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I Love Riding in the City

NAME: Rachel Ding
LOCATION: Pittsburgh, PA and Burlington, VT
OCCUPATION: In between jobs!

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Pittsburgh. This past summer, I saw more people than I ever have on bicycles. The bike recycle that I help out at was swamped all season with people looking to volunteer with us and earn their first bike intended for city riding and commuting. It also seems like cars, trucks, and pedestrians are starting to realize that bicycles belong on the streets, too. I get honked or yelled at way less than I used to! So, riding in Pittsburgh has lately been more fun, and safer, due to the number of people on the road, as well as initiatives taken by various bike groups and the city.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
I love riding in Pittsburgh because the city has whipped me into shape. Pittsburgh is pretty hilly; full of long, steady climbs. When I first started riding a bike, there was one small hill on my commute home from work that I had to walk up. It frustrated me so much, and I had never been very athletic or strong so I thought for a while that it was physically impossible for me to ride up hills. Since then, I’ve ridden enough that I’ve built up the strength and endurance to get up hills in this city that I would have never imagined, four years ago, I could get to the top of—on a single speed. I’m truly proud of myself, and healthier too.

Why do you love riding in the city?
This past spring, every time I rode my bike past the entrance to this big bridge near my house I could smell honeysuckle. You can’t smell that in a car. I love being exposed to sounds, smells, the air—all those things that tickle your senses and make commuting so much more fun.

Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city…
If you see me, smile, wave, whistle, holler—whatever! I’m a total dork when it comes to greeting other cyclists on the streets.