Baltimore Bikeshare Up and Running

Grand Opening Celebration

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake accompanied by high rollers in Baltimore’s transportation and bicycling circles got together to pat themselves on the back for a job well done. How well done it was depends to who one talks to. I was happy to see some electric bikes on the street. Of course this all happened two months ago, so I hardly remember what anyone said. Everyone smiled a lot while saying what ever it was that was on their minds.

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Bike share bikes all in a row at City Hall.

After the speeches everyone jumped on a bike to head over to Harbor Place for a party. The Baltimore City Police were on hand to wave riders through intersections. It was quite a spectacle. I had to ask several people how to find the electric bikes. Would have thought that would have been part of the introduction. Anyway, there is a lightning bolt on the rear fender. Getting the thing started was a jerky affair. This might have something to do with my not having been on a bike in quite a long time. The assist comes on after a few revolutions of the crank. How many  revolutions is the mystery of the morning. Suffice it to say it works pretty well.

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The star of the day’s show!

I’ve only taken a ride on a couple of occasions. I am very much a fair weather rider. The bikes don’t handle like normal bikes – at least not like any bike I’ve ever ridden. They feel longer and heavier. Maybe more practice is the ticket. Traffic is the big limiter for me. Between the pot holes and frost heaves, it feels like I’m taking my life in my own hands. Add it insane downtown drivers and it becomes a white knuckle ride. The saving grace is the Maryland/Cathedral/Liberty bike track. Two way bike traffic sheltered from the kamikaze vroom vroom class by a row of parked cars and lots of painted white stripes is definitely the way to go. If anyone is listening, a bike track on Baltimore Street between Patterson Park in the east and Martin Luther King Blvd on the west would make my riding life a whole lot less nerve wrecking.

Stay tuned for more of my two wheeled adventures.

Charm City Gets a New Mayor

Baltimore@Random congratulates State Senator Cathy Pugh on her election as Mayor of Baltimore City. Mayor-elect Pugh has her work cut out for her. She faces a city divided. The divisions fall along lines of race and socioeconomic class in a city where developers seek tax advantages as a matter of entitlement while the effects of racial redlining criple the prospects of black and brown Baltimoreans.

We would like to acknowledge the efforts of Joshua Harris in running an ambitious campaign for Mayor. We hope to see more of this young man in the months and years to come.