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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.


I was going to post this while down the beach but given the recent events I decided to hold off until now. So here it is…

My original plan was to ride from 139th to the OC inlet at the end of the board walk but, after careful consideration, recommendation of a local and a reader of this blog, I decided to ride North instead. I, liking to beat myself up, decided to begin my ride around one p.m. on the hottest day we where down there. You know 90 some degrees with 100 heat index. Whatever, it’s flat on the shore, right? Anyway my first stop was of this watch tower.

For anyone who doesn’t know, these towers are haunting reminders of how close German subs came to our coasts in WW II. I’ve always been fascinated with these concrete sentries. I think they’re creepy in a neat sorta way. Moving on, I next rolled into the town of Bethany. In my opinion this is what a beach town should look like.  Quiet, sandy and lived in. I pasted the Bethany bike shop. I don’t think I have to explain why I took a picture of this.

I wasn’t ready to turn back towards home so I continued North on 50. Before I knew it I was looking 2 miles down the road at the inlet bridge. I road down alone side the bridge where there is a parking lot for folks wanting to fish, go to the beach or out on a boat. There I took a water break and a few more pictures.

After hydrating a bit I jumped on my ride and headed home for the day. The ride took me about 2 hours to go up and back, with a few breaks of course. Over all total mileage was just under 25 miles. It was a very relaxing ride. I highly recommend it. The only draw backs are no shade and you are riding on 50 where vehicles pass you are doing, well, 50 or so. That was the most surprising part of my ride is that I did not feel unsafe on 50 at all. Delaware really has it together when it comes to bike lanes and markings for them. The lanes where very clearly marked and there was signage everywhere saying “Look out for bicycles” which, is much more to the point than “Share the road”.

Maybe next time I’m “danny oshin” I’ll ride South. I think that with be in the off season.


Well the NBBB rolled on downtown on Thursday night in the Moonlight Madness ride.  For the exception of a few flats and a bad spill everyone seemed to have a good time. Thank you, thank you , thank you to the folks who put this ride together. I totally enjoyed myself.  It was so great to see people from all different walks of life with all different kinds of bikes come together to take a ride. It was also great to meet some of the folks who visit this blog and be able to say thanks for visiting, face to face.  To the guy who took the spill: I think I can speak for everyone on the ride and say, get well soon, fellow velo.

In other news, I’m gonna be representing the NBBB down at OC for a few days.  I’m planning on riding the length of the island. I’ll be sure to post about it with some pics. Has anyone out there ridden this before? If so, anything I should look out for or look forward too?

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.

My favorite rear blinky was bought a few hours before my bike, two years ago.  It’s served me well, despite getting rained on, being dropped and kicked down St. Paul Street on a cold day last winter, falling off in traffic on University Parkway, etc.  All you could ask for from a light.  Well, the week before last.

Two weeks ago, I was leaving work and crossing the bridge on Charles Street that goes over 83. This is a tricky spot with horn-crazy cab drivers, buses and wanker-weiner-poopheads who insist on parking there, next to the signs that say not to.  You know, in addition to drivers flooring it as they get on 83 or otherwise try to get in front of one another before the messy construction on Charles Street. I heard a bump-clatter-bang and knew it had fallen off because I had, once again, not put on it correctly.  Out of the corner of my eye, as I approached Lanvale, I saw the grey bubble bouncing and heard crunching repeatedly.  I couldn’t stop because, well, I’d get flattened.

I knew it was a goner and got really sad.  Er, mad because it fell off from me not connecting it correctly.  I cussed a lot on my ride up Charles Street.  I was entirely too upset over a light, probably.

A day or so later, I was walking up to Sofi”s to get coffee with a co-worker, and I found this big chunk of my light.  It made me feel better.

While we hear of gear failing us, it’s sad when it’s we who fail our gear.  Or something.

You know, if you’ve ever sailed home on a tailwind or had to mash those pedals against a strong wind in the morning, you know that this could really really work. As in all things, maybe better on a bike than a car, though. But I am not volunteering to test it. Read more.

For the National Night Out Parade a few weeks ago, ElRo had to carry a padded laptop bag from REI without smashing it. I rigged up a tote bag pannier for the two mile ride. Worked perfectly, though I think anything that weighed more than an empty bag inside of it might have swayed a bit.

Photo Friday: The Ordinary.

I hope Treehugger meant this jokingly.  Because the comments already show that, baby, it ain’t over.

In spite of this scary screen shot I took of her, Sheila is doing a fine job supporting bike transportation.

Full vid here: YouTube – Baltimore Bikes.

Orioles pitcher Jeremy Guthrie rides his bike to the ballpark six days a week.  Apparently, our home-boys are some serious cyclists.

Fans are accustomed to the players’ lot being filled with expensive rides – sports cars, HUVs, private jets. But you should check out the clubhouse sometime, or the weight room. There are enough bikes parked there to hold the Tour de France. I keep waiting for players to change into yellow jerseys, though that honor probably should be delayed until they’re in first place.

At last count, the cyclists include Guthrie, Luke Scott, Aubrey Huff, Brian Burres, Garrett Olson and Lance Cormier. Nick Markakis dropped out after buying a house in Monkton.

The Orioles might be the only team that has more use for a bike rack than a bat rack.

Read the rest of the story here.

Via Commute By Bike.

So the Hemingway b-day ride went well. Where better to ride to on Hemingway’s birthday then some where with water, boats and beer? I think he would have approved. The small group of us started out around 8pm from, of course, the water tower. We headed down town via Fallsway to Maryland Ave. We wove our way through the downtown corridors of buildings and buses to the waterfront. We stopped by the Tawny to snap this goofy photo. At this point in the ride the heat was obviously starting to get to us. We continued on to Fell’s where we sat on the pier. There we toasted Hemingway by reading one of his short poems and raising our water bottle. (It was just too damn hot for beer.) After hanging out on the pier a while we decided to start to head back. We rode through Little Italy (one of my old stomping grounds) to Lombard where we then committed ourselves to Calvert for the spin back.

All in all it was a wonder evening ride totalling somewhere around 15 miles. I can’t wait to ride back down town again.  Cheer’s for bikes and Hemingway!!! A great combination.

A long time ago, I bought a fake German bread bag.  It’s a cool little canvas bag, the kind that makes people make fun of you for carrying a man purse from the comfort of their frikkin carseats.  I liked it but never really used it because I have a cool vintage map case from my Dad’s time in the Army.  I looked at the loops this winter, and I thought it might work as a mini pannier, to carry stuff like a multi-tool, tube, patch kit, Moleskine, etc.  Turned out to work great, so I bought Mule and ElRo each one for Christmas, though theirs were the real deal, complete with awesome canvas smell.  You can find them anywhere, and the knock-off I own was like $10.  It won’t break the bank, and you don’t need hardware.  A vintage one is probably better, but this is what I had. Above is the bag.

This is what it will hold, with room to spare.

This is my rack (huh huh).  Just a normal, $30 rack.

First, this is how we will attach it.  The belt loops go on the top rail of the rack.

Pull the webbing straps as tightly as you can. If you have long enough straps and want your bag to bounce less, you can wrap the straps around the supports of your rack a few times.

If you have some electrical tape around, you can dampen possible metal-on-metal action from your buckle slamming your rack. I did, and it worked very well.

If your straps are long, make sure to tuck them back into the buckle so that they don’t find their way into your spokes.

The view from the other side will look like this.

When you are finished looping both straps, you’re done!

You now have a little trunk on your bike that has way more class and kicks way more ass than a $200 pannier or a butt wedge pack.

If you have a light with a clip, there are usually tabs for clipping on the sides you can use. I have two blinkies now, and the one on my seatstay got blocked by this bag, though the side of the bag is a better spot for seeing me and not running me over.

I can provide larger images if you can’t see what’s going on. Sorry for the flash photography. My blood sugar was low, and my hands were shaking. I had to get the photos before I packed up and rode. It’s very dusty now, which is, you know, awesome. It’s nice to keep the sweat off my back and my supplies onboard.

Anybody that has lived through a Baltimore summer knows what pretty red and orange colors in the sunset means after a hot day. If you don’t know, it means it’s gonna be just as hot if not hotter the next day. Riding in this weather is sometimes not so fun. I just ran out for a quick errand. Maybe 3 miles tops. Half way into my trip I had sweat dripping into my eyes.  Now I do think I sweat a little more then others but when it’s in the 90’s with humidity the playing field seems a little more level.

On my way back from my destination I spotted another biker on the other side of the road.  He , like me, looked as if he was on an errand. He looked in my direction and gave me a sweaty nod as if to say you’re not the only rider dumb enough to come out in this crap.

Now as much as I hate the heat and humidity I find I like it at the same time. It, like the cold of winter, presents a challenge. You can either back down and say “Screw it I’m not riding today it’s to hot.” Or you can embrace it and say “I’m gonna kick the shit out of this heat, nothing is gonna stop me from riding when and where I want.”  Dealing with the elements is all part of it. It’s all part of riding day in and day out and if you take the proper precautions it can be very rewarding.

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