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Publisher's Statement

By Jeff Guerrero

Like many of you reading this, I’ve been doing the “no car thing” again. It’s not like I don’t own one, it’s just that I let it sit around for months at a time and it stops working. Cars are finicky like that. Bikes, on the other hand, are a lot more forgiving. If I let the Geo sit for two months the brakes seize up and the motor won’t start. Meanwhile I can put some air in the tires of a 1960’s Raleigh that I found in the basement of my apartment, hop on and ride to the coffee shop any day of the week.

Unfortunately, I do live in a society designed for the automobile. Cars take precedence and bikes are a second-class form of transportation. That fact becomes increasingly noticeable when you’re riding your bike because you have to, not because you want to. Take the recent bike path closure here in Pittsburgh that interrupts my commute to work. There’s no way a construction site would be allowed to shut down a street in the city without some sort of a detour. Yet that’s exactly what happened to the North Shore trail once construction on the new casino started. And while the closure only measures a quarter of a mile or so, the end result is that cyclists have to contend with high-speed traffic and dangerous roadways.

And then there’s a matter of winter weather. Even before the winter solstice came the temperatures dipped far below freezing, bringing ice and snow that sent me skittering along the pavement numerous times. But even on days when I feel like I’m riding through the tundra, I take comfort whenever I see another set of tracks in the snow. It means I’m not the only one.

Illustration by Roger Lootine,