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It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to Baltimore Velo. Velo covered everything in Baltimore’s bike scene. Everything! From new Bishop frames, Alleycat races, Keith catching air, ride reports, crashes, attacks, you name it. Covering everything in Baltimore’s booming bike culture has become increasing difficult in the past year. (Correlation with the Bike Party? Who’s to say?) Being the one website that covered it all, Seth got a little swamped. Baltimore is better off for what Baltimore Velo has contributed!
Head over to Baltimore Velo and post a “thanks”
“What? Me? Bike To work? Nah, I don’t think that’s happening”
This is usually the reaction offered when people talk about Bike To Work Day, and for good reason. Bike commuting is not a simple pedal on a quiet trail but an serious form of on-road cycling. It happens when we’re pressed for time with more traffic on the road, often our minds are ON work with the day’s “to do” list developed in our heads. So why add the extra stress of arriving to work sweatier and slightly shaken?
The short answer: Because you just might like it! (Seriously) Aside from all the other reasons like getting exercise, feeling healthier, losing weight, being more alert & ready to tackle the day, and one less car on the road, bike commuting is pretty fun once you get the hang of it. Not a serious commitment like a meaningful relationship or a long term high interest loan, Bike To Work Day is one day out of the year where you can get a chance to see what it’s like to combine your daily workout with your commute and meet some new friends along the way.
This year, Bike To Work Day is on Friday, May 17th! With warmer weather now here, there’s plenty of time to get ready. Here are a few tips on how to do Bike To Work Day, Baltimore style.
1. Register! Register online for one of the many Bike To Work Day stations around the region. B2WD stations offer a lite breakfast, free hats, quick bike tune-ups and other giveaways.
2. Get a bike or a tune-up. If you don’t have a bike, don’t worry. All local bike shops are ready to assist with getting the right bike for you. Most bike shops RENT bikes so if bike commuting is not for you, there’s no major loss. If you already have a bike, get you a tune-up and make sure it’s ready for May 17th. Tune-ups typically include:
- checking the tires, tubes and air pressure
- checking brakes
- noting any rust or structural problems
3. Get out for a bike ride! You don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to bike to work, but you don’t want to be surprised on that Friday morning. There are several low-stress bike events around Baltimore to help get your biking confidence up:
- The Baltimore Bike Party – Friday, April 26th is a slow ride around town with (probably) 800 or so other riders. Bike mechanics, ride leaders and sweepers make sure no one is left behind.
- Ride Around The Reservoir & Laps Around the Lake – sponsored by the Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, pick up a bike at either lake on a weekday evening for a leisure pedal.
- Kinetic Sculpture Race on Saturday, May 4th is a very low speed bike race starting from the American Visionary Arts Museum on Key Highway at 10 am. Roads are closed for the race but anyone on a bike is welcome to pedal along with these sculptures between AVAM, Canton Waterfront Park, Patterson Park and back.
4. Plan Your Route! With the Baltimore Bike Map and biking directions on Google Maps, you can plan your route to work. Keep in mind that most major roads are filled with motorists so an alternative route may be needed. The Bike Map is full of information you’ll need to bike around the city. The map is available online (as is the Bicycle Commuter Guide) and at all local bike shops. If you need help with a bike route, comment below.
5. Test Your Route on the Weekend! With traffic volumes lower on the weekends, test your route on a Saturday or Sunday. This will give you an idea of how long it will take you to get to work and get a feel for pavement conditions and tricky intersections. Keep in mind that traffic might be a little heavier on a weekday. While not mandatory, helmets are a good idea.
6. Plan ahead by taking a change of work clothes in earlier in the week. That way you don’t have to spend the rest of the day feeling like you just came from the gym. Also, check with your building management for available bike parking options. Some buildings will allow bikes indoors, but many will not. If you must leave your bike outside, make sure you have a reliable lock. If you’ve never biked to work before, have a friend (with a car) ready to assist you if you or your bike can’t make it.
7. Take Your Time! This is not a time trial for an exclusive bike race. You’re just going to work. So give yourself a little extra time and have fun along the way.
8. Join a B2WD convoy! If you don’t want to ride by yourself, join one of the many Bike to Work Day convoys around Baltimore. Most convoys will stop by one of the stations to take a break. Convoys are now available online. Get some of your co-workers on board and start your own convoy.
9. Cheat! Yes, cheat if you need to. This is Bike To Work Day, not Bike From Home Day. If you have to drop the kids off or live a little too far to bike to work, don’t feel bad. Consider biking from daycare, school or carpool part way. Plus, all local MTA transit routes provide bike access whether on the metro, light rail or bus. All MTA buses have bike racks for easy access to get you a little closer to work.
10. Enjoy The Ride! Take it easy, pace yourself and arrive safely! Once you get to work, you will have an overwhelming sense of accomplishment! This one day out the year may just help you to modify your regular commute from driving to biking or even walking or taking transit. Hope to see you out there on Friday, May 17th!
The Baltimore City Recreation & Parks Department has relied on the Ranger Program to staff bike programs like Ride Around the Reservoir. Unfortunately, rangers do not report until the 2nd week in May. Until then, volunteers are needed to help out. Tasks include loading and transporting bikes to program site, setting up once on site, adjusting bike seats and fitting helmets for riders, riding the area to help out new riders, and in some cases teaching new riders.
Events volunteers are needed include:
Saturday, April 27th ECO FEST in Druid Hill Start time of 9:30 am and riding around the reservoir until 4 PM .
Wed, May 1st Rides Around the Reservoir in Druid Hill Park from 4PM until 8:30 PM
Thursday, May 2nd Rides Around Lake Kick Off at Lake Montebello from 4-:8:30 PM
Monday May 6th Rides Around the Reservoir in Druid Hill Park from 4PM until 8:30
If interested, please contact Molly Gallant at 443-984-4058 or molly.gallant (at) baltimorecity.gov
Worried about doing Bike to Work Day by yourself? Don’t worry, several ‘convoys’ are forming all over the Baltimore area. Join a group of riders on their way to work! The Baltimore Metropolitan Council has started a Convoys page online for anyone interested in making B2WD even more social.
- Meeting Point
- Departure Time
- Tentative Route
- Any intermediate meeting points along the route (with approximate time)
- Evening Departure Location and Time
New East Coast Greenway signs delineate the route through Baltimore on its way from Calais, Maine to Key West, Florida. The ECG Convention takes place in Baltimore on April 26th and 27th at the World Trade Center. Special thanks to Andy Hamilton (Mid-Atlantic coordinator) and Greg Hinchliffe (ECG Maryland Committee) for posting the signs!
Yesterday evening, a group of 4-5 teenagers targeted cyclists on the 1500 and 1600 block of Guilford Avenue. Several riders on Facebook reported attempted attacks, but the Carfree Baltimore blog posts an unfortunately situation. (This coming the same week he was able to ride after a nasty spill)
This ambush style assault should not be taken lightly on Guilford or anywhere else in the city. Call 911 as soon as it is safe to do so. As the weather warms, the chance for these incidents increases. If you experienced this on Guilford yesterday, please call 911 to provide information. The more police are notified of this problem, the more patrols will be increased to problematic areas.
Over 100 volunteers contributed a few hours on Saturday morning to help clean up Loch Raven Reservoir. Project Clean Stream was organized by MORE and DPW with sponsorship from REI, IMBA, Nationwide Insurance, The Hub and Andy Nelson’s. By pulling trash from Loch Raven, volunteers created three large piles of debris (one pictured above) which DPW will haul out this week.
For the second year, students at Poly Western High School held a used bike drive for Bikes for the World. Headed up locally by Joshua Spokes and Bob Armenti, last year the group collected 75 bikes in a few short hours. Operations Manager Nick Colombo was on had to take the collected bikes to the Rockville warehouse. In 2012, 25 shipping containers were sent oversees to non-governmental organizations to distribute the bikes, enabling others to use the bikes for transportation. Thanks to Josh, Bob & Nick for helping old bikes find a new home.
Team 26, on a ride from Newtown, Connecticut to Washington, DC stopped at Baltimore’s City Hall yesterday. They were joined by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake who presented the team with a proclamation in support of their efforts.
Baltimore’s bicycle economy continues to grow with the addition of Service Course Cycle Studio. Owner/mechanic Jason Wright opened Service Course last July at the corner of Belair Road and Taylor Avenue in the Overlea/Fullerton area of Baltimore. Jason specializes in bike repairs and supplies and hopes to expand to sales in the future. Having worked at several bike shops around Baltimore, Jason is also an emergency medical technician for Baltimore City’s Fire Department.
For hours or service, call 410-870-6301 or email email@example.com
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