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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.
May he Ride In Peace.
The cyclist killed by a truck yesterday in Charles North has been identified as Jack Yates. My wife/ElRo used to work for the nonprofit on whose board he was a member, and she knew him. We talked this evening with their Executive Director, and it looks like the Tour du Greater Homewood will happen again this year, in memory of Mr. Yates. Advertisements of it happening this year on the 2nd were a misprint. (More on TDGH here and here.)
Also, Boson of Velocipede and a lot of other folks are working on a Ghost Bike and a memorial to be held Sunday at 6pm. Stay tuned for details.
More on this tragic story:
Video of Memorial at Baltimore Spokes (in which you can spot three NBBB type folks)
Baltimore Sun, where the police blame the cyclist
I probably speak for everyone who writes for this blog when I say that my I am sick over this tragedy and also over the cold-hearted commenters on sites like The Sun who are blaming the victim. I can’t get the image out of my head that I saw when I went by right after it happened. If I could, I’d give it to everyone who thinks this is the inevitable outcome of bikes and cars sharing the same space. When cars bother to share, that is.
I hope SOME good can come of this. Something. Maybe our law-makers can get us a 3-foot rule? Maybe more of us (myself included) will get off our butts to help the efforts of people like Barry Childress and Nate Evans who are all trying to make Baltimore a better place for cyclists? Maybe we’ll all (cars and bikes alike) look out for one another more now?
Not that anything could be good enough to justify what happened yesterday.
Ride in peace, Mr. Yates. Ride in peace.
(Image: Something I dug up on The Sun. I asked someone who knew him, and she confirmed that it is Mr. Yates. He looks happy in this photo at Druid Hill, and that’s something we could all use tonight.)
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?
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?
Holy shit! Join here, Hon Cyclists!
That’s Johnny in the fall, riding Big Red around Druid Hill. Johnny got that sumbitch to 25mph, which you know is pretty awesome if you’ve ever ridden a trike. He is tempted to steal this trike from it’s owner and to remove the white streamers. Very tempted, very often.
If you access the Jones Falls Trail at the switchback (where Wyman and Druid Hill parks meet), be careful — if what you are doing there involves anything but leaping. Turns out that someone thought it would be in everyone’s interest to put a huge pipe across the trail. It’s not painted orange or surrounded by warning tape or a even a sign down on office paper with a Sharpie. No. Nothing. So when someone like me was running late for work Monday morning and barreling downtown a little bit, such an obstacle came as a shock. I mean, I wasn’t exactly going full steam because there’s a sharp (i.e. 120 degree) turn to make to start the descent down the embankment. But I still almost crashed into it and credit the large amounts of coffee I drink with fueling my reflexes into not smashing my front wheel over it and falling down the hill.
Big surprise: it’s not hooked up to anything, and no one’s doing anything with the frikkin thing.
You have two options if you still wanna use the trail here:
1) Stop, lift your bike over the pipe and get going (and it’s pretty high, if you carry weight on your bike).
2) Use the bridge, where you have to go half way across to get through the weird curb thing there and turn around. I choose this because I am too lazy to get off the bike, and — you know — you do get a nice view of Horseshoe Falls from the bridge, which was a nice surprise to me yesterday while I was cussing under my breath.
If it’s still there and still not used Friday, I say we get together and dismantle the part that is in the way.
Better coverage, with a photo at Cyclosity.
The windchill when I left for work today was -3 in Baltimore City. I know that some places have temps like this without the wind, but this is rare in Baltimore. I can’t imagine what the windchill doing 25 mph downhill into a headwind was, but my nose is still a little numb a half hour later.
And my mustache froze! The water vapor from my breathing got it wet, and it felt like I just huffed some buckwheat honey. I mean, it was a strange sensation. It took my brain a minute to realize what it was. Ice. Awesome.
The rest of my beard was under a scarf and not under my nose, so Mr. Fuzzy is working to keep me warm currently.
Anyone else get covered in ice this winter?