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I just thought I’d share this. I took it the other day when I was up at  Druid Hill. The lake was frozen over and covered with a fresh coat of snow.

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[Dan and Johnny, Druid Hill Park (Baltimore), January 2008, last year.]

Via Baltimore Bicycle Works, an article from Bike Portland about how awesome cycling in Baltimore is becoming:

It’s not on the annual lists of biking hot spots, but during my recent visit to Baltimore I realized they might just become the next big bike city. They’re not quite Portland (yet), but they’re gaining fast.

Check it out here.

I hear a decent amount of smugness from people in super bike-friendly cities, largely people that don’t even ride.  I’m not singling anyone out or naming names, but conversations often go like this.  I’ll edit the insults toward Baltimore that often come with it:

“I hardly see anyone ride in Baltimore.  It’s too scary there with all the cars and traffic.  I wouldn’t ride in Baltimore.”

“Lots of people ride.  I do.  @#$% the traffic.”

“You’re crazy.”

You don’t even ride in X bike friendly city…..”

I have to say that some of this comes from cities like Portland, from people who have never ridden here.  I’m glad that most other Portlanders are happy to see other cities doing what they’re doing, i.e.,  that they really in fact care about cycling taking off worldwide.  A very good friend of ours (a Baltimore native) lives in Portland and works on bikes and rides everywhere, and he was impressed when he was in town last May with the progress Baltimore is making in becoming more bike-friendly.  And think of all the improvements that have been made since then!  People ride in the winter now!

Congrats to Ms. Dottie!

Anyone ride in?  I have AWESOME fenders, but even they were no match for the snow and slush and gunk flying around this morning.  It was still a fun ride, though.  My bike dripped puddles of NASTY water all over my office when I got to work.  Poor little rug.  My “salmon” Kool Stops are grey as all hell right now.  I don’t know if it’s wise to ride home, after my ice-fall last week.  But it’s so tempting and fun. I doubt I will be able to resist.  Plus, I don’t wanna leave Mr. Bike in the office, especially when it looks like tomorrow might turn out to be a snow day.

My only scary moment was coming down the switchback on the Jones Falls Trail this morning.  I realized that my thin shoes were covered in snow, so I stopped and pulled off to knock the snow away.  I slid a bit in so doing, but I caught myself.  I got off my bike to stomp my shoes against the wall and get the snow off, and there is a skid mark, surrounded by footprints.  I hope no one thinks it was the scene of a crash, LOL.

No other bike tracks on the switchback.  But there were tracks from an MTB on the trail itself, as the road was covered in salt trucks waiting their turn to get filled on Fallsway.  Saw one other cyclist on the JFT, and we exchanged not just a nod but a full one-hand-off-the-bars wave, which is appropriate to anyone brave/stupid enough to ride in Baltimore in the snow.

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Went for a nice winter ride yesterday. It was about 30 and snowing when we started out. We rode the Jones Falls Trail and ended up at the Poe statue in front of UB. There we had coffee and peanut butter granola bars. We wished Mr. Poe a happy 200 b-day and asked for a Raven’s win. I guess he was too busy partying to help out the purple birds, oh well. After we left UB we headed up Calvert and then over to Charles and took the long way back home. All in all about 14 miles, a short winter ride but, a pleasant one.

Keep warm out there, bike ninjas.

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At the risk of sounding overly self-righteous, I am.  It’s either the craziness my co-worker playfully accuses me of or courage or utter stubbornness.  Or  I’m a pleasure-seeker, and there’s no more pleasurable way for me to get to work than on a bike.  Or something.

I was at an event last night, when it was 20 degrees sans windchill, I asked a fellow cyclist if he rode. “Is there any other way to get here?” he replied. Frikkin A. No, there’s not.

I’m finding less cycling company in the mornings. This morning, it was 11 degrees when I left with a windchill of -2 (without the windchill of barreling from North Baltimore to downtown at 25mph). I rode with ElRo and left her in the Chillage.  I didn’t see any other cyclists, but my glasses were fogging up, so maybe I missed them.

But I discover daily as I leave the office on Charles Street after work, that I just head to work late because I can get here so quickly.  Turns out that I just usually leave after other people.  Even with this weather, I’m never alone at night.  Which makes me less crazy, less self-righteous, because these are relative.  I know that I will see other blinking, fender-ed commuters on my way home tonight.

If there’s actually bike traffic in Baltimore in the middle of January (and there is), that’s a sign that cycling is really here to stay in Charm City, no?  Yes, it gets much colder in some places.  But those places don’t have the doggy summers we have to put up with.  We’re Southerners used to winter temps in the 40s.  Central Maryland weather really runs the spread, and I tip my, er, helmet to those who ride when it’s 10 and when it’s 110 degrees.

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Anyone up for a ride with Dan and I on this Sunday, the 11th?  The Ravens game is Saturday, and Sunday looks like it’s going to be cold and clear.  Maybe there will be some snow or ice around to look at around the Jones Falls or Druid Hill or something.  Very nice for a roll around town.

Anyone interested?  We’ll probably just ride a little 10-15  miler around the city and have coffee/tea somewhere.

We can choose a time ahead of Sunday if folks are interested.  We’ll be meeting at the Watertower.

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