The Baltimore Bike Party—a casual last Friday of every month group ride—has grown dramatically in just a few months and expectations are the August ride Friday evening will attract the biggest crowd to date.
The burgeoning Bike Party, which gathers at the Washington Monument in Mt. Vernon between 7-7:30 p.m. for an easy two-hour trek around the city, combines this month with the annual Bob Moore Memorial Moonlight Madness Ride. As of Wednesday morning, more than 420 bicyclists have indicated that they’re “going” on the Moonlight Madness Bike Party’s Facebook page. Another 130 bicyclists have indicated “maybe” they’ll attend. Moore, a beloved, past president of the Baltimore Bicycling Club and longtime city bicycling advocate, passed away at 73 in 2008 from pancreatic cancer.
A map of the August ride can be found here.
Baltimore City Department of Transportation bike and pedestrian planner Nate Evans noted in a Baltimore Brew story two years ago that Moore originally created the Moonlight Ride. Moore, Evans said, was “instrumental in getting the initial political attention on cycling around Baltimore,” including starting the Mayor’s Bicycle Advisory Committee and getting the Bicycle Master Plan adopted. Penny Troutner, owner of Light Street Cycles, said in the same story that she became friends with Moore in 1991, the year she opened her shop. Both later became instrumental in creating the popular, annual Tour dem Parks, Hon! ride. Good-natured and outgoing, Moore was ubiquitous at Baltimore bicycling events and also served on the Gwynns Falls Trail Council.
The Baltimore Bike Party, which has evolved from the old Critical Mass rides into something safer and traffic-law friendly, has a different theme each month. July’s theme was a beach party, for example, and June’s was an 80’s party. The August theme is lights: ”Lights on yourself, on your bike, all over,” according to the Bike Party’s Facebook page. “We want to light up the night as we ride around town under the full moon! Bike lights, headlamps, flashlights and duct tape, LED strips, whatever you have bring it!”
No doubt Bob Moore would be thrilled with a large turnout—not because his name is attached to the ride—but because Baltimore is making genuine strides as a bicycle-friendly city.