Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

Today is New Years Eve, and with a couple of 20-ish mile rides yesterday and today, I managed to do 1801 miles this year, with 73,944 feet of climbing. Yesterday work closed early, so I scooted home and Kathleen and I went out for a ride. We headed up towards Lake Montebello and did a lap, while we were on our way up there, I shot this pic of the Campy logo on my new front wheel, while riding, first try.
Then we headed up, and I do mean up, towards Johns Hopkins, then up Roland Avenue towards the burbs, here is Kathleen leading the way.
Here we are at a stoplight, Kathleen is sporting her new helmet from Christmas, a Specialized Prevail.
We did a big loop up Roland Ave to Lake Road, then back down to Falls Road. It was getting late (stupid 4:30 sunsets) so we headed back down Falls Road, then through Hampden where I spotted this bike. I cannot imagine how uncomfortable this must be to ride between the severely tilted down saddle, and the severely tilted up aerobars.

Then it was back down the bike path at Stieff Silver to Falls Road again to head for home, but once again I dropped my camera, luckily it still seems to work fine.
Today was a day off, I slept in late after staying up stupidly late playing video games at Matt's last night. Kathleen got home from some errands at about 2 PM and we headed out to break the 1800 mile barrier (for me, Kathleen ends up at 1350 or so for the year, but a lot more running and swimming than I do, which is none of either). It was about the same temps wise yesterday, but gusty 20 mph winds to add to the ambiance. We decided that with the quantity of morons out driving around, we would head up the Gwynns Falls Trail.  Passing through the Inner Harbor, I spotted this lovely decoration on the chain link fence they are putting up for New Years there.
Then it was up the Gwynns Falls, here is the tail end of it up by my work on Wetheredsville Road.
Once again, the stupid early sunset was screwing with us so back down the Gwynns Falls we went, here is Kathleen hanging out on one of the bridges down by Carroll Park.
Coming back into Baltimore, I spotted this mural on the side of a building, it's definitely new, I am sure I would have noticed this before.
Then it was back through the throngs and cars, I liked the Holiday decorations here in Federal Hill.
We survived the crowds on Pratt street, and back to the house for the final victory coke for the year.
Happy New Years everybody, the weather is supposed to stay nice through the weekend, and I have Monday off, so hopefully I can kick of 2012 with some rides.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Boxing Day

Today is Boxing Day (everywhere but the US) and also was a day off for me. So, while Kathleen and Sophie took a nap, I went out for the first ride on my new wheels. First it was around the Inner Harbor to Federal Hill. On my way down Key Highway I spotted the AVAM Christmas Tree.
Very in keeping with the building I would say. I continued on to stop by Race Pace Bicycles to confirm that Kathleen was signed up for the upcoming Park Tools Bicycle Mechanic School that starts in January (my gift to her), and to thank them for keeping the new wheels under their hat (Kathleen got them there, we like to support our local businesses). We had a geeky bike conversation about tubeless tires, as the new wheels are designed to work with them, I figure next time I need tires I will give it a whirl. I bid them aideu, then rode out to Fort McHenry, then back through a ferocious headwind. Then I went up Calvert (epic long low grade climb) then across town to come back down Wolfe to the neighborhood. When I got home I spotted this across the street from our house, I think our neighbors Larry and Rachel are responsible, they live right there on the right of this picture (formstone house).
Then back to the house, a quick shower and on to the rest of the day.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas everybody. No ride today, just some humdrum family pics and the like. Last night we went out to dinner at Della Notte in Little Italy, as we do on most Christmas Eves, so it was an occasion to get all dolled up.
We had a great dinner (as always) then went up to Hampden to see the Miracle on 34th Street (as we do).
Then it was back to the house to get to bed so Santa could do his thing. This morning rolled around and Christmas merriment and gift giving was had, Sophie got the most gifts of all in the form of an endless supply of wrapping paper.
Eventually she tired out, and snuggled up to Kathleen for a nap.
While Kathleen got Christmas dinner together, I went out to the garage to install my big gift for this year, a set of Campagnolo Zonda wheels.   Here is the bike in it's current state as photographed in the official manner.
Then it was time for a great dinner featuring beef brisket, lentil loaf (an old favorite from our vegetarian days), broccoli, and stove top stuffing. Hopefully everybody had a great Christmas as well.

Friday, December 23, 2011


We went out for a ride today, it was supposed to be 54 degrees, it probably was but with 20 mile an hour winds that made it feel much colder. So today kinda sucked. Merry Christmas :).

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Celtic Solstice 2011

Today was the Celtic Solstice 5 mile race at Druid Lake Park, Kathleen was running it, so I bundled up and rode up there to spectate.   It was brisk at about 40 degrees, but not snowing (2 years ago) and not utterly freezing like last year.   I scooted around the group as they waited to start, and rode across the bridge into the park.   Here is the view back towards the start, lots of people still arriving with 10 minutes to go.
Then they were off, here is Kathleen passing after the first big hill.
I scooted on ahead and got her a couple more times at the intersection of the two loops that made the bulk of the first part of the course.
While I was waiting I got a beauty shot of the lake.
Then rolled down to catch her as she rounded the near side of the lake.
While she ran around the lake, I made my way across the bridge over to catch her at the finish in front of Stieff Silver.
Then we met up with Kim from Kathleen's Tri club (and she rode with us at the Tour Du Port this year)  to go over to Gertrudes at the BMA for a pancake breakfast and to hang out.   Pancakes and laughs were had by all.   Then I rolled back to the house for a shower.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jingle Bell 5K

Today Kathleen ran the Jingle Bell 5K here in Baltimore, so I scooted down to watch and take pictures. Winter is officially here, it was about 38 degrees when I rolled out of the garage. Despite the cold it was sunny and bright, and they got a big turnout for the event. Here is the start, Kathleen is in the red shirt with the pink & red striped hat.
I cut around to where they were headed up Linwood towards Patterson Park and caught her again.
Then another quick sprint to the entrance of Patterson Park.
They did a little loop in the park, then back down Linwood to Fleet to East Ave, and here she is turning the corner there.
Then at the end of East they went down into Du Burns Arena for the finish, this the last I saw her before they went down the ramp.
I met Kathleen on the other side of the arena and handed off her fuzzy jacket that I had been carrying around under my windbreaker, then she headed off with the "missle toes" (a group of her running/wine tasting friends) for a post race brunch with Mimosas. I headed back to the house and washed both bikes and the car (I love having hot water in the garage).

Sunday, November 27, 2011

End of the Weekend

In the ever changing Baltimore weather, this afternoon Kathleen and I got out for another ride, and it was mid 60's and breezy. Bib shorts, jersey, thin socks, and summer gloves must be in the mid-atlantic with it's just wait 24 hours weather. We noodled around Baltimore, first heading up to Druid Lake, where I once again dropped the camera while riding along. I went back to retrieve it and it still works fine.
We rolled around the lake, and past this little castle, I have no idea what it does there.
We continued on through the park, passing the conservatory there.
Then we went out of the park via the mini Alpe D'Huez by Clipper Mill, I have never gone down the switchbacks before always up, so this was the first time I had seen this sign.
We went through Clipper Mill, and up to Hampden where Christmas is on, or at least under construction.
Passing through Charles Village I spotted this group of row houses with fancy spindle painting.
And a little further along this cute house.
Then it was snack time, these are the energy bars Kathleen whipped up from a recipe in Bicycling magazine. I nommed this one down, then had another.
Then we headed towards Lake Montebello the sun was just starting to head down over the lake.
A couple of laps around the lake then back to the house, this pavillion is on the way in Clifton Park, I would love to know what it was originally, unfortunately it is fenced off right now.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Strike 2

Today we drove up to the PA state line to a group ride with the Baltimore Bicycle Club, but as luck would have it, in getting our act together this morning, Kathleens shoes didn't make it into the car. A brief discussion was had about her doing 52 hilly miles in her Birkenstocks, but instead we bailed back to the house. Obviously the cycling gods don't want us to do a group ride this weekend. A quick regrouping then we were off on a traditional Robert kind of ride, where I head out, get myself vaguely lost, then figure out where I am and head back home. Once again the weather has changed, and it was in the upper 40's when we left, which meant heavy socks, leg warmers, bib shorts, insulated jersey, full finger gloves and a windbreaker. Our basic destination was the bike path loop at BWI, via a route that I wasn't sure of. We got out of the city okay and headed in a generally southerly direction. Some of the roads were bigger like this.
But we were able to cut through some smaller neighborhoods along the way, and spotted this in one of them.
Once we got down to Elkridge (and recognized where we were from a previous ride, we got onto some smaller roads that were much quieter.
Eventually we made it to the Bike Path, and passed under the landing pattern for the airport.
The path is about 10 miles around the airport, and really is very nice to ride, a lot of the time you would never know you were at the airport.
The path is actually pretty used, we saw lots of cyclists, joggers, and walkers, including this family out for a ride, kids to grandparents.
Eventually it was time to head back, and remarkably, the route back to Baltimore is fairly well marked, so off we went. Also the weather had warmed up some by then, and some layers started coming off as evidenced by Kathleen's removal of the sleeves on her windbreaker and leg warmers.
We came back in via Hannover Street, busy day in the harbor, one of the cruise ships is in across the way.
From there we caught another part of the Gwynns Falls Trail back towards the house, that's the Hanover street bridge behind Kathleen, I have ridden across it before, but it is not fun, no bike lane, no sidewalk, and lots of steel grating for the roadbed in the middle.
We were almost home, where the fickle hand of fate decided it was my turn to practice changing a tube, I flatted right by the stadium.
Once repaired we were off to the homestead for 5 guys burgers and some errands.