Which Way to Go? Planning Walking and Biking Routes

Posted on Posted in Bikes

What is important to you when you plan a bicycle or walking route?

For me it’s easy:

I just prefer

1. Shady trails or tree-lined streets

2. Car-free or car-light

I like to reduce my potential for interacting with automobiles.

Two of my bicycle riding co-workers were recently surprised when I said that a shady route was one of my main considerations — they’d never thought of it; and I was surprised they never noticed. There is a massive Pleasure Differential between riding under a tree-lined street or path and riding under the relentless sun.

What would make you walk or ride your bicycle more?

7 thoughts on “Which Way to Go? Planning Walking and Biking Routes

  1. sometimes more hills, sometimes less, depending on if i’m biking just for the sake of biking, or trying to get somewhere without being a sweaty ball of gross

    1. oh yeah, hills… i should have counted that in my calculation. my speed is almost always so low that sweat is rarely a problem.

  2. I walk most places. My considerations include being safe from car traffic (like I will sometimes take a bus at Friday rush hour to avoid walking past unusually aggressive cars–they get crazier on Fridays), AND being around a busy enough area that I am safe from getting mugged. So, sometimes a busy area is preferable while other times (like daytime, or when I’m with my partner) the road less traveled is preferable.

    Another consideration is how many side streets I will cross on my walk. If I take a 5 minute walk to the post office from my work, I pass 2 busy side streets with stop signs, not lights. The cars in Pittsburgh are totally confounded by pedestrians, so I hate crossing these streets–there is always 3-way traffic and no one gives me a turn. So, I have learned to cross the street at the start of my walk (there are no side street outlets on that side) and then I cross again to get to the post office.

    And yes, I appreciate shade, too, but that is at least 3rd on the list.

    1. I also try to avoid highways which is difficult where I live, unfortunately. Walking does seem to be a mode of transportation that many don’t consider unless it’s leaving a parking space to go into a building.

  3. When I go to work, I take the shortest safe way, the one with a sidewalk all the way. (there is a shorter one with no sidewalk for 100 meters and I use that only when I am late)

    When I walk for fun or for groceries shopping, I try the ones with the most trees and bridges 🙂

    I thought of a way a way to contribute to your wonderful blog. Maybe we should make maps with our favorite walks/biking routes in Pittsburgh. We could mark in a color our route and with another color, our favorite part.

    I wish I could bike, like you, but I am afraid of the cars. I gave my bike away after only one year. You are braver. If I change my mind and I buy one, I will try a double bike with my husband in the front, because Pittsburgh has hills 🙂 And if I could take the cat in a basket, too… Hmm, too many wishes.

    1. Those wishes can definitely come true. Tandem bikes are wonderful. Stay tuned because I’m working on setting up a series of workshops for getting beginning riders on the road.

      That idea about the map is lovely but one I don’t have time to undertake at this point. Bike Pittsburgh has a pretty fantastic map with the best routes marked for biking. I used it for walking too when I was getting accustomed to the city. You can pick up free copies of it all around the city. Or I could mail you one. (I work there)

      1. Yes, we have the map at the coffee house at work, it is a nice map!
        We were on the road on the bikes for a year and we decided it is stressful. And we were not saving time. to wholefoods it takes 40 minutes by walking, 30 by biking. I am a very slow biker, it seems. so the tandem bike might have to wait till the end of oil:) we will have so much space that we we might decide for a tandem tricycle.

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