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I Love Riding in the City

NAME: Carolyne Mistake
LOCATION: Pittsburgh, PA
OCCUPATION: Freelance writer, bike mechanic, legal secretary, student.

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in Pittsburgh and I love it. I love riding around downtown at night, looking at the city reflected off the rivers, riding up and down all the hills, weaving in and out of traffic and suddenly there’s a great park and it feels like you’re not in a city at all but in some far off forest. There’s all types of riding here—I learned to mountain bike in Pittsburgh even though I’ve lived in a number of places with accessible trails. The drivers don’t really know what to do with you and sometimes drive on the bike lanes, but it’s not about the cars it’s about the roads… There’s probably only one straight road in the whole city, and every ride unfolds in front of you.

What’s been your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Besides Pittsburgh, I really liked riding in Utrecht, in the Netherlands. I was there in the winter and was for the most part alone and didn’t have much to do besides ride around and find warm corners to sit and write. I had come from Ireland and once got yelled at for not following proper Dutch protocol. They shouted, “What are you, British?” because I was riding on the wrong side of the road. Oops!

Why do you love riding in the city?
I love weaving in and out of traffic. I love beating cars. I love when it’s cold and I ride over steaming sewer grates (even though it’s gross).  I’m a bit claustrophobic and don’t like feeling stuck anywhere, so I love having my bike with me so I can leave whenever I want, wherever I am. I love alleyways and secret passages, and being able to park my whip anywhere. And I love talking specs with businessmen who think I don’t know about bikes. But mainly I just love the constantly changing scenery.