Saturday, April 23, 2011

Saturday Afternoon

Today started off with pouring down rain and cold, but by 6:00PM it was 75 and sunny, so Kathleen and I went out for a ride. We rode down through Fells Point, then dodged the tourists on the Inner Harbor bike path before heading towards the Gwynns Falls Trail. As we passed by the stadium we saw lots of people tailgating before the O's game.
We picked up the Gwynns Falls Trail and saw this on the way, it goes all the way down the side of the building.
We rolled on down to Carroll Park where there were a bunch of people out enjoying the sun, including these guys shooting hoops.
We followed the trail out to Frederick Avenue but it was getting late and so we turned and headed for home. Right after Frederick turned into Pratt Street we saw this, it was so cool that I turned around to get a picture.
Here is Kathleen waiting for me at the next light, and sporting her new tri jersey.
We continued on down Pratt, and in front of the convention center these girls were dancing to the guy playing the plastic can drum kit.
I saw some more girls in similar outfits around, I think there is some kind of volleyball tournament going on. After that we followed the sharrows (I just learned that is what they are called) up Aliceanna Street.
Then Kathleen led us up Washington Street, and as the final bit of injury, up the steepest part of the street (the 200 block of all our streets is the steepest) before heading for home.
A quick shower, then pizza and watching the Capitals close out the series on the Rangers.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wednesday Commute

Today was gorgeous, after yesterdays near miss with the rain, it was sunny and not too brisk this morning. I went out to the garage to discover that my front tire had gone flat overnight. So I stole the spare tube from Kathleen's flat repair kit on her bike, removed the old tube, checked the tire for whatever flattened it (and found nothing) then swapped in the new (used) tube before I rode into work, with a projected high of 83 for the day. On my way out Lombard Street I rolled by the University of Maryland Biopark.
While cutting over to on Poppleton Street I spotted this mural.
Then once I got onto Baltimore Street another one.
Nothing eventful happened until I was almost to the shop, when on the closed part of Wetheredsville Road, a couple of guys on mountain bikes went buy the other way. I think it was actually a couple of the guys from Race Pace heading down to Federal Hill to go to work.
It was a busy day at work, but then 6 pm rolled around and I mounted up and headed for home down the Gwynns Falls Trail. At Leon Day park there were a bunch of people enjoying the weather and playing some basketball.
The trail was much busier than usual, people jogging, on bikes, and walking dogs.
It was really gorgeous, and I found it oddly made my day much better, I really like riding to and from work.
Once I got into town I passed the fire station, where they were grilling some dinner, hot dogs and burgers.
A little further in I passed by Camden Yards where things were in full swing with the nice weather and a home game.
After that I headed for home for dinner and some relaxing, it's coming up on a busy weekend for me.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

First Commute of Spring

Today was supposed to be a relatively nice day, and I didn't have to do anything out of the office, so I rode into work. I took the usual route through town, and enjoyed some bike & bus only lane on Lombard Street through downtown.
Love passing the cars stuck in traffic :) A little further up Lombard I spotted yet another of Baltimore's parks, I like the little parks and squares all over town.
But then it was off for another busy day at work. About 4PM I was regretting my decision to ride in, the weather guys changed the forecast on me overnight, and it was pouring out. Luckily about 5PM it stopped, so at 6 I mounted up and headed for home. The rain had the Gwynns Falls running pretty hard alongside the bike path.
And in some places the Gwynns Falls Trail was underwater.
But all in all, not too unpleasant a ride. When I got down by Camden Yards I spotted this conglomeration of transit. Train tracks, light rail, pedestrian bridges and freeways all come together right here.
It was pretty hopping down here, it's baseball season and the Orioles were having a home game tonight so lots of people around. Then I headed for home for a quick jump through the shower and dinner.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Today was a nice day, but pretty windy. We had intended to go out to the Columbia Triathalon course today to pre-ride it, but we got a late start so we just did a quick spin out to Fort McHenry instead. On the way through Federal Hill there was some sort of music/drinking thing going on.
Then it was on to Fort McHenry, where there was a re-enactment going on. I believe this is Ft McHenry day weekend.
Then it was back around the Inner Harbor to head for home. We passed through Fells Point, and spotted the huge line at the Blue Moon Cafe.
We used to go there for breakfast on the weekends fairly regularly, then the Food Network did a thing on them, and now the line is like 2 hours long. No breakfast is that good. Continuing through Fells Point I saw this down on the water and had to get a closer look.
Saturday was Privateer Day here in Fells Point. A privateer is a nice name for a pirate who is working for you. During the war of 1812 the US government essentially hired pirates to assist in the efforts against the British. Privateer day in Fells Point means lots of drinking and pirate outfits. Then it was back to the house.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Morning

A gorgeous morning this morning, and once I dragged myself out of bed, I had a nice ride around the Inner Harbor. On my way down Broadway I spotted yet another church.
I continued on down around the Inner Harbor, then noodled my way back through the stadium complex where I spotted this.
There were about 30 of these along the spine that runs between the two stadiums, all of the bolted to the ground. Then it was back down Pratt, a little trip through the cobbles in Harbor East then home to get ready for work. This evening I spotted this tree on my way home from work, and although it wasn't on a ride, the color really knocked me out, sorry for the blurry pic.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spring has sprung

Got out for a ride this morning, the weather man says it was 83 degrees by the middle of the afternoon, but it was cool and crisp this morning. Kathleen & I went for a ride around the neighborhood to check out the blooming trees. The Pagoda was in fine form, Kathleen had her first volunteer work crew Sunday yesterday, and it was truly sparkling in the morning sun.
Then a little lower in the park these trees were very bright by the duck pond.
All over the neighborhood trees are doing their thing.
Riding back up Boston Street I spotted this, also very spring-like.
Unbelievable how a week ago all these trees were bare.
Towards the end of our ride we looped back by the lower part of Patterson Park where the bulbs were getting in on the act as well.
Then it was home to get ready for a Monday.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chasing the Paths of Clyburn 5K

Today was the inaugural Paths of Clyburn 5K run at Clyburn Arboretum. Kathleen was running the race, so I rode my bike up to the Arboretum (as I do) to spectate. It was kind of a misty morning this morning, mid 50's but not too bad a day for a ride. I got there just in time for the start, and in an unusual occurance, I ran into Ben (I work with him, he is one of our ace engineers) his girlfriend Laren and her sister (who being as lame with names as I am, I can't remeber her name) who were there to run the race as well.
Kathleen was there as well, of course.
While waiting for the start, I rolled over to check out the mansion, quite the place.
But then they were off, they took off towards the road, before doubling back through the parking lot. I caught Kathleen here.
And then a short while later Ben & Laren came through.
By the way, this was Ben's first organized run of any sort. After the first mile, they left the pavement and went into the forest to do 2 miles on the singletrack there, complete with mud, logs, and such. This was my cue to wait around for them to come back out. While I was waiting I got a beauty shot of the tulips (?) coming up.
After a while Kathleen came out of the woods and up the grassy hill towards the finishing straight.
Then I rolled over to meet Kathleen and got there in time to catch Ben & Lauren finishing.
I hung out for a little while, then headed for the homestead. Last weekend I got a picture of the mural showing the mills on Jones Falls, well this is one of them, I like the exterior hallway between the two sections of building.
On my way down Guilford I passed the farmers market, back in business for the season, last weekend was the first one, so of course Kathleen and I had went. It seemed to be hopping, which is good for all of the vendors.
Then it was back to the house for a shower and some breakfast, and a little bike washing, and to get ready for Paris-Roubaix this evening.

Monday, April 4, 2011


Today dawned rough, my legs were a bit sore, but after three times around with the snooze button, I decided that I should probably get out a for a spin. Just a quick jaunt through the neighborhood, but I got a picture of something that I first noticed the other day. This house is 4 blocks down the street and around the corner from us, and yet somehow I never noticed it before.
I am not sure if it is still a violin studio, but I suspect that it is probably a house now. But once upon a time, I bet they did a booming business here, our neighborhood was where the Polish and Ukranian immigrants settled way back when.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sufferin' Sufferfest

Today was an interesting day, I had the day off, it was warmer than usual (about 55 degrees) and Kathleen & I joined the Baltimore Area Triathalon Club for a group ride, Kathleen joined the club in anticipation of her first triathalon in May. The ride was at 2 PM (I already like the sensible start time) at Tri-Speed Multisports which is about 10 miles away from the house up Falls Road. We took off a little after 1PM to ride up there, and when I say up, I mean up, it is pretty much uphill from here to there. But off we went anyhow.

As we rode through Station North I spotted this on a wall.
Of course the mispelling is what attracted me to it. A little further along we went by the Baltimore Streetcar Museum, and they were having a car show.
Then it was on up Falls Road to the meeting point. I realized that it looked like we were going to be late, and we were. Luckily they didn't leave promptly (another positive mark :) ) so as we rode up the hill to the shop they were just coming down it, so we turned a U-turn and scrambled our way to the back of the group. We continued on out Falls Road and into the countryside. It had gotten a little cloudy, but a nice day out.
Here's Kathleen powering up behind me.
A little further along the ride the group ride leader said to watch for the ostrich and sure enough, there it was.
We rode along some more and did a couple of killer climbs that I hadn't done before, I usually don't venture out this far this direction. Occasionally it got a little dicey with the traffic, but the motorists were for the most part fairly agreeable, alot of people ride bikes out here on the weekends.
But a nice day all in all, quite the challenging loop for a first long ride of the season.
Very nice, I am sure it will be even nicer when spring kicks in and the trees turn leafy again. We survived the new people/recovery ride that we were on, and met some nice folks back at the shop. After a few minutes of gabbing it up, everybody else loaded their bikes up in/on their cars, and Kathleen and I headed out for the homestead. Definitely interesting riding with a group, I usually ride by myself, so as a result somewhat aimlessly, whereas riding with the group, we went on the route, and not a whole lot of lollygagging.

On our way back down Falls Road, I spotted this mural, it is so big that it took 2 pictures to capture.
Right next to it on the same retaining wall is this mural also, it shows all of the mills that used to be along Jones Falls. Before they put the freeway on top of the river, it used to be a thriving industrial area with lots of manufacturing along it.
Then we wound our way back down to the house to get cleaned up. It was quite a ride, Kathleens GPS showed 5100 feet of elevation gain, my GPS showed 2100 feet, so I am going with hers :)

We were both famished (not suprising with a mile of elevation gain in 34 miles of riding), so we headed over to Five Guys Burgers and Fries for excellent hamburgers and the closest approximation to Frites that we can get here in Baltimore without going to Salt across the street (they make the most incredible duck fat fries there). Why Frites you ask? Today was also Ronde van Vlaanderen (the Tour of Flanders) in Belgium which is the one of the classics of bike racing. It is the hard men (and women) that excell at it, they did about 155 miles (270 Kilometers), with about 25 miles (40 Kilometers) of it on cobblestone paths. So we had our frites then headed home to watch the truly fit fight it out on the roads of Belgium. Here is a highlights video from last year.
This year was pretty epic too, Cancellara ended up third after dragging two other guys to the line, who then passed him for the win. I am looking forward to Paris-Roubaix (aka The Hell of the North) next weekend.