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Peddling Faster

City Paper's second annual Bike Issue

By Michael Byrne | Posted 4/21/2010

In the past year, two new bicycle shops have opened in Baltimore. Bike-repair collective Velocipede is frequently over capacity, resorting to waiting lists shortly after opening in the evenings, year-round. The City of Baltimore is poised to release its first-ever comprehensive bike map; official bike routes, lanes, and other improvements are sprouting on city streets like grease stains or potholes. Four landmark pieces of bike-policy legislation passed in the state legislature just last week. Bicycling magazine just placed Baltimore in its "Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities." And this is all recent--the evolution of cycling in our city over the past few years is on par with the evolution of fish growing legs, learning to crawl, walking on land, and standing upright.

It'll take lots more to get up to par, or even close to it, with our closest bike-forward neighbor, Washington, D.C., but we can imagine a time soon when bike saturation in Baltimore will hit a point where we just won't have any choice but to build up a bike infrastructure on par: Imagine a 5 o'clock rush hour on the beltway crammed instead up North Charles Street. Our 2010 Bike Issue isn't meant to take the temperature of, or summarize the state of cycling in Baltimore, but to give a snapshot of it. Two riders, both hopelessly devoted to cyclist-as-way-of-life, a peek into the state of bike advocacy in Baltimore, and a rundown of what it might take to outfit for riding in this here 48th "Most Bike-Friendly City."

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