Bike Pittsburgh held their Women & Biking Forum on April 7, 2018. It was their fifth year, and Bike Pittsburgh did not disappoint. It was held at the Ace Hotel with many speakers, resources, food and of course a bike ride to conclude the day.
The day began bright and early with a road trip from Cleveland to Pittsburgh. It was a pleasure to see fellow Clevelander’s Calley Mersman from the City of Cleveland, and Annie Pease from University Circle also en route to Pittsburgh. Whenever I see a bike on the back of a vehicle while on the roads, I always wonder if I know that person. In this case I did. It was Calley’s bike on the back of her vehicle that I spotted before jumping on the turnpike.
Morning yoga was offered to ladies, and a light breakfast and coffee was provided before the Opening welcome by Jane Runyan, Membership and Outreach Manager at Bike Pittsburgh and keynote speaker Anna Schwinn, who has a passion for growing and supporting the women’s field in the local and national cycling community.
Session one had two options to chose from, learning about making your own trail snacks or learning about writing your cycling story. Although I love food, I chose the latter, learning about writing my cycling story. Which I learned writing prompts and ideas that is helpful to get words and ideas out of my head and into print or verbal form.
Session two had the options of learning how to get into bike racing or get into bike camping. Camping for me. Did you know you can make your own DIY fire starter with cotton balls and Vaseline?
Lunch was good, no meat pasta with the cheese available on the side. I might even assume that the pasta was gluten free! During lunch, we viewed short films such as street harassment of women bike messengers, Liv Cycling youth women’s mountain biking team and Ayesha McGowan’s short film from BBC.
Session three offered a hands on fix-a-flat lesson or diagnosing common problems on your bike by getting to know the parts of your bike to understand how it works.
The workshop concluded with a short bike ride to the reservoir and back. I had tunes with me which made the bike ride a little less quiet as we rode. Great Ride on Strava!
The event ended with me in a panic though, as my bag with my items and an iPad that does not even belong to me was missing. I returned to the hotel after the ride, and my bag was not where I had left it. Although I had saw other bags left in the gym room area, my bag was missing. None of the staff who was in the room cleaning up from the event saw the bag, nor did the hotel staff have someone return the bag to the front desk. I was panicking. Not about my personal items, but about that iPad because I was asked before I was allowed to borrow it was where was I going to put the iPad when I went on the bike ride. I assured that it would be ok, that no one was going to steal it. And then someone steals it!!! Or at least I thought. It was found, packed up with the items that belong to a staff member in her vehicle. No more panic.
However, it is always a joy to visit Pittsburgh, there are wonderful women here in the cycling community that I admire and look forward to seeing, check them out below 🙂