Afghan Cycles screening brings together neighbors, riders, and local advocates


Bikemore focuses on making Baltimore a safer, more connected and accessible place for people who bike and walk, and that’s often thought of as ensuring that there are places to ride without fear of getting hit by a car. But we know that personal safety is way more complex than that. What determines if someone feels safe on our streets and in our public space involves a lot of complex layers of race, class, gender, and culture — and we know that’s especially true here in Baltimore. And that’s why we were excited to bring a screening of Afghan Cycles, a documentary about the challenges and victories women cycling in Afghanistan face, to Baltimore.

We were proud to work with the Creative Alliance, Asylee Women's Enterprise, Southeast CDC, and the Patterson Park Girls Mountain Biking Team to host a neighborhood bike ride and show this film that speaks to the importance and intersection of what safety means and feels like on the road for people biking.


Coaches Becky Redett and Cathy Witt along with two youth riders from the Patterson Park Girls Mountain Bike Team led us through Patterson Park, where they practice regularly. They showed us the grassy hill next to the Pagoda where they learned to descend and rode down a few stairs to show off the bike handling skills they’ve learned. The riders shared that learning how to mountain bike — in Patterson Park, on trails outside of the city, and at races — has provided them a whole lot of confidence and fun, and the coaches shared what it takes to start a youth bike team. (They’re always looking for volunteer helpers and coaches — get in touch!)

Molly McCullagh, Director of Neighborhood Revitalization from Southeast Community Development led us through the Patterson Park neighborhood. She highlighted a mural at Fayette and Milton by artists Shawn James and Charles Lawrence, along with an adjacent artistic bus stop bench by sculptors Tim Scofield and Kyle Miller. She also showed us the community led art and greening efforts at Library Square. Along with the BUS sculptural bus stop next to the Creative Alliance, Molly pointed out creative placemaking projects that connect transportation to art and local culture, providing respite and beauty for transit riders and neighbors alike.

Our hope is that the ride and screening it inspired participants to think more intentionally about how we can create acceptance and safety for bicyclists in our community: both in the broader world and in Baltimore.

Want to make more free events like this possible?

Cranksgiving early bird registration closes Friday!

video by Corey Jennings

Cranksgiving is an annual event that takes place in cities across the country, and it’s all about having fun and giving back. In Baltimore, this scavenger hunt/bike race/food drive sends teams of riders across the city to collect food items to benefit Moveable Feast and the Franciscan Center. Basically, it's all about collecting food for people and riding bikes with friends, new and old. This is Bikemore’s 5th Annual Cranksgiving!

Where is the food being donated? 

This year, we’re continuing to work with two partner organizations. Moveable Feast fosters a community that cares for men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses by preparing and delivering nutritious meals and groceries and providing nutritional counseling and other services. The Franciscan Center is Bikemore’s neighbor, and provides emergency assistance and supportive outreach to persons who are economically disadvantaged, including community meals and pantry bags, job readiness training, healthcare, transportation assistance and much more. 

How can I register? 

The best way to register is online before the event.

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  • October 28 - November 8 | Early bird online registration
    This is the only way to purchase a Cranksgiving t-shirt!

  • November 8 - November 22 | Online registration
    Makes check in at event way quicker!

  • November 23 | On site registration

    If you forget to register online or convince a friend last-minute to join, don’t worry — they can register on-site on the day of the ride.

If you have a team in mind already, make sure to mark your teammates names on your registration form. Or, sign up as a free agent and meet some new friends to ride with at the event.

How much does it cost to participate? 

By design, Cranksgiving is and will always be a free event — meaning Bikemore will never charge registration cost to participate. We do ask that each person on a team bring $10-15 to help purchase food items on the list. But how much you are able to spend is entirely up to you! 

What should I bring?

  • Working bike (if you have one)

  • Toolkit for repairing your or your teammates bikes (if you have one) 

  • Bag to carry purchases (backpacks, panniers, baskets — whatever you have!) 

  • $10-15 for purchasing food items we will donate

  • Bike lock for stopping at grocery stores

Don’t have a bike?

Don’t worry! RecnParks will be partnering with us and will be lending bikes at the event. To make sure we have a bike for you, register online and note on your form that you need to borrow a bike.

How far is the ride? Is there a set route?

We provide a list of specific grocery stores, and it’s up to each team to strategize and come up with a route. If you go to all the stops, your team might ride 15-20 miles, but many teams don’t make it to all the stops. And there are a lot of fun ways to get extra points that mean it’s not just the fastest teams that win!

Who can ride? 

Anyone that can ride a bike - Cranksgiving is all about having fun! Of course, winning teams in their respective categories will be winning some sweet prizes from our sponsors (see below). We’ll also have special team categories for Youth/Family for teams with a rider under the age of 16, and a WTF category for women, trans, femme and non-binary teams. 

What do you win?

Thanks to our prize sponsors, you could win prizes from any of these local companies!

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I’m still confused. Who should I contact? 

Check out the full FAQ here, and feel free to drop a line with Danielle, our Director of Community Partnerships at

See you at Cranksgiving! Keep up with our social media to get updates on what fun prizes to expect (in case you or a friend needs the extra motivation to participate and win ;)).

Nov 1st - 10th: Neighborhood Lights demonstrate neighbor led placemaking

When you think about how to make streets safer for all the people who use them, you might think about a bike lane or a crosswalk, or the speed that cars travel. While these undoubtedly make streets safer for people who bike and walk, it’s aspects like lighting, trees and plants, artwork, reflections of the culture of neighbors — these are the things that really bring life to streets, the things that make people enjoy their time in public space, encourage people to hang out and develop relationships with their neighbors. These are the things that build stronger, connected neighborhoods.

As part of BOPA’s Light City festival, they award grants to install light installations in neighborhoods throughout Baltimore through their Neighborhood Lights program. And there are two we supported that we’re particularly excited about — check them out November 1st though 10th!

Oliver Light, Oliver Bright

We first met Celena Owens when she was recommended to come on our study trip to Memphis. She is very active in her Oliver neighborhood, and helps take care of and improve neighborhood green spaces and play spaces through the Oliver Beautification Alliance (OBA). The Oliver Light, Oliver Bright project is lighting up three greenspaces in the community to encourage neighbors as well as visitors to explore Oliver in a different way, and to create welcoming and activated community spaces for neighbors to use in the evenings.

We were excited to be able to support Oliver Beautification Alliance’s Neighborhood Lights Grant by being their fiscal sponsor.

>> Read more about Oliver and their Neighborhood Lights project here.

Arches & Access in Reservoir Hill


For the past few years we have been partnering with Graham Coreil-Allen, Reservoir Hill Improvement Council, and neighbors on a variety of community art and traffic calming projects in Reservoir Hill, including a footprint crosswalk project and way finding for the Big Jump. Graham, along with Courtney Conner Bettle, Jessy DeSantis, Graham Coreil-Allen, and Kate Jennings, Reservoir Hill Improvement Council, TAP Druid Hill, and the Rawlings Conservatory developed the Arches and Access Neighborhood Lights project as a continuation of their neighborhood work to make it easier and safer for neighbors to access Druid Hill Park. The Arches and Access project will illuminate and activate the landmark Druid Hill Park Gate at Madison Avenue with colorful lights, as well as a community parade, and public walking tour.

>> Read more about the Arches and Access Neighborhood Lights project.

Click here to find out where the rest of the Neighborhood Lights installations are, and make a bike ride out of it!

Clarissa and Menelik reflect on their first months at Bikemore


At the end of August we welcomed two new staff members to the Bikemore team! Clarissa Chen joined Bikemore as our Operations Coordinator through Baltimore Corps to support the business operations and fundraising side of Bikemore, and Menelik Yeha joined the team as our Mobile Bike Shop Coordinator to lead our community outreach efforts.

What brought you to work with Bikemore?

Clarissa: For a long time, I was terrified of biking in a city. I grew up in one of those cushy suburbs where my friend taught me to ride when I was ten, and I was more hindered by erratic growth spurts than aggressive drivers, so the transition to biking in Baltimore intimidated me. I thought I couldn’t do it. The first time I went to Bike Party, though, the love within Baltimore’s biking community resonated with me, demonstrating something I’ve seen in all pockets of Baltimore: we empower each other when we act in community. I’m excited to empower all people with differing mobility needs and desires to get to where they need to go, because it’s our right to do so.

Menelik: Coming to Bikemore is something that I feel has been taking place for several years unbeknownst to me. As we're all familiar with the unpredictability life offers, I hadn't fathomed being part of the organization until the week I decided to apply. Although in one regard it can be seen as a kind of destiny, I'm seeing that passion and purpose can sometimes collide in a creative and rhythmic way. As a cyclist here in the city, I was only somewhat familiar in general with some of Bikemore's causes, namely community advocacy and bike infrastructure development. However, once applying and matriculating through the hiring process I was able to gain a much better understanding and insight. Precisely, it was this insight that gave me a feeling that I was becoming more aligned in a type of symbiotic way. Because I had previously chosen to have cycling as a lifestyle, my interpretation and relationship of the world around me, shifted over time from simplistic rider, to someone interested in cycling safety and making it easier for those operating vehicles significantly less than 100 lbs to get around. Learning about Bikemore’s initiatives in the city has further increased my interest in policies around the combination of safety, practicality and mixed use infrastructure. 

What have you learned so far? 

Clarissa: Many, many things - about bicycles, transportation, and myself (this is my first full-time job!). Perhaps something that has resonated with me the most is how transportation is one of the most tangible changes we can make to Baltimore that would improve our quality of life exponentially. Many of us are enraged at the systemic exclusion of marginalized groups from social mobility and opportunities to knowledge, wealth, capital, etc.. All of these are inextricably tied with a dysfunctional transit system; planners rapidly shifted streets to accommodate for cars and deprioritized streets for people. We’re disconnected from each other. A more equitable, comprehensive transit system consists of many things, and one of those is protected bike lanes -- because they’re accessible to many modes of transport and they’re fun.

Menelik: Prior to joining the Bikemore team, I was unaware just how far they were able to reach with their goals. The amount of experience and the impact that Bikemore has been able to make in a relatively short period of time has been phenomenal, particularly as a small group. The trials they have had with trying new ideas and uncommonly practiced ways of thinking are impressive to witness. A large component of what I have learned so far is that when we identify our strengths and practically utilize them as we would our limbs, the quality of growth and progress are more likely and potentially exponential. The creative ways of thinking and approaching goals are somewhat contagiously a part of my work now, to further implement not only what existed prior to me joining the team, but also to build on that foundation.

What are you excited about? 

Clarissa: When Menelik and I joined Bikemore, our staff expanded from three to five. As I was learning about the strategic plan, the vision to have Bikemore grow and be an established force for advocacy and community-building meant that our budget has to grow as well. Right now, we are working on maintaining and growing our base of individual grassroots donors. I’m excited about the fact that this vision is built on the power of people: we need the help of our supporters, in whatever way or dollar amount, so that we can prioritize and support their needs in building a better bicycling Baltimore. Also, all our fun events that are coming up: check them out!

Menelik: Just several decades ago, Baltimore ranked 6th in the nation in local population. It was a fast growing city with intriguing opportunities and benefits, with many aspiring migrants arriving with the promise of future improvements in infrastructure, livability, and sustainability. Through the lens of construction and other associated industries, there were improvements in housing construction, roadway design and general aesthetics. Since then and for many reasons, Baltimore has declined in the aforementioned ways and, perhaps ironically, for the same reasons it was able to "grow".  Assuming the worst of the decline is in the past, we can now take our time with implementing proper accessibility and overall livability meant not just for a city to grow in quantity, but for the people who qualitatively inhabit it. I am excited that I am able to synchronize with so many others as a small part of that experience.

If you haven’t met Clarissa or Menelik yet, be sure to come to an upcoming event!

Halloween Weekend Bike Events!


We are blown away by the number of bike events in Baltimore this weekend — the best demonstration of Baltimore’s thriving and busy bike community! Whether you’re looking to ride the streets with hundreds of riders, want to help make Baltimore a safer place to bike, or are looking for new friends to ride with, we hope to see you out there!

Thursday, October 23

Maintenance & Mingle with Bike & Brunch
6 PM – 8 PM
Capital Lounge, 1531-33 Pennsylvania Ave, Baltimore, Maryland 21217

Friday, October 24

Baltimore Bike Party: Halloween Ride
6:30 PM – 11:30 PM
Ride leaves from St. Mary's Park, 600 N Paca St at 7pm, ends at Monument City Brewing

Saturday, October 25

Pump Track Opening Celebration
12 PM – 2 PM
Easterwood Park

Open Hours: Bikemore and Accessible Art
2 PM – 4 PM
Baltimore Museum of Art

Halloween AlleyRat Race and After Party
5:30 PM – 12 AM
Ride leaves from 100 E 23rd St, Baltimore

Sunday, October 26

Women/Trans/Femme Coffee + Snack Bike Ride
10 AM – 1 PM
Ride leaves from Wyman Park Dell

Black People Ride Bikes: Sunday Rideout
1:15 PM – 4:15 PM
Ride leaves from St. Mary’s Park

And you can always submit your events here for us to add to the calendar and promote!