With both sadness and excitement, today marks the last day of Bike Month! Over the past 31 days, we’ve had fun pushing bike culture in Baltimore to a new level. We’ve seen our bike commuting numbers continue to climb and set a new participation record for Bike To Work Day. With events planned for riders of all experiences, we’ve seen the smiles of those finding their balance for the first time and the competitiveness of seasoned riders going ‘one more time up that hill.’
This past weekend, Bike Maryland’s Bike Ambassador Program teamed up with DOT’s Safe Routes to School & Safety City program to teach kids bike skills at Bike Jam. The Kids Bike Rodeo helped dozens of kids with fitting helmets, checking brakes and leading them through a coned course.
Sunday morning, 14 riders met at Falls Rd and Bellemore Ave to tackle the Bellemore Hill “Time Your Climb” Competition. For those that don’t know Bellemore, this mile-long route climbs almost straight up out of the Jones Falls Valley from Mt. Washington to Roland Avenue. The fastest time for this climb was an impressive 2 minutes 56 seconds! (I’ll post the other times this week.) Thanks to Joe & Katie for hosting this event!
I can not thank all the volunteers, organizers and everyone else who pitched in to make our first Bike Month such a success! We couldn’t have done it without you! It’s been great for me to finally put faces with names and see so many more people get involved in biking around our fair city.
Big time shout out to Paul Day, our marketing coordinator, who made Bike Month run like a top! We’ll be posting winners of the Bike Month Challenge soon and announcing tomorrow how we’re celebrating the end of Bike Month.
Don’t forget the Ladies Ride is rescheduled for tomorrow evening; meeting at the World Trade Center at 6:30.
From May 10th through May12th, 34 volunteers took to the streets of Baltimore to verify the city’s bicycle traffic. This season’s bike counts took place at the usual locations of Falls & Maryland, Guilford & Mt. Royal, Aliceanna & Boston and Frederick & Gwynns Falls Trail. DOT expanded the count locations to include new and proposed bike facilities such as St. Paul & Centre, Fleet & President, Keswick & Wyman Park and Frederick & Athol. Bike parked at Penn Station were also counted.
Overall, bike traffic increased at these locations by 0.5-2% compared to September 2010. That’s a significant increase in just 8 months considering bike traffic nationwide is typically higher in September compared to May. The biggest increase was at Guilford & Mt. Royal which saw a 9% increase! This intersection is due for major bicycle improvements over the coming year with the Guilford Ave Bicycle Boulevard project and the Jones Falls Trail (Phase II) construction.
These recent bike counts provided DOT with vital information to help improve bike access.
- The counts at Penn Station revealed overcrowding at the racks directly in front of the main entrance, while little space remained at the bike racks at the garage entrance.
- Special thanks to Marcel Haas who observed that 75% of cyclists travelling on St. Paul St (southbound) turned left onto Centre St.
- Non-use of helmets use averaged out at 36%
Thanks again to our many VOLUNTEERS for taking time out of their schedule to count bikes! Tracking the city’s progress through traffic counts can not be done without you! The next round of bike counts will happen July 5th – 7th.
It’s hard to believe that we’re now in the last week of BIKE MONTH 2011. There are still plenty of events to participate in; the biggest of which is BIKE JAM
Held at Patterson Park all day this Saturday, Bike Jam features pro cycling races, amateur races, trials riding demos, local recreational rides and a kids’ bike rodeo. With live music, games, beer & food, there’s something for everyone!
The bike rodeo is sponsored by Bike Maryland’s Bike Ambassador Program and DOT’s Safe Routes to School program. To volunteer for this event, please contact Alex Ticu at Bike Maryland
In addition to Bike Jam, check out these other bike events:
- An all day Gwynns Falls Trail Bike & Clean-up. Meet at the trail office on Eagle Drive or meetup with the group as they roll.
- Critical Mass rides tomorrow night at 7 from the Washington Monument
- The Bellemore “Time Your Climb” Competition kicks off at Joe’s Bike Shop in Mt. Washington at 10:30 am on Sunday
Thanks to everyone who came out, rode by, volunteered & manned a B2WD pit stop around Baltimore! Participation in B2WD 2011 was up 50% from last year! This year’s event was so successful, chances are it will be done on a monthly basis in some areas of the city!
If biking to work isn’t enough, you’ll have a few more chances to ride this weekend.
Ride the Gwynns Falls Trail tonight from 6 to 8pm starting at the I-70 Park & Ride with Molly.
Then head to Sticky Rice in Fells for the Bike Sprints at 10pm.
Sunday, it’s Bike to the Ballpark Day at Camden Yards. Pedal up and get a free ticket to the game. O’s play the Nats starting at 1:35. Park at Gate C for the Bike Corral and giveaways!
Next Tuesday, come for a midday bike ride and lunch from Harbor East. Meet at Lebanese Taverna at noon for hummus, pita, salad, pilaf, and chicken shwarma. We’ll take a casual spin after lunch around Fells, the harbor or wherever folks want to go. For more info email Beth
Thanks again everyone for a great Bike To Work Day 2011!
Enjoy The Weekend!
Despite a few crazy days of weather thanks to a slow moving Low pressure system sitting over the Ohio Valley, tomorrow morning looks to be clear!
All stations will be open from 7am to 9am (and probably after at a few) tomorrow morning. Even if you didn’t register, you can still swing by for coffee, grub and top off your tubes at
- Joe’s Bike Shop in Mt. Washington (Falls & Kelly)
- Johns Hopkins University – Homewood Campus (in front of Mason Hall)
- Johns Hopkins Medical Institutes (Caroline & Jefferson)
- Baltimore Bicycle Works (Falls & Lafayette)
- Harbor East (Aliceanna & President)
- University of Maryland (Paca & Baltimore at Farmer’s Market)
- Carroll Park (Monroe & Washington)
If you haven’t heard, there’s a lot going on in western Baltimore County. Besides the mountain bike mecca of Patapsco, Catonsville has a nice trail network in and around town.
This Sunday, May 22nd, Catonsville Rails To Trails is offering an easy 14 mile tour of the existing and proposed trail system. On the tour, you can learn about CRT’s effors to preserve old rail lines for biking & walking paths and connections to other trails. The ride is a casual, flat 10 mph with a few hills and starts at the Catonsville Farmer’s Market behind Friendly’s (700 block of Frederick Rd) at 10 am. Rain date: May 29th
Due to inclement weather, tornado warnings, lightning, thunder and hail, the Ladies Ride is postponed to Wednesday, June 1st. Check out the Meetup for updates.
While the translation was performed by native Spanish speakers from Guatemala, Argentina and Mexico, some terms were just not translating. Terms like “mountain bike” or “bus bike rack” really caused some frustration.
In steps Victor Miranda, cartographer for the original bike map. Victor, whose family is from Argentina, helped clarify many terms. Not only is Victor fluent in Spanish, but is also an avid cyclist, so he knew how to apply bike terms & phrases in Spanish that locals would understand.
Victor has also started a riding group based in Remington. You can check out their routes & rides under the Baltimore Bike Group links.
The Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee meets 6pm this evening in the Department of Planning’s Conference Room (8th Floor, 417 E. Fayette St). Please feel free bring your bikes inside.
Tomorrow’s Ladies Ride meets at the World Trade Center at 6:30 pm and rolls at 7. This easy 8 mile ride is intented to encourage ladies to come together and ride. IF guys come, we’ll be closing intersections, fixing flats, doing spot maintenance & being courteous gentlemen.
Several convoys are heading to Carroll Park. Join one from the whole ride or stop off at your pit stop.