Ride your bike, damn it!

Written by Amy | 6 Comments

So, I am doing the first post for the bicycling blog of Tazza D’Oro. Soon you will meet John Strait, Scott Bicker and Mike Canton. John has been the heart and soul of Team Caffeine and Team Decaf. John organizes all the Tueday and Thursday rides from Tazza D’Oro; he develops the maps and leads the rides. He has been a leader and symbol of change. The impact of the Tazza D’Oro bicycle rides has been so tremendous that we have been written up in Bicycling Magazine (Sept 2004) in the feature “Bikes on the Loose, 8 Great Club Rides and How to Join In”

There have been a few great moments in my life and one of them (besides opening Tazza D’Oro) was being appointed to the Board of Directors of Bike PGH. Scott Bicker is the Executive Director of Bike PGH. Bike PGH is single-handedly changing the mindset and policies of Pittsburgh around biking. The organization focuses on making our roads safer for cyclists and bringing awareness to Pittsburgh residents of communting and transporting ourseleves by bicycle. Can you imagine the economic, cultural and enviromental impact on our City if we all rode our bikes to work one or two times per week? We’d feel better, spend less money on parking and fuel and put less pollutents and greenhouse gases into our region.

Soon you will also meet Michael Canton who is a ride leader for Major Taylor Cycling Club. Mike and Tazza D’Oro are looking at ways we can partner our interests in cycling.
As for me, I have been on a bike as long as I can remember. I used to ride my brother Rob’s bike which was way too big but I wanted to be like him. Rob was the coolest bike guy in the world. He used to ride his bike to work in those days with dress pants, pressed shirt and tie flapping in the wind. That was in the 1970’s. Our last oil crisis.

My dad used to ride his bike with me in the alley behind our house after he was done working in our bakery. I can rememer those moments as if they happened yesterday. That was probably more than thirty-five years ago! I can remember when my Dad bought me my first bike. It was green, had silver fenders and a sparkly, green banana seat. I washed my bike everyday and even brought it up to my bedroom so I could go to sleep. I still feel the same about my bikes today. The truth is that if I didn’t own Tazza D’Oro I probably wouldn’t own a car. So, everyday that I don’t need the car to pick up big items for the cafe I am on my bike; whistling and remembering the days of riding down the alley behind the bakery. Plus, I bet I still get to my destination much faster than you drivers and I don’t have to worry about parking! Wanna race? Ride your damn bike, OK.


  1. Mike Canton

    Hi. I’m Mike Canton, member of the fledgling Major Taylor Cycling Club. One of MTCC’s foci is to increase involvement of African Americans in local cycling. Because of the club’s friendly, low-key approach, our group rides resemble the Rainbow Coalition. Amy has graciously invited Major Taylor to use Tazza D’Oro as a club meeting place. We hope to find synergies with Caf and Decaf, possibly as the “Entry Level” component.

    More later,

  2. Amy

    Hey Mike, Thanks for the note. Let’s hook up and get things off the ground. We look forward to you be able to write your on Posts for Major Taylor Cycling Club.

  3. Mario

    Hello Amy, Mike,Caf, Decaf, and everyone!
    I am Mario Browne, one of the founding members of the Pgh Major Taylor Cycling Club. I began riding just last year when me, my boss, Stephen Thomas, my barber Kenny and a few other guys began riding our bikes on Sunday mornings. Amy, we would often end our rides at Tazza D’Oro for coffee or tea.
    We have since grown quite a bit and are now blessed to have folks like Mike as members. He has meant a great deal to the club.
    By thwe way Mike, I was at a meeting with Scott and others who told me we don’t qualify as “fledgling” any more, so I quess we are in the bike family now. :-)
    Thanks mike and thanks Amy for opening this up to us!
    Talk to you all soon.

  4. Mark S

    Where can I find the maps/rides from the old site?


  5. Mario

    Hello John,

    I really like “Team Caffeine’s” website. I hope you won’t mind if the Major Taylor club borrrows some concepts?