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Bicyclists Gear Up for BikeFest

Whether it's a bike tour of some of the city's historic cemeteries or a ride that focuses on the architecture of Pittsburgh's churches, or even discovering the variety of urban trees while on a bike, they're all part of the 7th Annual BikeFest that gets underway today.

Scott Bricker is the executive director of Bike Pittsburgh, the sponsor of this celebration of bicycling. Bricker says there are about 70 biking-related events through August 21. "There are more family-oriented rides," said Bricker. "There are rides that are meant for crunching miles, going fast and challenging yourself. There are relaxing rides including one that mixes yoga and bicycling."

The "crunching" category includes 30 miles of racing up 7 of the steepest hills in Pittsburgh. A little less strenuous according to Bricker would be the "12 Bridges, 3 Rivers, 21 Miles" event. "It's not meant for the novice rider because it's 21 miles and because there's going to be some on-street stuff," said Bricker. "It's for the more intermediate level. So it should be really fun. It's a great way to see downtown and experience our beautiful city by bike."

There are rides that stop at the different fountains and swimming pools of Pittsburgh plus a bike scavenger hunt, but Bricker says there are other bike-oriented events, including movies in Schenley Park and hard-court bike polo.

Bricker says many of the events are designed and organized by volunteers and participants: "the BikeFest is by and for bicyclists." He says the goal is to make bicycling part of the daily routine with safe conditions for all riders, "but we still want to continue to celebrate the fun aspects of bicycling."