Even in the summer, the crosswalk between the William Pitt Union and the Cathedral of Learning is filled with cyclists darting in and out of a sea of pedestrians heading to classes.
Groups on campus like the Pitt Bicycle Collective — who announced in February they would develop a bike co-op on campus — offer a number of ways to get you riding, whether your bike has one gear or 11, if you’ve been riding since you could walk or you’ve never owned a bike.
Bikes are everywhere in Pittsburgh, and for good reason — biking is a surefire way to stay healthy. A 2010 study from the National Institutes of Health on the health effects of cycling has shown that the health benefits for cyclists are numerous — a better sense of mindfulness, increased cardio exercise and having the benefit of low-impact exercise which means less strain on your joints.
Shaping the Cycling Community
When Kimmy Dinh, a recent Pitt graduate, first moved into their North Oakland home in 2015, their love of biking grew from necessity into what eventually became the PBC.
“I lived in North Oakland and wanted to get to campus quickly without having to walk twenty minutes,” Dinh said. “And that’s how I started biking. Then I moved even further away [to Highland Park] and I just love [cycling] more.”
According to Dinh, cycling in the city tends toward the exclusionary. The phrase “cycling community” often conjures up images of people in spandex and helmets racing through suburbia on bicycles with dozens of gears.
With the PBC, Dinh aimed to change that viewpoint. Sinjon Bartel, a junior mechanical engineering major, and Hana Swift, a senior studying studio arts, are current co-leaders of the PBC and they agree with Dinh’s assessment.
“When the Pitt Bicycle Collective first started, [it] was a space that was one of the first spaces for me that was a biking space that wasn’t white male-dominated, and that was really nice,” Swift said.
The collective first gathered a support group…