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City streets and Belgian beers  //   Friday - October 28, 2005

Mother Nature conspires once again to keep us off of the trails, dumping over an inch of rain Tuesday night and into the early morning hours of Wednesday. That washes out the Wednesday night trail ride but doesn't stop a bunch of us from pedaling. We mount up at the usual meeting spot, 4 fixed gear riders and one single speeder, and make our way to the heart of the city. Down all of the usual streets until we are going through industrial Pigtown and take evasive action to avoid waiting for an approaching freight train. With a short detour we are back on track and into Federal Hill with our bearings set on heading uptown. Over to Charles street and as we approach the Washington Monument in Mt. Vernon there appears to be some sort of peace protest going on. We are rolling to fast for me to figure out what it all is and go through the cobble stones. Brief debate occurs and we make a few turns and try to figure out how we will extend the ride. Weaving through traffic we make our way back over to Charles, past Penn station and slip on over to Falls Road. Up to Hampton, over to Johns Hopkins, over to Union Memorial and eventually race down St. Paul like a crazed pack of dogs. Regroup and back over to Charles to hit the Brewers Art for food and beer. Once satisfied we start the journey home. Mostly uneventful with the exception of a lonnnnnnng wait for another freight train, this one without any obvious detour options. The temps are dropping, the night was brisk, fall is here without a doubt.

Don't forget Saturday is the BIKE art exhibit's artist reception, details can be found here. If you want to join the ride from the tavern to the reception you can check here for details. And Baltimore Sun has an article out today about the exhibit.

Looks like the trails will be dry for the weekend and the weather will be good. Go ride.

- riderx

How many words for rain?  //   Tuesday - October 25, 2005


Rain seems to be the order of the day lately. In case you don't watch the weather, we've been getting a few hurricanes in this part to the world lately. By the time anything gets to us they aren't hurricanes but just big blobs of green on the radar signifying lots of water falling from the sky.

Saturday morning the plan was to get up early and get a ride in. I wake to rain. Not light rain but full on, heavy-duty sheets of rain. I wait it out and by 10 am or so it's stopped. By the time Jay meets up with me at 11 it's started again. Thin, steady, misty, not nearly as bad as before. Fenders on, we suck it up and wind through a network of bike paths starting in Savage, outlining the route I have planned for the art show ride on Saturday. The paths twist and turn through the woods, many times crossing rain slicked wooden bridges covered with slick leaves. Throw in some stiff turns on some of these bridges and you are glad to have the direct-drive benefits of the fixed gear to help you keep the rubber-side down. The weather is warm so the rain isn't much of a bother. We log an hour and a half and it feels good to have gotten in a ride.

By Sunday the rain has stopped and we wind up with a dozen or so people coming out for trail maintenance. We move a section of trail over on a slope so we can bench-cut it in to allow it to shed water. Put a couple of turns in for some fun flow and create a nice logpile/jump where we need to cross a fallen tree. The work goes pretty quick overall and should be self-sustaining and more fun at the same time. We'll find out as soon as the rain stops and we can ride it. Afterwards Markie Mark and I burn out a quick hour on the asphalt.

Raining again now, looks like the road will be our friend again for the Wednesday ride.

- riderx

 

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