Biking shifts into high gear

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ADIDAS' STAN SMITH, UPDATED FOR THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE FIRST GAY DEMONSTRATIONS

I bike. A lot. When the weather cooperates, it is my singular mode of transportation. I arrive and depart events via bicycle, run errands, peddle to sporting events and travel hither and yon on my two-wheeler. No parking charges, no additional insurance, low maintenance.

I post occasionally about the bike being in the shop, like it is as I write this. Sometimes, I get into “conversations” with others of cyclists vs. pedestrians vs. motorists. I say “conversations” because it is nothing like an exchange of ideas at all. I can relate to all points of view; I am in each of these roles at various times. I would like to think that some day we can share the road respectfully, but I have a tendency to live in my own fantasyland.

Fortunately for us, Mayor Nutter has been (at the very least) a strong advocate of bikers and biking, a testament to the large increases in bike lanes the past couple of years and the new bike share that began last month. It’s not all rainbows and roses at the moment, but things are certainly improving. Every time I see a blue rent-a-biker, I silently cheer for another user. Then I cringe when they go the wrong way on a one-way or almost hit a pedestrian.

I’ve also enjoyed biking on West River Drive along the Schuylkill River the past couple of years on those weekend mornings when it is closed for recreational use. It’s a nice feeling, being out cruising without having to dodge car doors flying open in front of me, amongst other obstacles. My personal pet peeve isn’t even drivers — though I could write an entire book on them; it is the runners.

Has anyone ever seen a figure of a person running painted in the bike lane? No, me either. Which is why I’m getting a sports air horn to take along. Follow me on Facebook for photos of runners jumping out of their freshly stained pants.

So here’s a question: Would anyone be interested in a biking group? I have no concrete ideas about the whens or wheres — don’t even know they’re necessary at this early idea phase — I just know that there are times I would like to bike with others. To that end, very soon I will be biking up to take photos of the Frontrunners on a Saturday morning (see Short Stops, if you’re more interested in the running) and then doing my own bike trip up to Falls Bridge and back.

Who’s game? Contact me at [email protected] or [email protected] if interested.

 

Proud feet

After Nike’s success last year with its #BeTrue collection of LGBTQ sneakers in a variety of rainbow-inspired designs, Adidas has jumped into the fray with its own limited-edition “Pride Pack” of two sneakers and an adilette Slide. The shoes are slated for a June 6 release and, like Nike, the shoes will be available only in select stores.

The premier shoe of the three is the redesigned Stan Smith, the Adidas’ flagship shoe that first went into production in 1965. With the colorful update, it is meant to commemorate the first LGBT pickets held at Independence Hall in Philadelphia on July 4, 1965.

Adidas will donate a portion of the shoe proceeds to New Avenues for Youth, an organization geared toward assisting homeless youth.

 

Short stops 

• Out with Soul is on June 26. Join your fellow indoor-football fans for a rousing game against Tampa Bay Storm. A portion of the proceeds goes to the sports organization You Can Play.

• Feel like running on Saturday mornings but can’t always find a partner? Join the Frontrunners at 9:30 a.m. in front of Lloyd Hall on Boathouse Row for the run and then some socializing.

• Registration is now open for the Philadelphia Open tennis tournament. More information is on Facebook under The Philadelphia Open — a GLTA Event. Tournament dates are July 24-26.

 

Let everyone know when you’re playing, what you’re playing and what team you play for: Email [email protected]