Some people get in their cars after work, drive to a gym and ride a bicycle in front of a TV. Not a bad idea except for the driving part… and the gym part… and the TV.

The Bike Sweats are a series of outdoor winter bike rides intended to give you a short, hard workout once a week. Riders of any fitness level are encouraged to ride. There are two different workouts alternating weekly: (NOTE: I am stopping the Montebello sprints this year. They were fun and effective, but difficult with small groups)

Roland Park Hill Climbs start here: HILL CLIMB START
Lake Montebello Sprints start here: SPRINT START (south parking lot)

All rides are Wednesday nights starting promptly at 7:30PM. All rides are approximately 1 hour. See calendar HERE or at right to be sure of the next ride.

The Bike Sweats are intended to be fun, all-inclusive workouts. I designed the routes as a good challenge to keep myself in shape over the winter months and to get me ready for harder, longer rides coming soon enough in the spring. 

What do you need to participate?

  • You’ll need to stay in touch with this blog. Add your email address and follow any new posts. Ice, snow and/or rain will cancel the ride and I’ll post about it here.
  • You’ll need a willingness to push yourself physically and to be respectful of others in the group doing the same.
  • You’ll need a bike that’s capable of getting you up steep hills (proper gearing) as well as getting you down those hills safely (good brakes)
  • You’ll need strong, reliable lighting on your bike.
  • You understand that participating means you’re riding at your own risk.

Questions? Comments? Leave a reply or, just show up and see how you like it.


30 Responses to

  1. John says:

    Is this suitable for a C rider on a hybrid?

    • randoramble says:

      John, If you can get up these hills at any speed then you’re good. In Mt. Washington we ride South rd, Sulgrave, Bellemore, Cross Country and Lake. If you can get up those and be ready for more, then you’re good for our ride. Give it a try- you can test yourself on the first hills and see how you feel about repeating. -Bob

  2. Israel says:

    Where are we riding today? Hill climbs or Montebello

  3. David Laino says:

    I’m interested in the ride next week (4/22/15), but I don’t have a light on my bike. With sunset around 8, that could be a problem. Is a light a real necessity this time of year for this evening ride? I understand the importance of being visible and can dress appropriately. Thanks for any advice.


    • randoramble says:

      David, Glad you’re interested in the ride. Front and rear lights are important. We are both ascending and descending steep grades on dark neighborhood roads. Hitting a surprise pothole coming down a steep hill is not conducive to getting in shape. I consider strong lighting to be as critical for safety as a helmet. Grab a good light set and we’ll hope to see you next Wednesday. -Bob

  4. Barrett says:

    Is there a place where the actual ride is posted week to week? It says in the email to check the blog on this site, but I never see anything. If we miss a few weeks, we always have to ask.

    • randoramble says:

      Barrett, Glad you commented. The calendar, “Upcoming Rides”, is posted in the upper right hand corner of the blog. WordPress does not make it easy to see the sidebar in mobile view, so that may be the problem. I put in a direct link to the calendar on the main page. One more month of these rides. Hope you can make it!

  5. Lisa says:

    I see a ride listed on but not on this site. Hill Climbs on for tonight?

  6. Did I hear Bellemore? I have hill repeats on my training schedule for this afternoon so maybe I will come to this ride to meet some people and suffer together. I’m looking to do some really intense zone 5a-c type suffering. Is this the right group for this?

  7. randoramble says:

    We’ve had to skip so many Wednesdays, I couldn’t remember which ride was next. When in doubt, check “Upcoming Rides” in the side banner.

  8. Israel says:

    What ride are we doing this Wednesday? The sprints or the climbs? Thanks.

  9. Beth says:

    Interested in joining you. Crazy weather!

  10. ldonnellon says:

    Have these started up again? It is not officially winter until this weekend but…I am ready!

    • randoramble says:

      Haven’t started yet, but will be soon. I’ll get dates up in the calendar. Expect our first ride for January 7th. We’ll go every Wednesday until April. Thanks for warming up the blog!

  11. Israel says:

    Its supposed to rain this evening. Are we still doing the Roland Park Ride tonight?

  12. rootyk says:

    All level riders? I’m SLOW and hate to think I’m holding someone back…..

    • randoramble says:

      We’re all trying to become stronger riders. If you can make it up the hills on the hill climb ride, it doesn’t matter much how fast you go. Test yourself and see how many times you can ride up Bellemore in Mt. Washington or Elmwood in Roland Park. On the Montebello Sprints there’s always a slow group if you can’t handle the sprint phase. Come on out and give it a try… that is, when the weather allows.

  13. Israel Akpadiaha says:

    This is great! Thanks! Looking forward to meeting the group!!

  14. Melissa Otterbein says:

    Thank you for providing a way to work out with a group during a time of year that can be hard to stay motivated independently! Looking forward to meeting the group!

    Melissa Otterbein
    Baltimore Area Triathlon Club member

  15. randoramble says:

    Clear and a balmy high of 28F for the ride tonight. See ya at the Lake at 7:30. -Bob

  16. Cindy MacInnis says:

    Sounds like fun! Count me in this winter.



  17. Olga says:

    are you still doing these rides?

  18. John says:

    See ya on the 23rd at montebello!

  19. randoramble says:

    Thanks for the heads-up, John. We are aware of the possibility for dangerous situations and have designed this ride to minimize them. The majority of riders will be going quite slow in fact. Also, these rides are just winter months and in my experience, only the hardiest of runners and bikers are out at 7PM on weeknights.

  20. John McDonald says:

    If you’re going to be sprinting around Lake Montebello, you may want to ride in the car lane, not the bike lane. A lot of people walk there (I’ve counted over 200 on a nice evening) and some of them (or their dogs) wander into the bike lane; I’ve seen several near-collisions of fast cyclists with pedestrians. The part with a median separating the bike+ped lanes from the cars is a particular problem, it’s great for kids and other slow cyclists but a fast cyclist really shouldn’t use it. Cars generally don’t go much over 25 mph around the lake, so you shouldn’t be pissing their drivers off too much.


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