Monday, July 2, 2012

Final Friday in Station North: Baltimore Bike Block Party.


Baltimore Bicycles Works rang me up earlier this month to see if I would lend some bike love to their Final Friday event they had planned for the last Friday in June. Never being one to miss an opportunity to witness people enjoying their bikes in ANY form and to chat a bit about bikes with people, I accepted without delay.

The gist of the event was to support local cycling, join a mass ride around the city with friends (several hundred according to all that showed up that evening), get connected with the Baltimore City DOT, Bike Maryland, listen to some local music, witness a bike trials demo by blind bike trials rider, Matt Gilman and if you needed a cold beverage other than water, New Belgium Brewing had the latest flavors for everyone; Fat Tire, Shift...

From Final Friday Bike Block Party. p/b Baltimore Bicycle Works.
Speaking of Shift, when it's hot out, this makes you forget about it.

From Final Friday Bike Block Party. p/b Baltimore Bicycle Works.
The location of this gathering was at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum, right down the road from my latest Bianchi Dealer, Baltimore Bicycle Works. There was an old time rail car in action, giving people a 'down and back' tour of the tracks through western Baltimore. The near by old brink building oozed a classic feel along with the street cars which sat parked on the grounds.

From Final Friday Bike Block Party. p/b Baltimore Bicycle Works.
I located my pop up tent between BBW and the Baltimore Bicycle Club, propped up a bike bar with my Oltre and 2 custom build Zurigo bikes, one with SRAM Rival and the other with Shimano 105. As cyclist filtered in and meandered around, the questions started steadily about the bikes. Cyclo-cross is a pretty big deal in Maryland so there was a lot of touching of the two Zurigo bikes and test riding of the SRAM build version. 


Speaking of 'cross, a past racer of Bianchi 'cross bikes, Evie Edwards stopped by with her new baby and hubby Brian. It was nice catching up with her and the family. I last saw Evie, two years ago in Salisbury, NC at the NC State Crit Championships. She's since relocated from NC to Maryland and should be back on the 'cross bike real soon.

From Final Friday Bike Block Party. p/b Baltimore Bicycle Works.
I had this guy enthusiastically stop by to show me his 80s lugged Bianchi which he uses as a commuter bike. Naturally, he loves the brand and isn't ready to get a new one, which seems to be the case with these bikes...like old Volvo cars; the owners hold on to them forever because there's no reason not to keep it on the road.

From Final Friday Bike Block Party. p/b Baltimore Bicycle Works.
The evening was amazing, several hundred wonderful people enjoying the summer evening, music in the air, bikes from all walks of life, pouring a little bit of the Kool-Aid for the brand in an easy manner. It seems to me that Josh and Meredith have connected themselves with a pretty big community of cyclists in Baltimore.

From Final Friday Bike Block Party. p/b Baltimore Bicycle Works.
And I got another black t-shirt to add to my collection!


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