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What did you do post Moonlight Madness? I split off from Barry and Dan, came home, talked to my wife, took a shower with peppermint soap — and trued my back wheel at 1:30 in the morning! I’m going away this weekend to Washington, and I didn’t want to leave it like that. I mean, it was barely close enough to ride. Those potholes on Roland Avenue below the Avenue are a doozy! I do enjoy truing wheels, although I usually get really really anal about it and take too long. And with tonight’s fun ride and being excited about my trip, hell, I’m too keyed up to sleep anyway. Now my wheel is trued pretty well, with the tire/tube back on and inflated, and it’s next to ElRo’s bike where it belongs.



Dan and I are meeting at the Watertower at about 7:30pm, in case anyone wants to ride down with us. If you do, leave a comment so we know to wait for you. The Watertower is where Roland Avenue and University Parkway meet, in Hoes Heights/Rolden/Hampden/Roland Park. You can’t miss it.


And also remember: this is NOT a sponsored ride. You ride at your own risk, and you will likely have to sign a waiver saying so. Be careful, and have fun!

Details here in case you need them or wanna read excited/exciting comments!

Hawthorne Trail mapA few weeks ago, my wife and kids left town for some vacation, leaving me at home to work and spend some time in the saddle. A massive PUD is getting underway (again) that’s gonna eat up some (more) of my favorite unknown places to ride. I headed over the Nottingham Ridge via the 95 viaduct and got good and muddy while riding access roads, dirt and slag piles.

From there, I took a little known “trail” around old White Marsh, rode some stream and crossed 40 into one of the largest contiguous parcels of braided off-road trails in eastern B’more. (Hit it if you can, park on the south side just shy of the 43 light). After climbing, winding and jumping my way back to 43, I picked up the new sidepath that parallels White Marsh Blvd down to Eastern Ave. Nice easy ride with some good diversions around ponds and woods.

I was heading this way to my very old stomping ground of Hawthorne, Concrete rack basea heavy populated peninsula on Middle River. Growing up here, I learned to ride a bike and honed my early jumping skills. Going back I was looking forward to the new trails that Co. Exec. Jim Smith was proud off. When I got there, I was a little disappointed. The trails I once rode were now blackened with asphalt and connected with signed routes via alleyways. A bike network totally done on the cheap. The nostalgia wore off as I approached the eastern end of the trail – a nice kiosk with a map and hunter green powder-coated bike rack. Looking at the rack base, I noticed a name scrolled into concrete: Talk about full circle…

If you’ve ever admired the awesome bike T-shirts that Frankie and I wear, you are not alone.  Marc at B-Minus Designs has been making awesome bike shirts in Philly for a few years now, and we’ve been rocking them for a couple years. Marc is also making some really nice tote bags for your goods. Frankie has one with the “Bicycles are for Lovers” design in red on the tan bag, and it looks incredible.

Until the end of the month, you can score a second T-shirt at half off if you buy one at full price in the “I wish I was in France sale“!  And these are really nice shirts, too, all American Apparel cotton. Mine have weathered my big self sweating all over them on my bike and still look great. 

I’m wearing one Thursday to the Moonlight Madness ride — look me for  in the grey shirt with a big red heart that contains a sweet bike. I’ll bet you go home and order one. Well, after you have some water, that is.

[Image, Marc Hummel.]

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

Geezus!  What is wrong with people that they feel like they need to succumb to distraction while driving thousands of pounds of planet-killer?

On July 11, at approximately 2:44 p.m., a blue 2008 Mazda M3I driven by Royal Kessick III, 47 of Richmond, Va., was traveling northbound on Three Notch Road, north of Park Hall Road. Hugo Gonzalez, 44 of St. Leonard, was riding a bicycle on the southbound shoulder of Three Notch Road heading towards Park Hall Road. Kessick’s vehicle crossed the southbound travel lane, onto the shoulder and into the path of Gonzalez’s bicycle. Gonzalez was struck by the vehicle and thrown into the grass adjacent to the roadway. Gonzales succumbed to his injuries. Kessick’s vehicle continued towards the wood line, struck a tree, overturned once and landing upright.

Kessick was flown by Eagle 1 to Medstar. Gonzalez was wearing a bicycle helmet. Initial investigation indicates alcohol is not believed to be a contributing factor. Members of the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Collision Reconstruction Team responded to the scene and assumed the investigation.

Anyone who witnessed the collision is asked to contact DFC Timothy Reese at (301 )475-4200 ext. 9115.


Witnessed? Why? They need to find out why this driver veered over, not who’s fault it was. Did he pass out from medication? Does he have a health problem? Or was he just too distracted by his frackin cell phone to not run over a cyclist? Benefit of the doubt or whatever?

Whatever. You don’t cross over two lanes because you swerved around a deer. If you fell asleep, you shouldn’t be driving. If you passed out from medication, you shouldn’t be driving. If you have a medical condition that makes you drift over two lanes, you shouldn’t have a damned license! If you were on the phone, OMG, I hope you go to jail.  You are too careless to walk around with the rest of us, let alone drive around.

HELP! Some very bad people have stolen bikes meant for hard-working young cyclists. They need your help!

Belair-Edison Neighborhoods Inc. (BENI) received a grant to promote park stewardship among our young people. Ten kids (ages 7-13) have been earning bikes through acts of community service — mostly gardening at the community gardens in the park and helping out with Movies in the Park. They have also done some clean ups on a few blocks throughout the community.

The bikes they are earning are gently-used (bought with a portion of the grant money) and as part of their time, they are attending bike workshops to fix the bikes. Attached are photos from their workshops with Velocipede.

This past weekend, the bikes were stolen from the storage shed. No doubt, someone saw them working on them and placing them in the shed and then took advantage of the situation. Their helmets, pumps, and locks were also stolen.

Now, we need your help to replace the bikes. We need 5-20” boys’ bikes; 3-20” girls’ bikes; 2-24” girls bikes; plus 5 boys’ and 5 girls’ helmets.

If you have a bike you wish to donate, please contact

Thanks so much.

Mary Warlow
Belair-Edison Neighborhoods, Inc.

If you know anything about this or are able to help out, please contact Mary Marlow at the address above, or you can contact Johnny, who will put in you touch with these fine folks.  You might have a currently unused bike in your basement or garage that could be put to very good use.


This also just in:


Could you also help promote our bike ride with the Mayor this Friday, July 24th? We’re meeting her in Herring Run Park by the Movie Shed (3900 Belair Road) at 7:30am. We’d love a big turnout, so all are welcome. We’re trying to get as many of our kids and residents there as possible, but it’s pretty early. Anyway, if possible, please spread the word.

Thanks again!


I’d love to be able to make this and ride with the Mayor, since I can seldom get up early enough to go on the usual rides.

There are a lot of excellent and awesome bike blogs out there these days. Two years ago, they were few. Several of those blogs are still around and are better than ever. I came across a cool site last week called vélo-flâneur. I’ll let it speak for itself. From “About” page:

Cycling is a deeply aesthetic practice. Riding transverses the city and country; it bridges the mechanical and the organic. Here readers will find some thoughts on the intersection of cycling and modernity from the relatively dispassionate and fleeting, yet productive position of the pedestrian or cyclist. This is not about racing. Vélo Flâneur focuses on everyday, utilitarian riding, randonneuring, jaunts through urban and natural terrain — and watching, listening, and feeling.

This is really my kind of website. And there’s a Flickr group, too!

Walk (or ride!) on down to see our friends at Baltimore Bicycle Works during ArtScape, where you can meet some of the area’s finest frame builders:
Join Baltimore Bicycle Works for a Hand Built Bike Show
During Artscape BBW Will Host a Hand Built Bike Exhibit & Demonstration
July 18th and 19th
Saturday from 12-7pm and Sunday from 12-5pm

Come meet some of Baltimore’s premiere frame builders. Chris Bishop, John Hollands, Tommy Nash, and Tom Palermo will be at Baltimore Bicycle Works to display their artisan hand-crafted frames and will be holding a brazing demonstration at 3pm on Saturday.

Stop by and check out the incredible craftsmanship that is going on right here in Baltimore!

P.S. Artscape will be offering bike parking and special gift packs to all those who ride to the festival. Hope to see you there!

Who’s up for a ride tonight? Completely low-key and completely last-minute!

At least Dan and I are meeting at the Watertower after 7pm and then pushing off at 7:30. If you plan to make it, please leave a comment. If you want my cell number, I’ll email it to you. Baltimore’s glassy, so bring a tube if you think you might need it. We usually carry patch kits, pump and levers.

And bring water! It’s gonna be hot!

We usually just ride around town for 10-15 or 15-20 miles enjoying ourselves, often getting a coffee/tea/soda somewhere.  I’m just back in the saddle after three months out, so I doubt we’re going to be counting the miles.

If you get there before 7pm, you can talk to folks from Friends of the Watertower, a group who’s trying to save our historical brick beauty.

[Photo from Hemingway’s birthday ride last year. I didn’t edit out our faces; the camera was on the sidewalk in Little Italy, and this is what came out.]

From an email I received at my other website:

I thought you might be interested in Summer Spectacle, an interactive public concert for 111 bicyclists hosted by the Contemporary Museum ’s Mobtown Modern concert series. For this guerilla-style performance, bicyclists will perform Mauricio Kagel’s Eine Brise, riding through the streets of Baltimore using horns, whistles, and noises to create the sound of wind.

There are still spots available to participate in the inaugural Summer Spectacle – and I thought you and your readers might enjoy making avant garde music on your bikes. To register, e-mail

A press release is attached. Feel free to share this information with your readers.



From attachment:

Mobtown Modern Goes Guerilla for Summer Spectacle

Saturday, July 18, 2009
3:00 p.m.

The Metro Gallery
1700 North Charles Street
Station North Arts and Entertainment District, Baltimore

The Contemporary Museum’s Mobtown Modern concert series will take New Music to the streets with an interactive performance of composer Mauricio Kagel’s Eine Brise (‘A Breeze’) for 111 bicyclists, on Saturday, July 18, 2009 at 3 p.m.

Riders will begin and end their trek at The Metro Gallery in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District. The posse of performers will use bells, horns, and utterances and whistling to replicate the sounds of a crisp breeze during their “round the block” performance. Eine Brise begins with jingling to announce the coming breeze, climaxing with a crescendo of a frenzied chorus of “wind sound” vocalizations from performers.
Anyone with a bicycle and a bell or horn is invited to participate in this guerilla-style music making experience. To participate, e-mail Space is limited.

[Photo of Mr. Headset Wrench courtesy of too much time on my hands last summer.]

This Sunday, Dan, Johnny and Zack took a very short (like an hour and a half maybe) ride last-minute because Johnny had to return Zack’s rims to him — trued rims, replaced spoke and patched tire. I mean, folks who ride centuries might scoff at our trip to Druid Hill, down the full length of the Jones Falls Trail and then back up Charles Street to University Parkway. But a nice 12-20 mile ride is just our idea of fun.
All the better if, at the end, there’s a bad flat when we’re near someone’s apartment. Baltimore City tap water (with lemon!) and air conditioning are nice, followed by beers and a little bike work.  Hell, how could you say “no” to that?
Anyone up for a short little ride after dinner/evening Thursday night? Nothing big — just meeting at (what’s left of) the Watertower and a 10-20 mile fun ride to end there, perhaps with a coffee stop….

I need one of these.  What fun this is. Two extinguishers, a fifty foot length of hose and a hydrant wrench all on two wheels. Not to mention, nice freakin’ fenders.

(From There I Fixed It.)

This is my sporty(for me) 2009 Jamis Coda before I added more than half it’s cost over again in accessories. Pardon the terrible picture taken in my office the day I brought it back from the shop but didn’t dare ride it home without a helmet.
This is the same bike six days later, with the addition of new tires, lights, rack, fenders, bell and computer. Not shown: the rear-mount kickstand I had lying around. I will totally bore you with gushing about a few of these items in the near future.

The fine folks at Baltimore Bicycle Works hooked me up with my bike and every accessory I ordered in three days flat.  I walked in, ordered everything like a nerd who’d be thinking about it for nearly three months (which was the case) on a Tuesday, and I walked out with it all Friday morning.  Fast!  Not only did I not have to wait a week or more and pay shipping to order all the stuff I wanted online, but I actually got fantastic deals.  You’re never going to find Cascadia fenders for less than $39 (and if you do,  you buy ’em!), especially not without paying shipping.

This is strange.  I resisted the internet for a long time and never even sent an email until the very very end of my junior year in college in 2000.  I used a typewriter for most of my undergraduate years.  Seriously.  But now we assume the only way to get that hard-to-find lightset or fenders in a specific color (my pal ordered silver) is to order everything online, wait at least a week and pay like $10 over the $5 we saved by buying online in the first place.  When my seat/post got stolen in early Decemeber, I ordered replacements online (BBW wasn’t open yet then) and waited, bikeless, for a week, and the shipping was almost as expensive as one of the parts.

One of my brake pads put the first gall in my rear rim on my way to work this morning.  I pulled the metal chip out of the pad, went for coffee and was annoyed.  (DAMN YOU, TEKTRO!)  I was kicking myself for not getting Kool-Stops right away.  I am moderately ashamed to admit that my first instinct after I had some coffee was to look online and order two sets from Amazon or something like that.  WFT?  I corrected myself, called my LBS and tacked two sets of brake pads onto their mid-week order.  Sweet!  It’s much more fun to deal with a real person (and a nice person on top of that) than a computer.  Simple.

But why have we gotten to the point where one needs to point this out?

You gotta get to this ride. No excuses.


Take a night-time bike tour of Baltimore City on a safe, well lit, mostly flat route of about 20 miles. Get an intimate view of the city after dark. Skyline, neighborhoods and waterfront as well as sights ranging from illuminated classical buildings and monuments to the neon of “The Block”, from churches, museums, and City Hall to the enormous “Wizard of Boh”.

Ride Start: in front of the Youth Hostel at the corner of Mulberry and Cathedral. Thursday, July 30th. 8:00pm with an 8:30 push-off.

(catty-corner from the main branch of the Pratt Library)

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

Click HERE for the route!

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