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I Love Riding in the City

NAME: Belloma
OCCUPATION: Student/Barista/Writer

Where do you live and what’s it like riding in your city?
So much has been said about how awesome Pittsburgh is to ride in, but I think the best part of this city is the bicycling community. I’m really new to this and completely green to bicycle maintenance and therefore constantly indebted to other riders. Whether it’s my coworker who immediately offered her old bike to me when mine was stolen, or my friend who came and rescued me from a flat I couldn’t fix, or any of the countless folks who explain the mechanisms with perfect patience–I feel that I’m part of a community.

What was your favorite city to ride in, and why?
Jerusalem was crazy: you’re in desert heat riding up hills that make Pittsburgh look tame and the only bikes around are old janky ones that are rented to you by a guy who doesn’t look you in the eye. My roommate went riding in the Old City, at night no less, and was crazy with adrenaline for hours after. Like most things in Israel, everything was amplified and intense.
Craziness aside, there were some familiar sights. Once, a boy gave me a flier that I spent twenty minutes deciphering the Hebrew on until I realized they had just transliterated “critical mass.” I also noticed a few stickers with the lion of Judah (the coat of arms for Jerusalem) riding a bike next to the words “Ahto Ahad Pahut”—one less car.

Why do you love riding in the city?
Personally, I need as many excuses as possible to wear spandex and blinking lights.