Thursday, November 12, 2009
The bicycle as commuter transportation advocacy group Bike Pittsburgh has produced a rather unusual how-to manual. The “Bike Commuting 101 Guide” takes the form of a graphic novel. The guide can be downloaded from the group’s web site and will be distributed in bike shops and cafes. Bike Pittsburgh Executive Director Scott Bricker says he thought that if his group produced a more traditional pamphlet the publications would be tossed in the trash so they decided to create the 32 page graphic novel instead. Rather than winding up in the trash Bricker hopes the guide will be passed from rider to rider. The guide covers things such as what type of bike to buy, how to ride in traffic, how to use hand signals, how to use lights and reflectors at night, what to do if there is an accident, tips for riding in inclement weather, tips for fitting a helmet, and what to do once you get to work. Bricker says he hopes the book will be able to “demystify” biking to work for those on the fence, answer a few questions for new riders and offer experienced riders a good refresher course. Membership in Bike Pittsburgh is growing and Bricker says more people in Pittsburgh are biking to work. He says his group is now working on getting more bike racks downtown and encouraging building and business owners to provide showers and lockers for employees who want to bike to work.