Bicycling Magazine has released it's list of the top 50 most "bike friendly" cities in the US with a population over 100,000. My very own Bmore just made the cut at 48.
Hey, it's a start.
The week I moved here in May of 2007 I read an article in the Urbanite saying there were (seriously) 6 MILES of bike lanes in the entire city. This is compared to cities like the No. 4 ranked Seattle that has a master plan to add 450 miles of bike lanes.The worst part was that number was a bit of an over estimate because if a block had bike path on both sides of the street it would be counted as 2 blocks of bike path. This makes some sense but it definitely changes the meaning of "6 miles".
But at any rate things are noticeably better now; there are more bike lanes and bike racks going up every month. In my opinion though the crux of the Baltimore biking problem is center city. Many of the neighborhoods in the city are easily navigable by bike but if you have to cross through the city center it becomes a free-for-all. Anyone who has tried to navigate the maze of one-way streets to get from Fells Point, around the harbor and into Fed Hill by bike without riding on the sidewalk knows what I'm talking about.
One of the things I think is interesting is that while Baltimore city is not very "bike friendly" the surrounding area is tremendously rich in cycling opportunities for more fitness-minded looking to get a workout in on the roads or trails. There is a long list of state parks and country roads that are great for training. So much so that while my alma mater UW may be in No. 7th ranked Madison, WI -- they have nothing on our rolling roads and mtb trails.
But regardless of our ranking the mid-atlanic spring is in full swing with temperatures in the 70s and trees in full blossom. It's a simply perfect outside.
Get out there and ride!