You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2009.

jg_2_0209
That’s me on the right, with a beard that got about two months longer than that before I shaved it. This was taken at a wedding in November 2006 with my brother, striking an odd GQ-esque pose.  [Larger and more beard-ilicious version here.]

When we read about the Fred phenomenon, a thick beard is often mentioned with cargo pants and sandals. I’ve been referred to as a Fred more than once, and I was wondering: Whence the cycling beards?

For myself, they keep me warm! I grow my famous (infamous to ElRo) Winter Beard every year, much the same way that some animals produce their winter coats. I have a modest beard currently, which means only moderately shaggy and somewhat “well”-trimmed. I let it get nice and full before the holidays but went beardless for a week or so around Christmas because I was being an idiot and forgetting that I don’t drive and still need to get places all winter. I immediately noticed how cold my face was getting on my bike, so I grew the Old Man Winter Beard back in ASAP. Now I seldom need a scarf wrapped around my face, though it is February now, not January, so maybe it’s just not as cold. But I do get very red cheeks where there is no beard.  I’m rosy and raw today from this week’s wind.
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This is me on moving day from Southern Illinois in a hot day in August 2006, with the beard I had to trim for my doctoral dissertation prospectus defense a few days before.  This was the trimmed start of the bitchin beard in the first photo.
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It’s probably in poor taste for me to post photos of Zack from last winter without him knowing, but I was incredibly impressed with the vigor of Mr. Zack’s beard. I’m sure it kept him warm on the food drive we helped with, which is coming up again in the next two weekends.
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I shouldn’t tease about beards because Mr. Dan has a job which dis-allows him to grow a beard. But he’s a handsome guy and looks nice without it.
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How about all you cycling folks? Who rocks beards to keep warm? To savor the flavor of coffee or good beer? For religious, fashion or health reasons?

Holy shit! Join here, Hon Cyclists!

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That’s Johnny in the fall, riding Big Red around Druid Hill.  Johnny got that sumbitch to 25mph, which you know is pretty awesome if you’ve ever ridden a trike.   He is tempted to steal this trike from it’s owner and to remove the white streamers. Very tempted, very often.

If you access the Jones Falls Trail at the switchback (where Wyman and Druid Hill parks meet), be careful — if what you are doing there involves anything but leaping.  Turns out that someone thought it would be in everyone’s interest to put a huge pipe across the trail.  It’s not painted orange or surrounded by warning tape or a even a sign down on office paper with a Sharpie.  No.  Nothing.  So when someone like me was running late for work Monday morning and barreling downtown a little bit, such an obstacle came as a shock.  I mean, I wasn’t exactly going full steam because there’s a sharp (i.e. 120 degree) turn to make to start the descent down the embankment.  But I still almost crashed into it and credit the large amounts of coffee I drink with fueling my reflexes into not smashing my front wheel over it and falling down the hill.

Big surprise: it’s not hooked up to anything, and no one’s doing anything with the frikkin thing.

You have two options if you still wanna use the trail here:

1) Stop, lift your bike over the pipe and get going (and it’s pretty high, if you carry weight on your bike).

2) Use the bridge, where you have to go half way across to get through the weird curb thing there and turn around.  I choose this because I am too lazy to get off the bike, and — you know — you do get a nice view of Horseshoe Falls from the bridge, which was a nice surprise to me yesterday while I was cussing under my breath.

If it’s still there and still not used Friday, I say we get together and dismantle the part that is in the way.

Better coverage, with a photo at Cyclosity.

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Domino
Domino

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USCG fly by
USCG fly by

img_9672So damn, time goes by fast. Johnny and I went out and took this kick ass ride last Saturday. We rode up to the city/county line on Lake Ave and then worked our way down to Fell’s Point. We got a cup of coffee and sat on the pier for a bit before heading back home. All in all about 20 miles or so. I was going to write this big post with lots of pictures that I took on the ride but I figured I’m a little late. So instead I’m gonna use this post to say if anyone is interested in doing one of these 20 mile or so rides down town or where ever let us know. We would love to make a run to Fell’s Point or Canton one day or night with bunch of people. The more people the more fun.

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[Bike rack in the quad at SIU Carbondale, 2006.]

I live in an apartment building in North Baltimore, and I live on the top floor (i.e., the 4th). While I do take the steps fairly often, I generally take the elevator with my bike, especially when I’m wearing work cloths. ElRo was leaving at the same time and cycling to work also today. As we were getting ready to pack into the elevator, my next-door neighbor was coming out — with HIS bike.

What ensued was a “You guys go ahead” — “No, you go” — “I insist, you guys go ahead” — “I think we’ll fit, wanna try?”

It might have been funny to watch, but the best part was that bike traffic these days is getting so thick that people leaving from the same floor of the same building at the same time are clogging up elevators.  I am sure the nice weather this week after a particularly harsh January has a lot to do with it, but the big traffic is getting stronger all the time.  I can’t imagine what this spring and summer are going to look like, but I enjoy trying to picture it.

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This was taken about a year ago in my basement. It’s Johnny boy doing his best to true up my back wheel. Anybody that rides around here in these streets knows the value of a good friend with a truing stand. I’d place the value at worth their weight in beer or coffee.

The windchill when I left for work today was -3 in Baltimore City.  I know that some places have temps like this without the wind, but this is rare in Baltimore.  I can’t imagine what the windchill doing 25 mph downhill into a headwind was, but my nose is still a little numb a half hour later.

And my mustache froze!  The water vapor from my breathing got it wet, and it felt like I just huffed some buckwheat honey.  I mean, it was a strange sensation.  It took my brain a minute to realize what  it was.  Ice.  Awesome.

The rest of my beard was under a scarf and not under my nose, so Mr. Fuzzy is working to keep me warm currently.

Anyone else get covered in ice this winter?  :)

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