baltimoresun.com

December 9, 2011

Oh dear. The Internet is upside-down again.

In the loopy world of blogs, this is the first post you'll see. For us, it's the last.

From the time this blog launched with several contributors, it has always been in a bit of a gerrymandered space between the sports and health worlds, with some transportation and food thrown in.

We've lost some voices in the year since then, so it's with some relief that those of us still active move to Picture of Health this month. We hope you'll come with us so we won't have to miss you.

It's been fun. Thanks for all the comments!

Photo credit: Getty Images

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 6:09 AM | | Comments (2)
        

November 18, 2011

Annapolis bicycle plan

You bicycle? In Annapolis?

A proposed master plan lays out the creation of 30-plus miles of linked, marked trails and routes for getting around the city on two wheels.

The City Council will soon be asked to adopt the document for planning purposes.
The idea is promote bicycling for transportation and fun. Click here for our article.

Posted by Andrea Siegel at 10:15 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Bicycling, Safety, Traffic
        

October 11, 2011

Antelope tackles mountain biker

Evan van der Spuy was competing in the Time Freight Express mountain bike race in South Africa last weekend when he became the target of a 300-pound Red Hartebeest. His teammate, Travis Walker, caught the open field tackle on his GoPro helmet cam. Van der Spuy was shaken up but his helmet took the brunt of the damage.

Thankfully, Maryland's wildlife seems a bit less aggressive, though I was almost taken out by a squirrel last year.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 10:53 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

September 21, 2011

Richmond to host 2015 World Road Cycling Championships

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After almost a three decade hiatus, the UCI World Road Cycling Championships will be returning to the United States. The UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale,) cycling's governing body, announced today that Richmond has been named the host city for the 2015 championship.

The only previous U.S. venue was Colorado Springs in 1986. The announcement was made at today's time trial in Copenhagen, Denmark, in which Tony Martin (above) of Germany dethroned 4-time winner Fabian Cancellara, who was relegated to third behind Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain.

 (Reuters photo)

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 1:08 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Bicycling
        

September 2, 2011

NYC cyclist makes his point... the hard way

After getting a $50 ticket for not riding his bike in a bike lane, Casey Neistat made this painful video showing that bike lanes are not always the safest place to ride.

 

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 8:19 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Bicycling, City of Baltimore
        

August 29, 2011

USA Pro Cycling Challenge recap, stage by stage

A USA Pro Cycling Challenge stage

While we were all paying attention to Hurricane Irene, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge came to a close over the weekend, after a final stage that finished in Denver. American Levi Leipheimer beat out the likes of Cadel Evans, Andy Schleck and other international stars to win the inaugural race.

For those who missed the details, here's a quick, stage-by-stage roundup of the week-long event:

Continue reading "USA Pro Cycling Challenge recap, stage by stage" »

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 11:38 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

August 1, 2011

Another contraflow bike lane opens in Little Italy

The Fawn Street contraflow bike lane in Little Italy is now open. This setup will allow cyclists to go against traffic on what for cars is a one-way street.

The video after the jump is from Washington, not Baltimore, and it's a bit long, but it gives some good examples of how certain parts of a traffic system can take awhile to catch up with contraflow lane markings.

Continue reading "Another contraflow bike lane opens in Little Italy" »

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 2:24 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

July 24, 2011

What would trigger more interest in the Tour?

I have to admit that I haven't followed the Tour de France closely. I think I'm like many Americans in that I usually pay a bit of attention to the first couple of stages, then zone out until the last few days. I say that as a bike commuter, and I wish all the best for the sport, but if I'm going to be honest, I have to rate my enthusiasm for long cycling races as tepid at best.


More Tour coverage here

With that disclaimer out of the way, I was surprised by how strongly my spouse denounced the Tour when it came up in conversation tonight. I had hoped that despite Australian Cadel Evans' eventual win, the presence of a German stage winner in this year's tour might sway my spouse, who has family in Rheinland-Pfalz, into being less bored with the sport. She was having none of that, and is as unimpressed as ever.

So my question for Tour non-fans is this: If nationality of winners isn't the biggest factor in whether you like or dislike a world-level sporting event, what is? I was at a world-cup-finals-watching-party last week. What would make you add or drop a finals-watching party for a given sport on your summer social schedule?

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 7:50 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Bicycling
        

July 22, 2011

Tour Du Port registration is open

Registration has opened for this year's Tour Du Port. From Baltimore Velo:

The ride will take place on Sunday, October 9, and it comes in 65, 50, 40, 23 and 13 mile flavors.

It’s $36 for a regular registration and $17 for students. Proceeds support Bike Maryland.

See Jerry Jackson's race report from last year's event here.

More from the official site here.

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 11:54 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

June 27, 2011

Survey on local biking

Nate Evans, the city's bicycle planning guru, put up today a post on his blog that links to a new statewide survey for cyclists.

The possible answers to the survey questions include one of my favorite well-meaning obfuscations ever: "On a paved path shared with pedestrians, next to a road." While there are a few potential exceptions, I believe the word they're generally searching for is "sidewalk."

I rag on their language, but if you get a few minutes this week, I encourage you to check it out. I might even do so myself, browsing through the questions with the aid of my trusty desk-based computer pointing device made of hardened molded plastic and meant for manual use.

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 12:35 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

June 26, 2011

Headed for Ohio?

Some of my favorite moments in Ohio involved writing for the Xenia Gazette and Fairborn Daily Herald, a small set of papers southeast of Dayton.

One of the reasons for that was the town's unique relationship to its trails: Xenia considers itself the bicycle capital of the Midwest, and I had the luxury of biking to work without ever battling traffic on some days. The yearly Greene Trails Cycling Classic is one of the county's biggest events, and while it probably won't impress seasoned competitors, the tour is very accessible for people doing their first big event. Registration is cheap until the end of the month at http://www.greenetrailsclassic.com/

(There are also some decent prices to be had: Three bike shops in a rural town of under 30,000 means lots of competition for bike buyers.)

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 7:22 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Bicycling
        

June 25, 2011

RAAM update: Leah Goldstein finishes

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Former pro cyclist Leah Goldstein rolled into Annapolis Saturday evening as this year's first female solo rider to finish the Race Across America. After 2900 miles and eleven days on the bike she was still looking pretty strong climbing the rolling hills south of Mt Airy this afternoon when I caught up with her.

Ten male solo riders have finished so far as have a number of relay teams. If you are around city dock in Annapolis Sunday you can expect to hear some cowbells. Many of the remaining 37 teams are expected to arrive throughout the day.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 8:50 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

June 23, 2011

RAAM update: Strasser expected to finish tonight

Austrian Christoph Strasser pedaled through western Maryland this morning in his quest to win the 30th edition of the Race Across America. Strasser took only a 20-minute nap last night and is currently projected to finish at city dock in Annapolis around 11 P.M. tonight. He left Oceanside, California, on June 15th.

The race for second place looks like it could be a virtual sprint tomorrow. After 2600 miles of racing Marko Baloh, Gerhard Gulewicz and Alberto Blanco passed through Grafton, WV, in the same hour. They are projected to finish between 1 and 2 P.M. Friday.

Several of the 4- and 8-person relay teams are also expected in Annapolis early tomorrow morning.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 4:10 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

June 21, 2011

They're coming! Beware the zombie bikers.

After pedaling almost 3000 miles from Oceanside, California, the first of the Race Across America (RAAM) solo riders is expected to cross the finish line at city dock in Annapolis on Thursday, just eight days after they started.

The current leader, Austrian Christoph Strasser, is on pace to challenge a 25-year-old average speed record of 15.4 mph. Although he has more than 100-mile lead over his closest rival, Marko Baloh, the race is still to close to call.

Often competing with an hour or less of rest a day, sleep deprivation eventually catches up with most riders in the final days of the race in the form of hallucinations. Five-time winner Jure Robic talked of bears and aliens on the roadside and jumping off his bike to battle demons that turned out to be mailboxes.

Alberto Blanco, currently 3rd in this year's race, is dealing with another common RAAM malady, Shermer's Neck, named for rider Michael Shermer whose neck muscles gave out suddenly 2000 miles into the 1983 race. His head dropped, making it impossible for him to look up. Blanco is keeping his head up, literally, with duct tape and a backpack frame.

The route for this year's race has the riders crossing Garrett and Allegheny counties, then into Pennsylvania. It reenters Maryland on Highway 94 and riders will pass through Manchester, Westminster, Mt Airy, Laurel and Odenton before finishing in Annapolis. Riders will be finishing over the course of several days but estimated checkpoint and finish times can be found on the RAAM site.

 

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 11:58 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Bicycling
        

June 17, 2011

Combine exercise with commuting

If you’ve been thinking of combining exercise with getting to work by bicycle, an "A Smarter Way to Get There" workshop this month may be for you.

A free primer on bicycle commuting, Smarter Way part of an initiative to promote transportation options for Harbor East and other waterfront locales in Baltimore.

The 2-hour workshop will start at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 30 at 650 S. Exeter St., Seventh floor courtyard.

Topics include good-to-know-info: choosing equipment, routes and safety. Another good reason to go is that everyone who does will be entered to win a TREK 700 hybrid bike.

Registration is required. Email beth@waterfrontpartnership.org or call (443) 743-3308.

Sponsors: Waterfront Partnership and Bike Maryland.


Posted by Andrea Siegel at 6:50 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, City of Baltimore, Events, Newbies, Traffic
        

June 9, 2011

Bicycle master plan for Annapolis

If you bicycle around Annapolis and you haven't already put your two-cents in for the master bicycle plan, do it online this weekend.

The city of Annapolis is working on a creating a long-term bicycle transportation blueprint. Traffic, safety and signs are among things you can point out.

Go to the interactive map here

To sign on: username is “Annapolis” and the Password is “bikeplan” -- you can put in a route as well as your comments. Input will be accepted until June 13.

Posted by Andrea Siegel at 12:06 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, Traffic
        

June 8, 2011

Conservancy to Cardin: Don't defund us, bro

The Rails to Trails Conservancy sent out an e-mail blast to supporters this morning in hopes of giving Sen. Ben Cardin an earful from walkers, runners and cyclists.

Here's a piece of the missive:

Continue reading "Conservancy to Cardin: Don't defund us, bro" »

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 12:24 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, Outdoors, Politics, Running, Safety, Traffic, Walking, Washington
        

May 23, 2011

Win a free towel: Tell us why Biking is so darned manly

How manly is cycling? Walking and cycling are struggled to grow as transportation options in America over the last 10 years, according to a Reuters article published this morning, with most of the growth occuring among men.

Some other groups have even reported losses, with a Rutgers researcher bemoaning the lack of participation among non-males and those without means.

From today's article:

Continue reading "Win a free towel: Tell us why Biking is so darned manly" »

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 10:57 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Bicycling, Outdoors, Safety, Traffic, Walking
        

May 20, 2011

Annapolis bicycle plan

The city of Annapolis is working on a master plan for bicycle routes, with the goal of creating a long-term bicycle transportation blueprint.

To get involved:

Go to an interactive map at communitywalk.com/annapolisBikePlan. Sign on: username is “Annapolis” and the Password is “bikeplan” -- you can put in a route as well as your comments. Input will be accepted until June 13. There are also two public workshops scheduled. Both are set for Thursday (that's May 26) at the Market House at City Dock. Times: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the presentation at noon, and 6 to 9 p.m. with the presentation at 7 p.m.

More info is at ci.annapolis.md.us/Home.aspx


Posted by Andrea Siegel at 11:55 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

May 3, 2011

Kicking off National Bike Month

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Kennedy Krieger's ROAR bike ride was a great way to kick off National Bike Month. Hundreds of cyclists rode out of Oregon Ridge on Sunday morning to raise money for autism research.

My wife Karen and I rode our tandem on a fairly hilly 50-mile route through northern Baltimore County. As this was the seventh year for ROAR, the organizers know how to put on a bike ride. The routes were well marked and the aid stations were well stocked and staffed by exceptional volunteers.

Photo: Claire Donehower, (from front) Brent Johnson, Melanie DuBard and Matt Augustin crest a hill on Mount Carmel Road while participating in ROAR.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 4:25 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Bicycling
        

April 29, 2011

Triathlon in Annapolis & Anne Arundel County

A new triathlon is in the offing for May 14 in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. It’s the inaugural TriRock Annapolis Sprint Triathlon.

The event will start with a swim in the Annapolis Harbor, followed by a 12.4-mile bike ride that will end at the foot of City Dock.

A 5K run, the last leg, will loop through city streets. Organizers expect the event to attract about 1,500 to 1,800 participants and as many as 2,000 spectators. Start time is expected to be at 7 a.m. and city officials say the breakdown of portable facilities should be done by around 5 p.m.

For event information and more, click here.

 

Posted by Andrea Siegel at 6:00 AM | | Comments (1)
        

April 14, 2011

Tidbits: Boston Marathon updates; event questions; Lel in London

As we enter the weekend of the Boston Marathon, we've posted an updating feed of marathon tweets on the right portion of this blog (courtesy of Runner's World via Candus Thomson).

Continue reading "Tidbits: Boston Marathon updates; event questions; Lel in London" »

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 1:24 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, Running
        

April 13, 2011

BIke Month Events

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 May is National Bike Month and there are plenty of events in Baltimore to keep your wheels turning.

All month long the Bike Baltimore and CityCommute programs are hosting the Bike Month Challenge where participants earn points by bicycle commuting and participating in bike month events.

May 1 -  Kennedy Krieger Institute's 7th annual ROAR starts at Oregon Ridge Park with rides of 5, 10, 25, and 50 miles. The fundraiser benefits autism research.

May 5 - Bike Maryland is hosting a bike commuting workshop at Race Pace Bicycles. Year-round commuter Tom Blanks will share strategies for riding safely in traffic, dressing and packing work clothes.

May 7 - The American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) will hold the 13th annual Kinetic Sculpture Race at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The eight-hour race covers 15 miles—mostly on pavement, but also including a trip into the Chesapeake Bay and through mud and sand.

May 14 - Ride for the Feast is a 2-day, 140-mile charity bike ride from Ocean City to Baltimore that raises money for Movable Feast

May 15 - Southbound Roland Avenue will be car free from  8:00am - 1:00pm for the 3rd Roland Ave Cyclovia put on by the Roland Park Civic League.

May 20 - Bike commuting is easier than you might think and Bike to Work Day is a excellent excuse to give it a try. Cyclists will meet at several rally sites throughout the region.

May 28 - Patterson Park will once again be the stage for the festival of cycling that is BikeJam. In addition to a day of exciting races, the festival includes recreational rides, a bicycle stunt show and live music.

Bike to Work Day 2010 photo by Kim Hairston

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 1:35 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Bicycling
        

April 4, 2011

Bike DC registration is open

Early registration is open for Bike DC, the late May event in Washington that includes a bike-only freeway ride.

Continue reading "Bike DC registration is open" »

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 10:01 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

March 29, 2011

Shooting near B&A trail

Sun reporter Don Markus has a couple updates on the man shot outside a Ritchie Highway mall. From Markus' article:

Continue reading "Shooting near B&A trail" »

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 4:53 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, Outdoors, Running, Safety, Walking, Weekend
        

March 28, 2011

Coming soon: Bike sharing in Baltimore

Baltimore is in the final stages of selecting a vendor for a bike-sharing program.

Baltimore lagged a bit behind its neighbors in the Zipcar department -- we finally got them last summer, long after Washington and Philadelphia -- but it looks like we might not be so poky when it comes to an organized system of public bikes for pay.

Continue reading "Coming soon: Bike sharing in Baltimore" »

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 11:49 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, City of Baltimore, Newbies, Outdoors, Traffic, Washington
        

March 23, 2011

Vogel family completes epic bike adventure

08070803.jpg I am expecting to get my family out on a multi-day bike trip this summer but can only daydream about a trip like the Vogel family just completed.

Tierra%20del%20Fuego.jpgIn June of 2008, John and Nancy Vogel packed up their house in the suburbs of Boise, Idaho, and took their eleven-year-old twins, Davy and Daryl, to bike the Pan American Highway from Alaska to Argentina.

Both parents, experienced teachers, "roadschooled" their boys along the way and shared their experiences with other school children through Reach the World

They arrived in Tierra del Fuego on Monday, two-and-a-half years and more than 17,000 miles later. Davy and Daryl, now 13, are the youngest cyclists to complete the Pan-American Highway.

The family's website documents their incredible journey.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 10:42 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

February 16, 2011

Lance Armstrong: Retirement 2.0

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Lance Armstrong says his professional cycling career is over, and this time he really means it.

A month after a lackluster finish in the Tour Down Under, Armstrong tells the Associated Press that he has no regrets about coming out of retirement in 2008 and trying for an 8th Tour de France win. "It’s been an excellent ride. I really thought I was going to win another Tour,” Armstrong said in an interview in Austin. “Then I lined up like everybody else and wound up third.”

Although his seven Tour de France victories constitute a record, Armstrong's career has been dogged by allegations of doping in his former US Postal team. He is currently being investigated by FDA special agent Jeff Novitzky and fresh allegations surfaced in Sports Illustrated last month.

 AFP photo

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 7:25 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

February 15, 2011

Contador aquitted by Spanish Cycling Federation

REU%20CYCLING%3ACONTADOR.jpg Spanish media is reporting that three time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador will have his one-year ban for failing a dope test lifted on appeal by the Spanish Cycling Federation.

Contador’s future has been in limbo since he tested positive for minute traces of the banned substance clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France.

Professional cycling's governing body, the International Cycling Union, will have a month to decide if they agree with the Spanish organization's decision.

update: Cycling News has an English version. According to a press release, Contador will start racing again tomorrow in southern Portugal in the Volta ao Algarve

Reuters photo by Andrea Comas

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 10:53 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

February 1, 2011

New bike shop coming to South Baltimore

A friend recently tipped me off to a new bike shop opening in South Baltimore.

According to its website, Race Pace Bicycles, which already has five locations in the area (though none in the city) will be opening a location on Key Highway in March

The shop will be across the street from Little Havana and the BMI.

I'm an occasional recreational cyclist at best, and I have to admit, I am almost always intimidated when I go into a bike store, but it's still great to hear of a new shop in the hood. I've still not been to Hampden's new-ish bike shop, Twenty20 Cycling. But if one more opens in the city, we can call it a trend!

Seriously though, as our triathlon training gets going, I'm sure I'll be grateful for all our options. 

 

 

 

 

Posted by Anica Butler at 11:46 AM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Bicycling
        

January 31, 2011

Update on those electricity-generating bikes

The Green Revolution bike modification company that I wrote about here and here hasn't approached the Maryland Athletic Club, according to the the club's head of personal training programs, Jeff Urban, but he says he's intrigued by the idea.

Urban, who is relatively new to the MAC after a long career elsewhere, told me this morning that the trend he's seen in equipment lately has been away from specialized, high-tech solutions and back toward the basics, with "a lot of studio facilities that have popped up; they'll include bars, weights, ropes and pulleys."

Continue reading "Update on those electricity-generating bikes" »

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 1:59 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, General Fitness, Gym, Technology
        

January 29, 2011

More fun than blowing at windmills

In a nearly-dark room, a crowd of people perspire over their labors, feeding the metal machines around them. A taskmaster stands in front of the group, illuminated by a glowing screen that displays their collective output in watts, constantly egging them toward a more productive work session.

It's not a Fritz Lang dystopia or an Apple commercial: It's a Howard County spinning class on a Saturday morning, and the people seem to be enjoying it quite a bit, thank you.

We'll be publishing more details in a day or two, but for now, the basics are that the Columbia Athletic Club installed more than two dozen new bikes in November. Those bikes were then modified by a Connecticut company, which added generators to the mix, along with an inverter -- a file cabinet-sized device that allows the bikes to feed energy back into the public grid.

Continue reading "More fun than blowing at windmills" »

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 4:40 PM | | Comments (1)
        

January 27, 2011

Report: Strange lines help at trail crossings

As a bit of a companion to last week's post about trail/road intersections, here's some new information: In Virginia, a test of lines on the road -- some a bit bizarre -- at trail intersections appears to be a success.

Continue reading "Report: Strange lines help at trail crossings" »

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 4:25 PM | | Comments (0)
        

January 25, 2011

New events in the area include a race at Cylburn Arboretum, Ho.Co. Duathlon

I've had e-mails for a few new events pop up in my e-mail box recently. 

First, Falls Road Running Store will be hosting a 5k at Cylburn Arboretum in April. Spring will be beautiful at the arboretum, and even though I'd sworn off 5ks, the setting might make this one worth it.

Here's what the store's e-mail had to say about it:

We have a new event in Baltimore City -- The Paths of Cylburn 5K on April 10th.   This is one of Baltimore's  best kept secrets, garden paths and wooded trails in Baltimore City.  

Registration is now open at the links above.

Another event that I wish I'd known about before I, in a moment of insanity, signed up for a triathlon is the DUthe2, a duathlon in Howard County

The DUthe2 is on August 7, and consists of a two mile run, a 26-mile bike, followed by a four mile run. I believe this is a new event, but can't tell from the website.

Also, in my inbox, was the list of Falls Road-sponsored races for this year. Here it is:

3/12/2011       St Patrick's Pub Run
4/10/2011       Paths of Cylburn
6/25/2011       Dreaded Druid Hills 10K
8/13/2011       Full Moon Run
10/2/2011       Falls Road 15K
11/24/2011      Gobble Cobble Turkey Trot
12/17/2011      Celtic Solstice Five Miler
 
 
Posted by Anica Butler at 12:15 PM | | Comments (1)
        

January 24, 2011

Cyclo-cross season comes to a close

Cyclocross in Our Words - Pt. 1 from Jim Fryer/BrakeThrough Media on Vimeo.

Cyclo-cross season will be coming to a close with the world championships in Germany next weekend so here is a tribute to the hard core cyclists that make pain look like fun.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 1:04 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

January 20, 2011

Trail crossings: Are safety gains worth a few trade-offs?

There's a fantastic little debate going on right now over at Wash Cycle about whether right-of-way is sometimes a curse for cyclists and pedestrians. To briefly paraphrase the author's point: Signage at certain trail crossings breed ambiguity and danger, so it's worth arguing that planners removing white crosswalk lines from some mid-block crossings might actually be doing cyclists a favor in terms of safety, regardless of whether it's legal or bike-friendly to do so.

To be honest, the conversation has way too many subtleties to re-voice here without simply duplicating most of the source post. I strongly suggest a look at Wash Cycle's version. It's quite interesting.

Posted by baltimoresun.com at 11:21 AM | | Comments (0)
        

January 18, 2011

Lunch deal for Baltimore cyclists

Talara, at President and Fleet streets, is hosting a lunch for bike riders next week. From Bike Baltimore:

Next Tuesday, join us in Harbor East for our next BIKE RIDE & LUNCH! Leaving Katyn Circle at Noon, we’ll take a spin around downtown and have lunch at Talara for only $12. If you bring your own bike, lunch is only $8.

Read BB article >>

I'm a big fan of restaurant/exercise partnerships, as each makes the other more desirable. I especially look forward to the day that my local skating rink sets up a deal with the pizza place down the street. That would be heaven.

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 1:16 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

January 11, 2011

Volunteers are counting bikes around town

According to Bike Baltimore, a corps of volunteers is now taking part in a winter bike count. From the blog:

Don’t let the stinging Baltimore wind alter your commute! This week DOT volunteers are out in cold counting bikes at 4 locations. If you ride by Guilford & Mt. Royal, Aliceanna & Boston, Falls & Maryland or Frederick & Gwynns Falls Trail, say ‘thanks’ to those documenting Baltimore’s bicycle traffic! (Some hot chocolate would be nice as well).
Read full entry at BB>>

I'm not sure how I feel about potentially skewing (or even appearing to skew) results with hot chocolate, but I definitely find this to be an interesting project. I can't wait to see the results they get.

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 9:57 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

January 7, 2011

Vacation fitness

Something to consider in business and vacation travel planning: nice hotel gyms.

Many hotel gyms have gotten an upgrade from the dingy closet-like afterthought with three iffy pieces of equipment to a well-kept, spacious fitness center -- if not in the hotel, then a pass to a nearby one. Some hotels tout them on their web sites along with other amenities they've improved in recent years, like the addition of Wi-Fi.

Most don't charge extra, unless that's their arrangement with a fitness center or pool within walking distance -- but you should always ask if there's a charge. Some hotels lend bicycles and fitness gear to guests -- but again, ask about a charge.

Looking for more on this trend? Click here.

And click here

Posted by Andrea Siegel at 6:00 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Articles/Reports, Bicycling, General Fitness, Gym, Newbies
        

December 30, 2010

Lofty goals for 2011

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I have not always been big on new year's resolutions and have usually forgotten the few I have made by the end of January. But, last year, instead of giving up soda, a resolution I managed to keep for only three months, I decided to set a cycling mileage goal for the year.

According to my bike computer I had logged in the neighborhood of 3500 miles a year in past years but had not kept very good records. So, I figured 5000 miles for the year was an achievable goal, especially broken down into bite-sized pieces. I only had to average 416 miles per month or 13.6 miles per day, roughly my round-trip commute to work.

The key to sticking to my goal was to record my daily mileage on a calendar, focusing on staying ahead of weekly and monthly targets. I also found that picking a few long distance events and registering early was a good way to maintain focus.

I ended up hitting the 5000-mile mark in mid September while riding the Civil War Century. I have slacked off a bit since then but will have about 6300 miles for the year - by far, my biggest year ever.

So what's next?

Continue reading "Lofty goals for 2011" »

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 10:15 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Bicycling, Running, Triathlon
        

December 1, 2010

Tops in fitness: Share your thoughts

Where's your go-to place for a long run? What's the area's best-equipped gym, most accessible swimming facility, hottest new exercise class?

We're hoping that over the next 10 weeks, you can help us figure out the answers to those questions and more. 

Next week, we'll launch 10 weeks of fitness Top 10s. We'll list a topic, take your suggestions, add some ideas of our own, and compile them into lists. 

We're tentatively thinking of listing places for running, biking swimming and doing yoga. But we're also considering top recreation sports (and leagues), places to hike, best non-traditional fitness, best classes.

If you're got some ideas for a top 10, or if there's anything you'd like to see, let us know! 

Posted by Anica Butler at 8:00 AM | | Comments (2)
        

November 29, 2010

This is why they hate us....

Broadway Bombing 2010 from crihs on Vimeo.

This point-of-view video from a recent alley cat race in New York City was posted on the web last Friday. This guy appears to be exactly the type of cyclist that NYC's "Don't Be A Jerk" campaign is aimed at.

Although very few cyclists treat the streets as their personal playground, it is this type of behavior that motorists and pedestrians remember.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 6:44 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

NYC's bike boxes

While browsing through an NYC bike education flier -- part of the city's "don't be a jerk" program, via a weekend post on Greater Greater Washington -- I noticed something intriguing. From the pamphlet:

Using a Bike Box

Bike boxes increase the visibility of cyclists stopped at red lights. Only use a bike box when you approach the intersection at a red light.

You can also use bike boxes when making right turns; position yourself in front of the cars. Make the turn when the light turns green.

View the source material here >>

I don't necessarily agree with the tone of NYC's "don't be a jerk" campaign as a whole -- as one GGW commenter put it, chastising the masses in hopes of educating a few out-of-line cyclists can be "as pointless as complaining about violent pedestrians because somebody once mugged you and he was on foot" -- but I definitely like what I see in the this particular flier.

(Edit: Jerry Jackson has an interesting take on my sentiment about the campaign here)

Continue reading "NYC's bike boxes" »

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 11:29 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Bicycling, Safety, Traffic
        

E-Bikes: Turning the pedals with a little help

e-bikes.jpg While much of the transportation industry seems to be focused on electric cars this year, another electric vehicle is increasing in numbers on city streets – the e-bike. An e-bike, is a bicycle that incorporates an electric motor to assist a rider’s power output. Already popular in Asia with 21 million sold last year in China alone, e-bikes have struggled to find space in our car-centric culture.


Last month, when I was offered the chance to try out the latest in e-bikes, I was somewhat hesitant. Having logged 6,000 miles this year on my collection of human powered bikes, I am decidedly not the target demographic for a battery-assisted bicycle. The idea of a using any kind of motor on bike somehow seemed like cheating. But, I figure that anything that encourages people to get out of their cars and get some exercise deserves a  second look.

Continue reading "E-Bikes: Turning the pedals with a little help" »

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 1:00 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Bicycling
        

November 15, 2010

Daydreaming about Epic Rides

RAGBRAI.VOLGA.jpg

I got a note today that registration is now open for RAGBRAI XXXIX, the 39th version of the Des Moines Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. It has me thinking about all of the epics on my to-do list and how I need to start checking a few more of them off.

My brother Paul and I rode RAGBRAI X 29-years ago when we were 13 and 14 respectively. Our mom must have been little nuts dropping us off in Akron, Iowa, expecting to pick us up 7 days and 523-miles later in Davenport. We had an incredible adventure shared with 10,000 of the nicest strangers you could hope to meet on two-wheels.

Since then I have logged a lot of mileage but very few multi-day epic rides. One day, in the next couple of years, I hope to return to RAGBRAI with my kids.

Below are some more of the big rides on my dream list. Feel free to offer up your favorites in the comments and I will add them to the list.

Continue reading "Daydreaming about Epic Rides" »

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 1:00 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Bicycling
        

November 9, 2010

Biking on the Big Screen

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Life Cycles, an artfully filmed ode to the mountain bike, will be shown Saturday, November 20, at 6 P.M. at MICA's Falvey Hall, 1300 W. Mount Royal Ave. Tickets are $10 at the door, free for MICA students with an ID.

Life Cycles OFFICIAL Trailer from Life Cycles on Vimeo.

A Facebook page for the event is here.

Also, there is one more opportunity to see Race Across the Sky 2010, the feature length documentary on this year's Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race. There are a 7:30 showings tonight in Bel Air and Columbia.

Finally, congratulations to Becky of Odenton who won the Lights & Motion Vis180 for commenting on the tail light review. Keep checking back for future giveaways.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 8:58 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Bicycling
        

November 8, 2010

A week after election, Maryland walking issues remain

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James T. Smith started the rebuilding of this pedestrian bridge in Baltimore County. It will now be up to Kevin Kamenetz to finish it.
Baltimore Sun photo by Lloyd Fox.

Last week's gubernatorial election results will influence a bunch of well-documented transportation issues, including construction of the red and purple lines and the completion of the ICC. Michael Dresser wrote about the transit part of that last week, and he covered the ICC topic in today's paper.

On a more local level, here are a few projects that are likely to be influenced by election results:

Continue reading "A week after election, Maryland walking issues remain" »

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 11:01 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, Politics, Running, Walking
        

A new goal: We're tackling the Celebration triathlon

I can't remember exactly how it came up, but some time ago, Jerry, our resident cyclist, Leeann, my swimming mentor, and I started talking about doing a triathlon. Wouldn't it be fun to stretch ourselves and try to get better in sports that we don't think of as our "main" sport? 

Well, the day of reckoning is upon us. Today, Jerry, Leeann, Patrick and I are planning to sign up for Columbia's Celebration sprint triathlon

I can't speak for the whole crew, but for me, this will be my first triathlon, and I realize I may be in over my head. (I just started taking swim lessons two weeks ago!) But it's fun to have a goal to work toward.

Often, during the winter, I feel myself losing much of the fitness gains I've made during the summer and fall. It's easy to hibernate, eat too much, and cut back on working out. Even though the triathlon isn't until June 2011, I'm hoping that just knowing I have such a daunting event coming up will keep me motivated during the colder months. It'll keep me in the pool, that's for sure!

So, at some point early next spring, expect us to blog about our training, and of course, about the event itself. We're kicking around some ideas to include readers in our training. If you have any ideas let us know!

In the meantime, I'll be in the pool.
Posted by Anica Butler at 8:45 AM | | Comments (2)
        

November 4, 2010

Race Across the Sky 2010

If you are looking to tackle an epic race in the future and looking for some inspiration, several area theaters are showing Race Across the Sky 2010 tonight at 8:30 P.M.

The movie documents the 2010 Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race, a grueling 100-mile race at high altitude in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. More than 1200 riders lined up in the former mining town to brave the elements and and a course featuring 14,000 vertical feet of climbing. 

 

 

Race Across The Sky 2010 from Citizen Pictures on Vimeo.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 1:16 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

A Fair Hill weekend

Fair_Hill_Biking.jpg

 

Fair Hill looks like the place to be this weekend if you like to get dirty on two wheels.

A former DuPont Estate bordering Pennsylvania and Delaware, Fair Hill is now a 5,633 acre natural resource management area boasting 80 miles of multi-use trails.  The park will be the staging area for two different bike events.

On Saturday, November 6, First State Velo Sport will put on the ninth race in the Mid-Atlantic Cyclocross Series. The first race starts at 9 A.M. on Gallaher Road, one mile east of the fairgrounds. Online registration closes Thursday at 5 P.M.

On Sunday, the Delaware Trail Spinners host their 5th annual Mountain Bike Jamboree at the Fair Hill Fairgrounds.

There will be several guided group rides showcasing some of the most beautiful single track in the mid-Atlantic area.

After a ride, bikers can enjoy a picnic with live music, games and a bike swap meet. GT cycles will also have demo bikes available. The event begins at 8 A.M.

 

 

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 9:45 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Bicycling
        

November 2, 2010

Regular exercise, fewer colds

common_cold.jpg I can't remember the last time I called in sick. In fifteen years at the Baltimore Sun, I am sure I have used fewer than ten of my allotted sick days.

A study published this week in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that my penchant for exercise may have a lot to do with me making it to work on a daily basis.

Dr. David Nieman, a professor in the College of Health Sciences at Appalachian State University, says, "Exercise is probably the most powerful thing you can do to reduce your sick days this winter.”

According to a news release from ASU, Nieman and his colleagues have spent more than 20 years studying the effects of exercise, diet, weight, gender and education levels on one's health. Regular exercise was shown to have the greatest influence.

A brisk walk for 30 to 45 minutes a day increases the number of immune system cells that circulate in the body, Nieman said. Although these levels decline within a few hours, each bout of exercise is likely to enhance surveillance of harmful viruses and bacteria, and reduce the number and severity of upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold.

 

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 7:46 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Bicycling, Media, Running, Swimming, Walking
        

November 1, 2010

An interesting corollary to the 3-foot rule

As cyclists gain clout, one commenter notes that new laws go both ways. (2009 Baltimore Sun photo by Lloyd Fox)

Today's paper had a nice Mike Dresser piece on bad bike behavior. It described the usual standouts -- ignoring signs/lights, hopping up on sidewalks, etc.,. -- but what really caught my eye was an interesting entry in the comments section. Here's what it said:

I have checked with the county police on the 3 foot buffer law and - as all traffic lasw do - it applies to the cyclists as well. How many of you cyclists have squeezed yourselves along a row of cars to be first in a line? That is a violation of the law. How many of you have skirted through red lights? Ran stop signs? turned right on red? I think Mr. Dresser is kidding himself if he thinks only a handful of cyclists are bad eggs. (Bold was swapped for caps -PM)

Continue reading "An interesting corollary to the 3-foot rule" »

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 9:30 AM | | Comments (1)
        

October 29, 2010

Seeing Red: Time to Get Your Blink On

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Daylight savings is just around the corner pushing the evening commute into the dark. If you are on a bike and not blinking, you should be. Maryland has passed several new laws making the roads safer for biking, but a cyclist has a responsibility to be visible.

On my ride home in the dark a couple of nights ago I saw six other cyclists. Only two had tail lights and neither of those was obvious from more than fifty feet. The five dollar tail light may be fine around your neighborhood but it just gets lost in the sea of light in on city streets.

An effective tail light needs to command attention. With that in mind, I put tail lights to the test. Here are six worth considering.

Reply to this post. I will give one random commenter their choice of one of these lights next weekend when daylight savings ends.

 

**** Update ****

And the winner is ..... Becky from Odenton. Congratulations! The Lights & Motion Vis180 is on the way.

 

Continue reading "Seeing Red: Time to Get Your Blink On" »

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 11:15 AM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Bicycling, Safety, Traffic
        

October 28, 2010

A new brand for One Less Car

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One Less Car has been active in pushing for more bike-friendly roads in Baltimore. (Photo: Getty Images)

Baltimore's One Less Car group is changing its name. From Getting There:

The pro-bicycle, pro-hiker, pro-transit group has decided to narrow its focus and call itself Bike Maryland, with a mission of promoting bicycling and bicycle safety in the state.

Carol Silfdorff, who will continue as executive director of the new group, said the Bike Maryland name reflects that narrowed focus.

I knew about this group, but it's tough for me to say how much general-public exposure they really got. Were you familiar with them? Do you think the new name will help? Read Michael Dresser's whole Getting There post for more >>

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 10:49 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Bicycling
        

October 27, 2010

Good price for Garmin 205

Garmin_Forerunner_205.jpg

 

If you are in the market for a GPS for running Amazon has the Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS Receiver and Sports Watch on sale for $99 with free shipping. Regular retail is $268.

It can also be used as a bike computer with Garmin's bike mount.

Amazon also has the Garmin Forerunner 305 with a heart rate monitor for $144.

 Update: Amazon has sold out of the 205 but still shows the 305 in stock.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 12:52 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Apparel, Bicycling, Deals, Running
        

Loch Raven trail access meeting

loch-raven-biking.jpgMountain biking in the Loch Raven watershed has become a hot button issue again with reports that rangers have begun enforcing a 1998 plan restricting access to the single track trails.

MORE (Mid-Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts) will hold an informational meeting Thursday night at 7 P.M. at the Timonium Fairgrounds in the Fasig-Tipton building.

All trail users, bikers, hikers, runners, bird watchers, and fishermen are invited to attend.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 11:00 AM | | Comments (3)
        

October 26, 2010

Halloween Weekend on Two Wheels

roland_park_ciclovia.jpg Before the goblins come out on Halloween, bikers, hikers and skaters will get a treat of their own in Roland Park. This Sunday morning the Roland Park Civic League will host their second Ciclovía. From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. the southbound lanes of Roland Avenue between Roland Park Country School and Cold Spring Avenue will be a paved park.

There will be a bicycle costume parade for children and coffee and snacks for everyone provided by area merchants. Parking is available at Roland Park Elementary/Middle School and Roland Park Country School.

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For the more adventurous, Baltimore city bike planner Nate Evans is hosting the B'More Spooky Halloween Bike Ride on Saturday evening at 6:30 P.M. Bikers in costume will meet at War Memorial Plaza then proceed to visit some of the city's spookier spots including Poe's Grave and Greenmount Cemetery. RSVP on Socializer.

On Sunday night, Bmore Fixed will stage a Halloween Alley Cat race starting at 6:30 P.M. from Baltimore Bicycle Works at 1813 Falls Road.

photos by Karen Jackson/Special to The Sun

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 1:30 PM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Bicycling, City of Baltimore, Events
        

October 22, 2010

An Airbag for Stubborn Cyclists

 

Two Swedish industrial design students have invented an airbag for cyclists who prefer not to wear a helmet. According to the Daily Mail in London, the 'Hvvding' helmet is an airbag 'collar' that uses a helium gas cylinder to inflate when sensors detect a sudden jolt.

The company hopes to market the device in Europe and the United Kingdom next year.

At $400 a pop, I think I will stick with my non-explosive helmet.

 

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 4:26 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, Safety
        

October 21, 2010

Don't get stranded: Learn to fix your bike!

A friend just passed on this tidbit, happening this weekend:

Members of Baltimore Bicycle Works -- "Baltimore’s only worker owned and democratically operated bicycle shop" according to their website -- will be at the Baltimore DIY fest this weekend to teach you how to fix your bike's flat tire.

The DIY fest will be at 2640 St. Paul Street and the Roadside Repair workshop by Bicycle Works will be held from 4:15 to 5:15 in the venue's Sunday Room.

I am sure this, and similar workshops, are aimed at others like me: I just bought a new bike last summer, but I haven't changed a flat since I was a kid, so I know I'm tempting fate. It's just a matter of time before I get stranded somewhere, I'm sure.

Posted by Anica Butler at 3:05 PM | | Comments (0)
        

A Tour de France for the rest of us

col-du-Galibier.jpg Open your wallet and fill your lungs. Etape du Tour Modeovelo has announced that next year that they will host races for amateur cyclists over the same route as two stages of the 2011 Tour de France

TDF-PROFILE.jpg On July 11, a field of 6000 cyclists will race the 109 km route from Modane Valfréjus to Alpe-d'Huez. The route, which mirrors stage nineteen of the Tour, features the epic climbs up Télégraphe, Galibier and Alpe d'Huez.

The second race, staging July 17, is also limited to 6000 riders. It will follow the route of Tour's ninth stage from Issoire to Saint-Flour. The mountains on this route are not as high but, at 208 km, a long day in the saddle is assured.

Registration opens up on November 16 on the event website. Guaranteed entry is available through several tour companies listed here.

Top: The peloton starts the ascent of the Galibier pass during the 2006 Tour de France. AP photo

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 11:25 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

October 19, 2010

Local cyclist racing Vuelta Guatemala

Nate_Wilson.jpg Nate Wilson (above left), who raced for the past two years with Baltimore-based Lateral Stress Velo’s Elite Amateur team, will start the Vuelta Guatemala tomorrow. He was invited to join the U.S. National Team for the 12-stage, 868-mile race.

Nate_Wilson_silver.jpgWilson, 19, says this will be the longest stage race he has ever done and the first time he has raced outside the U.S. or Canada.

Growing up in Arlington, Virginia, Wilson caught the cycling bug early and started racing when he was 12. Now a sophomore at UC - Boulder, he balances classes with 1 to 5 hours of training a day and 60 racing days a year. He says that his strength is climbing and that living and training at altitude in Colorado has helped his overall fitness.

Last year, he place second in the Junior National Championship road race. He returned to the Nationals this year and was aggressive enough to make the winning break away but says his "inability to race with a bit of humbleness," caught up to him and cost him a spot on the podium.

It was enough to get him noticed, however. In addition to the invitation to Guatemala, Wilson has just signed to race next year with the California Giant pro team.

His advice for kids interested in racing, Wilson recommends joining a club that supports young riders. Wilson raced with National Capitol Velo prior to joining Kelly Benefit Strategies/LSV. He is coached by Susan Hefler.

photos by Jim Wilson


 
Posted by Jerry Jackson at 1:00 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

October 14, 2010

Love the Mud, It's Cyclocross Season

Charm_City_Cross_1.jpg Today's weather reminds me that we are in the middle of cyclocross season, when hard core riders embrace the changing weather and get dirty.

Charm_City_Cross_3.jpg Cyclocross racing has been described as mountain bike racing on road bikes but it is much more complicated than that. The bikes usually have narrow knobby tires, cantilever brakes and frames with more clearance for wider tires and mud.

The sport actually came into its own long before mountain bikes were invented. One account says cyclocross started in France at the end of the 19th century by a soldier who rode his bicycle over the rough terrain and obstacles to maintain fitness during the winter months.

The races consist of multiple laps over a short course for a specified period of time. The course is usually a mix of grass fields, dirt roads, sand, some mud or stream crossings and several forced dismounts.

Because of the demands of jumping on and off the bike and racing all-out over varied terrain for 30-60 minutes, cyclocross is great sport for aerobic fitness.

The short course format also makes it a great spectator sport. Over the next couple of weekends there several opportunities to check out the action.

This weekend Mid-Atlantic Cross series continues with Granogue Cross near Newark, Delaware. On October 24, the fifth race in the MAMBRA Cross series, DCCX takes place in Washington at the Armed Forces Retirement Home.

If you need any more inspiration to try cyclocross, check out the beautifully shot photo essay online at Bicycling Magazine.

Photos from last month's Charm City Cross in Druid Hill Park. Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun

 

 

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 6:45 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

October 12, 2010

Discussions on crime

Andrea wrote Monday evening about a walker on the B&A trail who was robbed late at night. (A suspect has been caught.)

It was interesting to compare the comments on that story with the thoughts Exercist readers expressed regarding after-dark runs.

To be honest, I found the comments more similar than I had expected. As the person who staffed our old comment-approval system before it was upgraded, I generally find blog comments to be both more positive and more thoughtful than comments on the newspaper site at large. That doesn't seem to be the case here, as I was happy to see productive dialogue in both places.

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 10:28 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, Running, Safety, Walking
        

October 11, 2010

Columbia Triathlon director seriously injured in accident

ron_vigorito.jpg Rob Vigorito, race director of the Columbia Triathlon and several other local events was seriously injured in a bicycle accident Wednesday in Kona, Hawaii.

Vigorito struck a vehicle that had turned in front of him while he was training for Saturday's Ironman World Championship.

More from The Columbia Flier.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 5:18 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, Triathlon
        

Tour de France documentary showing at MICA

ChasingLegends.jpg

Chasing Legends, a feature length documentary following the HTC-Columbia Team through the 2009 Tour De France will be shown Thursday night at 7 P.M. at MICA's Falvey Hall, 1300 W. Mount Royal Ave.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Chris Eatough, Ellicott City resident and six-time world champion mountain biker, will be in attendance. Eatough was the star of Gripped Films documentary, 24 Solo.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 4:17 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

Ride Report: 2010 Seagull Century

Nasawango%20rest%20stop.jpg As promised, the weather was great Saturday for the 22nd annual Seagull Century. More than 8,100 bicyclists gathered in Salisbury to pedal the bike-friendly terrain of Maryland's eastern shore.

seagull%20bridge.jpg

My wife, Karen, and son, Daniel, joined me on the 100-kilometer route through Princess Anne. It was the first ride of this distance for both of them and I figured the Seagull would be more forgiving than the rolling hills on our side of the bay. It would also be the longest distance I had ridden the tandem.

As this was a show-and-go ride we didn't have to get to the start at the crack of dawn. It was 60-degrees at 8 A.M. when we rolled out of Salisbury and we were able to leave our jackets in the car.

About two miles down the road we hit the biggest hill we would see all day, the bridge over the Salisbury Bypass. From the top of this twenty-foot climb we could see a seemingly endless line of bikers on the road ahead of us.

The crowd thinned a bit a few miles down the road when our route split from the traditional 100-mile route. Still we were probably no more than 30-yards from another cyclist the entire ride. Riders had three routes to choose from: the traditional 100-mile route to Assateague, a 100-kilometer route through Princess Anne, and a new 100-mile route through Snow Hill.

We made it to the Washington High School rest stop in a little over an hour and stopped just long enough to fill water bottles and grab some fig newtons and orange slices. Back on the bike, we picked up the pace a bit and got into a small group that led us to the rest stop at Nassawango Golf Course.


Continue reading "Ride Report: 2010 Seagull Century" »

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 1:30 PM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Bicycling
        

Google's transit-friendly buttons


View Larger Map

For me, one of the most pleasant surprises online within the last year was Google’s expansion of pedestrian-friendly options.

Offering transit information to a handful of cities for years, Google’s mapping service wasn’t doing a terrible job before. But with the full implementation of the biking and walking buttons, Google has recently created something that is useful not only for finding a bus or train, but for actually getting to a destination once the vehicle stops. As a bonus, it’s not as creepy as Street View.

The pedestrian service seems to recognize “recreational” options pretty well too. I only had to do a couple tweaks to get a recent run mapped onto the gorgeous Gwynns Falls Trail. I’ve been less impressed with the bike tool, which until recently was missing a couple of local bike lanes. To their credit, Google’s staffers did a good job of correcting the error quickly when it was mentioned, but the incident makes me wonder what other routes might be missing, either from this tool or the transit options. As another example, a recent attempt at a simple, station-to-station light rail trip resulted in frustration, with Google continually trying to route me via bus.

How has your experience been with these tools? Does Google generally act reasonable and give good bike directions? Is it cranky about recognizing your favorite walking route? The opposite?

Posted by Patrick Maynard at 6:46 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, Walking
        

October 8, 2010

Working toward a more bike-friendly Baltimore

IMG_2017.jpg Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will sign two bills today that will help make Baltimore even more bike friendly.

One bill mandates that storm drain grates that run parallel to traffic be replaced with bicycle-safe grates that run perpendicular to the roadway and won't catch a bicycle's front wheel.

The other measure imposes a $75 fine for motorists that park in a bicycle lane. The website MyBikeLane.com, in which users document bike lane infractions worldwide, shows that St. Paul Street near Penn Station is Baltimore's trouble spot.

Both bills are strides in the right direction. The next step, it would seem, would be to improve the conditions of some of the existing bike lanes. Baltimore has 58 miles of bike lanes and most are in great shape. But, as anyone who drives in Baltimore knows, some streets are in need of major repair. Too often, the bike lanes mirror the road conditions, yet few commuter bikes have the suspension to absorb the bumps and potholes. Roland Avenue (pictured), between Cold Spring and Northern Parkway is a primary corridor for many cyclists heading into and out of the city. It is also has one of the worst surfaces for biking on anything other than a mountain bike.

There are more out there. What is the worst stretch of your bike lane? And please, if you have a favorite bike lane, let me know about that one also.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 11:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, City of Baltimore
        

October 7, 2010

Upcoming biking events

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It looks like the weather is going to be great for the 22nd annual Seagull Century this Saturday. According to the Weather Channel it will be a chilly start, but sunny with a high of 78-degrees later. This will be a lot more pleasant than when I did this ride four years ago in torrential rain and 30-mph winds.

With more than 8000 riders last year, Seagull easily ranks as the largest century ride in Maryland. Online registration has closed but there will be on-site registration at Salisbury University.

Coming up on Sunday, October 17, is the 5th annual Save-A-Limb Ride starting from Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville. The ride is a fund raiser for the Save-A-Limb Fund which helps people struggling with a limb or joint deformity. The top fund raising team will start the metric century with pro cyclist Christian Vande Velde.

 If you like climbing, the Black Bear Century on October 16th features 9800 feet of elevation gain over 100 miles. The ride starts in Delaware Water Gap, PA.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 6:21 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling
        

October 4, 2010

A reminder to stay safe

AP photoThe News-Tribune in Tacoma today has a nice Q&A about walking on roads without sidewalks. In brief synopsis: If your mom taught you to face traffic, she was absolutely right. Walking on the left side of the road allows you to see oncoming vehicles, and it makes you more prominent in drivers' fields of view, since your face is more likely to be visible. Wearing light colors and walking with a partner are also likely to get drivers' attention. Indeed, visibility played a key role in yesterday's fatal pedestrian accident, though that death appears to have involved a road-crossing as well.
Posted by Patrick Maynard at 8:41 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, Running, Safety, Traffic, Walking
        

October 3, 2010

Ride report: 2010 Tour du Port

TourduPort011.JPG Sunday's clouds and a steady breeze kept most of the 2000+ Tour du Port riders in light jackets and arm warmers but nobody seemed to mind too much. It was still a great day to be outside.

This was my first Tour du Port and I chose to ride the 40-mile route with my son, Daniel, on our tandem. I figured this would be a good shake down cruise for next weekend's Seagull Century.

I was somewhat skeptical coming into this ride as I tend to ride city streets only to get to and from work. I head to the smoother, better maintained roads in the county for rides of any distance.

I was pl145556540-03144052.JPGeasantly surprised. While there were some rough streets, there was nothing that our wider tandem tires couldn't handle. The route designers at One Less Car did a great job at keeping us out of heavy traffic and sent us through some pretty interesting areas. The industrial landscapes of Sparrows Point, the marshes of North Point and neighborhoods in Dundalk and Edgemere seemed much more fascinating when traveling at bicycle pace. 

 More Photos
Posted by Jerry Jackson at 5:53 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, Events
        

October 1, 2010

Weekend Workouts: What do you have planned?

I'm sure I'm not the only one who's looking forward to somewhat drier weather this weekend. So, with a gorgeous fall forecast, at least for Saturday, what do you have planned?

Are you riding in the Tour du Port? Running the Fall's Road 15k? Taking a hike with the family? Komen Race for the Cure? Something else? 

 

Posted by Anica Butler at 12:38 PM | | Comments (3)
        

September 30, 2010

New Maryland laws in effect today

 

3fp%204x6_1_resampled255.JPGSeveral new Maryland laws take effect today that benefit cyclists.

• The 3-Foot passing law requires motorists to give cyclists a three foot buffer when passing.

• Cyclists are no longer required to ride on the shoulder of the road.

• Maryland is required to construct sidewalks or bike paths in areas where their absence is a public safety risk or impediment to public access.

• The state is also required to provide a balance of funding for pedestrian and cycling projects alongside new highway construction in transit oriented areas.

These new laws will help make Maryland a safer place to ride. But, the law I see making the biggest difference for everyone who uses Maryland roads is the ban on handheld cell phones. The law is only a secondary offense, but as a cyclist, I will feel a little safer sharing the road with a smaller percentage of distracted drivers.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 6:00 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Bicycling, Politics
        

More bad news for professional cycling

CT%20%20REU%20CYCLING%3ATOUR.jpg Three time Tour de France winner, Alberto Contador, was suspended today after it was announced that he tested positive for a banned substance on the last rest day of this year's tour. The Spaniard tested positive for the anabolic agent clenbuterol. He claims that the positive test came from eating bad meat.

This comes a day after an exercise physiologist for Lance Armstrong’s Team RadioShack testified before a federal grand jury about doping in cycling.

Reuters photo by Lionel Bonaventure

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 10:49 AM | | Comments (2)
Categories: Bicycling
        

September 29, 2010

Tour du Port this Sunday

MD.TOUR22P1.jpgfinal%202010%20tdp%20design.jpgOne Less Car celebrates bicycling in Baltimore this Sunday with the annual Tour du Port. Starting in Canton, five routes ranging from 13 to 65 miles will explore waterfront communities in Baltimore. 

Online registration is still open today and bike-in registration will be available Sunday morning.

A post ride celebration with live music and lunch will be held from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. in Canton's Waterfront Park at the Korean War Memorial. 

top: Baltimore Sun photo by Algerina Perna

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 11:26 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, City of Baltimore
        

September 28, 2010

Bike Friendly Baltimore

bike%20lane.jpg In case you missed it... Baltimore was recently named a Bike Friendly Community by the League of American Bicyclists.

After three years of trying Baltimore received a bronze designation joining the ranks of Washington, Philadelphia and New York among others.

What does this mean and where do we go from here? According to the LAB, "A bronze is a much better community for cycling than one that is turned down for an award, but still has a long way to go before becoming platinum."

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 2:06 PM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Bicycling, City of Baltimore, Philadelphia
        

Side effects may include...

patapsco%20trail.jpg

I am Jerry Jackson and I am NOT a fitness fanatic. I don’t belong to a gym. I eat fast food too often and have a notorious sweet tooth. I do ride my bike, but not for my health. I ride my bike for fun. Fitness is just a side effect.

I was a runner as a kid and I belonged to a gym several years ago, but each of those forays into a healthy lifestyle ended soon after they became more work than play. Cycling is the one sport that has been a constant in my life for the past 30 years. I figured out that the key is variety. When I start feeling burned out riding a regular route on the road, I head to the trail on my mountain bike and the fun is back.

We have a lot of great places for riding in Maryland both on and off-road. I plan on sharing some of my favorites on this blog and hope to hear about more from you.

Posted by Jerry Jackson at 11:02 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Bicycling, Introductions
        
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About Exercists
Andrea Siegel, a reporter at The Baltimore Sun, covers mostly crime and courts in Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, as well as legal issues. She wishes she was more physically fit, and, as she's more fond of chocolate than exercise, fitness is a challenge. Her partner on a one-mile-plus daily walk is the family dog, a mixed breed named Moxie, and she exercises at the gym where the D.C. snipers once worked out.
Jerry Jackson has been a photo editor at The Baltimore Sun for 14 years and an avid cyclist for more than 30 years. Inspired by the movie "Breaking Away," he started racing as a teenager in Mississippi when leather "brain baskets" were still the norm. He regularly commutes to work by bike and still enters several mountain bike races a year for fun.
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Patrick Maynard, who will be writing about running and walking, has been a producer for baltimoresun.com since 2008. In 2009, he tweeted on-course for the Sun from the Baltimore Marathon, finishing in just under 4 hours and almost managing to run the whole time. He sometimes walks to the Sun offices on Calvert Street.
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Leeann Adams, a multimedia editor at The Baltimore Sun, also dabbles in content for the mobile website and iPhone app and covers the Ravens via video. She did a triathlon to celebrate her 40th birthday and continues to swim, bike and run -- none of them quickly, though. Her biggest fitness challenge is to balance working, working out, spending time with her husband and being a mom to a 6-year-old boy.
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Anica Butler, the Sun's crime editor, is a former high school runner and recovering vegetarian who spent more of her early-adult years on a bar stool than working out. She is currently training (though poorly) for a half marathon and is trying to live a generally healthier lifestyle. She also hates the gym.
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