Bike to School Day tomorrow and a Bolton Hill Family Bike Party on May 16!

Bike to School Day 2015

Come out for a ride tomorrow! The Downtown Baltimore Family Alliance will be at local schools throughout the city as we celebrate International Bike to School Day here in Baltimore!  Volunteers will be hand to hand out stickers and recognize those who rode their bikes to school that day.

Baltimore Bike to School Day 2015

Tomorrow! Wednesday, May 6 at schools and neighborhoods across the city

Sign up on the Facebook event page to share photos from your ride and connect with other pedal parents in the city! Learn more about International Bike to School Day.

Bolton Hill Family Bike Party

Saturday, May 16, 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm
Mount Royal Elementary/Middle School
121 McMechen Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21217
RSVP on Facebook or on the Biking in Baltimore Meet-up Group!

Mount Royal Elementary Middle SchoolJoin the Baltimore Family Bike Party on the afternoon of May 16 for a fun group ride around Bolton Hill and nearby neighborhoods. We’ll start the ride at the Mount Royal Elementary/Middle School Playground – just across the street from On the Hill Cafe.

We’re still planning the route so suggestions for snack stops are very welcome! If you’re interested in volunteering to bring snacks to share, please let us know.

Hello spring! Join us for the Patterson Park Family Bike Party this Sunday

After a very long winter, we have some delightful weather for our first ride of 2015 from Patterson Park to Highlandtown and back again! The ride begins at one of the best playgrounds in the city. We’ll ride on paths, bike lanes and quiet streets to Highlandtown where we’ll stop by DiPasquale’s for a sweet treat before heading back to the park.

Patterson Park Family Bike Party

This Sunday! April 19, 9:30am to 11:00am
Meet at the Patterson Park Playground, near Eastern Avenue & Milton Avenue
RSVP on Facebook or the Biking in B’more Meet-Up!

About the Family Bike Party

Baltimore Family Bike Party is a safe and fun bike ride for kids and families. We are inspired by Kidical Mass – a group bike ride for families first held in April 2008 in Eugene, Oregon. Kidical Mass has grown to over a dozen communities throughout the United States and Canada, now including Baltimore!

All types of bikes, trailers, longtails, bakfiets, Long Johns, tandems, folders, trikes, or whatever rolls are welcome! The Baltimore Family Bike Party is about providing a great excuse to pedal around town with your family while introducing kids and parents to the idea of getting around Baltimore on a bicycle.

Learn more about our ride or check out our Guide to Baltimore Family Biking.

Photo credit: Jack Hardaway, Baltimore Aerials.

Light up the night on our 3rd annual Hampden Holiday ride on December 20!

34th Street Lights, 5 December 2008. Courtesy (BY-NC-ND)

34th Street Lights, 5 December 2008. Courtesy (BY-NC-ND)

We’re back! After a few months off, the Baltimore Family Bike Party returns for our third annual ride around Hampden and Wyman Park for a hilly and festive evening ride featuring a playground, a cruise down the Avenue, and a visit to the famous Miracle on 34th Street.

Hampden Holiday Lights Family Bike Party

Saturday, December 20, 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Meet at the Wyman Park Playground
3510 Beech Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21211
RSVP on Facebook or the Biking in B’more Meet-Up!

Here are a few special reminders for this month’s ride:

  • Don’t forget to light your bike (and your kid)! For this evening ride, children riding independently this month must have lights attached to clothing or bikes to participate. We’ll be bringing along a few extras but do your part and make sure your little ones are well-lit in front and back.
  • Invite your kid-free friends and neighbors! Let’s end the year with a celebration for the whole Baltimore biking community – families, friends and neighbors all.
  • Dress warmly and stay tuned for weather updates! Warm hats and gloves are essential for riding with children in the winter. If it is snowing or raining on December 20, we will try for December 21 instead.

September Family Bike Party! Ride from Mount Vernon to the Abell Community Street Fair

Join the Baltimore Family Bike Party tomorrow morning for a ride from Mount Vernon to Abell! We’ll start the ride at the Mount Vernon Children’s Book Exchange and end by joining the Greek mythology themed parade of the Abell Community Street Fair.

September Family Bike Party

Sunday, September 21, 10:30am to 12:00pm
Meet at Mount Vernon Children’s Park, 801 N. Calvert Street
RSVP on Facebook

Feel like you’ve read the same 3 books 3,000 times? Come out early for the 3rd Annual Midtown Children’s Book Exchange and Potluck! Bring gently used children’s books (and parenting books) to share and pick up new-to-you books from your friends and neighbors. All books that remain after the event will be donated to the Maryland Book Bank.

Around 11:00am, we’ll start the ride up to the Abell Open Space where we will join the Abell Community Street Fair. This year’s parade theme is Greek mythology, so you can decorate your bike accordingly in advance or at the Open Space. After the parade you can stay and enjoy great music, arts, crafts and refreshments at the Street Fair!

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This weekend! Baltimore Family Bike Party Camping Trip to Robert E. Lee Park

050e254e-5f90-4518-8457-5055aada72e9Join the Baltimore Family Bike Party this weekend for a special overnight bike camping trip to Robert E. Lee Memorial Park at Lake Roland in Baltimore County. In bikecamping terms, this ride is a sub 24-hour overnight (S24O) leaving Baltimore for Robert E. Lee Park on Saturday afternoon and returning to the city on Sunday morning. Read on for more details about the park and our planned route!

Family Bike Party Camp Out 2014!

Saturday, June 21, 1:30pm to Sunday, June 22, 10:30am
Please sign up online ASAP then you can optionally RSVP on Facebook!
$5 per person payable in cash or check to park staff

Want some inspiration on how much fun bikecamping with kids can be? Check out these posts on family bikecamping trips in Seattle and Portland.

Need advice on what to pack? Check out this gear list and other resources on overnights from the Adventure Cycling Association.

Why go to Robert E. Lee Park?

858345e1-5e82-4a12-a8a0-c232cba9f779Robert E. Lee Park is a great place for Baltimore families to try out bikecamping because it is only a 8.5-mile ride from Midtown Baltimore or less if you’re leaving from Charles Village or Hampden. The park includes 415 acres of woodland, wetlands, serpentine barrens, rare plants and rocky plateaus.

We will be able to use the grills at the Pavillion, the fire ring, and wood for a campfire and a brand-new playground a short walk from the campground. We can have between 16 and 40 people in our group. Participants must bring cash or check to pay the group camping fee of $5 per person to park staff. Following park rules, staff from the Baltimore County Department of Recreation & Parks will be camping with us.

How do we get there?

We are planning three short stops (in Midtown, Abell and Hampden) on our way out of town so riders can meet our group at any of those three stops:

  • 1:30pm – Leave from Baltimore Bicycle Works – 1813 Falls Road
  • 1:50pm – Arrive at Abell Open Space – 305 East 32nd Street
  • 2:10pm – Arrive at Twenty20 Cycling Company – 725 West 36th Street
  • 2:15pm – Continue on Roland Avenue to Lake Avenue
  • 3:00pm – Arrive at Robert E. Lee Park – enter the park at Lakeside Drive

We plan to return on Sunday by the same route leaving the park by 9:00am at the latest. Our planned route to the park is mostly on streets with bike lanes or trails and the hills are long but mostly gradual. If you’re feeling nervous about the length or steepness of the ride, you can also bike to the Light Rail, take it to the Falls Road station, and then bike into the park along the boardwalk.

Questions? Suggestions? Please get in touch or email ride organizer Patrick McMahon at patrick@mcmahon.com.

Registration for Baltimore “Bikes Rule at School” Week now open!

Photo courtesy Streetsblog, 2010.

This May, we’re not just taking a day to Bike to School — we’re celebrating a whole week of how bikes rule at school! Why a full week? Each school community can choose its own best day and way to celebrate, while promoting biking and rolling all week. Whether you’re trying to get to school in the morning, get home at the end of the day or hang out with family and friends riding on local trails, biking is a fun, safe and sustainable transportation option for many local families.

We need your help to organize “Bikes Rule at School” events at your school and in your community! Every volunteer organizer will receive an “Organizer Toolkit” and we’re working on a few fun prizes for participating schools and families. Don’t feel like you can organize an event? You can still sign up to help out with another event or just to learn more about  “Bikes Rule at School” news this spring.

Registration for participants, volunteers and event organizers is now open. Sign up today!

Spread the biking love! Get your school involved with Bike to School Day this spring

Image courtesy Robin Urban Smith/Streetfilms, May 2010.

Image courtesy Robin Urban Smith/Streetfilms, May 2010.

The first-ever National Bike to School Day took place on May 9, 2012, in coordination with the League of American Bicyclists’ National Bike Month. Almost 1,000 local events in 49 states and the District of Columbia joined together to encourage children to safely bicycle or walk to school.

The event builds on the popularity of Walk to School Day, which is celebrated across the country – and the world – each October. Many communities and schools have been holding spring walk and bicycle to school events for years. National Bike to School Day provides an opportunity for schools across the country to join together to celebrate and to build off of the energy of National Bike Month.

The Baltimore Family Bike Party and Bikemore are working to organize local schools and parents to participate in a Bike to School Day (or even a Bike to School week – we’re flexible on the dates!) for the first time in Baltimore this year. If you are interested in participating in any way, big or small, please get in touch and let us know how we can get you involved!

Learn more about Bike to School Day today!

Oh no, snow! Ride a bike & read a book with the Baltimore Family Bike Party rescheduled for March 15

Rescheduled due to snow & ice! A chilly spring morning is perfect for settling in to read a good book… after you have warmed up on a fun ride with the Baltimore Family Bike Party, of course!

Book Thing Family Bike Party

The Book Thing, 3001 Vineyard Lane, Baltimore, MD 21218
Saturday, March 15, 9:30am to 11:00am
RSVP on Facebook or on the Biking in B’more Meet-up Group

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The Book Thing is a special destination for families (and people of all ages!) who love books and love a good deal because the Book Thing gives books away for free! Join us next weekend on a gentle “Tour du Charles Village” starting from the Book Thing at Vineyard Lane and 30th Street and cruising on quiet neighborhood streets past local parks, playgrounds and family-friendly coffee shops. Weather permitting, we’ll be sure to stop at a playground before returning to the Waverly Farmer’s Market for a snack.

Special thanks to Baltimore Bicycle Works for hosting our indoors DIY Balance Bike Workshop last month! We are always looking for volunteers to get involved with planning future rides. If you’re interested in learning more or helping out, please get in touch through our website.

Photo courtesy: Coral Olive & Gold

What winter? Jones Falls Family Bike Party + free DIY Balance Bike Workshop

Jones Falls Trail Family Bike Party at BBW!

FYI: No bike required for our DIY Balance Bike Workshop

No polar vortex can stop us from riding this month but we will find a nice warm bikeshop to host! Join us at Baltimore Bicycle Works for a pedal parent brunch and a free fun workshop on how to turn a 12″ kids bike into a DIY “balance bike” perfect for any knee-high novice cyclists that you have at home.

DIY Balance Bike Workshop + Jones Falls TrailFamily Bike Party

Baltimore Bicycle Works, 1813 Falls Rd, Baltimore, MD 21201
Saturday, January 18, 9:30am to 11:00am
RSVP on Facebook or on the Biking in B’more Meet-up Group!

The Baltimore Family Bike Party is headed over to the Jones Falls Trail for a friendly get together at Baltimore Bicycles Works. We’ll bring coffee and a few snack but anyone is welcome to bring something to share.

Once everyone has something warm to drink, BBW’s talented worker-owners will offer a short workshop on how to turn a regular 12″ kids bike into a DIY balance bike. What is a balance bike? One of best ways to teach a kid to ride! If you have young children and you are interested in teaching them how to bike, don’t miss this program. Stick around after the workshop and (if weather allows) we’ll enjoy a short ride up and back the Jones Falls Trail – another family friendly destination for cyclists in Baltimore.

P.S. Sorry for the late notice this month! Help us spread the word to your bike-curious friends with kids by using the social share buttons below.

Photo courtesy: groundtruthtrekking.org.

Join us in Hampden for a Festival of Bikes & Lights on December 21!

Bikes & Lights in Hampden!

Photo of 34th Street courtesy Kevin B. Moore.

In what may be a new annual tradition, the Baltimore Family Bike Party is headed back to Hampden and Wyman Park for a hilly and festive evening ride featuring a playground, a cruise down the Avenue, and a visit to the famous Miracle on 34th Street. As always, we welcome everyone from toddlers in bike seats or trailer to kids on two wheels to join us on our monthly family-friendly rides.

Hampden Holiday Lights Bike Party!

Saturday, December 21, 2013, 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Meet at the Wyman Park Playground
3510 Beech Avenue, Baltimore, MD
RSVP on Facebook or the Biking in B’more Meet-Up Group!

Here are a few special reminders for this month’s ride:

  • Don’t forget to light your bike (and your kid)! For this evening ride, children riding independently this month must have lights attached to clothing or bikes to participate. We’ll be bringing along a few extras but do your part and make sure your little ones are well-lit in front and back.
  • Invite your kid-free friends and neighbors! Let’s end the year with a celebration for the whole Baltimore biking community – families, friends and neighbors all.
  • Dress warmly and stay-tuned for weather updates! Balaclavas and serious gloves are essential for riding with children in the winter. We’re planning to keep our monthly rides going all the way to spring but if the temperature dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or we can expect precipitation (snow or rain) we will likely cancel the ride. Winter biking can be fun (see last year’s winter riding update for a few helpful resources) but we’re going to proceed cautiously for now. You can always check Facebook or here on our website for information about ride cancellations or weather updates.
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