Recently my wife and I visited for several days. She spent most of her time in art museums — which are all excellent and all free! We arrived at midnight Wednesday, and the next morning I was waiting at the door of a family-operated bike shop for them to open so I could pick up my rental bike. The owner of the bike shop, Penny at Light Street Cycles, was one of two people who comprise 95% of cycling advocacy in Baltimore. Sunday, I went on a 40 mile ride with the other, Bob Wagner. Both were very warm, hospitable and delightful people. The city was fascinating to ride in, with lots of history and much older buildings and homes than what you see in Austin. “Bike-friendly” like Austin? Not quite….maybe 2 miles of trails total, few and random bike lanes, far fewer people on bikes, and sewer grates everywhere with the bars running parallel to the curb! Drop a front wheel in one of those and you can expect to break the fork off our bike and do yourself some major hurt!
So, fascinating as Baltimore was, as much as I wish Austin could get it together and repair its broken down and disconnected trails, as annoyed as I am at so many of Austin’s bike lanes rendered unsafe due to parked cars, I returned home with appreciation of what we are doing well re’ cycling here in Lance’s home town.
Penny and Bob have a standing invitation for a guided Austin “urban century” courtesy of Don.