Urban Velo

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 – 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.

I Love Riding in the City – Melissa Braxton

MelissaBraxtonNAME: Melissa Braxton
LOCATION: Brooklyn, NY
OCCUPATION: Architecture Student

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

I moved to Brooklyn from Austin a few years ago and I have to say the best part of riding here is no longer sweating enough to pass out whenever I ride. Don’t get me wrong, winter riding isn’t the greatest here. But 50% of the year is beautiful, non-sweat inducing or finger-freezing weather.

Living in Brooklyn there seem to be a thousand different places to ride for leisure – Prospect Park, Central Park, Kissena Velodrome, and on and on. Not to mention how refreshing, fast, and inexpensive it is to get to work or where ever you need. Every neighborhood is different, there’s always something exciting going on around you, you’re always having to be on edge and ready for whatever the road swings your way.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Automatically I think Copenhagen, simply because cycling culture there is so mainstream as to be placed above automobiles. But after living there for a bit I missed the feeling of passing cars in traffic, making brief eye contact with a miserable person eating McDonalds in their gas-guzzler stuck in traffic (a bit harsh, I apologize).

Riding anywhere in the US raises awareness for cycling as a form of transportation, which I believe we need oodles more of. That’s probably why I would rather stake my claim on the pollution-filled roads of NYC than fit in to the pre-existing and already extremely progressive cycling culture of Copenhagen.

Why do you love riding in the city?
I love the freedom and simplicity of riding. You don’t have to depend on anything or anyone to get where you need to be. There’s not much more to be said, it’s hard to put in words the exhilaration of cycling.

And if you ride, you probably look good naked without trying.

Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?
Riding for me is about comfort and invitation. Cities should no longer require that you own an automobile. It is clear that cars have done nothing but detrimental damage to our urban environments. Cities should be designed for people, whether on foot or on bicycle. Working in the architecture & urban design fields, my dream is to make cities comfortable and inviting for everyone. Desolate, highway-ridden cities are NOT happy, cities.

Check out killtvmakestuff.tumblr.com

I Love Riding in the City – Nancy Wilson

Name: Nancy Wilson
Location: Jacksonville Florida
Occupation: Writer, photographer, recording artist

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

Jacksonville is a GREAT place for riding, because the weather’s suitable all year, and it has some great bike lanes and trails. It’s also spread out and easy to avoid lots of traffic.
It’s both a great practical way to get around AND stay healthy. I live on a WIDE street with a bike lane.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
I raced USCF road and track for 14 seasons in my youth, so I’ve ridden everywhere, even a fixed gear in the Rockies in a full moon Rocky Mountain winter! I think my favorite city to ride in is Ventura California, or specifically the Rincon Parkway that runs along the ocean north of there. Absolutely beautiful!

Why do you love riding in the city?
I love that bikes have finally come into their own and are recognized as transportation, and it sure is nice to finally live in someplace warm most of the year. I’m from Indiana originally. I was wearing a “Bicycles Don’t Pollute” League of American Wheelmen t-shirt to high school 40 years ago, and I’ve always been an environmentalist. I loved being a part of the great Renaissance of cycling in the early ’70′s, but now it’s more about transportation.
I always still prefer to pedal when I can, but if the old arthritis kicks up or I’m tired otherwise, I also now have two motorized bicycles that really allow me to keep the car parked most of the time!

See my video channel under “harponercam” at youtube.

I Love Riding in the City – El Pelon

SupNAME: El Pelon
OCCUPATION: Reservations Manager

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Boise, Idaho. This town is the best for riding. Depending on your style, there is riding made especially for you. From street to vert to dirt jumps to alleycats to commuting to polo….it is all here. I f’n love it. The weather is pretty good most of the year. The other riders are always so great when you see them. Nobody cares about your steed…just as long as you are on it. It is really fly in Boise.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
I grew up in SoCal so I would have to say that is the my other fav place to ride in (primarily Upland just to piss off the fuzz and all the rich people). The original Pipeline Skate park was in close to my hometown and we shredded the heck out of that joint.

Why do you love riding in the city?
Between the other riders and the killer views of the city itself, it is quite frankly the best place to ride. I can jump on a dirt trail and immediately go right to the bar for a carbo load full of Newcastles. Meet some other biker and then hit it off and instantly become friends. I have never lived in a place that loves bikes as much as here.

Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?
Boise is amazing. Just small enough to not be considered “Big City” yet big enough to be called a metropolis. So many different types of riders to enjoy. So many different types of bikes to gawk at. When you are all done with that….hit up a float on the Boise River and make a total ass of yourself to the beautiful people that live here….they really appreciate the laugh.

Come and visit! But dont forget your loyal steed. You will need it.

Check out maniacalone.blogspot.com

I Love Riding in the City – Pamela Murray

NAME: Pamela Murray
LOCATION: Charlotte, NC
OCCUPATION: Founder of the Charlotte Spokes People

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Charlotte, NC. I live in Plaza Midwood which is an older neighborhood about 3 miles from Uptown (the center of the city). I can ride everywhere and do everything by bike. I like to get other people riding bikes to places so I started the Plaza Midwood Tuesday Night Ride then I started signing businsesses up to the Bicycle Benefits program. Each week, we visit and support local businesses who support bicycle riding by offering anyone who rides to their business a special offer. It’s a great cycle of support. I figure if I can get people to ride at night to great bike friendly places and make it fun, they may bike more often on their own. I ride year round and host the ride year round. The weather is great and the terrain is flat to rolling hills.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
My favorite city to ride in is my own since I can ride my own bike. When I’ve ridden in other cities, it was always a rental which is never as good. And I’m more familiar with my own city.

Why do you love riding in the city?
I can go everywhere and do anything on my bike – especially since I got my Burley Travoy trailer. I can do a week’s worth of grocery shopping, bring home my Christmas tree… Even before the trailer, I could strap most things on my rack – a sled, sleeping bag, banners… I ride my bike as my default transportation. I drive as an alternative or when I’m going somewhere with my entire family. I love the freedom and empowerment and the level of enagagement I feel with the community, outdoors, myself when I’m riding my bike.

Check out facebook.com/PMTNR

I Love Riding in the City – Fourfivesix


NAME: Jared “fourfivesix” Schwartz
OCCUPATION: Bike Messenger

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
Boston, and riding there, well, its like riding a bike in Boston.  Its like nothing else.  Being able to navigate that city like I can is like being part of a secret society.  And its a rush like no other.  Its dangerous, and I love it.  I leave my house every morning, not knowing if I’m gonna make it home alive.  But when I get home, I feel like a fucking warrior.  And thats exactly what I am, a Boston Bike Messenger, a warrior.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Philadelphia, without a doubt.  I can’t say enough about how great that city is.  And its not just the riding either, the food, the drinks, and most of all, the people.  Riding around there feels like home everytime.  The second you roll into that city on a bike, you’re bound to make countless friends, far cooler than the ones you have wherever you came from.

Why do you love riding in the city?
Because its who I am, and its the only way to move.  I fly through traffic like a phoenix out of the ashes.  I zip past people locked in their cars and I feel nothing but pride in myself, in the way I ride, and the way I live.  Its one thing to ride a bike, but to navigate, to conquer an urban debacle like Boston makes me feel like I can do anything.  I rely on nothing but myself and my steel steed.  The apocalypse will have nothing on me.

Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?
I ride so damn fast
No one knows how I do it
This city is mine

I Love Riding in the City – Nikhil Miranda

nikhilNAME: Nikhil Miranda
LOCATION: Mumbai,India
OCCUPATION: Co-founder and Operations Manager at Treedom Solutions

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Mumbai. Riding in Mumbai is a mess. Motorcycles and rickshaw coming in from all directions numerous potholes, some as big as an Island.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Bangalore is the best city to ride in India. There are smooth roads which are bicycle friendly.

Why do you love riding in the city?
I am a Green Guy; I hate  gas guzzlers.

Check out www.facebook.com/nikhilnwo

I Love Riding in the City – Brandon Gold

brandonNAME: Brandon Gold
LOCATION: Stockholm, Sweden 

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Stockholm and the riding both on the bike paths & in the forest is great.  The city council is investing millions of kronor over the next five years to update / improve cycling aorund Stockholm.
Off-road the selection of rides is wide and varied, there’s definitely something for everyone.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
I’ve tried London, Christchurch in New Zealand & Stockholm plus a day in Barcelona but I’d have to say Stockholm, in the summer – it’s wonderful riding around, finding somewhere to swim and enjoying the late evening sunlight.

Why do you love riding in the city?
Freedom of movement I would say is my main reason. I decide tempo, the route and it just happens to be something that puts a smile on my face. What better way to start the day than with a pedal.

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