The Baltimore Sun

Bicycle-loan program to return next year

The city of Annapolis' free bicycle-loan program will return in an expanded form next year, after posting modest results this summer.

The Free Wheelin' program, which began in June, drew almost 70 bike enthusiasts in 2 1/2 months, city officials announced this week.

Bike borrowers included local residents and tourists from across the country and abroad.

"It was exciting to show that Annapolis is a city that not only encourages alternative forms but offers access to those modes of transportation," said Danielle Matland, director of transportation.

Boaters in particular liked the program, she said, because they could dock in town and run errands or sightsee on the bicycles.

The program received more than 35 bicycle donations and trained six volunteers to maintain the bikes. Capital Bicycle owner Parker Jones offered technical support, trained the volunteers and suggested improvements to the program.

Free Wheelin' will return in June with enhancements, including:

A mobile trailer to house the bicycles overnight.

An additional spot to sign out bicycles.

Outreach to medical professionals to assess bicycle-related injuries.

The Free Wheelin' program welcomes adult-bicycle donations.

Information: 410-263-7964, ext. 107; or e-mail transit@annapolis. gov.

Rapper to appear at Annapolis High

Hollywood rapper and songwriter Delray Richardson, a former Annapolis resident, will return home today to perform a special concert for Annapolis High School students to begin initiatives aimed at furthering partnerships between the school and community.

At the event, co-sponsored by the city of Annapolis and the school, Richardson will be joined by Melle Mel and Friends. Melle Mel is a former member of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, which this year became the first rap act to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Richardson, who was a resident of the Robinwood community, released the CD From Robinwood to Hollywood in 2005. He has sought to use his rising stardom to bring attention to issues in public housing.

The high school show will be the first of four initiatives encouraging students to take personal responsibility for their educational journey and urging community groups to take an active role in the success of schools. The three other events aligned with this initiative are a community forum associated with the "Glimpse of Paradise" mentoring model, a youth town hall meeting and the Annapolis Youth Summit.

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