Mt. Lebanon United Lutheran Church, Pittsburgh
Based on Total US Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 2018, the EPA tells us that the Transportation Sector is responsible for 28% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions; both before and after emissions from electricity generation are distributed across all sectors. Over half of Transportation Sector emissions come from driving passenger cars and light-duty trucks (like SUVs, pickups and minivans). We can help to reduce Transportation Sector emissions by adopting alternative forms of transportation (like public trains or buses, car or van pooling, and alternative fuel vehicles – provided they are powered by renewable energy sources) or active modes of transportation (like walking and biking)!
Since childhood, walking, hiking and biking have been big parts of my life, particularly biking. I pedaled wildly through the neighborhood in the 1960’s on my bright blue bike with the white banana seat and handle-bar streamers to spend time with my friends. I careened down hills and around corners, falling off of my bike many times. I have the scars to prove it. In my teen and college years, I rode my bike for exercise and I often commuted to my first summer job as an architect on my bike.
When I returned to the urban workforce, after raising my children, I decided to commute via the “T” in Pittsburgh, sometimes adding a Pittsburgh Bike Share extension to complete the first or last mile of my commute. I wouldn’t commute any other way! Commuting by car is such a hassle!
Since many of us are working from home during the Pandemic, I now ride mainly for recreation and exercise. I love riding The Montour Trail and the Great Allegheny Passage on weekends. Trail Riding is my version of Forest Bathing. True shinrin-yoku, or Forest Bathing, requires more of a complete immersion in the forest, alone, so one can take in the sights, sounds, smells, and even the oils exuded by the trees. My Forest Bathing includes riding 20-50 miles through the trees on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I meet fellow bikers along the way, but sometimes I am the only person on the trail for miles and miles. Fall is my favorite time of year but communing with nature on my bike in any season is a treat! It truly improves my health and well-being, and renews my faith.
I now try to stay on my bike, as much as possible! No new scars!
Thank you, PA IPL, for making Cycling for a Cleaner Future, the 2021 Bike Trip for Climate Justice, possible! As Captain of the Pittsburgh Route, I look forward to sharing my favorite trails with you! I am also trying a new ride this May, the Butler/Freeport Trail!
Join Me on the Trail! Sponsor My Ride! Become an Organizational Sponsor! Advocate for a Cleaner Future! Try Forest Bathing for Yourself? Enjoy the Ride!