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Baltimore bike bloggers (left to right): Barry, Johnny, Zack, Dan, Dave.  I feel like I should write something about the relationship between coffee and cycling, given the “You’re going for COFFEE?!” that ensued when ElRo went to get us some brews.  But I’m tired, and it’s Friday, and this weather is driving me toward the coffee itself.  I just like this picture.

[Photo courtesy of GHCC.]

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Who’s up for a short (10-20 miles) ride Sunday morning? At least Dan and I are meeting at the Watertower a little before 10:00am, to roll out at maybe at 10:00am sharp. Bring a Thermos of your favorite morning beverage, or — knowing us — we’ll stop somewhere for coffee/tea/juice anyway!

[I know: “wake-up” ride at that time? I’m working on my late-sleeping habits.]

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Zack and Dan and I had coffee tonight with Zack’s four month old son.  Then Dan and I took a long walk around Hampden, Rolden and Roland Park, sipping root beers, talking about the direction this blog has been heading lately.  When we started this website and our tongue-in-cheek bike “club”, we had nothing in mind but fun.  Why blog?  To spread the fun.  Environmental issues aren’t going to get as many people to ride bikes as posting pictures and paragraphs about having a fun ride will.  Maybe I’m just hedonistic?

I fully realize that I am largely to blame for the recent negativity.  Perhaps some of my recent posts would have been better on my personal blog (five years and going strong!).  In my defense, seeing a fallen cyclist in the road does tend to breed negative thoughts and feelings, and reading hateful comments on The Sun doesn’t help.  But we have to work to get past what happened and to get moving toward remembering why we cycle in the first place: it’s fun.  Yes, it’s good for the planet, good for your body.  But the best reason to ride is that it’s the most enjoyable way to get anywhere.  If we could hear Mr. Yates, he’d be telling us to get out and spread the cycling message through example and a smile, not through angry words.

We promised ourselves we would not use this blog only to complain about cars, about any segments of the cycling community (roadies, hipsters, Freds, etc.), about politics.  While we’ve done (I think) a good job of not being divisive about cyclists, we’ve gone and slipped into some us/them mind-set lately.  Cars/bikes.  Drivers/cyclists.  That’s just stupid.  I only know two cyclists who don’t have cars, and I’m one of them.  Hell, you could argue that it’s good for cyclists to have cars because each of them is one more driver who looks out for other people.  That’s an example we could all use on the road.  Everywhere.

And certainly lumping all drivers together because of people like The Sun‘s commenters and the people who yell at us is as bad as the folks who lump us all together because they see cyclists running redlights and nearly running over pedestrians.

Something gnawing at me says, “Mr. Yates just died last week!  We can’t act happy when the police haven’t even found the truck yet!”  But ask yourself this, as I have: What would you tell us if you were Mr. Yates?  I‘d say to keep riding.  To have fun and let everyone know it.  I‘d say that focusing only on danger and tragedy forever isn’t going to get butts on saddles.

So, in the spirit of lightening up, I give you Roxy, who looks like she ran into a wall.
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[Roxy photo by ElRo. Evil Crack Monkey drawing and photo by Johnny.]

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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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.

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Went for a nice winter ride yesterday. It was about 30 and snowing when we started out. We rode the Jones Falls Trail and ended up at the Poe statue in front of UB. There we had coffee and peanut butter granola bars. We wished Mr. Poe a happy 200 b-day and asked for a Raven’s win. I guess he was too busy partying to help out the purple birds, oh well. After we left UB we headed up Calvert and then over to Charles and took the long way back home. All in all about 14 miles, a short winter ride but, a pleasant one.

Keep warm out there, bike ninjas.

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Did anyone get any awesome cycling presents this year? I scored three pairs of long underwear; no, I don’t like lycra, no offense. Warm socks. Flannels. A big Thermos for coffee, soup, booze or whatever will keep me warm commuting through the winter. Some new and very deluxe fenders. And, best of all, some winter-weight gloves that my wife had sent from the bike shop in Carbondale where we bought our bikes in 2005 (mine was stolen in 2006) when we went car-free. I’m all set to freeze my nuggets off riding everywhere all winter. Or, rather, to not freeze my fellas off.

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