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Well the NBBB rolled on downtown on Thursday night in the Moonlight Madness ride. For the exception of a few flats and a bad spill everyone seemed to have a good time. Thank you, thank you , thank you to the folks who put this ride together. I totally enjoyed myself. It was so great to see people from all different walks of life with all different kinds of bikes come together to take a ride. It was also great to meet some of the folks who visit this blog and be able to say thanks for visiting, face to face. To the guy who took the spill: I think I can speak for everyone on the ride and say, get well soon, fellow velo.
In other news, I’m gonna be representing the NBBB down at OC for a few days. I’m planning on riding the length of the island. I’ll be sure to post about it with some pics. Has anyone out there ridden this before? If so, anything I should look out for or look forward too?
So damn, time goes by fast. Johnny and I went out and took this kick ass ride last Saturday. We rode up to the city/county line on Lake Ave and then worked our way down to Fell’s Point. We got a cup of coffee and sat on the pier for a bit before heading back home. All in all about 20 miles or so. I was going to write this big post with lots of pictures that I took on the ride but I figured I’m a little late. So instead I’m gonna use this post to say if anyone is interested in doing one of these 20 mile or so rides down town or where ever let us know. We would love to make a run to Fell’s Point or Canton one day or night with bunch of people. The more people the more fun.
Ride Start: in front of the Youth Hostel at the corner of Mulberry and Cathedral. (catty-corner from the Pratt Library)
Ride is casual 10-12mph. Approximately 20 miles. You must have a properly functioning bike, be wearing a helmet, and have safety lights on front and back.
I will bring cue sheets.
Sundown is at 8:30 and a nearly full moon rising about the same time.
The Moonlight Madness Ride. See the excellent Baltimore Spokes for more info.
NBBB info: A few of us are meeting at the Watertower in Hampden/Roland Park/ Hoes Heights and riding down as a group, if anyone wants to join us. The early news this morning says NO RAIN, just heat sans humidity. Should make for a nice sunset. We’ll probably start rounding up after “The Simpsons” and leave around 8:00 p.m. for the youth hostel, with Mr. Zack leading most likely, since he rides that way daily. Ride organizers request helmet and lights (fantastic idea). If you wanna be part of the closest thing this here club does to jerseys, wear yer good ole safety vest. (Yeah, we do that.) Please leave a comment with contact info (won’t be published) so we know who to wait for.
A big increase in people riding their bikes on the sidewalks, even in Hampden/Roland Park where there are nice bike lanes.
Now, mind you, I’m not talking about twelve year olds on BMXs. I’m talking about people on hybrids and old road bikes, some with helmets and a bike rack. While I’d be hard-pressed to explain exactly how I get this impression, but most of these folks strike me as new cyclists, or, at least, new commuters.
Don’t get me wrong. I get annoyed when some jackass comes barreling down the sidewalk while I’m walking somewhere, and they expect me to move. Unless I’m actually going to get run over, I don’t move. In case you live under the proverbial rock, everyone has to yield to pedestrians in Maryland, even cyclists on the sidewalk. Read the law. I mean, I often think to myself, “You sissy, get in the road!” More often, I get a sigh or a nasty comment from the person who is actually being rude and doing something that is both dangerous and illegal.
But there’s something different about some of these new-seeming folks. For one, they are polite. They ride around you or excuse themselves and wait for your response. That’s just plain nice, no matter how you are travelling. They are on the sidewalk, so they ride at walking speed. And they seem like they are paying attention to traffic, people on foot and where they are riding. In other words, they seem like conscientious cyclists.
I know, the topic of riding on the sidewalk gets people fired up. I’ll own up to riding on the sidewalk on some scarier parts of Northern Parkway, when traffic is bad and when no one’s walking on the sidewalk. I’ll also admit to speeding on the sidewalk from the corner of my street, twenty yards or so to my apartment building — and that I once scared the crap out of two of my neighbors doing that at night (for which I apologized).
I don’t know what my point is, except maybe to relate some new commuters in Mob Town and how happy that makes me, even if they are not using the sweet new bike lanes in North Baltimore.
Dan/Mule and I took a leisurely ride after dinner last night. I had a terrible weekend and needed to sit prettily on my seat and let the city air blow through my new messenger bag in the early summer coolness of North Baltimore. On San Martin, we met a nice retiree with whom we rode through Druid Hill, Clipper Mill, etc. well after sundown. Not only was this gentleman knowledgeable about bikes in general and about riding around Baltimore city. He also complimented us for being an “example” to young people who think bikes are for parks and sidewalks when we ride around the city ourselves.
That’s a compliment I heartily accept, if I may ding my own bell for a second (that sounds incredibly dirty). I am a merit badge counselor for the cycling badge, and you should see kids’ faces when you tell them that you can ride your bike places, instead of waiting for a ride from your parents or waiting to get a license. “Wait, so I can ride to the movies or my friend’s house? Huh. Wow!” It’s even contagious to adults.
But I’m not taking credit for getting anyone on bikes, other than to show some tricks to a group of youngsters and getting my mom on a big red trike. If it looks like I’m having fun when I dash past traffic or meander through a park, that’s bike magic, mon. I’m just the agent of said awesomeness and the part of it that you can see.