Saturday, May 19, 2012


What a nice day out today, Kathleen is off getting ready for the Columbia Triathalon tomorrow, so I took the opportunity to install a new chain on my bike, and go out for a ride. It really couldn't have been nicer out, I rolled through Patterson Park where the fountain was looking glorious in the midday sun.
Over by the Pagoda, there was a wedding going on.
On the lower level of the park they were getting ready for the Bike Jam tomorrow, they use the lower loop (you can see it on my map) as the course.
Then I rolled out in the general direction of Dundalk, swinging through the Johns Hopkins Bayview complex, it looks like they are making some room for more new construction, it seems like the bulk of this campus has been built since we moved here.
Then an easy, breezy loop through Dundalk, and back to the house to get on with the day.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ride to Work Day

Today was Ride To Work Day all across the country, so I decided there was no reason why I shouldn't do it to.  I convinced Brian Callaghan, who I work with, that he should join me so a little before 8:00AM I headed out of the garage and up to his house up off the Alameda. We headed towards the shop, here is Brian following me up the hills in Druid Lake Park.
A little further along, I spotted the remains of a tree, it says do not remove in spray paint on it.
We passed the Druid Hill Conservatory, looking resplendent in the morning sun.
The last little bit of the ride is the bomb down Gwynns Falls Parkway, here is Brian showing the speed.
Then a busy day at work, lots of stuff going on due to it being spring and all. 6:00PM rolled around and we headed back out towards the Inner Harbor and my house.  A nice ride down the Gwynns Falls Trail, then over to the Inner Harbor where there was a guest in port.  It's the John W Brown, one of the last remaining Liberty Ships tied up on the pier.

Also new (to me) is this statue of the late William Donald Schaefer, former Mayor of Baltimore, and Governor of Maryland, not to mention quite the character.
Then it was time to head off, Brian is leading the way on the newly redone bike path around the Inner Harbor. I have to say so far I am utterly dissapointed in this, it went from being very obviously a bike path to looking very much like the sidewalk, and it had to have cost a boatload of money.
Oh well, we successfully navigated that part, and headed to my house. Brian got some water before continuing on to the his house, so in the end we both did the same loop, but in different orders.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Gorgeous Sunday

Today was another gorgeous day, Kathleen went out to volunteer at the Pagoda in Patterson Park, so I was left to my own devices.  I opted to go out for a ride around the neighborhood.  I started by swinging by the park to say hello to Kathleen and company, they were hard at work weeding the flower beds for the spring.
Then I noodled around the Patterson Park neighborhood which I hadn't been through before. I saw this nice little park that somebody built.
A little further along this mural on the side of a rowhouse.
Then this mural near a church.
Then I headed up Guilford on the new bike path they are building, passing by this row of brightly painted rowhouses in the Charles Village area.
Eventually I ended up at Lake Montebello, where I put in a furious one lap chase to catch the Maglia Rosa, that this gal was wearing for her ride today.
I headed back to the house to get it together as my brother Eric was coming down to visit on a break from a business trip to NYC. We opted to go take in an O's game at Camden Yards.

Good times even though the O's lost. We headed over to the homestead (it's the first time he has been out here since we moved to Baltimore) then went down for a walk around the neighborhood and dinner at the Red Star.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Big Truck Day

Today was Big Truck Day at the Baltimore Museum of Industry in Federal Hill, I had seen the sign (one of those programmable highway signs don't you know) while over at Race Pace yesterday.   Kathleen went out and ran 13 miles this morning, so after she got back I got up and we went out for a ride to check it out.  We rode through the Inner Harbor, still a total train wreck as far as the bike path goes, but getting closer to completion.  I am not going to say better, because the area right at the pavillion is now done is brick similar to the rest of the pavillion, so I fear that people won't realize they are standing in/walking in to the bike path.  At any rate, we finally made it over to Federal Hill and big truck day was truly underway.
They had fire and police vehicles, a trash truck, the pothole all in one fixer truck, and a bunch of construction equipment as well.  Lots of families enjoying a gorgeous day on the harbor, and kids getting to check out the trucks.

It was requested to keep the ride fairly flat (no mean feat in Baltimore) so we went up the Gwynns Falls Trail to Leon Day Park, then up somewhat of a brutal hill to make a loop, then back down to where Baltimore crosses the trail again, heading back towards town. We came back into Carroll Park and the coed touch football league was in action.

Then we headed home for some lunch and errands, then catching up on the goings on in the Giro (don't tell me, we are still a day behind the race on the DVR).

Monday, May 7, 2012

2012 Five Boros Bike Tour

Well, last Sunday was the Five Boros Bike Tour in New York.   Kathleen & I made a long weekend out of it, and went up Thursday afternoon.   We stayed at a nice little studio apartment in Harlem courtesy of Ali (the tenant) and   We spent the weekend wandering around Manhattan, here is Kathleen working out where to eat on the computer in the Apartment.
We spent Friday and Saturday wandering around NYC including a visit to the High Line Park, a former railroad bridge system that has been re-worked into a park.
 Then a great lunch at Pastis restaurant in Chelsea.
Sunday morning rolled around and it was time to get it together and head out to ride the tour.  Here is Kathleen adding special secret powder to her water bottles.
Here's Kathleen ahead of me heading down St. Nicholas Ave towards Central Park.  We learned our lesson from last year, this year we opted to pick up the front end of the ride at the top of Central Park instead of riding down to Battery Park in lower Manhattan and waiting around forever like last year.
We met the front end of the ride and joined in, here is a gospel group serenading us as we passed through Harlem.
A little while later we crossed over the river into the Bronx, the drummers were there playing us through as well.
Here is one Kathleen shot of me (in the Mapei jersey) turning the corner towards the bridge back to Manhattan, we were only in the Bronx for about a mile.
We got onto the FDR Parkway and headed towards the Queensboro Bridge to Queens.

Here's Kathleen following me in Queens.
We hit the first rest stop at Astoria Park, lots of food & drink available.
We were so at the front of the ride that we had to wait here for the road to get closed ahead of us.
But then we were off.
 Through Queens we went, then over this bridge into Brooklyn, if you look ahead you can see the phalanx of Police motorcycles and cars leading the way.
We breezed through Brooklyn.

Then onto the Bronx-Queens Expressway.
Which led us to the Gowanus Expressway.  This is where it all went wrong last year, leading to us bailing on the ride, but this year being at the front end of the ride, it was easy.
Next up was the great unknown (since we didn't do it last year due to bailing on the traffic jam before this), in crossing the Verrazano Narrows Bridge to Staten Island.  I am pretty sure that this sign isn't up all year :).
 It was a pretty steady grind of a climb up the bridge, but the view from the span of New York Harbor was totally worth it.
Then we bombed down the other side to the last big rest stop of the day on Staten Island.
 There was a photo thing set up that you could get your picture taken with the bridge in the background.
 Then we were off again, here we are waiting for the escort to get the streets closed in Staten Island so we can head off to the Staten Island Ferry to get back to Manhattan.
 A quick 3 miles through Staten Island.
Then a 20 minute ferry ride back to Battery Park.

 At Battery park the flowers were blooming with the Statue of Liberty in the background.
 We headed up the West Side Greenway towards home, but took a little detour into the heart of Manhattan to swing by Bryant Park so I could do a little site survey for an upcoming show. Here we are headed up 6th Avenue.
 Then we cut back over towards the greenway on 45th street, which ends right where the Intrepid lives.
We continued up the greenway to 135th street where there is a community garden.
Then had to climb this hill back up to Harlem.
Once we got to the top we found ourselves in the middle of some sort of parade.
But eventually we made it home, here are the bikes resting after a long day's ride.
Due to our clever strategy, it was only about 1:00PM when we got back.  Here is our ride map for the day, pay no heed to the mileage at Map My Ride, it counted the mileage on the Ferry, the real stats are 46.4 miles at an average of 16.5 miles per hour for the day.  We got cleaned up, then took the subway down to the Upper West Side for a big breakfast at the West Side Diner, then wandered around the Upper West Side for a while. We went back to the apartment, then over to Spanish Harlem to Ricardo's Steak House for a great dinner. This morning we got up a little late, got packed up and checked out of the apartment and headed home. It was a great break from the work grind, we both really needed it.