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.

No comments:

Post a Comment