ShareThis Page
Health

Bikes coast into prominence for 15th Venture Outdoors Festival

| Wednesday, May 18, 2016, 9:00 p.m.
Tents are set up in Point State Park during the Venture Outdoors Festival
Venture Outdoors
Tents are set up in Point State Park during the Venture Outdoors Festival
Kayaking remains a favorite activity at the Venture Outdoors Festival in Point State Park.
Venture Outdoors
Kayaking remains a favorite activity at the Venture Outdoors Festival in Point State Park.
The Venture Outdoors Festival brings rock-climbing walls to Point State Park.
Venture Outdoors
The Venture Outdoors Festival brings rock-climbing walls to Point State Park.

Bicycling is rolling into a higher gear at the Venture Outdoors Festival at Point State Park.

Amid the many activities at the 15th annual event May 21, bicycling is gaining a bigger role as interest in it grows, says Donna Bour, director of development and communications for Venture Outdoors.

“It's a response to the bike culture of Pittsburgh,” she says. “If you want to bike here, you have to know what is available.”

Besides having rides exploring some of the trails near the park, the festival will feature Try-a-Bike, an examination of bikes and equipment for families, and a look at the bike-share program that is nearing its first birthday.

Of course, the festival will include many other types of activities. Staffers at Venture Outdoors began this festival in the group's early years as a way of exploring easy ways of having fun outside.

This year, in addition to favorites such as the rock-climbing wall and kayaking, the festival will feature crafts and vendors from the I Made It! Market and a game of 18th-century cricket held in conjunction with the Fort Pitt Museum.

In addition, music will be a part of the festival for the first time, Bour says. It will feature Pitch Please, a University of Pittsburgh a cappella group, and members of the Pittsburgh Songwriters' Circle, a project of Calliope: The Pittsburgh Folk Music Society.

The bicycling-oriented activities will give visitors a new look at two-wheeled adventure, Bour says.

Erin Potts, marketing director for Health Ride Pittsburgh, says the bike-share program has “many unique features” that many would-be users probably do not know. For instance, when a person registers online, the rider is given a six-digit code. That code can be entered, along with a phone number, on a bike's keypad, making it available for use.

Bikes also have integrated locks and can be secured at any time during a ride, being unlocked again with the code and phone number.

“So it is a smart bike, a smart dock and doesn't require a smartphone to use, just a credit or debit card,” she says. The Pay As You Go rate is $2 per 30-minutes or there are monthly passes start at $12 per month for unlimited 30-minute rides.

Healthy Ride staffers will have a computer at the festival and will be able to register riders there.

“Then they could go out to the station just outside the park and go for a ride,” she says.

Meanwhile, volunteers organized by Bike PGH, the bicycle and pedestrian advocacy group, will demonstrate their family-oriented bike equipment.

Jane Kaminski, membership and outreach manager for the group, says they will show off the use of bike seats for infants, cargo bikes, trailers and tag-alongs, the added-wheel that lets a small child ride behind an adult.

The activity is being organized by 412 Flock, a bicycle club, and the Spinnsters, a Bike PGH women's group, she says.

In addition, Bour says, the Pittsburgh Major Taylor Bike Club will lead 10- to 12-mile rides from the park during the festival.

Bob Karlovits is a Trib Total Media contributing writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me