Summer 2013
Celebrating a Great Ride
By Betsy Momich

It’s a good time to be a bike enthusiast in Pittsburgh. The city has never been keener on making cycling a safe transportation alternative, as challenging as that can be—establishing a Citywide Bicycle Plan for improving cycling conditions, and even creating the position of bicycle/pedestrian coordinator to address shortand long-term safety goals. “Having the city dedicate a full-time person to improving biking and walking has been one of the biggest injections to getting things done,” says Eric Boerer, advocacy director for BikePGH. And on June 15, the region will celebrate the long-awaited completion of the final mile of the Great Allegheny Passage, a 150-mile trail that connects with the 184.5-mile C&O Canal Towpath in Cumberland, Maryland, to form a 334.5-mile, auto-free route between Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.

Heralding all of the above, along with the many attributes of the humble yet remarkable bicycle, is BIKES: Science on Two Wheels, Carnegie Science Center’s new summer exhibition, also opening June 15. Science Center staff created this many-wheeled exhibition with support from an extended family of regional partners, all of whom have an interest in—even a passion for—the bike, its history, its constant recreations thanks to new materials and new technology, and its sole purpose of giving we humans a non-motorized lift.

“For as commonplace as bikes are in many of our lives, we often don’t realize how much engineering and technology is involved in keeping us upright and moving forward down the trail,”says Dennis Bateman, director of exhibit experience and theaters at Carnegie Science Center. “With the Science Center’s prime location along the city trail and our fascination with the science that’s all around us, we thought the summer months would be a grand time to pay homage to the bike.”

Bateman says there’s plenty of history, and science, in the story of the bicycle. Through 12 interactive exhibits, more than 60 bicycles, and weekly events held in and around its outdoor Bikes Plaza, sponsored by Peoples Gas, the Science Center plans to be a hub of bike activity and learning this summer. Cyclists everywhere are invited along for the ride.

Also in this issue:

Lost Kingdoms Found  ·  Past Meets Present  ·  Family Matters  ·  Special Section: A Tribute to Our Donors  ·  Chairman's Note  ·  NewsWorthy  ·  Face Time: Nick Bubash  ·  Artistic License: Pop Cabaret  ·  Field Trip: “Shocking Success” in Libya  ·  Science & Nature: Building for Bees  ·  The Big Picture