Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Cycling class for beginner riders on May 28

By John and Ceci McCormick

Has it been a while since you’ve ridden a bicycle? Have you decided to try it because you just got a new bike or pulled the old one out of the garage? Wait a minute. There are a few things to consider before taking that ride:
  • Do you know the rules of the road or how to wear your helmet?
  • Do you know how to shift gears or trouble shoot that mysterious squeaking noise?
  • Do you know the PSI of your tires?
  • How about how to change the tire because of a flat?
  • Do you execute an ABC Check before you ride?
If any of these questions have you scratching your head then this is the class for you …… learn simple tricks to keeping yourself safe out on the road or trail. Discover the advantage of riding with a group. And a host of other tips that will help you enjoy riding a bicycle.

Register by Friday, May 23rd. Send an email to: or call 302-528-1773 for more information. Takes place at Wilmapco in Newark (see invitation below)

April 28th: Susquehanna River Crossing Meeting

BikeAAA has joined an East Coast Greenway Alliance called the Safe Crossing Susquehanna Coalition supporting the creation of a new bike/ped Susquehanna River crossing in conjunction with a new Amtrak bridge that is being planned. There is a public meeting Monday April 28th @ 5:00 open house at the Havre de Grace Activity Center, 351 Lewis Lane, Havre de Grace MD. This is where public comments will be gathered and the voices for a bicycle and pedestrian bridge can be heard.

Other organizations signed onto the coalition include the League of American Bicyclists, Bike Maryland, Washington Area Bicycle Association, Bikemore, and the September Eleventh National Memorial Trail at this time. Sign the petition HERE.

Poster's note:  The White Clay Bicycle Club might consider signing on, as they often lead rides across the Susquehanna River further north. This would make an excellent southern connection.

View Larger Map

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

DelDOT Workshop: Greenville Village Special Area Plan

Alexis I. DuPont High School, 50 Hillside Road, Greenville
Thursday, May 8, 2014, 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM

6:15 p.m. Doors open & refreshments available meeting will begin promptly at 6:30 p.m. Join us for this first in a series of workshops to define the future character and direction for Greenville. Bring your knowledge, ideas, and vision for an evening of collaboration with fellow community members to create a plan for Greenvilles future.

Poster's note:  If you can attend this event, please ensure that bicycling is thoughtfully considered in the plans. As it stands now, Route 52 - Greenville's "Main Street" - is a 4 lane curb to curb arterial road and bicyclists must ride in the right lane. The only progress in recent years has been the installation of bicycle warning signs at the intersection of Route 141- chosen over the much preferred and safer "Bicycles May Use Full Lane" signs which should be placed through town.

Placement of bicycle warning signs in the clover leaf warns drivers to expect bicyclists up on Route 52 in Greenville, but once there, it does nothing to validate our full use of the right lane. It is important for bicyclists to control the right lane in these situations, and not cling to the curb. Such behavior can invite motorists to dangerously overtake while side to side with another vehicle, thus violating the 3 Foot Passing Law.

Crash course: What to do in a bicycle crash

Cross-posted from Greater Greater Washington

by -- Bicycle crashes are scary, disorienting events. Nobody wants to think about being involved in a crash, but it's important to know what to do in case of emergency.

Hopefully you will never have to experience this firsthand, but you may be able to help out your fellow bicyclists with your level-headed understanding of what to do.

At the scene: You've been in a crash. Now what?  [Continue reading ...]

Poster's note: Most bicycle crashes are the result of the bicyclist losing control, hitting debris or other hazards, or striking fixed objects such as bollards or parked cars; a relative few are the result of motorists. You can learn the skills needed to avoid these dangerous situations by taking a safety course.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Cycle For Cecil, and support land conservation in neighboring Cecil County

Cycle for Cecil begins at 8:00 the beautiful Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area and travels through scenic Cecil County, Maryland. There are three distances to be traveled on the ride - 15 miles, 50K (31 miles), or 100K (62 miles). All routes have multiple well-manned rest stops that provide drinks, snacks, and restrooms. Upon completion of the ride, cyclists are rewarded with Kilby Cream Ice Cream and homemade goodies. Cycle for Cecil benefits the Cecil Land Trust, which works to preserve the open space and farmland that makes Cecil County so unique. Registration is available through and on the day of the event, this year on April 26th, 2014.

Everyone who did last year's event absolutely loved it, and now it's time to step up the attendance. Your participation not only supports a great ride, but helps fund the preservation of farmland, woodlands, natural habitat and historic rural communities in Cecil County. The efforts of the Cecil Land Trust may be what keeps Cecil County a rural landscape, the one that many recreational, touring, and competitive cyclists enjoy today.

Visit Clayton for Wheels of Caring - Saturday, 5/10

This sounds like a really fun bike ride, for a worthy cause. Email or call (302) 363-5351 for further details.

Heels and Wheels Post-Summit Presentations and Survey

Heels & Wheels: Delaware Walking & Biking Summit (formerly Delaware Bike Summit) was held on March 21 at the University of Delaware Clayton Hall in Newark. The event was attended by more than 250 people and included presentations from the Mayor of Newark, Governor of Delaware, and Secretaries of DNREC and DelDOT.

Please click HERE for links to all of the Power Point presentations, and to provide your feedback via a 5 minute survey. Heels & Wheels is hosted by Delaware Recreation and Parks Society and organized by Delaware State ParksDelDOTDover/Kent MPO, and WILMAPCO.

Cecil County police bike patrols begin this week

Featured in the Cecil Whig

Cecil County [Maryland] residents are familiar with seeing police officers in their patrol cars or perhaps on foot patrol.

Starting this week, however, several agencies are adding bicycles to their equipment in the name of community policing.

Last summer, select members of the Maryland State Police, Perryville and Elkton Police departments trained under 1st Sgt. Chris Davala from the state police Special Operations Division. Now the equipment is in place and patrols will begin, according to Lt. James Russell, commander of the North East barrack.

“We’ll be using the bikes in some of our high crime areas,” said Russell, who was promoted and assumed command of the barrack on April 16.

Russell said the bikes will allow law enforcement to not only be more approachable to the general public, but also to go places a motor vehicle cannot.

John Peters, director of construction and facility maintenance for The Cordish Company, which owns the North East Plaza, looks forward to that aspect.  [Full story ...]

Above: Wilmington's Finest on patrol during the 2010 Wilmington Grand Prix

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Who Invented the Bicycle?

Cross-posted from LiveScience

You might think that an invention as simple as the bicycle would have an uncomplicated past. But as it turns out, this highly popular invention has a history fraught with controversy and misinformation. While stories about who invented the bicycle often contradict one another, there's one thing that's certain - the very first bicycles were nothing like the ones you see cruising down the street today.

The first known iterations of a wheeled, human-powered vehicle were created long before the bicycle became a practical form of transportation. In 1418, an Italian engineer, Giovanni de la Fontana, constructed a human-powered device consisting of four wheels and a loop of rope connected by gears.

In 1813, about 400 years after Fontana built his wheeled contraption, a German aristocrat and inventor named Karl Drais began work on his own version of a four-wheeled, human-powered vehicle. Then in 1817, Drais debuted a two-wheeled vehicle, known by many names throughout Europe, including Draisine, running machine and hobby horse. [Read the full article ...]

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Two Young Girls Bicycling Across America in 1944

Cross-posted from Vintage Everyday

In 1944, Doris Roy and Thelma Popp who were 21 years old and just graduated from college, made a plan to ride bicycles from their home in Buffalo, New York, to Cairo, Illinois, where the Ohio River met the Mississippi.

"World War II affected our college life as most of the male student body joined one of the services. Women assumed some of their roles by taking jobs in armament industries. During the summer, I worked from early morning to evening in a public school caring for infants whose mothers were working in aircraft factories or other related industries."

"But now, before starting our careers, we decided that the coming summer after graduation would be the ideal time to have our adventure. We had a limited period of time to accomplish this. I had signed a contract to begin teaching first grade in Middleport, New York, on the Erie Canal on September 4, 1944. And so - with the leanest of equipment - we made our preparations and were ready to leave on June 22, 1944."

They camped outside, slept in barns, hitched rides on riverboats, went to church on Sundays, and worked at a Walgreens serving Cokes when their money ran low. They wrote letters to their families, and nearly every day Thelma wrote in her diary. The entire diary was transcribed and can be read here. [Read the full article ...]

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bike Delaware demands Delaware Bikes forfeit domain, cites unfair competition

We were recently contacted by Bike Delaware with the following allegation. Here is an excerpt from their attorney's letter:

It has come to Bike Delaware's attention that you have recently begun using the name "Delaware Bikes" to promote your views regarding cycling in Delaware, including without limitation, on the website Our client is concerned by the use of "Delaware Bikes" because this phrase includes both terms of its "Bike Delaware" mark, simply inverted. Generally, merely inverting the words in a mark does not distinguish the marks, especially in view of the similar meanings and connotations of the respective marks. The significant similarities between the marks - particularly where the services are identical/overlapping and are directed to the same consumers and through the same trade channels - is likely to confuse consumers. In fact, the League of American Bicyclists has expressed its confusion between the names and Bike Delaware is concerned other people or groups encountering the Delaware Bikes name will associate your activities with Bike Delaware or are likely to believe, in error, that you are affiliated with, or sponsored by, Bike Delaware.

? Is it Bike Delaware or Delaware Bikes ?
To which Angela Connolly, Secretary at Delaware Bikes, responds:

The League of American Bicyclists did not express their confusion, to we at Delaware Bikes or anyone else, as you may have been told. Andy Clark, the President of the LAB merely gave his very narrow opinion on the existence of Delaware Bikes and our mission when asked by us for his support. In an e-mail to representatives of Delaware Bikes, he stated that  "there is no need for a new "voice" that's honestly barely discernible in name and content from the existing voice". That is his personal opinion, and in no way should be construed to reflect what the LAB as an organization thinks. As a matter of fact, Delaware Bikes has made our purpose very clear, at every opportunity - to provide a more balanced approach to Bicycle Advocacy, and to include the concerns of those who cycle on Delaware's roads. This differs from Bike Delaware, whose main focus is on securing funds for future segregated bicycle facilities, such as trails and pathways. This is not merely an allegation; one only has to look at the two websites to draw their own conclusions as to the differences in our missions. On our Blog and Facebook page, which is the way we primarily communicate with our followers, we clearly and at every turn distinguish ourselves from Bike Delaware. And as far as consumers and trade channels, that is irrelevant. We are not targeting consumers nor are we soliciting money or donations. We are a non-profit Advisory Committee and Blog, we do not even solicit memberships. We pay for promotional items out of our own funds.

Poster's note: So, what's in a name? It should be noted that Bike Delaware didn't even formally register their domain name until February of this year. So, does Bike Delaware have a case? Stay tuned! For starters, Andy Clark (President, LAB) is incorrect that our services "are identical or overlap". Nothing could be farther from the truth. Bike Delaware focuses almost entirely on trails and pathway funding, while Delaware Bikes covers LAB's own 5 Es of bicycle advocacy. On-road safety is paramount - it is all but impossible to bike for transportation in Delaware (or just about anywhere in the US) without using roads and arterial highways at some point in your journey. And that's not set to change for generations to come, if ever.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Cell phone penalties set to increase in Maryland

Washington Post -- The Maryland General Assembly approved legislation Monday that will stiffen penalties for drivers who cause fatal or serious crashes while talking on a cellphone or texting. The legislation now goes to the governor to be signed.

The Maryland House of Delegates and Senate had passed different versions of the legislation, but in a compromise reached on the last day of the session, lawmakers agreed to these conditions: The law would apply to drivers using a cellphone in a variety of ways, not just texting. Those found guilty would face up to one year in jail and a fine of as much as $5,000. And prosecutors could charge drivers with this law in addition to other laws. [Full article ...]

Poster's note:  A small step forward in neighboring Maryland, but they are headed in the right direction. Ideally, these acts of gross negligence and disregard for other road user's safety should warrant penalties commensurate with DUI. Will Delaware follow suit?