The great thing about the holidays is less traffic to contend with. Fewer cars mean fewer close calls and a little more road space for group rides. So Christmas Eve morning is a good time for an urban mountain bike ride. This has been Phil Kennedy’s tradition for 10 years. Starting at 7 am from the edge of Rodgers Forge, this annual ride winds through the city for about 30 miles, spreading Christmas cheer along the way. With colder temps, ugly Christmas sweaters are an acceptable apparel.
This signal-optional ride with occasional salmoning is more easily done with knobby tires. Crossing the Melrose Avenue bridge, riding down the Roland Avenue median and hoping on the Stony Run trail, the group of 9 hit some usual Baltimore spots: Druid Lake, Graffiti Alley & Mt. Vernon Place. Riding down the stairs at Washington Monument is no problem for fat tires. Circling through the Westside and out to Bond Street wharf for the 1st break. Climbing up Caroline Street for another break at the corner of Greenmount and Chase (Google it), then over to Oliver to check out the future pump track site and try out some of the local obstacles. No Christmas ride is complete without a stop at 34th Street, then to check out the newer section of the Jones Falls Trail. Returning to the country, take Roland Heights Ave & Evans Chapel for an easier climb out of the valley. This ride is a very cool way to kick off the holidays!
The covered bike parking at Penn Station is now complete!
(Fate of plaza racks still unknown)
On Dec. 24th, Christmas Eve, the 10th Annual Phil Kennedy Urban Ride tours the city. Stage at 7:00am on Bellona Avenue at Cloister Gate Drive between Charles Street and Stevenson Lane. Ride returns to the starting point around 11:00 am.
Mountain bikes are recommended! You never know what steps we will race down or ledges we will jump off of. Exploring the city with knobby tires provides many options! Pace is casual, mood is festive.
The first ride is the annual Pajama Mountain Bike Ride on the trails of the Little Gunpowder Falls. Start at the “hillbilly beach” on Guyton Road just south of the intersection with Bottom Road. Parking is available along Bottom Road or at the Harford Road trailhead. Dress warmly in your pajamas at hit the trails at 9 am.
The Pajama Ride has been cancelled due to pending weather and thawing conditions. Sometimes the most responsible mountain bike ride is the one not taken.
The Baltimore Family Bike Party is headed back to Hampden and Wyman Park for a hilly and festive evening ride featuring a playground, a cruise down the Avenue, and a visit to the famous Miracle on 34th Street. As always, everyone is welcome from toddlers in bike seats or trailer to kids on two wheels to join the monthly family-friendly rides. Meetup at the Beech Avenue Playground (3510 Beech Avenue) on the western side of Wyman Park at 4pm. Remember: Bring lights, dress warm, bring friends. Details on the Facebook event page
The bike lanes on Walther Avenue are almost ready to be extended north. With lanes in place between Moravia Road and Parkside Drive, this extension will make bike travel more viable. Unlike the adjacent bike lane project, the installation of these lanes is following a proper sequence of construction. The parking restrictions on Walther Avenue during the PM rush hour, have been removed for more than a month. With on-street parking in place, motorists have had a longer time to prepare for the new travel lane allowances. Next, the bike lane signs were installed to further reinforce the coming improvements. Now, those parking on Walther are reminded not to park there between December 9th and December 20th for the pavement marking installation. Looks like cyclists in the northeast are getting an early Christmas present, so long as the weather cooperates.
It’s a good thing the bike party doesn’t have a complex. Some participants were overheard saying “Oh look at the baby bike party” and “Look how small the bike party is.” The chiller temps, Thanksgiving holiday and ‘winter mode’ operating rules kept the crowds small. Decked out in their finest sleepwear, the bike party left St. Mary’s Park in clusters heading to Druid Hill for the first stop; through Remington and Mt. Vernon and around Union Square. Don’t let the organization fool ya: The smaller bike party operating as a group of vehicular cyclists works surprisingly well.
Bundle up in your PJs and ride the Baltimore Bike Party at St. Mary’s Park 7 pm. The bike party operates in “winter mode” from November thru March. Check out the revised rules on the website or just ride like a vehicular cyclist. Either way, be safe and have fun.
Trail Conditions Pending!
Thanksgiving Day 2013 Annual Patapsco Valley State Park Turkey Ride
Meet at the Park n Ride at the end of 195 or along S. Rolling Rd.
The Early Show:
7am SHARP – wheels rolling at a fuzzy 7:15-ish time. 90 minute tour at a pace that will leave you extra guilt-free after your third plate at dinner.
The Big Show:
Meet around 8:45 and plan for a group photo lineup at 9. Then this thing usually spills down the trail, into the woods, and off in several directions. Try to ride with some of the friends you have seen the least over the past year – it could be the most fun. This ride often splits into several smaller groups and ride times vary from an hour to three or four. It is all about the fun factor.
The Gunpowder Valley Conservancy is offering a hands-on trail maintenance workshop in Gunpowder Falls State Park on the proper techniques of rock armoring and rolling grade dips to prevent sediment erosion. This FREE event is made possible by a conservation grant from Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), a partner with Gunpowder Valley Conservancy (GVC), and by partnerships forged with Gunpowder Falls State Park and the Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE) experts in trail maintenance.
No experience is necessary! All are welcome; middle, high, and college level students, REI employees, community residents, scouts, and trail users who care about our waterways and the Chesapeake Bay! Community service hours available ages 12 and up.
Meet at 9:45 am at the Graham Equestrian Center parking lot. Take I-695 to exit 31 Harford Rd. North. Go about 2 miles past the Joppa Rd. intersection staying on Harford Rd. Pass Cub Hill Rd. on your left. The entry to Equestrian Center is about 100 yards on right after Cub Hill intersection. Drive to end and park in gravel lot.
Wear sturdy shoes, bring a hat, gloves, and clothes that can get dirty. Bring your own lunch and water.
Volunteers must register by Nov. 20 (space limited to 40 volunteers). To register or for questions, contact Peggy Perry, Program Director of Gunpowder Valley Conservancy at 410-692-0468 or 443-415-7969 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .