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[Pardon the terrible camera-phone picture.]
After last night’s rain and this morning’s wind, there’s stuff all over Baltimore’s streets and paths, waiting to get in your way on your ride to/from work/school.  I was dodging sticks and wet clumps of gravel this morning, when I happened upon this big mess on the Jones Falls Trail, just South of the 28th and 29th Street[s] bridges.  If I were not already late for work and had a saw/ax on me, I might have contributed to getting it out of the way.

I also saw an open box of Trek bike frames near the Streetcar Museum’s shed.  Bizarre.  They looked new?

Also, in a score for cyclists, a piece of my apartment building’s slate roof was on the walkway when I left this morning.  It was large enough, sharp enough and came from high enough that it would probably have killed you if it landed on your head.  In a Nutcase-esque helmet, though, I don’t know.  Maybe not.  Though, damn.  It’s scary to think of what a piece of slate the size of a small pizza could do, from the top of 4 1/2 stories.

Anyway, I made it to the Maryland Avenue bridge, two blocks from my office this morning, before the rain started.  I heard these bangs and thought, “What the @#$% is that?”  It was huge rain drops hitting my hardshell helmet.  In the two blocks in which I sped to work, I got completely drenched.  But on my entire ride up to that point, the very very wet roads and paths didn’t affect my sandal-clad feet, as my excellent fenders kept me very dry.  I’m wearing wet jeans and wet flannel now at work on my lunchbreak, though.  Not very comfortable.

It was a good ride.  With the wind that woke me up two hours before my alarm, I almost took the bus.  But with how nice it’s going to be this afternoon, I’d have felt like a schmuck standing on Charles Street and watching everyone else have all the fun.  To boot, the rain window during rush hour probably beckoned more folks than just me who were teetering on whether to ride or not in that wind.  Until the end, the skies were dry, if very cloudy.

And the wind: a moderate headwind for my entire ride, with some scary gusts.  I had to pedal downhill.  But it was good.  I need the exercise.  My bike was drenched, so I carried up the 14 flights to my office.  That hurt more than I want to admit.  My big ass is very out of shape.


With this cold, wet, snowy mess hitting Baltimore today, I thought perhaps we could use photos of that beautiful, sunny November day when we all paid tribute to Jack Yates and to cycling in [North] Baltimore.

Josh, from Baltimore Bicycle Works.


Liam, from Cyclosity.


GHCC board member John.


Finally, Mr. Dan finishing the ride!

alot-of-pics-346
I usually try to keep my ride pretty clean. I’ve been a little lazy about it lately, and it really needs a good bath. This got me thinking.  My dad has always said, “Before winter sets in you should put a good coat of wax on you car.” One of his points being is that it helps keep the salt off the car’s finish in the winter months. This does make sense to me. So I’m thinking of cleaning up the old horse and putting a coat of wax on the seat/chain stays, down tube and fork. Can anyone think of a good reason not to do this?

Also with winter on the horizon does anyone have any cold weather riding tips you would like to share with the cycling community? One I use, I got from Sheldon Brown. Use clear tape to block off a few air vents on your helmet. It’s a easy and very inexpensive way to help keep your head a little warmer and  not compromise the fit of your brain bucket.

cloudsky0709
Don’t look for this today. It’s raining!
And my fenders do rejoice.

Anyone ride in?  I have AWESOME fenders, but even they were no match for the snow and slush and gunk flying around this morning.  It was still a fun ride, though.  My bike dripped puddles of NASTY water all over my office when I got to work.  Poor little rug.  My “salmon” Kool Stops are grey as all hell right now.  I don’t know if it’s wise to ride home, after my ice-fall last week.  But it’s so tempting and fun. I doubt I will be able to resist.  Plus, I don’t wanna leave Mr. Bike in the office, especially when it looks like tomorrow might turn out to be a snow day.

My only scary moment was coming down the switchback on the Jones Falls Trail this morning.  I realized that my thin shoes were covered in snow, so I stopped and pulled off to knock the snow away.  I slid a bit in so doing, but I caught myself.  I got off my bike to stomp my shoes against the wall and get the snow off, and there is a skid mark, surrounded by footprints.  I hope no one thinks it was the scene of a crash, LOL.

No other bike tracks on the switchback.  But there were tracks from an MTB on the trail itself, as the road was covered in salt trucks waiting their turn to get filled on Fallsway.  Saw one other cyclist on the JFT, and we exchanged not just a nod but a full one-hand-off-the-bars wave, which is appropriate to anyone brave/stupid enough to ride in Baltimore in the snow.


I love my fenders. Anyone who has a set knows what I’m talking about. This is a picture of my nice wet fenders after they did their job for me again today. I got caught in the rain on the way home from the store.  They kept all that dirty road water off of me and my ride. If you don’t have a set I seriously recommend getting a set. They make riding in wet conditions much more tolerable. I’m giving a Saturday toast to fenders. Salude!

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