Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chasing the Baltimore Womens Classic

Today was the 35th Annual Baltimore Womens Classic, and Kathleen was running in it. So I rode down to Federal Hill to capture all the action. As I waited down the street from the start for Kathleen to come by, I (and the runners) were entertained by this roving troubadour.
Then Kathleen came by in the big pack (orange shorts, blue top).
A little further down another guitar player.
Here is Kathleen rounding the corner onto Fort Avenue.
Just after the 1 mile water station the local firefighters set up an impromptu cooling shower on the route.
Here is Kathleen rounding the turnaround sandwich board on Fort Avenue.
A little further back up the race course, they passed yet another band of guitarists as they turned off Key Highway onto the waterfront promenade.
Then I shot ahead to catch the finish.
Kathleen did a personal best by almost 2 minutes today, despite the hot weather. After the race I hung out for a little bit, then headed for the homestead to wash both bikes and do some drivetrain maintenance.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday on Rock Creek Parkway

Another scorching day today, so I suggested we go down to DC and ride on the Rock Creek Parkway, they close part of it to cars on the weekend. I have been going up and down it all week for work, so I had noticed that much of it was shady. So this morning we loaded up the bikes on the car and scooted on down there. We started in Chevy Chase and road down into DC. Near the Memorials we stopped to admire the view of the Potomac.

A little further along we came up from the backside of the Lincoln Memorial.
Then we continued on into Hains Point, which is very popular with the cyclists, low traffic, flat as a pancake, and a built in loop at the far end. As we rode around the point, we spotted this.
It seemed to be some sort of group activity where you paddle around on the Potomac and the guy standing at the front leads in classic drill sergeant mode. Kathleen was willing to bet money that the paddlers paid for the privilege, I didn't take her up on it because I am pretty sure she is right. After we rounded the tip of the point the other side faces National Airport.
At the other end of the park are a bunch of softball fields, this game was just about to get started.

There is also a golf course, tennis courts, and playgrounds all through the park. After a loop around and a quick stop at the Lincoln Memorial for the restrooms we headed back up the parkway for the car. As we had discovered on the way down, only part of the parkway is closed, so for the return trip we shared the path with the joggers, walkers and others, but there were lots of times where it was fairly quiet.
Once we got a little farther up to where the road was closed it was smooth sailing back to the car, plenty of room for everybody.
When I downloaded my data from the computer tonight, I got the biggest suprise, a new personal best top speed.
Actually, that is where we went through a tunnel on the road, I am pretty sure I didn't hit 200+ mph at any point today. Tomorrow Kathleen is running the Baltimore Womens Classic, so I am going to ride around and take pictures as I do.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Morning

Today was another beautiful day, although still very hot (80 degrees) even at 7:00AM. I wasn't going to let that deter me though, and I went on a big loop around through Mount Vernon. I spotted this church over there, it is still unbelievable to me how many churches there are in Baltimore.
Then it was back to the homestead for a shower, breakfast then off to work.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Commute Day

I didn't have anywhere to be other than the office today, so I rode into work. It was already hot at 8:00AM when I left, and it didn't get any cooler as the day went on. First things first though, I promised action shots of my new seat bag on Saturday, but then didn't give them on Sunday. So here is my new seat bag, resplendent in its 80's style dayglo green.
Now before you laugh, the other option had a sandy tan panel where this one was green, otherwise identical, and was $7 more, so green it was. I shot this on Charles Street on my way in, waiting at a light. But then it was upward to work and a little good news. The city parks guys had been through and cleaned up the downed tree on the closed part of Wetheredsville Road, which is a good thing, last time I had portage over it in my utterly tractionless bike shoes.
Then it was on to the office for a day of getting organized. 5 O'clock rolled around and I slid on out of the office early and headed for home. I took the Gwynns Falls Trail home, as it had reached about 95 degrees out, and the weather channel had a air quality warning for the day. The trail is pretty shady for the most part, so a little cooler. On my way down I spotted this, I am pretty sure that there is at least one problem here.
A little while later, I got to the first rail crossing, and the gates were down but there was no indication of a train being there. Then some guy at a warehouse said the gates had been down for 20 minutes, so I looked both ways and slid around them. Just after I crossed, the train whistle sounded, and by the time I reached the next crossing a block away, the gates went down and the train appeared.
So I waited him out, then continued on to the house, utterly bonking due to failure to pay attention. When I left the shop I was a little hungry, by the time I reached my neighborhood I was totally punked out, and had to climb Mount Collington in my lowest gear to make it home. Lesson for today, if you are a little hungry when you start exercising, you should probably eat first. Stupidly I had a Cliff Bar with me, but I didn't eat it until I got home.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Ride Around BWI

Today was another beautiful day, so Kathleen & I went to the BWI Trail, and had found a route through Map My Ride to get to Patapsco State Park. We started about 9:30 and it was already pretty hot, parts of the trail are shady, parts not so much. Despite some technical difficulties (my phone was not behaving, so the map was an issue) we managed to find our way to Patapsco and ride some nice little roads on the way there.
Nice finger in the picture here by yours truly.
But eventually we reached the end of the paved, and then the end of the unpaved trail, and turned around to head back.
On the way back, I was going to shoot a picturesque picture of the river, but my camera was on movie, so all I got once I sorted that out was this.
The park was bustling with activity, lots of families picnicing, and playing in the river, lots of hikers and mountain bikers, and more than a few road cyclists as well doing the same loop we were doing through the valley floor. Right at the edge of the park was this cool old school stone rail bridge, the road is pretty narrow through there, I guess back in the day as long as two buggies could get through it it was wide enough.
After that it was back through the backroads over to BWI to rejoin the trail. On the way there we passed the Elkride Furnace Inn, which was originally built after the Civil War as a gift from a local judge, to act as a community meeting place where people could get together and heal the wounds of the war. Maryland is actually south of the Mason Dixon Line, but sided with the North. This wasn't universally popular in the MD area, as a result Elkridge was occupied by a Union contingent to protect the railroad viaduct in the area from saboteurs. Hence the gift of the Inn. It is now a B & B with a restaurant and catering services.
Then we refound the trail (the route was much better marked on the way back) and continued around BWI back to the car and home. A super hot day at times, but a very nice ride.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chasing the Baltimore 10 Miler

Today was the Baltimore 10 Miler and Kathleen was running in it. So I rode my bike up to shoot some action shots of the race. I left a little before 7AM and it was already warming up, plus my phone had an air quality warning on it :( On my way up Lombard towards downtown, this was my view, every other time I have ridden here it has been wall to wall cars. I guess there are some advantages to getting up early.
But then it was on to Druid Hill Park, where the race started and ended. I was just up the road from the start when Kathleen passed at the beginning, still looking fairly refreshed, this would change.
As I went to get further up the course, the only way across the Jones Falls Expressway was the same way the runners were going. As I crossed the bridge I spotted these two, no idea what the tu-tus are about.
Then I moved on to find a shady spot to wait at Lake Montebello where the turn around was. After a little while of sitting around in the shade Kathleen appeared from the pack.
And made a face.
This is a little further down the road on 33rd street.
And here near Johns Hopkins as the turn to head back to Druid Lake Park for the finish.
Here is what the area around the lake looked like, the race ran on the road above this.
Then I cut around the closed streets to a path above the finish to catch the big sprint, good thing I am quick on the trigger, a split second later I would have missed it entirely.
Then I rode home, and ran some errands, including getting a new seat bag and tire levers for the bike. The zipper on mine failed today, and as a result I lost my pink Pedro's tire levers that replaced the one I broke a couple of weeks ago. The new seat bag seems pretty bitchin', Kathleen and I are supposed to go for a ride in the AM so we shall see, I did manage to stuff all of my stuff in it though. Action shots tomorrow if I decide I like it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Morning Ride

Yesterday I finally got out again, it has been crazy at work, The Army Birthday Ball, VW's Launch of the 2011 Jetta in Times Square, and getting ready for the 4th of July. But yesterday morning was very nice, so Kathleen and I went for a ride around the neighborhood. Not a whole lot going on, but when we got to the park, I spotted my nemesis, the addled-brained squirrel.
And just to the squirrels side, a group of guys in Army workout wear playing some sort of football/rugby hybrid.
But then it was home and off to work. I am going out to chase Kathleen around the Baltimore 10 Miler tomorrow, hopefully I can go out again on Sunday too.

Monday, June 7, 2010

At Long Last

Too long between rides, this last week has been consumed with the Komen Global Race for the Cure in DC, so I haven't been able to get out. But today was different, and I did get out for a ride. It was a gorgeous morning, the humidity finally lifted, it was almost chilly out. I went down around the Inner Harbor, and up to the top of the hill in Federal Hill Park, where I shot this pic of the sun rising over the harbor.
Then it was back to the homestead and off to work.