Three-week long festival celebrating the cycling community begins tonight and runs through until August 27.
By: Neil Strebig
Pittsburgh’s 13th annual BikeFest kicks off today at The Grist House in Millvale and will be followed by 17 days of city-wide events.
“One of the cool things about the event is it is a community-driven event,” said BikePGH director of events, Mike Carroll. “The spirit of embracing community is really how we structure it.”
The Northside will feature four area-specific events; five counting the 90-neighborhood ride which Carroll described as, “An awesome challenge for anyone who thinks they know Pittsburgh. It is not for the faint of heart, [you] better be ready to ride 100 miles by yourself.”
Northside events start the second week of BikeFest and are showcased below:
Rules of the Road with the City Police: Wednesday, August, 16 at 6 p.m.
Hosted by Nathan LaValla
Location: Bear Dog Bicycles, 901 Western Ave
Hillbilly 12-pack: Saturday, August, 19 at 5 p.m.
Hosted by Hollow Oak Land Trust and Bear Dog Bicycles
Location: Riverview Visitors Center, 151 Riverview Ave
Public Art and Bike Tour: Friday, August, 25 at 6 p.m.
Hosted by Rachel Klipa of the Office of Public Art
Location: Langley Observatory Clock by R.M. Fischer (next to the Carnegie Science Center, 1 Allegheny Avenue)
Scenic Bike Tour: Saturday, August, 26 at 11 a.m.
Hosted by Robert “Snakeguy” Habegger of Snakeguy’s Pepper, Bicycle Heaven, Johnny Angel’s Ginchy Stuff, and Randyland
Location: Bicycle Heaven, 1800 Preble Ave
Executive director at Hollow Oak Land Trust, Sean Brady is hosting the Hillbilly 12-pack event, a treacherous hill-fueled course throughout nearly every major neighborhood on the Northside as a way to train for the infamous “Dirty Dozen” race.
“I’m one of the nutty people who do the Dirty Dozen,” said Brady. “Those of us who look forward to it every year have come to love and appreciate the hills of Pittsburgh.”
The Hillbilly 12-pack will start at Riverview Park and finish at Allegheny City Brewing in Duetschtown.
“Nothing makes a beer taste better than a good ride,” jested Brady.
According to Carroll events were constructed by a volunteer “advisory committee” where only one main question was asked: “What would you like to do during BikeFest?” For Carroll the submission process provided a very “grassroots” element to the construction of this year’s event schedule.
A sentiment that Brady acknowledged and agreed with.
“Biking in Pittsburgh is a part of its future,” said Brady. “[There’s] probably not a better way to see the city and neighborhoods than by bike.”
BikeFest is organized by BikePGH and PedalPGH. For more information on this year’s event and a full listing of events visit bikepgh.org.
Cover photo courtesy of BikePGH via Flickr.