When I go out of town, I bring a bike whenever I can, just so I can go exploring if I have a little spare time. A bike is the ideal platform to get a quick feel of a new place. This past week, that place was Baltimore.
The Inner Harbor is ringed by a multiuse trail, much in the same way as False Creek in Vancouver.
There are sections of this trail that are off limits to bikes during most of the day because of the high density of pedestrians. For part of this section, there is a segregated bike lane that parallels the path by the water.
Dropped by to check out Baltimore Bike Works, which is an interesting small shop that is cooperatively owned like Urbane Cyclist.
A left turn bike box, just like the ones just installed on Harbord at Shaw.
One of the other reasons I wanted to bring a bike was to check out a Thursday night social ride that was listed on Facebook.
Unfortunately, it was cold and rainy that evening, but I rode up to the starting point anyway, just in case someone would show up. I was starting to curse my decision at the appointed hour, when one lonely, wet cyclist rode up Cheers, Andrew) Within a few minutes, we were joined by a few more hardy souls.
It was decided that we would do a short ride to a bar and then call it a night.
We cut short the ride, and opted for a closer bar in Fell’s Point. It was fun to warm up and have a few drinks. It was the first time in a while that I had been out and about with a young enough crowd that some of them were carded.
At any rate, it was great to learn a little about the bike scene in Baltimore, which seems pretty lively. I was told that there was a Wednesday night ride that was faster. Also, they’ve rebranded their Critical Mass as the Baltimore Bike Party, and have managed to get more cyclists out this way. Note from this post that they sometimes have paid for police escort, and funded this through post ride beer sales. Pretty interesting way to run a ride.
We also shared common concerns about the lack of bike infrastructure. They assumed that we’re better off in Toronto, but from what I saw, the two cities are roughly on par. A quick glance at the official map shows a network that suffers from a lack of connectivity, and a notable lack of any bike lanes in the central area of downtown. We also swapped stories about cyclists getting hit or killed but still viewed as collateral damage.
All in all, the ride was a perfect way to cap off the week. It reinforced all our views that as cyclists, we share common concerns where ever we are.
Ride on Baltimore, and stay safe!