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Aug-31-17 08:40 pm
Grist Mill Trail from swinging bridge to River Road closing for 18 months beginning Tuesday,...
Forum: Road Problems

       Beginning Tuesday, Sept 5  the paved Grist Mill Trail in Patapsco St Pk will be closing for 18 months for a sewer line relocation; in preparation for removing the Bloede Dam.  This Dam has been a obstacle for fish and a serious hazard to swimmers.

        The Grist Mill Trail is part of the popular bike route linking the Catonsville - Relay areas with River Road and historic Ellicot City.  If you haven't done this easy loop and enjoyed the Grist Mill Trail, I encourage you to do so in the next few days.  I usually start on Edmondson Ave, just outside the Beltway.  I head west on Edmondson and about a half mile later turn left ( south) to reach Route 144. I then turn right ( west) on 144 and about a mile later turn left at the light onto Rolling Rd south. Following Rolling Rd's twists and turns, I turn right at the park entrance, just before Route 1.  I ride the park road (no charge for bikes) to the swinging bridge, walk my bike over this short bridge, and make a left onto the soon to be closed Grist Mill Trail.  When the trail ends after a narrow bridge crossing the Patapsco, I go right and follow the Patapsco River on my left to Old Frederick Rd, Route 144.  After turning left I take 144 to Ellicott City, where most of the shops are now open after last year's July flood. Bean Hollow is good for coffee or lunch.  I then reverse directions, recross the Patapsco, and take the 2nd left to pick up the Trolley Trail.  I take this Trail to the north end at Edmondson Ave, where I make a right to return to the Edmondson Ave start, just outside the Beltway.  CHECK OUT THIS RIDE FRIDAY or DURING THIS HOLIDAY WEEKEND.  I advise going early to avoid the Labor Day crowds.

Aug-16-17 11:24 am
Stanley's life including BBC
Category: Social

      Former BBC member Stanley Morstein died on Aug 7 at age 87.  Stanley was a sports lover who enjoyed canoeing, camping, and bicycling.  I have good memories of doing a self contained overnight bicycle trip with Stanley to Bear's Den Hostel, the stone castle overlooking the Shenandoah River. Stanley also rode the Cycle Across Maryland several times and participated in the Senior Olympics. 

      As an attorney and member of the American Bar Association, Stanley testified in Annapolis for bicycle advocacy legislation, and helped bicyclists move a stalled bill out of committee and onto the house floor, where it became law, thereby allwing bicyclists to use many major roads with paved shoulders.

        Stanley is best known for his acting and major role in plays. Yesterday's Baltimore Sun (Aug 15) has an excellent obituary describing Stanley's life.  A memorial gathering will be held at noon Sept 9 at the Gordon Center for Performing Arts, next to the Jewish Community Center at 3506 Gwynnbrook Ave, Owings Mills.

Jun-13-17 07:56 pm
Roland Park Civic League Track Committee highlights flaws in Cycle Track
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

The Roland Park Civic League at its May 24 Annual Meeting voted to scrap the controversial Cycle Track and restore curbside parking.  The Civic League recommended a wider, conventional bikelane located between parked cars and the traffic lanes. The Civic League acknowledged the design flaws in the Cycle Track.  The Track consisting of a 4' bikelane and a 2' buffer is narrower than design specifications, which call for a 6' bikelane and a 2 - 3 ' buffer.  Consequently this narrow Track forces cyclists to ride in the door zone, and cyclists have no room to avoid car doors and pedestrians, especially   at Eddie's and St David's Church and Pre School.  Also the parking lanes have been narrowed to 7', notwithstanding the fact that some vehicles are wider than 7' or not everyone parks an inch from the curb.  Five residents cars have been totaled, and five cyclists have collided with right turning vehicles. 

     Also, leaves, sticks, and debris accumulate in the Cycle Track.  The Civic League points out that verbal conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians have increased.  (From personal experience, motorists have told me to use the Cycle Track when I chose to ride in the traffic lanes.)

     The Committee didn't forclose  studying an alternative solution, like removing a lane of traffic.  However, in the interim the Committee recommended that the City remove the Cycle Track, restore curbside parking, and go with a conventional, wider bikelane.

Jeffrey H. Marks

May-23-17 05:00 pm
Roland Park Civic League Track Committee highlights flaws in Cycle Track
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

  The Roland Park Community Association will discuss a Report on the Roland Ave Cycle Track that lists substantial flaws.  The Report says that the Cycle Track has worsened conflicts between cyclists, pedestrians, and cars and has NOT achieved its goal of reducing traffic speeds.  The report cites at least five accidents between cyclists and turning cars and also mentions that five parked cars have been totaled.  The report says the cycle track is below design guidelines and has created problems between cyclists and pedestrians exiting cars, especially at Eddie's and St David's Church and Pre School.  The Report mentions that verbal conflicts between cars, cyclists, and pedestrians have increased.  THE REPORT RECOMMENDS TO EITHER RESTORE CURBSIDE PARKING WITH A WIDER, SAFER BIKE LANE AND SLOWER TRAFFIC, OR PARTNER WITH THE COMMUNITY TO CREATE A COMPLETE STREEET THAT WORKS FOR EVERYONE.
           Experienced cyclists need to be part of the process to restore Roland Ave to a decent commuter bike route.  Come to Wed, May 24 Meeting at Roland Park Elem & Middle School, 5207 Roland Ave at 7 pm.

Jeffrey H. Marks

Jan-15-17 05:42 pm
Handlebar Cafe on Caroline Street Open - Jeffrey H. Marks
Category: Social

             After waiting about 18 months for the "Handlebar CafĂ©" on Caroline Street to open, it's now open for breakfast and lunch from 7am to 2pm.  Former Mountain bike champion Marla Straub and her husband renovated a building for this interesting bicycle theme Cafe.  Yes you may bring your bike inside.  The menu features pizzas and burritos, along with good Vigilante coffee and a selection of beers.  One gets to enjoy a bit of Bicycle Culture, and you meet some committed cyclists who use their bike for everyday transportation.  Prices are reasonable, and it's a fun place.  The Cafe is expected to also open for dinner shortly, and to offer bicycle repairs.  Check it out.

        And while you are near the Inner Harbor, bike around the water past the Science Center to the American Visionary Arts Museum.  FREE ADMISSION on MLK DAY!  Bring a lock to secure your bike in the rack located in the courtyard.

Jeffrey H. Marks

Oct-27-16 09:52 pm
Collector's Allez Frame Bike
Category: Technical

   Three road bikes for sale

Benotto with 56 cm frame

Nashbar with 55 cm aluminum frame

Collector's Bike with 56 cm custom made Allez Frame

         Call Richard Carey at 410 358 6001.  If unable to reach Richard, email Jeffrey H. Marks at:

Aug-28-16 05:11 pm
Interesting Ride Start and Rest Stop in Butler
Category: Technical
Forum: Riding Style

          On today's ride I fortuitously found a great rest stop in Butler.  It had restrooms, shade, event style bike racks, air conditioning, and even a bike pavilion complete with ceiling fans! I found this country rest stop to be more pleasant than having to dodge cars and breathe fumes at gas stations. 

         The owner said that there's ample car parking, and cyclists are welcome to start rides here. He  said that he has an area to change clothes and even an outdoor shower.  How many times have you rushed home after a ride to shower and change before going out to dinner or meeting friends or family?

         Now that Baltimore County schools are in session, cyclists may not use school grounds on weekdays.  This new rest stop in Butler provides an alternative ride start to Sparks Elementary School.  Also the amenities and seating make it more pleasant  to wait for other members of your carpool to arrive - or just hang out with fellow cyclists.  If you want there's refreshments and a bike repair shop.  And it's OK to buy lunch next door and eat it here.  Velocci Bike/Coffee Shop is open everyday from 8am - 4pm.  (Hours may change in the fall).  Yes, it's OK to park or use the grounds when the shop is closed. 

May-09-16 08:32 pm
Ride of Silence - Help and Comments
Category: Social
Forum: Advocacy

      Larry Bensky was hit from behind and killed while bicycling on Butler Road in northern Baltimore County.  Larry's family and Bike Maryland sponsor an annual ride in Larry's memory each year.  This year's ride will be on Sunday, Sept 25 at Oregon Ridge Park.  Register for the ride on Bike Maryland's website.

Jeffrey H. Marks

Apr-29-16 06:46 am
With rain scheduled off and on today, I'm cancelling the Loch Raven Gunpowder Ride.

Loch Raven Gunpowder Ride is cancelled due to rain.

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