Had to get new tires. They look snazzy. via TwitpicThis week, I’m spending some time in PA and have taken to the streets with my bicycle.

The first city that I rode in was York, PA. This was a simply ride, basically a shot to the north and back. But man, the hills! I’d not been on a ride in sometime that had just as intense a hill as the one on N. Sherman St. in York. Though I was anticipating something decent, I wasn’t anticipating the hill and was all it would include. That said, I did rock out about 11 miles total, and got to see a part of that area that I’d not seen before.

The second city I’m biking in is Philadelphia. I’ve really wanted this to be the bulk of my riding. Philadelphia has been making it easier and easier to get around the city by biking, and some of this has even spread to the suburbs. I started my ride in the Lansdowne/Yeadon area and then basically made my way into West Philly, then to Penn’s Landing/Center City before turning around.

What I was hoping for in that initial ride was that I’d not get a flat or anything since I knew that I was pushing my tires. Well, it happened, less than 6 miles into the ride as a matter of fact. It wasn’t too bad of a thing though since I could walk the 660 yards to the closest bike shop (Firehouse Bicycles, 50th and Baltimore Ave.) to get the tires replaced. Silly me continued biking into the city instead of turing around, but I was given a nice scene as I biked South Street and saw a non-crowed view of Penn’s Landing.

I took Walnut street all the way into the Cobbs Creek area on the way back, and have to say that it was pretty fun. I’d driven and bussed that route so many times, I wasn’t sure how biking and traffic would handle things, but it went well. With the exception of a few folks turing right in front of me (to be expected) the ride was relatively pain and stress free.

And that ends up being my main point of writing this. When I was younger, and in high school, I could visualize biking into school and the fun/stress that would be. I knew that I’d not have bike lanes and other endeavors to give me a bit more incentive to stay on the pedals. But now, I’m definitely sensing that not only is biking doable, it seems even faster than public transit (SEPTA). I do wish that there was a bike shop closer to where I gotten a flat, but you know, I was in an area of the city that doesn’t bike as much and uses a good deal more public transportation and autos. It makes sense that not every area is settled into cycling, but that all are getting better.

Depending on the weather, and this head cold I’m fighting, I’m hoping to get a few more rides in this week. I might even pull off something of a “remembrance” ride and bike to my grandmother’s house – my dad used to do that kind of thing often. We’ll see how I feel, and how the weather responds. I’m confident now that I could do such a ride – I’m just wondering what the areas of the city that I’ve not seen on two wheels looks like.