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Wyman Park Drive, after it crosses Sisson Street by Stieff Silver and goes toward the Jones Falls Trail and Druid Hill Park is being resurfaced right now.  While it will be awesome when it’s finished, you might want to find another way home tonight.  Sorry for the lack of pictures.


I don’t think it’s my imagination that the number of cyclists seems to go up in Baltimore each spring — not merely up from the winter, but up from the year before. I’m sure even non-cyclists have noticed the increase in two-wheeled warriors over the last few weeks (especially the end of this week).

But I was wondering today if this year’s particularly terrible winter might have something to do with an increase in people engaging in outdoor activities in general. Were there folks who thought, “This winter’s been a doozy. I want to get outside more this spring. How can I? Riding a bike would work….”

Or maybe I’m universalizing my own relief that spring is here, matched perhaps only by my last winter/spring in Boston in 2003.

Winter cycling has its own rewards. But spring cycling means more company. (Check out Let’s Go Ride a Bike, for a post about commuting company, and this old NBBB post.)  My co-worker and I went 1/2 way home together yesterday.  And I haven’t been the only cyclist on the Jones Falls Trail at all since spring got here.

Nothing is better than bikes and public transportation.  Head down the Jones Falls trail on Sundays and ride the streetcars.  One more great place to visit on the JFT: The Baltimore Streetcar Museum.

[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.

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.

Went for a nice winter ride yesterday. It was about 30 and snowing when we started out. We rode the Jones Falls Trail and ended up at the Poe statue in front of UB. There we had coffee and peanut butter granola bars. We wished Mr. Poe a happy 200 b-day and asked for a Raven’s win. I guess he was too busy partying to help out the purple birds, oh well. After we left UB we headed up Calvert and then over to Charles and took the long way back home. All in all about 14 miles, a short winter ride but, a pleasant one.

Keep warm out there, bike ninjas.

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