“Wait, isn’t this Critical Mass?”
Well, yes, and no. Those who have been riding in Baltimore for a while know that riding in the city is a much easier task than it used to be. We have miles and miles of bike lanes and sharrows, a Bicycle and Pedestrian planner, Nate Evans, who loves us dearly. We have new bike racks popping up seemingly every day and a program hot at work on bringing bike-sharing to Charm City. We have bike censuses, Tour dem Parks, Tour du Port, Velocipede and the new bike project Bearings (soon), ciclovias, 7 bike shops, the list goes on. Those who have been around a while know that while we are far from perfect, the city is not the rough fend-for-your-life slugfest of a commute that it was 5 years ago and beyond.
And, consequently, our ride has changed as well. Gone are the days of the leaderless band of misfits roaming the streets, flipping drivers the bird, disregarding all manner of traffic laws and fighting off the police. Baltimore has changed, the number of cyclists has changed, the manner of cycling has changed. It is time to move away from the confrontational notion of fighting tooth and nail against the city, it’s residents, it’s government, and it’s streets. It is time to build on the forward momentum that has been brewing in our city for several years now. Instead of a constant negative battle, it is time for an influx of positive enthusiasm! Sure, we aren’t Portland, or Austin, or San Francisco, and we probably never will be. But that doesn’t mean we have to be pissed off about it. We are Baltimore, we are cyclists, and we are here to grow, to bond, and to celebrate.