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