Bicycles can be used for transport, exercise or sport. But we choose recreation! Using our city’s trails, parks, and roadways, we’ll view Pittsburgh from the seat of a bike. On our biking trips, we explore sections of the Great Allegheny Passage, the Three Rivers Heritage Trail, neighborhood parks, and more!

Before we hit the trails, Trip Leaders will provide a brief lesson on bicycle fitting, safety and etiquette, and then we’ll strap on our helmets. Venture Outdoors requires bicycle helmets on all biking trips. Helmets are an important piece of safety equipment and you must wear a helmet to participate. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, wearing a bicycle helmet is 85-88% effective in preventing or lessening head and brain injuries. If you plan to bring your own bike on a trip, please bring your own helmet or let us know if you will need to borrow one.

Have a group of 10 or more? We’re happy to customize any of our trips or we can create something based on your interests.

Getting Ready to Go

  1. Complete an Assumption of Risk Form.
  2. Check the weather forecast for the location. Set aside the appropriate equipment and clothing for the predicted temperature and conditions.
  3. Perform your ABC Quick Check: Air in your tires, brakes working properly, and chain greased and turning the gears smoothly.
  4. Review the meeting location address and directions.
  • Weather appropriate clothing (preferably non-cotton layers).
  • Closed-toed, flat soled shoes
  • Helmets must be worn at all times

Please arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time for check in. This gives the Trip Leaders enough time to collect Assumption of Risk Forms and start the trip on time.

Venture Outdoors provides multiple directions for accessing the meeting location including GPS coordinates, closest address, Google map link, and driving directions from Pittsburgh. Please review these directions in advance and plan your route to allow ample time for travel and onsite preparation. The Trip Leaders’ cellphone numbers are provided as a courtesy, but they may not be available by phone during check-in. Any necessary contact should be made at least 30 minutes before the trip begins. It is the participant’s responsibility to arrive at the meeting location 15 minutes prior to the start time. Please arrive early as trips cannot be delayed for late arrivals.

Trip Leaders make every attempt to plan routes that include bathroom stops at or near the meeting location or during the trip. The type and availability of facility depends on the time of year and location. Urban settings and many parks offer flush toilets or port-a-johns. Some locations do not have bathroom facilities and participants are encouraged to practice Leave No Trace principles when going in the woods. The Trip Leader will share specifics about bathroom facilities at the beginning of the outing, and details are often provided in the pre-trip information sheet.

What to Bring on the Trip?

  1. Signed Assumption of Risk Form
  2. Water (plan for one liter for every two hours of activity)
  3. Food (snacks/lunch)
  4. Rain Gear (jacket and pants)
  5. Small daypack
  6. Bike (Hybrid bikes are ideal; your bike must be in good condition and ready to ride.)
  7. Helmet (Helmets must be worn at all time.)
See Biking Checklist Here

About the Weather

No! We love biking in the rain! With the appropriate clothing you can be comfortable in a variety of weather conditions. We encourage participants to always pack a rain jacket and pants on all activities because the weather in Southwest PA is variable. It’s smart to keep a towel, change of clothes, spare shoes, and a plastic bag in your car so you’ll have dry clothes for your return trip and a place to stow your damp or wet items.

If the Trip Leader determines that trip conditions exceed the group’s comfort level, the trip may be cancelled. If this decision can be made during regular office hours (9 AM -5 PM, Monday-Friday), participants will be called and emailed by staff. If the decision is made outside of regular office hours the Trip Leaders and on-call staff try to decide at least two hours in advance. Weather is variable and the Trip Leader may opt to cancel the outing at the trailhead or make modifications during the trip.

Thunderstorms are a potential cause for trip cancellation. If a trip is canceled due to the weather forecast, participants will be notified.

The Venture Outdoors staff and Trip Leaders monitor local radar and forecasts to assess when, where, and for how long a thunderstorm is predicted to occur and use this information to decide whether to cancel, continue, or modify a trip. For example, a Trip Leader may choose to delay the start of a trip to let a short storm pass, and then continue as planned. He or she may choose to cancel the trip if waiting for the storm to pass will make it difficult to return on time or otherwise negatively impact environmental conditions.

We encourage participants to be proactive about staying cool. We recommend that you:

  1. Bring extra water.
  2. Wear a hat and sunscreen.
  3. Bring a bandanna or other cotton cloth, soak it in cool water, and place around your neck.
  4. Monitor yourself and other participants for signs of overheating. Notify Trip Leaders if you see anyone having trouble.
  5. Rest in the shade during breaks.

Trip Leaders and the Venture Outdoors staff monitor the weather forecast leading up to and on the day of the trip. In cases of extreme temperatures, we will likely follow the forecaster’s recommendations. If a trip is canceled or changed due to weather or other circumstances, you will be notified by phone.

I loved that the Trip Leader showed us how to connect all the different trails to get to all the great places in and around the city.
- Women's Urban Biking Participant