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Into Antietam

I’m giving a talk at Velocipede Bike Project this coming Tuesday, May 4th at 7PM on Long Distance Bicycling.

The talk will cover many points on how to prepare yourself and your equipment for 100+ mile rides as well as some history and lore of Randonneuring. Plus, we will hopefully get some personal ride reports from those who ride the Monument to Monument ride this sunday.

more info on the talk here: http://velocipedebikeproject.org/news/ and here: http://randoramble.posterous.com

- Bob

You haven’t signed it? They need 1000 signatures! Don’t you want cycling in Baltimore? Sign it! Get everyone you know to sign it! Do it!

We, the undersigned, support the Baltimore City Council in passing legislation that will make Baltimore a safer place for bicyclists. These bills and resolutions not only promote Baltimore as a bicycle-friendly, sustainable community, but make it a better place to live. Encouraging cycling, whether as transportation or recreation, improves the health of citizens and the environment while decreasing traffic congestion, fossil fuel dependence and greenhouse gas emissions.

We fully support the following:

* 09-0429 – Required Parking for Bicycles for Employees & New Construction
* 09-0430 – Transit and Traffic – Bike Lanes ($50 fine for parking/stopping in bike lanes)
* 09-0431 – Bike-Safe Grates for all city construction projects
* 09-0433 – Street and Transportation Projects – Complete Streets in all transportation construction projects
* 09-0175R %u2013 Informational Hearing %u2013 Baltimore Police Department (Conduct a hearing between area cyclists and the BPD to address concerns and improve public safety)
* 09-0176R %u2013 Cyclists%u2019 Bill of Rights
* 09-0177R %u2013 B%u2019more Streets for People, establishing several %u201Ccyclovias%u201D annually

More information can be found on the City Council’s website: http://www.baltimorecitycouncil.com

Biking around town, I discovered some very nice street treatments that diverted vehicular traffic but allowed pedestrian and bicycle traffic.  Anywhere else in the world, this is a bicycle boulevard treatment.  Here in Baltimore, I was taken a little off guard. 

The two traffic diverters (Madison at Bloom and Robert), coupled with the Eutaw Marshburn Elementary School form an almost perfect bicycle boulevard.  Riding at rush hour this morning presented no traffic north of McMechen and only a couple cars south of McMechen.  Took this down to the future MLK, Jr. Sidepath and down around Camden Yards.

So, what do you think?  With the community’s approval, should we push for this as a bike boulevard?  Yes, Guilford Ave is still in the works, but Madison is already built.

Wednesday in front of Penn Station. No room on the racks. At first thought, damn this sucks where am I gonna lock up.  Then I thought, actually it’s great this happens here. So many bikes, so very cool.

Check it out here.

Wyman Park Drive, after it crosses Sisson Street by Stieff Silver and goes toward the Jones Falls Trail and Druid Hill Park is being resurfaced right now.  While it will be awesome when it’s finished, you might want to find another way home tonight.  Sorry for the lack of pictures.


Some kind-hearted folks are organizing a ride from Baltimore to Annapolis to honor fallen cyclist Larry Bensky.

This is a ride from Baltimore to Annapolis to memorialize Larry Bensky, who as you all know was killed this past Tuesday while riding on Butler Rd. We’re doing this on Monday as it is the last day of the current legislative session and a great and somber opportunity to get bill 461 passed into law. House bill 461 requires motorists to give cyclists three feet when passing. Some say that it can’t be enforced but they’re missing the point. The point is to draw attention to the rights of cyclists and to move one inch, or three feet, towards a better, more civil society. So join us.

Respond to the event on Facebook here.

I can’t make it, since my child is about to be born any day (literally) now.  But if any readers/contributors do and would like to share reflections, stories and photos, please drop us a line.


In the fall, University Parkway was resurfaced (check out the video of it getting eaten).  The blacktop has been nice since then, but it’s lacked markings.  As soon as the weather warmed a few weeks ago, the traffic lanes and bike lane lines went back up.  Today, a crew was out on North-bound West University Parkway, putting in markings within the lanes.  They look fantastic! Many thanks to the work of folks like Nate!

More information about yesterday’s crash that killed one cyclist and left another seriously injured:

Baltimore County police have identified an Owings Mills man who was fatally struck by a car while riding his bicycle Tuesday afternoon near Butler and Falls roads.

Lawrence Bensky, 42, of the first block of Quarterhouse Court was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to the initial police investigation, Faith Frenzel, 64, of the 1900 block of Gravel Road in Hampstead was driving her 2001 Toyota Echo westbound on Butler Road about 4:30 p.m. when she struck Bensky’s pedacycle on the shoulder of the road. The pedacycle became lodged in the front of the car before colliding with Joel Alan Wyman, who was also riding a pedaycle, sending both victims off the road, police said.

Wyman, 45, of the 2200 block of Harmony Woods Road in Owings Mills was taken to Sinai Hospital, where he was in serious condition.

Police were preparing charges against Frenzel, pending the completion of their investigation.

More.

Yes, you read correctly. She hit them on the shoulder of the road. And the police are preparing charges.  I wonder if any will stick?

From The Baltimore Sun:

A car struck two cyclists, killing one, Tuesday afternoon in Baltimore County.

Police said a sedan vehicle struck an adult male on a bike near Butler and Falls roads around 4:30 p.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other cyclist was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and their condition is unknown, police said. Police did not have additional information on the victims.

The driver of the car was not injured, police said. Police are still investigating.

(More.)

The comment section, of course, is full of, “I share the road, but not THIS road,” and, “THESE CYCLISTS have a death wish,” crap.  But there are also cyclists, drivers, and people without their heads in….the sand sticking up for all of us.

More, at Baltimore Spokes, also.


I don’t think it’s my imagination that the number of cyclists seems to go up in Baltimore each spring — not merely up from the winter, but up from the year before. I’m sure even non-cyclists have noticed the increase in two-wheeled warriors over the last few weeks (especially the end of this week).

But I was wondering today if this year’s particularly terrible winter might have something to do with an increase in people engaging in outdoor activities in general. Were there folks who thought, “This winter’s been a doozy. I want to get outside more this spring. How can I? Riding a bike would work….”

Or maybe I’m universalizing my own relief that spring is here, matched perhaps only by my last winter/spring in Boston in 2003.

Winter cycling has its own rewards. But spring cycling means more company. (Check out Let’s Go Ride a Bike, for a post about commuting company, and this old NBBB post.)  My co-worker and I went 1/2 way home together yesterday.  And I haven’t been the only cyclist on the Jones Falls Trail at all since spring got here.

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