Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Coffee Shop Ride

After having to work seemingly every weekend lately, I finally got one off, and decided to ride up to Hampden for Twenty20's Coffee Shop Ride.   It's my kind of group ride, not fast, lots of conversation, mostly about the Olympic Mens Road Race yesterday.  While I was waiting for the group and leader to arrive I was serenaded by one of the Hampden locals with his acoustic rendition of Bad Company.
 But Norman turned up to save me from another song, and off we went.   We met up with another gal who I have done this ride with before at the bottom of the switchbacks and had a great ride around the Druid Lake/Hopkins area.
 After the ride I headed for home, but decided to swing through the Inner Harbor, as Otakon is still going on, and I was hoping for more interesting costume watching.   I wasn't disappointed.

Then it was back to the house for a shower and some food, before settling in to watch the Olympic Womens Road Race which happened this morning.

Friday, July 27, 2012


I only mean that in the nicest of ways of course.   I commuted to work today, and also started using a new mapping application, you can see my map of my ride here.   It was muggy as hell again today, but on my way in to work I spotted this mural on Baltimore Street.
Then it was a slow day at work, the summer quiet has finally happened. About 5:30PM I took off from work and headed for home down the Gwynns Falls Trail, but I diverted to go down Pratt Street because it's Otakon weekend here in Baltimore, and the geeks were going to be out in force. Pratt runs right by the front of the Convention Center, and the conference is held there every year. It makes the Inner Harbor more interesting, and personally I think it's great, quite the contrast to the Orioles Fans that normally are there.

I believe these are the space aliens from the Muppet Show.

I believe that the person in the dress is a guy.

Quite colorful, I will have to try and get some more this weekend. I am sure that if I were more hip I would recognize who all of these people were, but there you go.  Onwards to home to a shower and dinner.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Sporty Day

I commuted to work today on the bike, man was it muggy, about 80 degrees and 1billion percent humidity, but I survived it.  I took the Gwynns Falls Trail home, as I do, and passing through the parks it was sports day.   First up was Leon Day Park, where it seems that football season is beginning.
Then down through Carroll Park where baseball season continues.
Then I swung by Race Pace in Federal Hill to order some stuff, and passing by Rash Field on my way home volleyball season was going on too.
After that it was home for a shower, it didn't get any cooler or less muggy all day before my ride home.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Baltimore By Night

Kathleen has been out of town all weekend, and I have been consumed with transferring a bunch of old recordings from cassette tape to the digital realm.   It's been kind of strange being so immersed in the past, I am trying to avoid being melancholy about it and instead enjoying the good memories from those times.   Tonight I felt like I needed to get out and clear my head, so I went for a ride around the city.   I have always loved cities at night, and Baltimore is no exception.  This is the Public Works Museum at Eastern Ave and President Street, it used to be the pumping station for the city.
 This is the USCG Cutter Taney, the last survivor of Pearl Harbor, now a permanent resident of the Inner Harbor at Pier 5.
 A little further around the Inner Harbor on the Light Street side there is this cool fountain that, with it being 95 degrees out at 10PM, was quite popular.
 I climbed up to Federal Hill Park and shot this, that is Rash Field in the foreground, you can rent the beach volleyball courts there for fun, and I believe there is a league that plays there as well.
 I headed back towards downton, and then up Calvert Street, passing the War of 1812 Memorial there.
 I continued up and then over to Charles and uptown to Penn Station, and caught the Man/Woman sculpture in all it's glory.
 It was getting to be time to head home, so back downtown I went, no nightime tour of Baltimore would be complete without the obligatory shot of The Block.
As I was passing through Harbor East the yellow light behind the bar as the bartender worked caught my eye.
 Then across to Fells Point, this is Thames Street looking away from the square on Broadway.
Lest we forget this is a working harbor, there was a tug tied up at the Fells Point Rec pier, I am sure the guy in the porthole is trying to figure out what I am doing.  That is the square on Broadway in the background to the left.
Then it was time to head for home, and a shower, did I mention how hot it is?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

New Friends

Today was a normal commute day for me, I got up (late) and got showered and ate breakfast, then rode in to work (late) through town.  No real excitement other than a bus trying to squish me, stupid asshole.   Then a full day at the shop including ending up being a little late to leave, I headed back out for home.   At the point where the Gwynns Falls Trail crosses Baltimore street, there were these three young guys hanging on the their bikes.   They wanted to know where  I was headed so I said down the trail, and they wanted to come.   So I figured I would ride with them down to the next little park, then send them back on their way.   So off we went, here they are following me down the trail.
It turns out there is an abandoned house somewhere along this stretch of the trail, so two of them were paranoid about going down it, monsters or something. So we rode along and shot the breeze and disproved the existence of the monsters to the next little park, where they let me know that hills were the best, so we went a little farther to Gwynns Falls Park, where there is a cool downhill.   They were all hot to go all the way to Carroll Park, but I convinced them it was getting late and they didn't want to be riding in the dark.   So we did the terrorist fist bumps all around then I headed for home, and they headed back to their neighborhood, a little more aware of their opportunities.   A fun ride all in all.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Two for one bonus post

Yesterday, after a breif interruption by work, I went out for a ride.  Despite it being about 1,000,000,000 degrees out (97) I went anyhow,  but decided to keep it easy, so I went around the Inner Harbor, then out the Gwynns Falls Trail.   On the trail part that runs through town I spotted this painting, I think I have shown it before, but I like it.
A little further along I stopped for a bit of shade on one of the bridges over the railroad tracks on the trail. I am still trying to figure out how to take a picture of hot.
At Frederick Road I turned back towards downtown (it turns into Pratt Street). A little ways along I spotted this alley, I am not normally a big fan of graffiti but this was super colorful.
This is the other side of the alley, a little more monochromatic.
Then it was back to the house for a cold shower and cold drink. When I arrived I discovered that our AC unit wasn't functioning, grand.

We opened all the windows and gutted it out (85 in the house all night), then this morning I went off to work. I called around and found a place in Rockville that sells parts for AC/heating to the public. I had bought stuff there for the old house years ago, unfortunately nobody in the B'more area does that. I scooted out of work early after doing some things and a little internet research, then came home and dismantled the AC compressor to find that the start/run capacitor (one of the 6 actual parts of it as I have learned) had blown up, so I took it out, ran down to Rockville, got a new one and went home to slap it in. Success! the AC works again.

I rewarded myself with another ride, it was only 90 degrees out today :)  I went up to Lake Montebello, looking splendid in the Summer sun.
I headed over on the bike path towards Morgan State (where Kathleen will be going to in the fall), past several road closed signs and piles of gravel to discover that the bike path done washed away.
I successfully went around the area, and continued on in a wandering loop around that side of the city, when on my way back I spotted this construction project.  It seems odd that they would be building what appear to be brand new townhouses when the rowhouses right next door obviously just need renovation.
But whatever, I continued on in the general direction of home, at Guilford and Baltimore I spotted this Minty Fresh, Clean Ford Fiesta from the 70's.
I would have assumed that all of these had turned into rust piles by now. I headed home for a shower and dinner in our now cool and comfortable house :).

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Holy Crap!

It is stupid hot out today, I originally intended to get up and go for a ride early to try and beat the heat, but I slept in, so as a penance I went out at about 10:45 on the road bike.   It was 95 degrees already at that point, it is 103 right now at 3:45PM.   I put ice in the water bottles to help keep the water cold, despite that it was warm by the time I was done, and with insulated bottles no less.   At any rate, I decided that flat was good for today, so I rode around the Inner Harbor, and out to Fort McHenry and back, with a quick stop at Race Pace in Federal Hill for some AC.   Passing through the Inner Harbor on the way out, I ended up behind this couple on their Tandem.
As I followed along I was intrigued by the red thing so I got up closer and got a picture, it's a red stuffed crab, I am assuming they are locals.
Nothing further to report, other than the cold shower at the end felt good.

Friday, July 6, 2012

City Bike Madness

Well, I have been working the crap out of my city bike since my last post, in fact it is the only bike I have ridden in a couple of weeks (stupid work).   On the 4th of July I took it with me to Washington DC for the National Park Service's American Fourth of July Celebration.   The main stage for this is at the Washington Monument Grounds, and this year it was the US Army Blues Jazz Ensemble with special guest Ben Vereen.  Here is Ben Vereen entertaining the sweltering masses (and I mean sweltering, it was 97 degrees out, probably 70%+ humidity).
But I also had a PA system at the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial connected to the main stage via a slightly illegal 4 watt wireless link so that the people there can hear the fireworks music.

So I used my groovy bike to schlep around the mall checking up on my guys there, and generally making sure everything goes according to plan.

Yesterday I ran another errand over to Race Pace for a new stem to raise the handlebars a little and a water bottle cage because it is super hot out right now.  No pictures from that ride, I forgot to take my camera with me.

 Tonight I was on my own for dinner, so I took my bike down to Little Italy to pick up a sandwich for dinner. It was movie night in Little Italy, people were starting to set up camp in the street.
They project from a rowhouse across the street onto the large white space to the left of the picture. I ran into Isabellas to pick up my sandwich.
Then threw it in the saddlebag and got ready to head for home.
On the way out of Little Italy I passed by the bocci courts, they are usually hopping on most nights.
Then it was back up Gough Street towards the house, the shade was a blessing, it was about 98 degrees out at this point (did I mention we have been having a heat wave?).
A little dinner, a little bike maintenance, and hopefully a ride on my speedy bike tomorrow.