Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

It was hot as hell today in Baltimore, 95 degrees when I went out for a ride. As a result I opted to stick with the flat routes, and rode out to Fort McHenry. It was truly hot, and with the Inner Harbor being mostly hardscape, there were a lot of very wilted looking tourists about.
I passed by the Lacrosse Tournament Vendor Village on Light Street, lots of folks checking out the latest lacrosse stuff.
On my way out Key Highway I spotted this bus, I am assuming it belongs to the AVAM.
Once I got out to Fort McHenry I was greeted with this.
I am not sure what Sarah Palin was doing at Fort McHenry on Memorial Day, but I am sure it was for self-aggrandizing purposes. On my way back home I spotted this groovy VW Bus, you just don't see a lot of these on the east coast.
Then it was a quick stop for a soda then head for home for a cool shower.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bike Jam!

Today was the Bike Jam in Patterson Park, pro road racing right here in Baltimore. I slept in this morning, the original get up at 8:30 plan didn't work out, but once I arose about 10:00 Kathleen and I went out for a ride. We rode up to Lake Montebello where lots of folks were out enjoying the day.
Passing through Charles Village, we passed this house with the flowers fully in bloom.
We continued up towards Hampden, it really was a nice day for a ride.
We looped back around to Patterson Park, and sat down to watch the racing go down. Here are the Pro Women just after the start.
A little later passing through the Start/Finish.
We rode down to the other side of the park, here they come down the hill to the bottom side of the course.
We hung around and watched some more racing, then headed back to the house to get cleaned up an run errands. On the way back to the house we passed the Ukranian Orthodox temple on Eastern Avenue.

Then the rest of the day beckoned.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Commute Day

After 2 weeks of getting my butt kicked at work, I finally got a chance to ride today. To make the most of it, I rode into work this morning. It was the usual route across town, although I did get onto some new streets. Passing through the west side, I spotted this pair of churches (suprise!).
Nothing much else of note on the ride in. The end of the day rolled around, and I got a call from Kathleen that she was getting out of DC and back to Baltimore early, so she decided to ride up and meet at work for the ride home. One thing led to another and she was late getting started, so it was determined we would meet on the Gwynns Falls trail somewhere in the middle. I got into my superhero outfit and headed on down the road towards home. Gorgeous summer day out, mid 80's and muggy. The path was nice and quiet, and shady in the late afternoon sun.
About 4 miles into my ride, Kathleen appeared from the other direction.
She turned around and we continued on towards home.
As we got down to the Stadium area, we spotted these busses parking at M & T Bank Stadium, where the Ravens normally play.
A little further along, the tent rental people were hard at work putting up tents in the parking lot on the other side.
Continuing on down the bike trail we passed through the last little park by the stadium, where a bunch of people were getting in a little late afternoon hoops.
We rode down through the Inner Harbor where we spotted some sort of event going on at the corner of Light & Pratt streets.
It turns out that the NCAA Division 1 Lacrosse tournament is in town this weekend. At the end of the red carpet was this guy, he must have been the opening act.
Then it was home, a shower, pizza, and stage 6 of the Tour of California. Big weekend this weekend, 3 days off with no shows, and the Bike Jam is tomorrow.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


After some suprise morning work hysteria, it turned out to be a nice day today. Kathleen opted to nap this afternoon, she did a brick yesterday (21 miles on the bike followed by a 3 mile run) to see what that would be like for her race. I took the opportunity to go and visit Dickeyville, the groovy little neighborhood where I work. I took the scenic route up Washington Street where I passed this neighborhood hardware store, unfortunately going out of business.
I continued up Washington Street to eventually arrive at Lake Montebello. Another nice day at the lake, people enjoying the sunny day.
Then I crossed town to Druid Lake, lots of people out and about here as well.
I rode from there up Gwynns Falls Parkway, and over to Dickeyville. Here is the road down to the mill, very park-like driving down here everyday for work.
And here is the mill, although it hasn't been a mill for a long time, Bob has owned the property for almost 40 years now. When he first moved in, Matt Polk started Polk Audio and was housed on the ground floor. Now we use all of that space, as well as the entire second floor of the main building.Dickeyville is a part of Baltimore now, but once upon a time this was the company town, everybody who lived here worked at the mill. The whole neighborhood is part of the Historic Register as a result.

Here is the town church, still in use.
After my little tour of Dickeyville it was time to head for home, I took the Gwynns Falls Trail home. I really like riding on the trail, it's very peaceful.

Down by the stadiums I spotted a group of BMX trick riding guys hanging out, unfortunately I am not quick enough on the trigger to catch them mid-trick, here is the end of one.
Then it was off to home and a shower, it was really humid today, first really humid day this year.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

New Bike Bling

Busy week this week, only got out once in the morning with Kathleen to do hill repeats in Patterson Park. But this afternoon I had some time to myself, so I went out for a ride around the city. As you may recall from my last installment, I broke my bike last weekend (sort of, I lost a somewhat hard to find bolt from the cranks). As a result I was in need of an alternative. A little ebay hunting brought this to replace the previous crankset.
That's right a genuine, bonafide, Campagnolo Record 10 speed crankset, brand new from 2008 (the last year of 10 speed Record). A magazine review described Campagnolo as "Italian, Elegant, Expensive" and that is true here. I got a pretty killer deal, and as a bonus, the cranks are 180mm, which is 5mm longer than most and should be good for me and my long gangly legs. At any rate, I rode over to Race Pace in Federal Hill where the other Campagnoloistas work to show off, then a quick ride around the city. It was kind of a gray day in Baltimore today, not too cold, but overcast and occasionally misty and rainy.
Up on North Avenue I spotted this church.
Across the street from the church was this.
Pretty ironic, I thought. I continued on around and spotted this church a little further along.
But then it was time to head towards home, back down the hill, then the climb back up Butchers Hill. A block away from our house on Pratt Street is a little market, and on the side is this groovy graffiti, I snapped a picture while enjoying my post ride coke.
A few sips of soda then home for a shower, and a quick run to work to take care of a some last minute changes at a jobsite. Hopefully Kathleen & I will get out tomorrow for another ride, Kathleen wants to practice flat tires for her Triathalon next weekend, no neutral support in her race.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Pre-Riding the Columbia Triathalon

Kathleen is racing in the Columbia Triathalon later this month. Towards that end, Kathleen went out early this morning to Gunpowder State Park for her first open water swim and first swim in a wetsuit while I slept in. This afternoon we met up with Bonnie and Steve (friends of Kathleen's through Back on My Feet) at the course start at Centennial Park in Columbia to pre-ride the bike portion of the race. It was about 1PM when we all got there, a little getting ready and we were off. Here is the gang following me up Route 108.
And heading up the road.
Once you get off Rt 108 it is very picturesque. Rolling hills and farms, with the occasional development of McMansions.
I have to say, this is quite the hilly route, pretty brutal for a time trial. At any rate, here is the gang at the top of one of the many climbs on the route.
Here is Kathleen swapping water bottles in the cages, it easier to pull out the one on the downtube than the one on the seat tube. She is swapping the empty for the full one here.
A little ways down the road we passed by a log cabin.
Then a group of goats.
Mostly though it was bucolic farmland with a little traffic, a very nice ride all in all.
Truly a gorgeous day out, very spring like. The only bummer came at the end, we rolled down to the lake to get an eye on what that was all about (they do the swim in the lake). Coming back up something went bang in the drivetrain on my bike and the chain dropped off. A quick investigation revealed a missing (and rare due to the limited manufacturing run of my used taiwanese carbon cranks) chainring bolt. So I pushed the bike up the hill, and off to the bike shop. Now I am crankset shopping :( (sort of, but really more :) )