MORE had a busy weekend. In addition to the Project Clean Stream on Saturday, MORE hosted a FUNraiser for the Rockburn Skills Park in Howard County on Sunday. All proceeds from the fundraiser went to support the construction of the expanded skills park at Rockburn Branch Park. MORE was instrumental in developing the area’s first pump track, a series of dirt jumps cyclists can practice skills on, without pedaling. Just “pump” the handlebars, shift your weight and coast through the turns. The pump track is just the beginning.
The event kicked off with trail rides at 1pm led by local racing legends Marla Streb and Chris Eatough. The family picnic started at 3pm featuring BBQ and beverages by DuClaw’s. Over 300 attended to celebrate the recreational biking improvements coming to the park. Event organizer Melanie Nystrom indicated that over $10,000 was raised during the event in addition to another $30,000 in corporate and anonymous donations. A portable stunt park was set up for the event for kids of all ages to test their skills.
Event sponsors include: MORE, REI, Diamondback, Twenty 20 Cycling, Family Bike Shop, Stonebridge Advisors, Howard County, Clif Bar, IMBA, Patapsco Bike and Sport, Performance Bike Shop, Race Pace, Bike Doctor Linthicum, Elkridge Chiropractor and Physical Therapy, DuClaw Brewing, H & S Bakery, Elkridge Youth Organization, Single Speed Outlaw, Land Design and Development and Gore.
The picnic ended with a raffle drawing for some free bikes including
Cannondale Flash MTB
Specialized Stumpjumper FSR full suspension MTB
Diamondbike Assault Dirt Jump Bike 2012
Performance Bike Shop gift card worth $250
Developing the skills park required more than mounds of dirt. Construction starts next week on a full on skills park complete with boulders, rock armored climbing trail, easy flow trail with in-sloped turns, more difficult flow trail with tabletops, berms and rockdrops. Check out the details here. No need to wait for this dream to become a reality. Melanie anticipates the skills park to be complete by the June 2nd Grand Opening. Professional trail builders will be working full time for the next 4 to 6 weeks on the park. Construction materials have been donated by Land Design and Howard County with a Recreational Trails grant for equipment rental through the State Highway Administration. Howard County has supported this project from the beginning and County Executive Ken Ullman is scheduled to open the park.
If you missed Sunday’s event, be sure to attend the June 2nd grand opening when the jumps will be bigger and the smiles will be wider.
Thanks to Melanie Nystrom and Dave Ferraro from MORE!
This past Friday, a bike was stolen from the racks at Camden Station. Not just any bike, but the bike of “Carfree Baltimore” Mark Brown. Mark has been chronicling his life living carfree in Baltimore, which has been made easier since riding a Trek 7.2. This bike has been with Mark on many urban adventures and on the Great Allegheny Passage last summer from Cumberland to Pittsburgh.
Be on the look out for the blue Trek 7.2 (pictured above on the GAP) decorated with many stickers. If you find it, you can send Mark tweet @carfreebltmore
Led by MORE trail liaisons Bob Compton & Dave Blum, mountain bikers tackled Project Clean Stream at Loch Raven Reservoir. Nearly 100 volunteers met spent Saturday morning scouring 3 miles of shoreline to removed debris that collected in our reservoirs. Joined by Senator Jim Brochin and Councilman David Marks, volunteers began removing debris from Loch Raven Reservoir at the Pot Spring Road trailhead, working northward toward Warren Road.
Most of the debris consisted of styrofoam, plastic water bottles and empty beer cans, although there was at least one full beer can floating along. Other typical debris included flip flops, crocs, bobbers, empty bait containers and discarded lumber. A large election sign was pulled from the water after a locally infamous dumping of campaign signs occurred over the Warren Rad bridge in 2010.
As volunteers filled trash bags, mountain bikers with BOB trailers, hauled the trash to the collection area. After a morning of catching up with old friends and making new ones, volunteers enjoyed lunch from Andy Nelson’s. This Project Clean Stream event was just one of many that took place around the Baltimore area. Thanks to all the volunteers that contributed to improving our drinking water and the Chesapeake Bay.
Contributed by Dave Love
In one of the first U.S. studies of its kind, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future at the Bloomberg School of Public Health have found that bike lanes in Baltimore improve cyclist safety. The study looked at drivers’ behavior around cyclists on roads with and without bike lanes, and the good news is that drivers pass significantly wider when cyclists are in bike lanes.
The bad news is that on roads without bike lanes, drivers had trouble sharing the road with cyclists, which at times violated a state law aimed at making cycling safer. In 2010, Maryland passed what is known as the “3-foot law,” which states that drivers must pass cyclists by three feet or more. The study authors found that one in six Baltimore drivers, or about 17 percent, violated the 3-foot law.
Researcher David Love, PhD, says that, “We knew the 3-foot law was not being followed. Now we have quantified the problem and provided a baseline from which the city can improve upon.”
The researchers found a 20 percent increase in motorist adherence to the 3-foot law for bike lane streets compared to standard streets. Violations became virtually non-existent in bike lanes. Love notes, “these data tell me we need to find ways to separate car traffic from bike traffic, and bike lanes are just one way to do that.”
The study was conducted by a team of six Johns Hopkins University faculty, staff and students who routinely commute to work or school by bicycle. The authors attached video cameras to their bicycles, recording commutes in the Fall of 2011. By translating video footage into data, the study authors documented experiences that others in Baltimore have reported only anecdotally.
The study was sponsored in part by Bike Maryland (www.bikemd.org), a state-level bike advocacy group. Carol Silldorff, executive director of Bike Maryland, says “our organization had hand in the passage of Maryland’s 3-foot rule, so we are glad to support research to assess motorist compliance with the law in Maryland’s largest city ”
The study has not looked at intersections, which is the predominant location for bicycle-vehicle collisions. More research is needed on that topic. “We in Baltimore are on a learning curve,” says Love, who cited Washington, D.C., Portland, Oregon, and New York City as implementers of innovative approaches to engineering safer spaces for cyclists.
For more information, contact Dave Love, Carol Silldorff and Chris Merriam from Bikemore
or visit Bike Maryland and Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future
and read the full report here
Is the 3ft Passing Law Working in Baltimore MD
Contributed by Chris Merriam
Friday, April 20th from 5 – 7pm at Liam Flynn’s Ale House on North Avenue
In addition to whatever happy hour specials Liam has that day, they’re selling ALL CASK ALES for $3 to anyone to comes for the Bikemore Happy Hour.
Let us know you’re coming on the FACEBOOK event page
With the recent repaving of Greenspring Avenue north of Cross Country Boulevard, the bike lanes have returned! DOT has once again improved the design of bike lanes with the new pavement; complete with “BIKE LANE” signs and bike safe storm grates.
Contributed by Nate Evans
I can’t remember the last time I went away for Spring Break. My wife and I were mulling a return to southern East Coast and since we both needed some warmer weather, the decision was easy. No matter where I travel, I see what bike infrastructure and culture a place has to offer. While I do exhibit pride when Baltimore has a feature another area doesn’t, more often than not, I’m bringing ideas home.
ANN STREET BIKE BOULEVARD, WILMINGTON, NORTH CAROLINA
Down East has the River to The Sea Bikeway connecting Wilmington and the Cape Fear River to Wrightsville Beach and the Atlantic Ocean. While most of this route is a combination of sidepaths and wide shoulders, one section on Ann Street is a bicycle boulevard. I still think Guilford Avenue has more to offer, but Wilmington’s Ann Street is pretty cool. The bikeway includes destination signing, sharrows and ample school crossing pavement markings. Where Ann crosses S 3rd St, the landscaped median was extended to eliminate auto turning or thru traffic.
It seems like every city I go to has pedicabs including Charleston & Savannah. High noon outside the Chareleston City Market, there were 4 pedicab companies shuttling passengers. Looks like Baltimore has one or two starting up…
ON-STREET BIKE PARKING
The parking in front of Eddie’s on St. Paul Street remains Baltimore’s only on on-street bike parking. Such parking was common place in Wilmington, Charleston and Savannah. All three cities did it up right with protection by concrete bollards, some with reflecting signs on the racks. The absolute best bike parking I saw on this trip was at the eastern end of Savannah’s City Market. Here the bike parking completely blocked off automobile traffic to the pedestrian plaza along W St Julian St. (pictured above)
STATEWIDE BICYCLE ROUTES
Like the River to The Sea Bikeway in North Carolina, Georgia also offers statewide bicycle routes. Like bike touring, statewide bicycle routes have gained popularity over the past forty years. Maryland’s State Highway Administration is in the initial stages of developing our own bike routes. The Adventure Cycling Association is working with state highway departments across the U.S. to develop “interstate” bicycle routes.
PREVALENCE OF CYCLING
In Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah and many small towns in between, there is noticeable bike traffic. At one point in Savannah, there were so many people on bikes, that my pre-school aged daughter noticed. I’m sure the easy climate, level terrain, narrow streets on grid systems played a role in encouraging cycling. In older sections of these cities, lack of parking spaces also made cycling easier. Savannah’s street grid system is peppered with plaza parks which makes biking even easier. Although riding in these parks are prohibited, this rule is frequently ignored with no pedestrian conflicts that I witnessed.
Yesterday, Bikes Belong announced the 6 focus cities for the Green Lane Project. Despite a strong application, Baltimore was not selected to participate in the program. Congratulations to the winning cities:
- Austin, Texas
- Chicago, Illinois
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Portland, Oregon
- San Francisco, California
- Washington, D.C.
Check out this link for more info
Victor Miranda (left) is no stranger to the cycling circles of Baltimore. For the past few years, Victor’s been pedaling around town and creating all kinds of incredible maps for the Departments of Recreation & Parks and Transportation. His greatest creation was a bike map of Baltimore that he developed just out of his own love of biking and mapping. Not letting this map go to waste, the Department of Transportation published the 1st edition of his bike map to rave reviews.
Now, Victor’s taking some time to pedal his way across Europe. You can follow his adventures at his website
Before leaving for Spain (where he’s currently “stealth camping”), Victor put the finishing touches on the 2nd edition of the Baltimore Bike Map. With a little luck, this map will be available by Bike To Work Day.
Best of luck to Victor & Katy on their adventure!