The Chainlink

Hi all!  I'm taking the caps to Pittsburgh on the train to participate in Handmade Arcade and have a question - does Pittsburgh have a bike share?  Where are awesome places to bike?  I'm staying downtown but have done some exploration into the neighborhoods and like them quite a bit. Suggestions? - December 6th!  Handmade Goodness!

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I found this: Looks new.

I've never biked there, but it looks challenging in some spots with steep hills. Some narrow streets too.

Some great restaurants too if you're into that: Cure, Meat and Potatoes, Salt of the Earth, Spoon

I haven't been to Pittsburgh in about 12 years...but it's a really hilly area. A neat thing there is the incline, like a gondola. There's a few, and now they have websites! (the internet informs me you still need to have correct change to ride)

Have fun in the Handmade Arcade!

Pittsburgh is the 35th most bike friendly city according to Bicycling Magazine. They like the colors GOLD and BLACK over there. I hope you have caps in those colors. Have a good trip Erin !


Tom A.K. said:

Pittsburg is the 35th most bike friendly city according to Bicycling Magazine. They like the colors yellow and black and gold over there. I hope you have caps in those colors. Have a good trip Erin !
Sorry, Kevin C. - Pittsburgh loves ♡ BLACK & GOLD !

The bike share program looks like it's going to kickoff in 2015 and will not be available in the winter.  I was there at the end of 2013 to ride down to Washington and downtown and the south side were no trouble at all.  The north side isn't steep, either.  You can walk around most of downtown, cross the river to the south side and take the incline up Mount Washington.  A bike would be handy for exploring more of the south and north sides and the roads all over those areas are pretty good (and level) for biking.

The south side near town hasn't gentrified yet and is still full of adventurous hipsters and a mix of garages, empty storefronts and and eclectic shops (all in nicely deteriorated 19th century buildings), but the farther east you go you find new construction with fancy chain stores that have sprung up where the steel mills used to be.  Pittsburgh's also the start of the Great Allegheny Passage, 150 miles of unbroken trail to Cumberland, Maryland and from there to the C&O Canal Trail down to Washington DC.

The people who run  just reached out to me last week about some website questions.

I'll send you Mike and Jane's info.  They are the experts!

Pittsburgh has some of the steepest paved hills in the US, and (I believe) has the most bridges of any city in the world. The layout is weird and windy, and the street are often very narrow by modern standards. Lots of fun little urban backroads to explore.

I was there with my wife on our tandem before and after riding the GAP/C&O trails. If you are a seasoned urban cyclist, you'll have no problem with traffic, or the rough pavement, but the hills are really insane. Not a place for a fixy imho. BikePGH prints a nice map. Nice trails.

If you're into low-brow or old school cyclo obscura, Kraynick's Bike Shop would be amazing. 

I was just on a business trip there a couple weeks ago and had brought my road bike with me. Super steep hills, weird parking practices by locals, and random cobble stone streets! 

I never really got comfortable riding, so I would keep in mind the road and weather conditions. It was about 10 degrees when I was riding so the cold definitely took a lot out of my legs. So, unless you're a cyclist that's in phenomenal shape and used to inclines and sudden declines I would suggest taking it easy riding around PGH.

What I would recommend is bringing a cross bike! Pennsylvania has some awesome unpaved trails that you can get to from PGH.

Hope this helps!

Finally went back to Pittsburgh last week and got to try biking in the city.

Mostly I used the hotel's bike, but I also used the Healthy Ride bike share program:

Its pretty good, but doesn't have the well-spread stations that Chicago does. But it does have one big advantage: built-in bike locks. They can be used to lock up for a quick stop or to return your bike at a station with no available docks! I would love to see this on Divvy.

You download the NextBike app and use it to check out the bike or get an unlock code when you use the lock. These pictures show the lock (at an out-of-service station that I was able to use because of the lock).

The black cable has a metal spike at the end that you insert through the front fork. There is a touchpad over the back wheel where you enter the unlock code you get from the app or by calling their number.

Pretty cool.

Its very hilly in some sections. I stuck mainly to downtown and some eastside neighborhoods like Shadyside.

Check Google bike directions for elevation info. I rode from Shadyside to downtown on Centre Ave and unexpectedly faced a steep 300 foot incline and 450 foot decline (pump those brakes). I was drenched in sweat at the top of the hill and dry by the time I reached the hotel.

I rode Sacramento's brand new bike share the other week--they also have locks on the bikes! Very smart for if you just need to run into CVS or something, especially since their system is not very comprehensive.



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