Never Too Late to Learn

In a city as bike-crazy as Philadelphia, even occasional riders take for granted that everyone knows how to ride a bike. But just as there are many people who never suited up for swim lessons, there are many adults—myself included—who never wobbled their way off training wheels. If you never felt the urge to learn, thought it was impossible, or feel a bit rusty in the saddle, REI stores in Conshohocken and Marlton, N.J. host a stress-free way to get your wheels turning. The outdoor outfitter’s How to Ride a Bike Class instructors teach adults and families how to get comfortable balancing, starting and stopping smoothly, adjusting a bike to your size, and effective falling, all in one four-hour class. Biking is one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transport, and with just a few hours of skill-building, you can be one step closer to independence from your automobile. Whether you plan on bicycle commuting, mountain biking or just cruising around the neighborhood, this class will help get you there. - Allison Bart

How to Ride a Bike classes, ongoing, $45-$65. Visit rei.com/class/121/market/200 to register.

NBW Goes to Washington

Last summer marked the first ever Ride of Dreams, a 240-mile bike ride from West Philadelphia to the state capital in Harrisburg and back to raise funds for Neighborhood Bike Works (NBW), the Philly-based nonprofit that teaches urban youth the benefits and joy of cycling. This year, NBW will ride from Pennsylvania to Pennsylvania Avenue; the second annual ride will commence on July 22, kicking off at NBW’s headquarters and rolling down to Washington, D.C., where riders will celebrate their successful journey on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building on July 24.

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Connecting the Dots: Expanding lanes and trails is part of a grand design.

“How can we all coexist on these very skinny streets?” asks Rina Cutler, Philadelphia’s deputy mayor for transportation and utilities. “We don’t have room to add more, so we have to make better use of the streets. For me, it’s less about biking, [and more about] creating complete streets and giving people choices.”

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Drink Responsibly! Could Hawthornes’ patent-pending growler system be the most sustainable way to quaff your brew?

Fact: You want to be the dude who shows up to a house party with a delicious, fresh growler of beer. Why? A 64-ounce glass jug under your arm not only suggests that you are dedicated to the success of the evening, but also that you care about the way beer tastes. It says you’re generous, too; look at you bringing enough to share with your pals! It’s a good look all the way around.

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Pedal Pushers: Female cyclists are the key to Philly’s bicycular future. Here’s why—and how to get the spoke-averse in the saddle.

Philadelphia needs to get more women on bicycles, and not just because we look so fine in Lycra.

The biology term “indicator species” is often used to describe female cyclists in urban areas. If the environment is suitable, a 2009 article in Scientific American argues, then the population will flourish. Though it sounds kinda clinical, it’s really just a way of saying women are perhaps the most important demographic for transforming a city with a cycling subculture into one with a cycling-centric city transport ecosystem. Why is that? Essentially, since women are generally more risk-averse than men, women will ride more often only as the perception of safety increases.

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Cruisin' for a Brewsin': Pennsylvania’s booming craft beer industry is built on the state’s fresh, mineral-rich water. That resource is in jeopardy.

Until Prohibition, Philadelphia was known far and wide as one of the biggest beer-producing cities in America. After repeal… well, you probably know the rest. Smaller, independent breweries folded by the dozen, while mega-breweries like Anheuser-Busch and Miller flourished, delivering quantity over quality.

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