Nern Ostendorf, the new executive director of Queen City Bike, is a “bounce-back” native—a 2005 Walnut Hills grad who has returned to town in hopes of bringing the bike-friendly flavor of cities like Portland and Denver to Cincinnati. Hills be damned.
The city has changed. I used to bike around with my dad when I was in high school, and I’d get run off the road. It’s a lot better than it was. The city has a bike plan—and they’re actually doing it! We’re going to be working with City Council this year to get in more bike lanes, more bike sharrows, and more alliances with public transit.
Queen City Bike’s biggest goals are to make cycling more accessible, safer, and more enjoyable. Because you’re not going to force people to bicycle. You want it to be fun.
As a student at Northwestern University, I really saw the transformative power of alternative transportation. In an urban environment where there’s so much congestion, a bicycle is the most freeing thing you can have.
On the west side, there are lots of really big roads with lots of fast, high-volume traffic, and they’re all funneling downhill toward the highway. There aren’t that many bike commuters because it’s kind of treacherous. We haven’t come up with a grand plan; west-siders, I would love to hear from you!
Visiting a city that’s bike-friendly, you understand how everything links together when you are navigating this little machine around. That’s the beauty of it.
A lot of people find the geography here really intimidating: The hills are a challenge. But you can be strategic about how to get where you want to go. And before you know it, your thighs are stronger.