Last night, a group of about 200 cyclists gathered at City Hall for this year’s Bob Moore Memorial Moonlight Madness Ride. It didn’t take us long to get organized and we rolled out at 8:15 through the famous neon of 400 E. Baltimore St. The cyclists’ presence was making a difference immediately. Cheers came up from the local crowd as bike bells echoed.
No bike ride is complete without experiencing a car parking in the Pratt St bike lane. I can guarentee the two offenders last night will think twice before parking there again. Around the harbor and into Federal Hill, more cheers came up from the crowds along Cross St. Continuing up Charles St, I was amazed (and proud) to see the fleet of cyclists “staying to the right and keeping it tight!” allowing vehicular traffic to pass on the left.
We took several breaks along the way for regroup and refresh: Fed Hill, Penn Station, Moorish Tower, & Dolphin St.
When I designed this route, I wanted to keep it short to encourage beginners, but also go where cyclists normally do not ride. The highlight of the ride for me was interacting with the communities enjoying a cool summer night on the stoops of Madison Ave, Chase St and Broadway. Kids came out to slap hands, pleasantries were exchanged and some awe was struck in the locals seeing the stream of blinking lights, hearing the swirl of freehubs as Baltimore’s bike community rolled through. Even Baltimore’s finest seemed pleasantly surprised at the sight.
Given the recent bike news, this is what Baltimore needed, and not just the cyclists: A show of community that the streets can be safe for cyclists, pedestrians and residents alike. This ride also showed the cyclists can share the road responsibly with cars and minimally affect traffic.
A repeated comment I heard last night: “We need to do this more often!” Let’s plan on it.
Did you ride last night or see the ride? What did ya think?