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From one of the coolest dang bookstores anywhere, let alone in Baltimore, Atomic Books:

TaleSpin is a new zine about bike riding. Whether you ride Road, Fixed, Mountain, BMX, or Penny Farthing, and whether you ride daily or not since the banana seat went out of style, we want your stories, essays, poetry, photography and other artwork. The theme of our inaugural issue is ‘First Times’. Tell us about your first bike ride, your first crash, your first spin class, your first flat tire, your first bike race, your first…anything, as long as it happened on, under, near, or because of a bike.

All submissions will be considered. Articles (100 – 1,000 words) should be sent by e-mail (aberrebeATgmailDOTcom) as attached Word documents. Image files should be approximately 5×7 inches, 300+ dpi (.JPG or .TIF format). All contributors will receive a byline for their work and a complimentary copy of the issue in which their work appears. The deadline for submissions is Friday, February 19, 2010.

TaleSpin is being produced by Team Atomic, a Baltimore-based cycling team that rides to raise funds for Moveable Feast of Maryland. All proceeds from sales of TaleSpin will be donated to Moveable Feast’s Ride for the Feast. TaleSpin will be available locally for purchase at Atomic Books, through the Team Atomic website (www.teamatomic.org), and at area bike shops.

For more information, contact: Rebecca Abernathy, Editor, at aberrebeATgmailDOTcom.

Read more at the Atomic Books blog.

watertower0709
If you’re like me, you’re wondering what the hell  all that barbed-wire fencing is doing around the Watertower, that icon of NBBB. Apparently, things are falling off of it, and no one thinks these things can blow 20 feet on their way down and land outside the fence.

Of course, it would be nice if the Watertower was repaired. How awesome would it be if it was lit up with the seasons/holidays? Purple lights for the Ravens’ season. Etc.

Read more about the Watertower.

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.

johnny_wheel_truing
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.


My commute to work certainly isn’t among the City’s most challenging rides.  Most of it involves a trip down University Parkway — in the morning, heading east, it’s a delightful zip down the bike lane, almost keeping pace with my four-wheeled friends to my left.  On the way home, however, I’m faced with an inevitable uphill climb, and here I think I meet one of Baltimore’s most feared cycling obstacles: the University Parkway Monster — the stretch between Keswick Road and Roland Avenue that is grueling, merciless, and unrelenting.  And don’t even try to make it easier on yourself by cutting through the residential streets to the right (the Evergreen neighborhood).  There’s beautiful scenery, but not much relief.

Since I started my job last fall, I’ve developed all manner of artful ways to get around the University Parkway Monster.  I’ll turn left on Tudor Arms and come through Hampden, or I’ll take a detour through Stony Run.  But last Thursday (and it was H-O-T that day), I made it to the light at University and Keswick and thought, why don’t I give it a try for once?  So I started the climb and actually made it this time!  I was a sweaty sight (and smell) when I got home, but for once, I beat the Monster!

What are some other Monsters you’ve beaten, or have plans to beat, in Baltimore?  I also nominate the stretch of 37th Street between Keswick and Elm in Hampden.

Stay tuned for some upcoming information about the Baltimore Bike Pageant on August 2!


Thursday, Thursday, Thursday! Some of us will finally meet Thursday in person, on, er, pedals.

Ride Start: in front of the Youth Hostel at the corner of Mulberry and Cathedral. (catty-corner from the Pratt Library)

Ride is casual 10-12mph. Approximately 20 miles. You must have a properly functioning bike, be wearing a helmet, and have safety lights on front and back.

I will bring cue sheets.

Sundown is at 8:30 and a nearly full moon rising about the same time.

The Moonlight Madness Ride.  See the excellent Baltimore Spokes for more info.

NBBB info: A few of us are meeting at the Watertower in Hampden/Roland Park/ Hoes Heights and riding down as a group, if anyone wants to join us.  The early news this morning says NO RAIN, just heat sans humidity.  Should make for a nice sunset.  We’ll probably start rounding up after “The Simpsons” and leave around 8:00 p.m. for the youth hostel, with Mr. Zack leading most likely, since he rides that way daily.  Ride organizers request helmet and lights (fantastic idea).  If you wanna be part of the closest thing this here club does to jerseys, wear yer good ole safety vest.  (Yeah, we do that.)  Please leave a comment with contact info (won’t be published) so we know who to wait for.

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