Sunday, September 14, 2014


So for a number of reasons I haven't been riding at all lately, other than schlepping around on the Linus.   But today I took a break for about an hour and got out for a quick spin around the Inner Harbor.  This weekend is the Sail-a-bration which is the 200 year anniversary celebration of the end of the War of 1812.   As you may or may not know, the National Anthem was written Francis Scott Key while watching the bombardment of Fort McHenry.   So to commemorate the occasion there was an airshow, lots of visiting ships both modern and tall ships, and lots of stuff happening around the Inner Harbor.   You may recall I got some pics of the ships 2 years ago when the celebration started.

At any rate, the Blue Angels were practicing for today's airshow yesterday, they were flying right over the house, so I went up on the deck to watch a little.

They were hauling around, and couldn't have been much more than 300' overhead most times.

So today's ride, I went around to see what I could see, in Fells Point I spotted this ship across the harbor, if I am not mistaken that is the FGS Niedersachsen.

Then at the Fells Point public pier was a representative of the Royal Navy, The HMS Argyll.   It's been like Fleet Week in Fells Point all weekend, lots of sailors out having a good time.

This is one of the several schooners that were in the harbor for the event coming in from a sail.

This huge catamaran ship was parked next to Pier 5, it's the USNS Choctaw County.

Here is a size reference, that is the USCG Taney in the foreground, it's utterly dwarfed by the other ship.

Down in the Inner Harbor proper there were these three tied up, from nearest to farthest they are The Gazela, the USCG Eagle, and the Kalmar Nyckel.

Across the way were another pair of schooners.

More of the three, I love the contrast of the old ships and the modern downtown behind them.

This is the Pride of Baltimore (sideways to me) and the USS Constellation which lives here all the time.

This is the NOAA Okaenos Explorer with the Choctaw County just astern of it.

The Navy had ships down at the commercial piers in Locust Point, but this was about as close as I could get with my bike.

Then it was back to the house to clean up and get back to work.   If you are interested there is a map of the Inner Harbor with all of the ship locations on it here.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Covered Bridge Metric Century

Sorry for the long delay between posts.  It's been a busy month since I last was on the bike.  I spent two weeks in Newport, Rhode Island for the Newport Folk and Newport Jazz Festivals.  We do the sound on the Fort Stage, which is the big headliner stage for the festival, there are 3 other smaller stages around Fort Adams State Park.  This is what it looked like for Folk:

And here is the stage in Jazz trim, same stage, new scrims.

The site is gorgeous, here is the view from backstage of the audience area, we have water on three sides, and back up to the fort.  This was where I spent both weekends, I was in charge of patching the splitter for each act, while two of my guys were out on stage striking the previous band and setting mics for the new one.  We had 25 minutes between acts to get it done and show ready, only the headliners get soundchecks in the morning, everybody else was throw and go.

Then it was load out Sunday night (8/3/14) and catch a flight to Greensboro NC for the Market America International Conference at the Greensboro Coliseum early the next morning.   Quite the contrast :)

But anyhow, I got back from all that last Sunday, and after a hectic week of work getting caught up and getting some high profile stuff out the door, today was the Covered Bridge Metric Century, in Lancaster PA.  Kathleen & I went up yesterday afternoon and met up with some of her friends from the Rebels with a Cause group for dinner.   Then it was up early to do the ride.   The day started of cloudy, and sure enough it rained for about the first three hours, I have never been so wet on a ride. Here is my route map and stats.   At any rate, for the first 20 or 30 minutes it was dry, and on our way out of Lancaster we passed through this park, I thought it was especially picturesque.

And here are the Rebels, this was about the last I saw of Kathleen & company, they all move at a more substantial pace than I do.   Mara (closest to the camera) is slower, but she was only doing the half.

Lancaster is the heart of Amish Country, so lots of horse and buggies on the road, and lots of horse poop as well :).

This was just after it started raining, I love the umbrella/push scooter thing combination.

So as I mentioned this is the Covered Bridge Metric Century, so we went through/over several of them today.   This one was the first, at about mile 18.

And they kept coming, this is the second one for the day.

Somewhere in here I missed the third one entirely, it popped up out of nowhere before I could fish the old camera out.   But I am making up for it with this high speed (about 25 miles an hour down the hill) approach to the next one.

I started to brake here, it was still pretty wet, and the bridges are one lane and shared with cars.

Here is the exit of the last one, my attempt at the entrance side yielded a picture of my foot :)

From here it was about another 15 miles to the finish, and I bonked pretty hard at this point.  I kept thinking "oh well there will be a mini-market any minute now, I will get a coke and ride on pure sugar to the end".  But there wasn't.   In retrospect I should have stopped for lunch at the lunch stop.   But I did finish, ate half a subway sandwich, a banana, and a couple of cookies.  No sign of Kathleen and company, so I ran over to the mini-market and got a coke (actually 2) and a snickers bar.  30 minutes later when Kathleen showed up I felt much more human.   Then it was load up and say goodbye to the rebels and head for home.   So I ended up with 69 miles for the day (about 4 extra for a wrong turn, and having to back track to the course).   Not too bad for no miles in a month.   Now I need to clean up and tear down the bikes, riding in the rain made a mess out of them.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Just a meander

Today was a meandering ride around Baltimore.  Kathleen was doing the Rapha Women's 100K today, so I was left to my own devices.   I opted to ride up the Gwynns Falls Trail and around to the Hillsdale neighborhood.  I have always liked this area, it surrounds the municipal golf course there.   The houses are groovy post war type.  Baltimore has lots of different neighborhoods, you would think that they were mostly rowhouses, but in fact there are houses of all types depending on where you go.

Then it was back to the house to clean up.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Hot day in July

It was hot today, Africa hot, Tarzan couldn't take this kind of heat.   About 90 degrees and 1billion percent humidity.   But out I went for a ride anyhow, because I am dumb like that.   My original intent was to ride out to BWI and do the loop around the airport, but with the heat that plan got axed about 10 miles in.   But anyhow, riding through the Inner Harbor I stopped to see what was happening at the fountain, and as I expected lots of kids playing in it and cooling off.

Then it was time to head out towards BWI, but as I mentioned it was hot as hell, so I ended up doing a big loop through Brooklyn and back to the house.   As I rode back towards home on Hanover street I got this shot of the harbor at work.  Busy day, cruise ship in at the dock.

Then it was back to the house to clean up and get on with the day.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Saturday work day

So it was a beautiful day today, Kathleen went off to do a century at the crack of dawn whereas I slept in then rode my bike into work.  I have a busy 4th coming up, I am doing the National Park Service's 4th on the National Mall, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's 4th at Oregon Ridge Park here in B'more, and Philadelphia's 4th of July party on Ben Franklin Parkway.   Lots of details to get in order, so I took the opportunity while the office was quiet to get ahead of the curve.   The ride in was uneventful, and I did get what I needed to get done done.  So I decided that I would chronicle my ride home on the Gwynns Falls Trail for today's blog post.  

It all started right here, at my total disaster area desk.

Then I packed up my stuff and got going, this is the start of the Gwynns Falls Trail, about 200' from the bridge to our shop.

This used to be through road, but now it's just a path for bikes, joggers, dog walkers etc.

A quick, but dicey cut across Windsor Mill Road leads to the next section of the trail.

At the far end of that, there is about a mile on Franklintown Road, this can be avoided if you take the other branch of the trail, but the other branch is crusher run (rocks) and sucks on the road bike.

But then back on the trail for the first park of the trip, Leon Day Park.

After that more bike path along the Gwynns Falls River.

We had a bunch of heavy rain a couple of weeks ago, there was a mudslide on this part of the trail, the city seems to have come through with a bulldozer to clear it, but it's still a little sloppy.

Next is cross Baltimore Street to get to the ostensibly closed section of the trail, but as I noted a couple of weeks ago, it's not that big a deal.

The big black pipes are still here, I can't figure out for the life of me what they are doing here.

Then there is another little park, but it has been taken over by the bridge reconstruction project.

More giant black pipes leading towards the bridge under construction.

On the other side of the bridge is Lower Gwynns Falls Park, the two kids there are getting ready to go down a pretty steep hill into the lower part of the park.

Then a quick jaunt on Wilkens Ave before cutting back down along the river.

This is the bridges and grades section, there are a series of bridges that cross over the Gwynns Falls and the train tracks through here.

After the bridges is this tunnel, it's a bit of crapshoot, if it's been raining a lot the other side can be super muddy or sandy, and since you are going downhill all the way to the entrance you can be carrying quite a bit of speed.  I wasn't too worried since I had rode out this way on the way to work as well, so I knew it wasn't a problem.

Then more trail next to the river headed towards the golf course.

A quick selfie here :)  You'll have to excuse my gloved hand on the left side.

Then up a little grade to street level which dumps you out into the parking lot by the golf course.

Now the trail is a big sidewalk along Washington Boulevard, the big building to the left is the Montgomery Park office building, it used to be the Montgomery Wards headquarters/warehouse for their catalog business.

At Wilkens & Monroe is the entrance to the last park of the ride, Carroll Park.

Through the park to Bush Street, from here on out it's mostly surface streets.   The sign said the road is closed, but of course it wasn't.

The view down Bush Street.

This is a new thing along Bush Street, STX makers of Lacrosse equipment has located their headquarters here, they are in a couple of buildings right along this stretch.

Then a turn up Ridgely Street towards the stadiums.

Then a right on Ostend and over the bridge in the distance.

Which takes you into Federal Hill.

Down to Light Street and hang a left.

Now back on bike paths around the inner harbor, that's the Maryland Science Center on the right.

They redid the bike path through the Inner Harbor, unfortunately they made it look just like the rest of the plaza/sidewalk so it's pretty perpetually clogged with people now.  It's so stupid that I can only assume that it was some sort of political payback.

Following it around onto the Pratt Street side.

Past the National Aquarium, then a quick right along the driveway here next to the USCGC Taney, which was at Pearl Harbor in 1941 when it was bombed.

Through the Pier 5/6 complex and across President Street to Eastern Avenue, in the home stretch now.

This is the segment of South Collington between Fleet & Eastern, closed off for a block party today, complete with live music.

But for me it's up the hill on South Collington to the house.

Then up the alley to the garage and voila! another commute completed.