Moonlight Madness Review

Taking a break at the Moorish Tower, Druid Hill (Another great photo by Tim Barnett)

Last night, a group of about 200 cyclists gathered at City Hall for this year’s Bob Moore Memorial Moonlight Madness Ride.  It didn’t take us long to get organized and we rolled out at 8:15 through the famous neon of 400 E. Baltimore St.  The cyclists’ presence was making a difference immediately.  Cheers came up from the local crowd as bike bells echoed.

No bike ride is complete without experiencing a car parking in the Pratt St bike lane.  I can guarentee the two offenders last night will think twice before parking there again.  Around the harbor and into Federal Hill, more cheers came up from the crowds along Cross St.  Continuing up Charles St, I was amazed (and proud) to see the fleet of cyclists “staying to the right and keeping it tight!” allowing vehicular traffic to pass on the left.

We took several breaks along the way for regroup and refresh: Fed Hill, Penn Station, Moorish Tower, & Dolphin St. 

25th St Bike Traffic (Photo by Anna Ricklin)

When I designed this route, I wanted to keep it short to encourage beginners, but also go where cyclists normally do not ride.  The highlight of the ride for me was interacting with the communities enjoying a cool summer night on the stoops of Madison Ave, Chase St and Broadway.  Kids came out to slap hands, pleasantries were exchanged and some awe was struck in the locals seeing the stream of blinking lights, hearing the swirl of freehubs as Baltimore’s bike community rolled through.  Even Baltimore’s finest seemed pleasantly surprised at the sight.

Given the recent bike news, this is what Baltimore needed, and not just the cyclists: A show of community that the streets can be safe for cyclists, pedestrians and residents alike.  This ride also showed the cyclists can share the road responsibly with cars and minimally affect traffic.

A repeated comment I heard last night: “We need to do this more often!”  Let’s plan on it.

Did you ride last night or see the ride?  What did ya think?

  • Scott Adams

    What a great event! The moon was out, the night air was just cool enough and people are all over town stopped to cheer us on and ask questions like “What's this for? What's going on? Why are your riding? Is this just a bike ride for fun? Is this to raise money?” I mostly answered, “We're riding for fun!”

    Aside from a few cranky drivers, the response from people was mostly positive, especially groups of kids on the side of the road cheering and wanting high-fives from riders. For me, this ride demonstrated that city streets can be safe and dare I say, INVITING, when you get lots of people with good intentions onto the streets and interacting with one another.

  • Jed Weeks

    Rave reviews from my friends. Wish I could have made it. Do it again soon!

  • Nate Evans

    Thanks Jed! Please tell your friends leave there comments here. Yeah, we GOTTA do it again soon

  • Paul Wolman

    When we were in Paris a few months ago, I wanted to take the Fat Tire Bike Tour – the evening one sounded fabulous by the Seine, through the Louvre… someone should start something here

  • Reggie

    This was a great ride!!

  • J Eric Lowe

    I didn't know it was scheduled until it was too late. I did, however, happily wait at the intersection of Lombard & Charles while the group passed. I also waited to turn right on Chase Street off of Charles about 5-10 minutes later. I hope my sitting in the middle of the stream of cyclists with my turn signal on didn't freak anyone out!

  • Nate Evans

    That's all good, Eric. I hope none of us rode to close to your car. Thanks for your patience! We'll do this again soon and you'll have to join us!

  • Nate Evans

    oh, sweet pix Reggie! Thanks for sharing!

  • Nate Evans

    By popular demand, these rides will have to become a regular feature on Baltimore streets! Any variations on routes & themes will be gladly considered!

  • J Eric Lowe

    My car is beat up, so I wasn't worried about it, just that someone might not be looking and hurt themselves. I'll be sure to be on two wheels instead of four next time.

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