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Bike Pittsburgh Starts Cycling Classes

90.5 WESA's Michael Lynch

Pittsburgh is the 35th most bike-friendly city in the U.S., according to Bicycling Magazine.

Now, Bike Pittsburgh is introducing cycling classes in an effort to make the city be even more bike-able.

The “Fundamentals of City Cycling” class is taught indoors at The Wheel Mill in Homewood. Participants will learn about the basics of bicycling including techniques to maneuver obstacles such as curbs and potholes; using hand signals; how to start and stop in traffic; and, how to perform a pre-ride safety check.

The “Confident City Cycling” course is designed for those with a little more cycling experience. This 3-hour class takes students into the streets where they will learn how to safely cross intersections, ride up and down hills, and how to avoid hazards with moves such as the Instant Turn, Rock Dodge and Quick Stop.

Scott Bricker, Bike Pittsburgh executive director, said the classes were inspired by a lack of cycling education in the city.

“We see people riding at night without lights all the time,” he said. “Just people making small blunders that we wanted to fix and there was just a demand for people wanting to feel more confident on our streets.”

Bricker also said many beginning cyclists are comfortable riding trails, but don’t have the proper education to take their bikes to the street.

Alex Shenoy was part of the “Confident City Cycling” pilot class. He said he wanted to learn how to be safe on his daily commute.

“Now that I’m out and working, it’s kind of hard to find time to do biking,” he said, “so I figured I could commute to work. It kind of fulfills that exercise requirement and the class was a good way for me to make sure that I’m doing everything safely.”

Beginner classes are taught Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., while the classes for more experienced cyclists are hosted monthly. Online registration is required for each class.

The Erie, PA native has been a fellow in the WESA news department since May 2013. Having earned a bachelor's degree in print journalism from Duquesne University, he is now pursuing an M.A. in multi-media management. Michael describes his career aspiration as "I want to do it all in journalism."