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Start your engines for an awesome cycling event this Saturday, August 2!

A certain NBBB member works for Greater Homewood Community Corporation, a nonprofit serving 40 neighborhoods in north central Baltimore.  On August 2, GHCC and Waverly Main Street will hold the Third Annual Waverly Village National Night Out Kick-Off Parade on Greenmount Avenue between 35th and 29th Streets.  The parade begins at 11 a.m., but you’re invited to meet us at the Roland Park water tower at 9:30 a.m. for the Tour du Greater Homewood.  This will be a relaxed ride through some of GHCC’s neighborhoods — which happen to be many of our NBBB stomping grounds, too.  Several NBBB-ers are helping to write the route.  Free t-shirts for everyone who rides!

The ride will end at 35th and Greenmount, just in time for the start of the parade.  This year, the parade includes the first Baltimore Bike Pageant, where we’re celebrating cycling as an essential part of City living.  Join us after the Tour du Greater Homewood for the pageant and compete for great prizes from One Less Car, Light Street Cycles, Proteus Bicycles, and REI.  Or plop Fido in your bike basket and be part of the Best Pet Yet Parade, with prizes from Pretentious Pooch and the Baltimore Dog Bakery.

Want to find out more or learn how to sign up?  Visit the Waverly Main Street website here or just meet us at the water tower on August 2 at 9:30.  See you there!


My commute to work certainly isn’t among the City’s most challenging rides.  Most of it involves a trip down University Parkway — in the morning, heading east, it’s a delightful zip down the bike lane, almost keeping pace with my four-wheeled friends to my left.  On the way home, however, I’m faced with an inevitable uphill climb, and here I think I meet one of Baltimore’s most feared cycling obstacles: the University Parkway Monster — the stretch between Keswick Road and Roland Avenue that is grueling, merciless, and unrelenting.  And don’t even try to make it easier on yourself by cutting through the residential streets to the right (the Evergreen neighborhood).  There’s beautiful scenery, but not much relief.

Since I started my job last fall, I’ve developed all manner of artful ways to get around the University Parkway Monster.  I’ll turn left on Tudor Arms and come through Hampden, or I’ll take a detour through Stony Run.  But last Thursday (and it was H-O-T that day), I made it to the light at University and Keswick and thought, why don’t I give it a try for once?  So I started the climb and actually made it this time!  I was a sweaty sight (and smell) when I got home, but for once, I beat the Monster!

What are some other Monsters you’ve beaten, or have plans to beat, in Baltimore?  I also nominate the stretch of 37th Street between Keswick and Elm in Hampden.

Stay tuned for some upcoming information about the Baltimore Bike Pageant on August 2!


Two members of the North Baltimore Bike Brigade were out of commission last week, including Eleanor R.  One Tuesday afternoon, I was rushing to make a meeting (for which I was already late) and hopped on ElRo without noticing that I had a flat front tire.  I still didn’t notice after falling off of ElRo and riding her a few feet, at which point I finally heard the crunching sound of rim-on-gravel.

Luckily, another NBBB member was close by and rode down to my office to replace the tube.  I got home safely and was practicing replacing a tube on my own when . . .

POP!


As it turned out, I had a tear in the tire as well as the tube.  Two replacement tires arrived this past week, and they are securely attached to ElRo.  I was back in the saddle riding to work on Thursday — and now I know how to change a tire!


Eleanor R. and I rode to work today, what with the triple digit heat index and all.  We were waiting at the light at the intersection of Charles Street and University Parkway this morning when a gentleman in a minivan shouted to us, “How many miles per gallon do you get?”

“About a hundred,” I said.  And then Eleanor R. and I continued on our way to work.  She and I think that more and more of our car-driving friends are going to start biking, too.  Ninety-plus degree days and four-dollar-a-gallon gas make biking look cool on many levels.


Hello!

This is my first post to the NBBB blog, and I’m proud to be a member.

My bike is awesome.  She’s almost three years old and cut her teeth on long rides around southern Illinois, but when she moved to Baltimore, she took the constant up-and-down in stride.

Like Homer’s bowling ball, my bike has a name.  She’s Eleanor Roosevelt, named for one of my fave first ladies who was married to my favorite president (so far).  Eleanor R. is a distinguished lady, as you might imagine.  But don’t you double-park in the bike lane, or she’ll give you an earful.  Eleanor R. and I love riding around north Baltimore in the fabulous new bike lanes that the City has provided.  We just wish the drivers with whom we share the road would stop colonizing our space.  Cars in the bike lane make us slow down, weave dangerously into lanes of traffic, and otherwise put me and Eleanor R. in a cranky mood.  But we’re confident that our car-driving friends will be fine once they get used to seeing more of the two-wheeled kind on the road.

When Eleanor R. and I aren’t on the road, our favorite place to bike is around the reservoir at Druid Hill Park.

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