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Obviously. Snow riding can be fun. But riding through the mounds of frozen goo left by plows and cars and people shoveling into the street — not to mention black ice — is not the casual ride we had in mind. Five people getting hurt on a ride isn’t going to promote or celebrate cycling so much.
How about next week or a New Year ride?
Monday, December 21st. Early evening/after work. Stay tuned for the time/place, as we watch the winter weather unfold. As much as riding in snow and ice can be fun, doing it for the hell of it sounds like an invitation for injuries. So if the weather’s bad, we’ll have to do a post-Christmas or New Year’s ride.
This is a mega casual ride — not a critical mass or memorial ride by any means. Bring a Thermos! It’s just fun to get together and celebrate winter cycling. If the weather does not cooperate, perhaps we could all get some beers somewhere fun that night?
More info this weekend.
The forecast looks grim, with snow this weekend, which will thaw a little and refreeze Monday night (in the 20s), making for black ice and other nastiness. As much as winter riding is fun, we’d like to be uninjured and enjoy it. Personally, I’d hate for anyone to get hurt when we should be having fun. We’ll have to call it after Saturday when we know how bad it is.
It’s next week already! The short idea is to meet in North Baltimore somewhere and just have a quiet little 15 (or so) miler around town to celebrate winter cycling, the holidays, lights — hopefully including a spin to the Harbor and possibly to the 34th Street thing. We’re going to count the votes by 9:00pm EST on Wednesday the 16th and post the date on the 17th.
I’ll message folks via the Facebook group to hopefully get some more responses. For the 21st, it’s the start of WINTER. So it has a nice ring to it.
There’s a great post at Bike Radar about how to survive a bike crash, since we will all have one eventually. Before the safety dogs go nuts, think about this: How many people do you know who have never ever ever been in a car accident? How many people do you know who have never ever ever fallen down walking or running? I’m thirty and have been car-free for four years. And I’ve been in exactly five car accidents, one o of which I caused and one of which (not the one I caused) totaled my car. Sure, I know people who have been in fewer accidents, but I know people who have been in more, also, even people younger than I am.
I don’t know if everyone is going to crash on their bike, though. There are people who ride way more than I do who haven’t crashed as adults. Last winter, I went down on some ice on January (just a bruise and scratch in the paint of my downtube and a lot of thankfulness that there were no cars and that only one person saw me) and infamously went down in April (from which my hands are still busted up). I know Mr. Zack had a (literally) scrape with the wall on the Jones Falls Trail switchback at Stieff, but he didn’t go down — just got rock-wall-rash on his arm. Certainly, there are veritable bike heroes in Baltimore like Barry, who have been in some crashes. But in a cases like this, I chalk it up to just plain high mileage. I don’t know anyone who rides their bike more than folks like Barry and Greater Brown Bear. In other cases, I’m sure, crashes get caused by people riding drunk, on dark streets sans lights, by not paying attention, easily-prevented equipment failure, etc.
Sometimes, as happened to me (with my little 8 mile commute) and as happens with high-mileage folks (certainly not including myself in that category), cars and infrastructure might eventually get you. But will it get all of us, as cars are getting more used to seeing us and when the infrastructure for cycling in Baltimore gets better every single day?
I wouldn’t want to tell someone whose interested in cycling but afraid to take the plunge, “Dude, you’ll crash one day. A pot hole, car door, ice, gravel, drunk guy — it’s gonna happen.” But I wouldn’t want to outright lie, either.
With this cold, wet, snowy mess hitting Baltimore today, I thought perhaps we could use photos of that beautiful, sunny November day when we all paid tribute to Jack Yates and to cycling in [North] Baltimore.
Josh, from Baltimore Bicycle Works.
Liam, from Cyclosity.
GHCC board member John.
Finally, Mr. Dan finishing the ride!