Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pre Riding the Duathalon Course

Today Kathleen and I got our acts together and went out to Howard County to pre-ride the Duethe2 Duathalon course that Kathleen is racing next weekend. It was a nice ride in rolling pastoral countryside, and today, it was hot as hell at noon when we were doing it (about 95 degrees hot and muggy). Here is Kathleen dropping me, I slept terribly last night, so I was pretty under form today, but also Kathleen has been training a bunch and it shows :)
And after I caught her up again.
There were horses.
And statues of horses.
And empty roads ahead, not a lot of traffic today.
Right near the end of the course we saw this groovy building that appears to be an adapted barn, I just liked the pattern on the silo part.
Once we got back to the park, Kathleen went to run the running circuit (2 miles) and I got the bikes back on the car. The race will be one running lap, 2 laps of the cycling course we rode today, then 2 running laps at the end. Once she got back from the run we headed back to the homestead so I could get my act together to go out of town tomorrow AM.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Heat Wave

It has been hotter than the surface of the sun here this week, record highs every day and stifling humidity. Kathleen went to swim laps at the pool, so despite the weather I went out for a ride. I decided to take it easy, so the flattish ride out to Fort McHenry and back fit the bill. On my way back I got this shot of the other side of the Inner Harbor from the bridge by the fort, I was hoping it would show the heat, it was 102 degrees out by the Weather Channel widget on my phone.
A little further down Fort Avenue I passed this bar, I really liked the bright orange paint with the palm trees.
On my way back by Pier 6 I spotted this cone, the heat (and possibly a car or two) was just too much for it.
Then it was back to the house to shower, patch some tubes that have been piling up, and dinner. After dinner we watched Cadel Evans storm the individual time trial in Stage 20 of the Tour De France to win the race, just tomorrows stage into Paris (which is not contested for the overall classification) to go. He went from 57 seconds behind the leader to 1:30 ahead in 44K, very impressive ride for him.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Group Ride Attempt

So after last Thursday's failure to make it to Race Pace in time for the group ride, I took off early from work and met Kathleen to make the Monday Night ride. On the way over we got passed and dropped by a genuine hipster, track bike, no brakes.
We got over to Race Pace at 5:30, and about 5:45 6 of us set out on the ride. By mile 8 (5 miles into it) I was hating it, I came to the sudden realization that I don't like to have the pace dictated to me, I go the speed I go, and I am fine with that. I am not training for a race, I am trying to keep my 43 year old gut in check, and succeeding when I keep up with the riding :). Additionally I feel like I am holding everybody else in the group back, so that further puts a damper on riding for me. So we bid aideu for to the group and did our own thing back to the house. Coming down Washington Ave back into town, we were sort of flummoxed by some sort of power issue causing the road to be closed. While looking for a way around the issue we wandered down a side street where there were a bunch of cute little houses on this quiet dead end street. The garden on this one was especially nice.
Then we continued down the hill, cutting through a restaurant parking lot to get around this.
We continued in on Washington Boulevard, then jumped on to the Gwynns Falls trail heading out of town.
We wound our way through West Baltimore before finally ending up back at the Inner Harbor on our way home.
Then back to the house for a shower (it was about 95 degrees out when we left) and some dinner. Lesson learned for the moment, I will stick with the "casual" Sunday rides for now, suits my temperament better it seems. I will leave the evening world championship rides to others.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Coffee Shop Ride

It's Sunday, and that means it's time for the Coffee Shop Ride from Twenty 20. I managed to get out of bed on time (Kathleen was already long gone for Tri Camp) and head up to Hampden, where I met up with the gang there. Here's everybody getting their coffee and muffins on before we headed out.
Rolling down Keswick, for once I wasn't at the back so I got an over the shoulder of the group behind me.
Then up the switchbacks into Druid Lake Park
Through the park on a gorgeous day.
Around the lake for a lap.
Down through the park to JHU.
Then back around to the shop to finish. A little gabbing then off to the homestead I went.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

No Particular Place To Go

Kathleen is off at Tri Camp this weekend, so I took the opportunity to sleep in. I rolled out of bed about 12 Noon and watched the finish of Stage 13 of the Tour De France. About 3PM I finally got my act together and rolled out of the garage heading vaguely north. I rode up the Alemeda to it's end, it got progressively less busy as I headed out, till it was pretty quiet and a gorgeous day out, about 90 degrees, sunny and low humidity.
It ends at Regester road, also nice and quiet.
I rode up York Road to Towson, then through Towson to Bellona, and was greeted with more quiet roads, it really was nice to not have too much traffic to contend with.
Then to dodge the huge hill in the the middle of Bellona, I turned onto Ruxton Road, much more gentle.
Ruxton ends at Falls Road, and right after the turn onto Falls the road passes over this stream, which I think is the Jones Falls before it goes under the freeway.
As I headed into Hampden I saw this on the side of a rowhouse.
Then down Falls Road through Hampden and down past the Streetcar Museum, they had one of the cars out running on the tracks (I am assuming visitors can go for a ride.
At the museum proper they had a bunch of the cars out, looking resplendent in the afternoon sun.
A little further down I passed through Artscape, not quite the hottest weekend of the summer but close this year. The area I cut through (Station North) had the Art Cars, the crush of people made it hard to get pictures, but here is the one I got.
Then it was off for home, a shower, a trip to Target, and dinner in that order.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thwarted! (By my own inability to read)

I took off early from work today to go on the intermediate/advanced group ride (30 miles at a 17-19MPH average pace) that Race Pace Bicycles in Federal Hill has. I scooted home, snarfed down a couple of bowls of cereal with rice milk, got changed and headed out about 5:30 for a 6:00 ride. I got over to the shop with plenty of time to spare so I returned some wool socks (wrong size & style, my bad) for Kathleen and warrantied for credit pair of defective gloves (only 3 months, not so good) for me. It wasn't until about 6:00 that somebody mentioned the ride leaving at 5:30PM. Felt like a moron, but subtly relived as I wasn't sure I would be able to keep up. So I kibbitzed a little more then went out to wander around Federal Hill for a bit. I rode out to Ft McHenry, then back through Locust Point. I passed the Silo Point building there, this used to be a grain elevator that they have remade into swanky condos.
Down off Key Highway at Rash Field the beach volleyball crowd was out playing.
It was kind of a drag, I was all gussied up for the ride with my new gloves.
And Socks.
I like the retro script styling on these, plus they are wool, the coolmax socks rip up my feet. At any rate I headed for home, a shower, mexican food, and the Tour De France.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tuesday Commute

Hot as hell today, a thunderstorm blew through last night, but didn't affect the humidity at all, 85 degrees when I left home. I took off a little late this morning, so I took the fastest (boringest) way to work. No pictures from that. 6PM rolled around and I headed for home. I am bored with the Gwynns Falls Trail for the moment, so I went through town. I ended up at Druid Lake, looking lovely in the afternoon sun (about 97 degrees).
And a statue of Christopher Columbus right at the lake.
I rolled around the lake then through the park down to the switchbacks at Steiff Silver. At the bottom of the bike path is this obviously homemade sign.
But the warning is valid. Then it was across town and down Greenmount towards Fells Point. On the way down I noticed this sign on the side of a rowhouse.
"Specializing in authentic clothing", what other kind is there, fake clothes, it's either real or not I would think? A little further down I passed an impromptu snowball stand, these pop up all over town when it's hot out.
Then it was home for a shower and some dinner.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Sunday Social

I got up on time this morning (without feline assistance), and headed up to Hamden for the Coffee Shop Ride that Twenty20 Cycling does. We ended up with a group of 8 including our leader Brian. Everybody got their act together and we headed out down Keswick.
Then down the switchbacks at Steiff Silver.
Up Falls Road towards Clipper Mill.
Through Clipper Mill and up the switchbacks to Druid Lake for a quick lap and a half around the lake.
Then through Hopkins back down to Hampden to the shop. Here is one of my worst over the shoulder pics yet (although not quite as bad as the one I didn't post).
A little gabbing at the bike shop then it was time to head for home for a shower and some breakfast.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Late Start

Due to my own juvenile stupidity playing video games with a friend, I didn't get to bed till about 6:30 this morning, then was awakened at 2:30 by Sophie the cat laying on my head and biting my ear. I got my act together and went out for a ride around the westside. As I passed by M & T Bank stadium, I realized that it was Monster Jam tonight. The fan fun area was in full swing, and yes that is a full sized monster truck hanging from the crane.
I continued out through the west side to the Gwynns Falls Trail, up to Frederick Road. I went out Frederick for quite a ways, but then turned back as I was feeling somewhat blah. I meandered through some neighborhoods, and spotted this cemetery, which made me realize that I had passed two others on the way, could be another photo essay :)
A little further along I rode by this house, I really like how they have embraced flower season.
Then it was back into downtown on Baltimore Street and headed towards home.
Kathleen is out of town for the weekend, so I went out to Five Guys for a burger, did a little drivetrain maintenance on the bike, and now trying to catch up with the Tour De France, stage 4 currently playing.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Independence Day (and the Day Before)

4th of July weekend was a busy one for me, I was doing sound/lights for the National Park Service's National Mall Independence Day Celebration at the Washington Monument Grounds and the Lincoln Memorial. I also provided audio for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra at Oregon Ridge on 7/2-3 and at the Germantown Soccerplex on 7/4. As a result I did a lot of running around all weekend, but I spent most of my time at the DC events. On Sunday I took my mountain bike down, knowing that I would be doing a lot of running around between the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monuments. Not a whole lot of pictures from that, but wait there is more. Sunday evening just after I got home and showered (it is hot on the mall), I got a call from the production manager that a big storm had blown through the site, and it was pretty ugly. So back to DC I went, to find a lot of wet audio gear and some pretty stout wind damage. This is the front of house mix riser, the silver tarped object is our front of house console. The Air Force Bands console is just in front of ours, not so lucky for them, they didn't secure their tarp well.
I ended up getting home about 12:30AM after determining what we needed to do to be ready for show day, which luckily was just changing out the control surface on the console in the picture above, that was the only thing we had get wet. The Air Force was not so lucky, they had to start over from scratch, essentially losing a whole day of soundchecks.

I got up the next morning and went to Germantown to meet up with my BSO crew, and due to the incredible bug population, ran out to get DEET for them. Other than that things were going fine, so I headed down to the Mall. When I arrived things were under way, and Suzy was drying out the control surface from the night before while the Air Force Band went through the whole soundcheck routine again.
Then I ran around down to see how things were going at the Lincoln Memorial.
Gary & Jeff were in good shape, no drama at this site the night before. What we were doing here is playing the fireworks music for the people who watch from the Lincoln. The fireworks get launched from just behind the WWII memorial, and we transmit the music from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial. Once I had seen that everything was moving right along, I scooted down the Mall to find an ATM machine. After passing by this bus being used as a roadblock,
I rode back up the Madison Ave side of the mall on the way back, where the Smithsonian Folklife Festival was going on. Lots of stuff going on, it takes up from 3rd to about 12th street on the Mall.
As I rolled along I passed by several trailers of Park Police horses, this one was having a snack.
Then it was back to the Washington Monument, where the throngs were gathered to wait out the fireworks and be entertained by the Air Force Band and Jo Dee Messina.
The show went well, a few sprinkles but no serious rain, then the fireworks started and I made my escape. Either you get out before/while the fireworks show is going on, or you end up stuck in traffic and pedestrians for hours afterwards. I headed for the homestead to get some sleep before another workweek started. By the way, here is my mountain bike wearing it's road sneakers chained to the stage.
Pretty dorktastic looking with the little tires, but much easier on the paved roads than knobbies.