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And I am not kidding.  I replaced a spoke today, did a little truing, and it’s very very tempting to go ride in the storm.  But I think I’ll walk to the grocery store and play in puddles on foot instead today.


Who’s up for a short (10-20 miles) ride Sunday morning? At least Dan and I are meeting at the Watertower a little before 10:00am, to roll out at maybe at 10:00am sharp. Bring a Thermos of your favorite morning beverage, or — knowing us — we’ll stop somewhere for coffee/tea/juice anyway!

[I know: “wake-up” ride at that time? I’m working on my late-sleeping habits.]

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.









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?

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.]

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….

[Apologies for the cross-post!]
Yesterday, I took a [hybrid!] bus to work, with my floor pump in my backpack, my helmet in a box on my lap and my rear-mount kickstand. I put the stand on at lunch and was shaking with excitement and nervousness all day at the idea of getting to ride again. I mean, my last ride didn’t go so well. My wife had to work late, so we had dinner at the delicious Cafe’ Mocha near Penn Station after work, and then I set off to North Baltimore! I stopped by my parents’ house in Hampden to show off the new ride to my folks, my brother and my aunt and uncle — and to have a cream soda.
Then I rode home, up Roland Avenue. At one intersection, I was behind another cyclist at the red light, and there was another gent coming from the opposite way — and it wasn’t even close to rush hour anymore. Being out of commission all spring and early summer, I missed the increase in ridership. The gentleman in front of me ran a red light I didn’t want to run after a block or two, so we parted ways. I rode around Evergreen, through Stony Run Park and back home, not really wanting to stop. I came home, took off my sweaty shirt and had some water with lemon in the lazer-etched bike pint glass I got for Valentine’s Day this year and watched “The Simpsons.”

Sweet first ride. Chromoly steel rides like a freakin dream, but I kept hearing something bell-like when I hit bumps. I think the rear brake cable was banging the toptube because the little rubber things weren’t on right (my fault). That steel literally rings. But it also could have been the dangerous thing I found when I got home. When I was installing my front fenders last week, I forgot to check that the stays were tightened at the dropout eyelets. Holy shit, that could have been disastrous! Also completely my fault.

Rode to work this morning with the Mrs. — our first joint commute. I was completely drenched with sweat when I got here, and I wasn’t cycling hard this morning at all. I have to go back to a shoulder bag and away from my backpack. Thank God for the baby wipes and extra shirt I keep in my desk. I was a mess.

But I’m sitting here with my helmet on the AC vent, my new tires dirty and my bike begging me for 5:00. I am very happy.

From your friends at NBBB. See ya’ll soon, with a few new members! (Never too late to sign up!)

Dan gets judged, and people wonder, “My other ride is your mom? What does that sticker say?” He won a light set, patch kit and tire levers.  This sticker, which almost made me poop a little:

We had a lot of coffee and some treats before the ride, after some morning riding to and from set-up — on the very quiet and wet streets of Charles Village and Waverly.  It was nice to be out without cars like that.

Several dozen people met up at the Watertower for the Tour du Greater Homewood, donned blue shirts made for the ride and turned right onto Roland Avenue. We rode through Hampden, Wyman Park, down the Jones Falls Trail, up Charles Street to Waverly, where we stopped at the Farmers’ Market.

It was a little hot and humid after the early morning storms that woke up everyone in Baltimore at 5:00am. But with water and a leisurely pace, it was cake, baby.

I don’t mean to get all he-manish, but I wanted to ride more. We’ll have to do another group ride soon.  Perhaps an NBBB pub crawl or something in a few weeks.  We never did have a picnic either.

We rode in the parade afterward, which was awkward because we had to move so slowly. I was kicking myself for not rocking a dress/muumuu. But it was nice to see so many people interested in cycling in this part of the city. Transportation, she is a-changin.  We’re lucky to be on the cusp of something like the wave of cycling over-taking all awesome people in Charm City.

More photos here.

Photo Friday: The Team.

I know there’s something called “bike season.”  I don’t understand what the hell that means or why it exists.  I like winter riding a lot, despite how annoying all that gear can get.  Summer is not my favorite time to ride.  I mean, I don’t mean to sound all pessimistic and negative, but I frikkin hate July, especially.

This July brought with it a few good things though.  Dan/Mule and I both got very good news.  No real record-breaking heat.  A very fun Moonlight Madness ride and a few other great evening rides.  But perhaps for cycling, the best news I saw this July was the ever-growing number of cyclists around Baltimore.  I know.  Theft is up.  People are trying to scare us back into our cars with articles about how more bikes mean more bike accidents (ignoring that it means less car accidents).  “Riding a bike is dangerous!”  “Bikes don’t belong in the street!”  “I’m safer in my car!”  “My bike will get stolen!”

I’m glad to see that so many people in Baltimore this summer, for whatever reason, have gotten a lock and a clue and are out there riding despite the heat.  Maybe it’s gas prices and necessity.  Maybe it’s that such obstacles to driving have given folks the temptation to take the fun way (i.e., on two wheels — or three!) and have resulted in people remembering or discovering how much fun riding is.  I don’t care.  I like seeing it.  This Sunday, Dan/Mule and I rode to Towson for an errand, and there was bike traffic!

So instead of my usual one-finger salute to July, this time I tip my hat, er, helmet.

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.

Thursday, Thursday, Thursday! Some of us will finally meet Thursday in person, on, er, pedals.

Ride Start: in front of the Youth Hostel at the corner of Mulberry and Cathedral. (catty-corner from the Pratt Library)

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

I will bring cue sheets.

Sundown is at 8:30 and a nearly full moon rising about the same time.

The Moonlight Madness Ride.  See the excellent Baltimore Spokes for more info.

NBBB info: A few of us are meeting at the Watertower in Hampden/Roland Park/ Hoes Heights and riding down as a group, if anyone wants to join us.  The early news this morning says NO RAIN, just heat sans humidity.  Should make for a nice sunset.  We’ll probably start rounding up after “The Simpsons” and leave around 8:00 p.m. for the youth hostel, with Mr. Zack leading most likely, since he rides that way daily.  Ride organizers request helmet and lights (fantastic idea).  If you wanna be part of the closest thing this here club does to jerseys, wear yer good ole safety vest.  (Yeah, we do that.)  Please leave a comment with contact info (won’t be published) so we know who to wait for.

Last weekend, especially, I noticed something regarding the two-wheeling adventures of my fellow Charm City residents:

A big increase in people riding their bikes on the sidewalks, even in Hampden/Roland Park where there are nice bike lanes.

Now, mind you, I’m not talking about twelve year olds on BMXs.  I’m talking about people on hybrids and old road bikes, some with helmets and a bike rack.  While I’d be hard-pressed to explain exactly how I get this impression, but most of these folks strike me as new cyclists, or, at least, new commuters.

Don’t get me wrong.  I get annoyed when some jackass comes barreling down the sidewalk while I’m walking somewhere, and they expect me to move.  Unless I’m actually going to get run over, I don’t move.  In case you live under the proverbial rock, everyone has to yield to pedestrians in Maryland, even cyclists on the sidewalk.  Read the law.  I mean, I often think to myself, “You sissy, get in the road!”  More often, I get a sigh or a nasty comment from the person who is actually being rude and doing something that is both dangerous and illegal.

But there’s something different about some of these new-seeming folks.  For one, they are polite.  They ride around you or excuse themselves and wait for your response.  That’s just plain nice, no matter how you are travelling.  They are on the sidewalk, so they ride at walking speed.  And they seem like they are paying attention to traffic, people on foot and where they are riding.  In other words, they seem like conscientious cyclists.

I know, the topic of riding on the sidewalk gets people fired up.  I’ll own up to riding on the sidewalk on some scarier parts of Northern Parkway, when traffic is bad and when no one’s walking on the sidewalk.  I’ll also admit to speeding on the sidewalk from the corner of my street, twenty yards or so to my apartment building — and that I once scared the crap out of two of my neighbors doing that at night (for which I apologized).

I don’t know what my point is, except maybe to relate some new commuters in Mob Town and how happy that makes me, even if they are not using the sweet new bike lanes in North Baltimore.

From Commute By Bike, a post about what happens when $5 worth of gas leaves you stranded.  This is nuts.  We ditched our car when gas was like $2, and people joked about saving money.  I can’t believe traffic is still so bad.  I have seen a lot of stranded cars around.  I thought it was the heat.  But come to think of it, I don’t remember this happening last year.

Lots of folks are coming here from search engines, seeking Baltimore bike routes and such.  This is frikkin awesome to see.  A hundred degress, and people still want to bike.  Frikkin awesome, I tell ya.

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