Thursday, May 30, 2013


Commuted to work today it was truly hot out already by the time I headed up to work.   Riding along the Gwynns Falls Trail, I spotted a big black snake hanging out in the middle of the path in Gwynns Falls Park (it's on the map).   I gave it a wide berth and continued on thinking "that was weird".   So I get almost to the shop, and what do I find, but another big black snake hanging out in the sun.   That took it from weird, to really weird, so I got a picture.

It had to be about 5' long, and just hanging out and enjoying the sunshine.   At any rate, had a day at work then headed for home for steaks from the farmer's market, no snakes on the return trip.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Big Flake Out

I have not been sleeping well lately, there has been some political bullshit at work that has made it hard for me to get a good night's sleep.  Last night, unfortunately, was one of those nights.   So I ended up flaking out on the ride to try and get more sleep.  Kathleen went and had a genuine Pro Tour experience, she said the fast group was about 50 people and they were flying, she averaged 19.7MPH for her whole 63 miles.  As somebody in the group said "It's nothing but butts and backs today".   I ended up sleeping off and on until about 11AM then went out for a shorter ride.

As promised here is a picture of a Vandevelde bar, Kathleen got the recepie from Bicycling Magazine, Christian Vandevelde is a pro rider for Garmin Sharp, and his wife whips these up for him for training rides in the off season.   They are quite delicious.

I washed it down with a coke from the biggest coke can I have ever personally wrapped my hand around.

Then I continued on my merry way, eventually coming to the tree that I spotted a few rides ago.   Here is what it looks like now, the little reddish buds became big reddish-purple leaves.

Then it was back to the house, I got home about 5 minutes before Kathleen did.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Shoe fit ride

So I have been having trouble finding a cycling shoe that fits me.   Today I actually went over to Race Pace on the bike to talk about shoes, and brought my credit card to boot (nyuk, nyuk).   Had a reasonable discussion with Paul there about my issues and wants, and they have a potential solution at one of the other stores, they will have it in Federal Hill on Wednesday, so potentially more shoe drama in the future.   So what ended up happening is that I rode over to Federal Hill in what has been the normal set up, then while there I removed the Varus Wedges (They are the little gray bits in the picture) from my shoes for the rest of the ride.   Data is inconclusive at this point, but it's interesting how something so thin can take up what seems to be a ton of space in the shoe.  

Anyhow, I rode out to Fort McHenry and set a PR on the Fort Ave Time Trial segment, I am attributing that to a massive tailwind, but hey, I'll take it.   On my way back (fighting a massive headwind :) )  I spotted this at Light & Pratt in the Inner Harbor.   It was some kind of groovy wellness thing, lots of yoga and reincarnation themed tents.   But it was a nice day out, and people seemed to be having a good time there.

Then it was back through the throngs on Pratt Street in the now-ruined bike lane and back to the house to get cleaned up and onto the city bikes with Kathleen (who spent the day studying for her summer class) and head down to the Safeway for dried cranberries, then over to Saute for dinner.  The cranberries are for Vandevelde bars for tomorrow's big ride, we are going to be doing a metric century (63 miles, 100 kilometers) with the Potomac Pedalers Bike Club.   I will have more on the snacks for tomorrow's blog post, Kathleen is downstairs whipping them up as I write this.   The ride should be interesting, I have only done a couple of hundred miles on the road bike this year, so this might prove to be a bit of a challenge.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Just a commute day

Rode to work today, spring is on in full force at this point, it was already pretty muggy at 8:00AM when I headed out.  Nothing exciting to report, I took the Gwynns Falls Trail both ways.   It was super green out, it seems like just a week or to ago that it was bare.  Here's an action shot from the ride home, this is pretty much the scene the whole way, it's pretty rare to run into anybody on the weekdays.

I actually stopped a little ways down the trail, the road was covered in pollen/tree debris/stuff that made it look like it was paved in corn starch.

Then a quick stop by Race Pace in Federal Hill to pick up a pair of cleat covers, and home to shower, I was utterly soaked due to the humidity.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cutting Work

Today worked out to be a gorgeous day, so I split a little early (after flaking on commuting on my bike today) to get out for a little ride around the harbor.  But I haven't been totally flaking, I have been putting in a lot of miles on the city bike.   Last weekend I took it down to DC for the Komen Global Race for the Cure.  We do sound for three separate sites (Main Start, Runners Start, and Runners Finish) scattered around the monument grounds.   It was a somewhat rainy day, but the event went off without any drama.   Here is the long shot from the back of the area at the Washington Monument Grounds, the construction cranes are building the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History on the other side of 15th Street.

And here is Brian's (my engineer for this event) view from the Front of House Tent.

I also had a couple of other events going on at the same time that day, an Addidas basketball event at the Washington Kastles arena, and the Childrens Medical Center Gala at the National Building Museum, so I used the bike to schlep around the various sites all day.

This weekend the plan was to ride on Saturday and Sunday, but then on Saturday work then rain intervened.  Sunday I was planning on riding out to Columbia to spectate and cheer Kathleen at the Columbia Triathlon, but it was pretty crappy, rainy, misty out so I opted to drive out instead.   I did get this shot of Kathleen after the race, she had had a chance to make use of a porta-potty to clean up and change already.   She did the race in 3:02:47 about 10 minutes faster than last year.

We came back to the house and then went on the city bikes down to the Red Star for a celebratory breakfast, then a quick trip through The Sound Garden for new tunes.   After that we rode back up to Patterson Park to spectate at the Bike Jam which is our annual professional road race right here in B'more.   It stayed dry and the park is all green and fresh, it made for a nice hanging out.  Here is the breakaway forming on the Pro Men's race, first these three guys.

Then three more trying to bridge up to the first three.

Then the full peloton chasing them down.

These guys fly around the loop, I am guestimating that the pack speed was easily 25-28 MPH for the whole race, with them really turning it on for the final sprint.

So anyhow, back around to today.   I rode around the Inner Harbor to Federal Hill and shot this panorama from Federal Hill Park.  I would crop it together, but since I am limited to 800 pixels wide it would have been pretty small, so you will just have to use your imagination.

It's all going on, volleyball, sunshine, humidity :).   I also spotted this guy hanging out, I think he may have been fresh from his cocoon, he seemed to be drying his wings in the sun.

Then it was a quick loop around through Federal Hill and Locust Point before heading back to the house for dinner and catching up on the Giro d'Italia (No spoilers, we are a few days behind).

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday Afternoon

Beautiful day out today, spring is definitely here at this point.   I slept super late while Kathleen was off doing the Specialized Womens Ride Day at Twenty 20, when she got back we got it together and went down to the Red Star for Breakfast on the city bikes, then I continued on from there over to Federal Hill for cat supplies at Pet Value.  Here is that little ride's map.   I made it back then headed out on the road bike for a little more riding.  I ended up going out to Essex, to Cox's Point Park where as luck would have it, there was an ice cream truck there selling soft serve and sodas, so I got one of each and took a break.

Then it was back to the house, on the way back I passed through Patterson Park, all of the social sports leagues are in full swing.

Got cleaned up, and now it's dinner time.