I Love Riding in the City
NAME: Mike Drew
LOCATION: Pittsburgh, PA
OCCUPATION: Writer / Construction Worker / Teacher
Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
I live in the City of Steel, Iron City, Pittsburgh, whatever you want to call it. I love riding in the city, except for all the potholes that is. For the most part the rides are smooth, albeit hilly, but the potholes just throw everything off.
What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
I’ve only ever really ridden in Pittsburgh, unless you count Toms River, NJ, which is where I grew up. I dig Pittsburgh because drivers actually afford you some respect (most of the time), and you can zip in and around cars at lights and elsewhere. How else can you get around a city if you’re not weaving in and out of traffic?
Why do you love riding in the city?
I love being able to breeze by drivers, especially when they’re clueless because they’re on their cell phone talking, texting, using their GPS or fiddling with the radio. On a bike I’m much more connected. It’s a visceral experience. I can feel the road beneath my feet and pedals. I’m aware of everything going on around me. I know exactly where I need to be and how I have to get there.
Or just say whatever you want about riding in the city… Poetry anyone?
I got hit last month by a driver making a left turn. I took up the whole lane and had my front blinky going strong, but he still didn’t see me. Luckily, I walked away. My bike was a little f’d, but still relatively okay. I went up onto his hood and over his roof, smashing his front windshield and knocking off the passenger-side rear-view mirror. I called 911 and filed an incident report. I wish I had gotten an ambulance on the scene and gone to the hospital. Make sure you report bike accidents and get yourself checked out by doctors, even if you’re feeling okay (a lot of the “okay” feelings are the result of your adrenaline pumping). I’m so glad I was wearing a helmet.