Tools for the Journey – #WATWB

Several years ago, while riding my bike on the ring road behind the airport. I suffered a blowout of my front tire. At the time, I was passing the New England Air Museum. The noise of the tire’s tube exploding was so loud, one of the museum staff drove over to me in a golf cart. He offered tools and access to compressed air if I wanted to repair or replace the tube. I was close to home and was able to call for a ride, but I very much appreciated the offer.

Last month, when our daughter and I were hiking along a rail trail in Northampton, Massachusetts, we encountered an air and water station, and we also encountered a station with several bike tools securely attached, but with long enough leads that they could easily be used on a bike of any size.

These two events made me appreciate the article I’m sharing today even more than I would normally. The article describes the “We Like Bikes” campaign in Pittsburgh’s north side neighborhood.

“The We Like Bikes! campaign is the first grassroots, multi-neighborhood initiative in the city to marry the well-being of bicyclists to that of businesses.”

According to the article:

Mr. Descutner, a 2016 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh who commutes to work most days by bike from his home in Bloomfield, went door to door asking business owners to sign up. Would they keep bike repair tools — tire pumps, tire levers, chain tools, screwdriver/wrench multi-tools and patch kits — on hand and put a red We Like Bikes! decal in their storefronts letting cyclists know the tools are inside? And could they also please let cyclists use their bathrooms and fill up on water?

“I was amazed that every business I asked said ‘yes,’ ” he said. “Some businesses are even talking about offering incentives to cyclists, like discounts.”

Initiatives like this are important, both for the cyclists and the businesses. It seems to be working in Pittsburgh, I’d love to see it start in the Hartford area.


The “We are the World” Blogfest is now in its third year. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts: Susan Scott, Peter Nena, Shilpa Garg, Mary J. Giese, Damyanti Biswas, welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month.

76 thoughts on “Tools for the Journey – #WATWB

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  1. Hi Dan – what an inspiring idea … I’d love to see it adopted in many areas … I’d have cycled more often if repair facilities, cycle parks were available … Good for him – and I sure hope it takes off … love it! Cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds like a wonderful initiative. Here in NH, we have a little challenge with the size of our road shoulders, as in some are hardly 6″ wide if that. It becomes a safety issue when two cars are traveling and then there are bikers on either or both sides of the road. We have good retired friends who bike 20-25 miles a day a couple of times a week. I applaud you all. 🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does sound like a great idea, Judy. I have mostly given up riding on the road. I’ll be hauling my bike to a trail. The drivers around here go too fast and are too distracted. I took that road behind the airport to avoid the cars, but you can’t stop without having the state police show up.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think that’s wonderful progress for cyclists. Go Pittsburgh! I hope Hartford steps up for you, Dan. Will you be visiting business owners with some suggestions? We are having a huge row here over the motorized scooter situation. Their presence is daunting enough but too many are riding inebriated and having accidents as well as blowing by people on sidewalks at ridiculous speeds. Of corse some ‘pro’ cyclists do the same. It’s becoming unsafe to want to use your feet on public trails here. 😏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My “organizing” days are behind me, Cheryl. Faith and I got yelled at by a cyclist in the trail we were walking on. I had stopped to take a picture. We were several feet off the trail, but this guy was still upset. I wanted to “reply” but Faith suggested I take it in stride.

      Like

      1. Hubby would have had some choice words and I wouldn’t have been able to stop him. Its one readon we don’t do crowded trails and few city trails. It really is ludicrous the amount of animosity that “serious” fanatics harnor.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. It appears that Pittsburgh is welcoming and supporting its bikers in a very helpful way. Bravo! This is an awesome initiative, Dan, one that would make me happy if I lived in that city. I hope Hartford can find a way to make it easy for bikes to travel around the city, because it’s a good way to build up the community and form partnerships. Your post made my day and thanks for being part of the WATWB family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mary. When I saw that you were a co-host, I knew I picked the right post for this edition of WATWB. they are making efforts to connect the various rail trails around here. Hopefully, this kind of support will follow.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awesome, Dan. Rails to trails is a good kind of recycling. Did you know there is a Rails to Trails Conservancy that is trying to tie the east coast to the west coast? I imagine if that comes to fruition, one or two people might be riding the length of it.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s why I’ve stopped riding on the road, Janet. Too many people pass way too close, even when they have room. Add to that the ones who are distracted and I get nervous. Plus, we’re so close to the airport that we have a lot of people returning rental cars (lost).

      Liked by 1 person

  5. What a “feel good” story. It would be nice if this catches on. It would also be nice if cyclists and drivers alike obeyed the rules of the road and stopped playing “chicken” with each other!

    Preston looks extra handsome on Faith”s bike…..but where’s his helmet? 🤗

    Hope you and the Editor and Faith and the 3 M’s enjoy a pleasant holiday weekend.
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ginger. I think Preston was holding the bike hostage until he was fed.

      It would be nice if this became a trend. I agree about following the rules of the road. Too many, on two and four wheels don’t.

      Like

  6. I LOVE to hear news like this, Dan!! I think it is wonderful that those businesses said yes. I also think it is awesome that people are riding their bikes into work. Let’s encourage people to get on bikes and please may all counties, towns, and cities and such, begin to make our roads more bike friendly. Happy Memorial Day weekend! Here we go …… Fall ahead! Clocks back though. (lol)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like a great idea. I’m not a bike rider, but I can certainly see the need. BTW, I don’t think we like our bikes all that much sometimes – many of our city “bike lanes” are in the middle of the auto driving lane. That’s gets really dangerous during rush hour.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Back when I worked for the MPD, my office was in one of the castle towers of City Hall. From there, I would watch as bicycle messengers navigated the winter streets of Minneapolis. The deep snow and sub-zero temperatures (-17C) never bothered them.

    “You know,” I told myself, “if I could earn doing that as much as I earn doing this, I’d be doing that.”

    :) :)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dan, a stellar idea! More cities should follow suit! My son’s a cyclist and I Told him about you post. I share the road like we are supposed to, and I watch out for them. Road conditions change, and you never know a cyclist’s response. Happy weekend! 📚🎶 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Christine. If you are a cyclist or care about one, you take a different view when driving. If I can’t give them enough room, I stay behind them until I can. I know what it feels like to have a car speed by.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Biking is so much more than the 3-speed Schwinns we rode everywhere as kids… no bike lanes, but then again not so many speeding cars either. I could never get out there today but I appreciate so much the We Like Bikes effort that I’m sending the idea to my biking family members.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. So excited to see they’re finally making progress on a bike path along the fairly busy road behind our neighborhood. We’re only a couple of miles from a college so there are kids jogging/biking along there all the time — I’ll feel much better if they have a designated safe space to do it!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That’s funny, having a picture of a pennyfarthing on the We Like Bikes poster. I know a guy (a writer, naturally) who has and rides one of those. At events; not on the road, I hope. I agree with the folks who think Preston looks like he’s ready for his leathers and helmet. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I like all of this, Dan – people helping cyclists and businesses helping cyclists.

    I appreciate the comments of some people about how cyclists can be a real nuisance – disobeying traffic laws and inconsiderate behaviour. Unfortunately they give all cyclists a undeservedly bad name.

    We need more cyclists, not more cars, and initiatives like this one contribute to that growth.

    Yes – Preston is very cute, but my favourite photo is the one of Faith taking a photo 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joanne. I like the signage in Pittsburgh, which also urges cyclists to obey the rules of the road. I try my best to ride like that, but drivers around here have very little tolerance or respect for people on bikes. I have generally stopped riding on the road, due to concerns for my safety. Unfortunately, there is only one bike trail close to me, and it’s seasonal.

      I have tons of pictures of Faith taking pictures. I’m glad yo like that.

      Like

  14. I realize I cannot comment on this because I have the work cyclist stories and that negative vibe doesn’t belong here at this nice blog about the nice people doing nice things for cyclists. Just, you know, when you’re back on the bike, be careful out there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am not riding on the road any longer. I put a trailer hitch on my new ride and I’ll drag my bike to a trail. Between drivers and cyclists, there is no shortage of problem children out there. I’ve almost been hit, and I obey the rules. I’ve almost hit the idiot cyclists who don’t seem to feel the rules apply to them.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I live in a small town in Ontario about 30 minutes from our nations capital. Recently we have made a giant step forward with the addition of several new bike trails. The town utilized the former train tracks and it is wonderful to now be able to access pretty much anywhere in our town with very little vehicle traffic to contend with. The many trails are also beautiful for walking.

    Liked by 1 person

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