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Rest in Peace, Jamie Roberts

Some of you have probably heard by now that Baltimore's own Jamie Roberts was tragically killed in Kentucky last week as she rode across the country while doing the 4K For Cancer.

One of Jamie's friends set up a Facebook group to honor Jamie and to finish her journey across the country and people are dedicating their miles that they bike and run to her. If anyone is interested in seeing something really inspiring with the community surrounding her, check it out.

If you'd like to donate to the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults, the cause for which Jamie was riding across the country, you can do so here.

Let's use this tragedy as a reminder to pay more attention when you're operating a motor vehicle. If you see someone riding a bicycle (or, in Jamie's case, changing a flat tire on the side of the road), SLOW DOWN and give at least 3 feet of space when passing. 

We at Bikemore don't like to think in terms of "motorists" or "cyclists" or "pedestrians." We are all human beings just trying to safely get to where we're going. Let's all pay more attention to our surroundings and show more care for our fellow human beings.

Rest in peace, Jamie.

Bikemore Statement About Street Attacks

As we posted earlier today, another person was attacked while riding his bicycle this past weekend on Guilford Avenue in Greenmount West. Attacks like this have been reported sporadically over the past few years  not just on people riding bicycles, but people walking as well  usually along Guilford Avenue and Charles Street between Mount Royal Avenue and 25th Street.

These incidents do not represent the actions of all Baltimore City youth. Many City youth ride bikes for transportation or otherwise get around Baltimore peacefully, and many engage in positive after-school bicycle activities like the Baltimore Bike Experience at Digital Harbor High School and Baltimore Bike Party.

The only way to know what motivated the specific group of youth who appear on the video is to ask them, but we suspect that if Baltimore had more productive adult supervision and more safe places for youth to learn and engage in positive activities, this incident would not have occurred.

Obviously, there must be consequences for assaulting another human being, but we should also use this unfortunate event as an opportunity to teach young people the impact of their actions and address the underlying causes of the assault.

Bikemore is actively engaging with the police and community leaders to ensure the neighborhoods along the Guilford Avenue Bike Boulevard are safe for commuters and residents alike, regardless of one's chosen mode of transportation. We hope this incident promotes a constructive dialogue about increased after-school and evening opportunities for youth in our city.

If you would like to be part of this dialogue, please feel free to contact us.

Seeking Witnesses To Catonsville Car-Bicycle Crash on March 13 - Please Forward Widely!

On March 13, sometime in the late afternoon or early evening, Bikemore's treasurer Tim Adams was riding his bicycle home from work when a car hit him at the intersection of Wilkens Avenue and South Rolling Road in Catonsville, near UMBC. (Interestingly, the Google Street View image of that intersection features someone on a bicycle.) He suffered severe injuries to his hip and his head, and had to undergo multiple surgeries, although he is slowly regaining his health.

Tim’s family is seeking eyewitness accounts of the accident. If you have any details that could aid the investigation, please contact info@bikemore.net and we will put you in touch with the family.

Delivering Meals and Good Will by Bicycle

Top row (L-R):  Ashley Beam, A.R. Rahmaan  Middle Row:   Mark Stephen, Eloise Hardy   Bottom Row:  Dale  Johnson, Nick Lamb

Top row (L-R):  Ashley Beam, A.R. Rahmaan

Middle Row:  Mark Stephen, Eloise Hardy

Bottom Row:  Dale Johnson, Nick Lamb

Guest Post for bikemore.net by Susan Glenn

On a brisk March morning, Dale Johnson zips through the streets of Hampden on a classic green Bianchi road bike. Stopping on the porch of an insurance agency on Roland Avenue, he opens a cooler and loads up his bike basket and backpack with prepared meals destined for five home-bound Baltimoreans. In minutes, Dale and Meals on 2 Wheels are on the road.

Dale is the driving (or rather not-driving) force behind a small but growing band of volunteers who deliver meals by bicycle throughout Hampden, Waverly, East Baltimore, and soon even in Columbia. A retired geographer and now active volunteer, Dale charts bike-friendly routes through Baltimore streets, back alleys and “bike-likely” suburbs; recruits and guides cycling volunteers; and personally delivers meals twice a week with only the occasional “vehicular time-out” for snow storms.

It all began in September 2012 when Dale was looking for volunteer opportunities. “Meals on Wheels is a great organization and, checking their website, I saw this tiny notice for delivering meals by bikes. But that program had actually kind of died when the previous volunteer leader moved out of state. When I contacted Meals on Wheels about resurrecting the program, they were very enthusiastic.”

So with MOW’s blessing, Dale equipped his bike with a basket and Meals on 2 Wheels signage and hit the streets, delivering food and generating good will from clients, people on the street and in their cars.

“For the folks I deliver to, I may be the only person they see all day or all week. Riding up to their doors, just opens up the conversation. They see you out there on your bike, doing this on a winter day, and they just give you a lot of credit.”

"Take Ms. LaRue, for example.  She’s 97 years young and still so sharp and witty. It’s a joy listening to someone with almost a century of life to share. I still smile when I think about her asking me to make sure I tell my wife that she thought I have nice looking legs. At 61, I have to take those compliments when I get them. "

Dale loves the reaction he gets from drivers, too. “I pull up to a stop sign with my bike and Meals on 2 Wheels basket and drivers pull up beside me, roll down their windows, and tell me what a great thing I’m doing. Sometimes they’ll tell me stories about how Meals on Wheels helped their families. And you just feel like you’re out there doing something to help and having a great time doing it.”

From his initial “bike party of one”, Dale has grown the program to six cycling volunteers. And he’s planning new routes and looking for more recruits. As Dale explains, “You can volunteer just once a month, two times a week, or just during fair-weather months—whatever fits your schedule. Most routes only take 30 to 45 minutes, but you can get in a good training ride from your house to the meal pick-up point.”

If you love to cycle and want to help people who truly appreciate your effort, contact Dale at dale.johnson99@gmail.com or 443-841-4372. Donations of cycling equipment for volunteers are also needed and appreciated.

 

Meals on Wheels:
Founded in 1960, Meals on Wheels of Central Maryland is a nonprofit organization that enables homebound seniors and disabled individuals to eat well and remain in their own homes in Baltimore City as well as Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Harford, Howard, Montgomery & Prince George’s counties.  In FY 13, a dedicated staff and volunteer core prepared and delivered over 1,000,000 nutritious meals to homebound seniors. www.mealsonwheelsmd.org

Contribute to the Bikemore GiveCorps Campaign

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Sure – bikes are great for exercise, beneficial for the environment, save you tons of money on gas and they’re a fun way to see your city. But, put them in the hands of at-risk youth, and they're more than an alternative means of transportation. The Baltimore Bike Experience, in collaboration with Bikemore and teachers, conduct an after-school bike program at Digital Harbor High School to provide a creative, skill-based program for youth in motion.

Our curriculum fosters creativity, builds confidence and provides healthy activity to our students; many of whom struggle both academically and socially.

We do more than just teach them about bike parts, repair and maintenance. We give them a place to feel safe, express their thoughts in the open air and create something with their own two hands. We work directly with them to teach bike safety too, keeping them active and on the bike as much as possible. A few will even leave with summer jobs through business partnerships in Baltimore. Our students take home more than a custom bike and a sense of pride in having built something at the end of the 13 weeks – they leave with new friendships, employable skills and a brighter future.

$53 funds one week of bike maintenance and cycling instruction for a Digital Harbor student

$695 funds one students' participation in the Baltimore Bike Experience program

Make sure you head over the Bikemore GiveCorps page and contribute today!