

i live in West Philadelphia. On my side of the city we have some small hills and Fairmount Park is close. The drivers in all of Philly are not kind towards cyclists. It seems like they don’t pay much attention, they get very close behind you and pass within a foot many times. J-walkers, double parked cars and passenger doors are in abundance. We have deep trolley tracks, lots of potholes and narrow streets as well. But, the bicycle infrastructure here is really good in Philly so that does give some relief from the traffic. Bicycle advocacy groups have done a really good job to get the city to make wider bike lanes as well as more overall. Regardless, the terrain and people in it make for great adventures, stories and dangerous conditions.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Philly is my favorite because I have never ridden a bike anyplace else and I live here. Lots of people ride bikes so there is almost always something bike related going on.

Why do you love riding in the city?
I enjoy exploring urban environments and a bike makes that endeavor easier as well as super fun. Riding fast in the traffic with cars is a rush. Not knowing what scene will be around the next corner and the city as it is always changing makes for motivation to keep looking around and experiencing all it has to offer. It is easy to make cycling into a lifestyle in the city. Seeing a city by bike is an intimate experience that pushes a person to live the city rather than just observe it. A bicycle is the perfect machine for a Flaneur.

Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?
Walking out the door and setting the bike in the road. Tossing one leg over and stepping on the pedal. One push and one is off and into the stream. A cyclist swims in the flow of traffic feeling the current as well as creating one. All the while not forgetting to have fun.

Check out greendivisionprojects.com

I Love Riding in the City – Nick Drombosky

Nick Drombosky

NAME: Nick Drombosky
LOCATION: Pittsburgh, PA
OCCUPATION: Founder, Fiks:Reflective

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
Most people are probably tired of hearing about Pittsburgh, but as far a cycling goes, it’s a pretty great place to be if you can brave the weather and the hills. We have three bike magazines based here, a big indoor bike park, great mountain biking [in city limits], alley cats, a bike bar, tons of awesome shops, a strong bike advocacy organization, a pro-bike mayor, recreational trails [including one of then longest rail-trails in the country], world-class BMX trails, and outdoor cycling track, indoor velodrome, and a club for just about any type of rider.

We do lack some things, like some of the infrastructure and ethnic diversity of biggest cities, but with all of the things we do have, it’s a good place to live, ride, and run a company in the bike industry.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Chicago. Their young city-sponsored bike-share program, Divvy, makes it super easy to get around and gets a ton of non-cyclists out on bikes.

During one ride around Wrigleyville, which is mostly composed of bars and littered with drunk pedestrians at night, we had a cab driver drive up next to us just to say hello and comment on how nice the weather was. Later, while passing a bar with an open front, a bunch of drunk guys started yelling something at us. In most places I’ve been it’s a safe bet that whatever they would be yelling is intended insulting and often homophobic or related to Lance Armstrong, but after a moment we realized they were only recommending that we should wear helmets.

Why do you love riding in the city?
I got into riding for the freedom. I can’t stand waiting for buses and I hate trying to find parking. Now I still don’t like those things, but if I don’t ride I put on weight like I never thought I could.

Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?
Sun, bridges, hopping the tracks,
rubber, and steel with the wind at my back.

Check out ridewithfiks.com

I Love Riding in the City – Eric Mott

Eric MottNAME: Eric Mott
LOCATION: Denver, Colorado
OCCUPATION: Application developer

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live and work in the Lowry neighborhood of east Denver. I ride to the office everyday no matter what (ha! it’s only a one-mile round trip). On evenings and weekends I cruise the city’s extensive grid bike routes and river trails while exploring the old neighborhoods and historic landmarks, then I assault the traffic of lower downtown before finding a microbrewery relax in before heading back home. It’s hard to lose weight biking in Denver because each ride results in a search for beer.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?

Besides Denver, the place I grew up: Mason City, Iowa, because kids like me could go anywhere in town by bicycle, be safe doing it, and your mom wouldn’t care unless she had a premonition about a river. The older I get, the more I value having had a childhood like that. We’d get our bikes in the morning and spend all day exploring the lime pits, cornfields, and railroad tracks around town before returning home at dinnertime. About thirty-five years ago the Winnebago River swallowed my green Schwinn Stingray with the banana seat. It’s probably reached the Gulf of Mexico by now—if you find it, let me know.

Why do you love riding in the city?

When you drive you plan your route in advance (hopefully) and worry about where you’re going to park. When you ride you plan on getting lost and worry about not remembering all the cool new hangouts you spotted along the way. That’s freedom—that’s childhood. We need that.

Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?
Spandex sucks. Flannel is cool.

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