Nice commute this AM, dodged yesterdays rain as well. Hopefully Fridays ride will not have the dreaded black ice cuz the roads are really wet.
Yesterday was a stupidly hilarious commute.
I planned to take the metro route so that I could be counted for bike count week (Justin from the Ramble rides was counting). I pulled the single speed off the hook and was getting ready to head out, but then I noticed that bike didn't have the right pedals on it, so I grabbed my COHO at the last minute and left. I met Justin, got counted, then headed to the metro station. When I got to the gate I realized I didn't have my wallet in my pocket. Can't ride the train without paying!
I quickly remembered that I'd put it on the other bike and hadn't grabbed it when I left. When I looked at my watch, I realized there was only one way to get to work in a reasonable time. I rode back home, revved up the car and DROVE TO WORK after being counted as a bike commuter. Argh! :cry:
Oh yeah, one more detail- all my co-workers were laughing at me as I got out of the car still wearing my biking jersey and cleats. :o
If you got to drive that's the way to do it. . . Ha
Driving to get counted! Sometimes I drive on 'bike to work day' so I can bike to B-more for the festivities. I miss my train so gotta drive. I often drive to bike advocacy meetings...go figure.
@Barry: hello, how goes AZ. Have you turned it into a blue state yet? You will be pleased to know that Balto county is finally going to vote on the western bike plan. Catonsville is getting a few bike lanes once the plan is finalized. We will be connected to the Gwynns Falls along Edmonson, UMBC will be connected to Halethorpe MARC station and bike lanes over the Beltway @ Frederick. Small steps but it is a start. Also they have started a Balto Co. bike advisory committee. Few daily cyclist sit on it though. More rails to trail types. We are trying to educate them though. Soak up some of that sun for us, here it is really blustery today but dry.
Charlie, Thanks for the updates.
My biggest challenge in AZ was switching from pot-hole proof tires to thorn proof tires. :/ The lack of topography and no green is driving me nuts but at least the sky can be pretty, so I try keeping my head in the clouds. ;)
The upside is weather now fluctuates between 40-70 deg during the day so my MD training lets me ride even when it's "cold" and I put in over 200 miles last weekend so for a few days I had more mileage then noRacer (my current year to date millage 502.8 which I assume noRacer passed on Tuesday.)
Re: Gwynns Falls to Edmonson
Did they ever get a gap in the guard rail at Franklintown & Winans? That was a contractor error when they forgot to do that and why they let the contractor get away with not providing a gap called for in the drawings is beyond me but that's Baltimore for ya.
The over stress on trails at the expense of bike lanes/shoulders is diving me nuts.
Keep me posted if Balto Co gets any federal funding for anything, I would appreciate it.
I am hoping to come back for a visit at some point and who knows I may have a better tan then noRacer. LOL
Originally Posted by The Human Car
GFT: they just cut through the guard rail to the trail as well as a dedicated bike lane/path separate from cars down Winans. They even cleaned up the leaves and oak nuts.
Funding: Marks from the 5th district just got a SHA grant for 30K I think. CRTT has gotten some funding but don't know if it is Fed $$. I'll check. Monies are drying up with the current Fed Government. I think the best option is to get Balto Co. to put bike lanes downs whenever they repave and restripe. It is free if done this way. Balto Co remains the dinosaur county in this region. HoCo is on the move(finally). Later, enjoy your weather. Charlie
Thanks for all your good deeds, Charlie.
Also, thanks for coming on the last Ramble. (long) ride report here: http://randoramble.posterous.com/con...-to-pylesville
Balto Co is ON THE MOVE!!! Finally!
This an email I sent to CRTT group(some deleted so it isn't too long). Thought some of you might be interested.
Greetings folks: It was a good meeting last night. I have to say that Balto Co. put on an easy to read display for many west side residents. The main front board had 2 displays stating that they were the pilot projects, Edmondson Ave TT#8 to Gwynns Falls Trail and UMBC connection to MARC.
Once funding is set number 1 &2 will happen. No time frame on the other projects. There might be a time frame I didn’t ask.
I’m fairly certain I have this right. Way too many potential projects to keep track. Here’s what my feeble old mind remembers:
1) Edmondson rd will get a dedicated bike lane from the city/Co line to Harlem, then it is a mix bag of bike only lane(no parking south side) and shared parking lane. I told Kathy the negatives of this set-up. She agreed but said the problem is the center turn lane. They are looking at removing it as it will reduce car speed and allow for a real bike lane. Too expensive to remove at this time but at the next paving it might be done. We have to make sure it happens.
2) UMBC: Bike blvds , one way north and south. These go through Arbutus to MARC. Not dedicated but low traffic streets with dedicated sections near the train where traffic gets heavy(SW blvd).
3) Wilkens: Will get a bike lane(re-striped shoulder , no parking). I believe this goes from Maiden Choice (Giant)to UMBC.
4) Crosby rd gets a dedicated bike lane to Woodlawn where it becomes a bike/ped path. This stunned me!
5) Harlem rd to old Frederick to end of the GFT will get signage. I think Harlem should get a lane since it is so wide and there’s an elementary school on it.
6) Selford: Shared Bike lane
7) Signage on Rolling. Not much they can do with this rd. I suggested a reroute through CCBC into the Oak Forest ‘hood. I didn’t know it existed but a few folks use it all of the time, even with the big hill. Some folks present preferred it RR.
8) Bloomsbury gets shared bike/park lane near CHS to Mellor.
9)Nothing for Hilltop. Kinda expected that.
10) Route UMBC onto Valley and through Spring Grove to Cantonville downtown. I guess this isn’t bad but not what we wanted. I think it is only signage.
11) I forgot to get a read on Frederick rd. My bad! I’ll contact her to get clarification for it. They are considering parking on only 1 side though. This would be great. We should push for this.
Thank you, Charlie!
Weather is very strange these days. I have only worn my heaviest of stuff once and it wasn't really needed. Could get away with shorts today. The weather for Bob's Sundays Rando ride is looking nice.....mid 40's!
I gave the "Circumnavigation of Baltimore" route a pre-ride yesterday. very nice time. HOWEVER, after lunch I started getting twinges of pain from under my right patella. I've had this before and it's related to IT band tightness.
I was really hurting by the 80 mile point and soft pedaled into town then taking the Light Rail north to Hampden. Damn.
I will be staying off the bike this week, taking vitamin I and doing frequent stretches. Hopefully this will not be a problem on sunday. If it is, you might see this ride leader abandoning his own ride. The first 20 miles of the route are the only tricky stuff. Hell, if I have to I'll just go back to Fells Point and drink till you all start rolling in at 5PM. :)
Any bike lanes or trails near Laurel?
Hello, MD peeps, I haven't been posting much, or riding much, either, except for commuting to work, and the occasional short spin around the airport. As a few of you saw on New Year's Eve, I got my brand new studded snow tires on my old super-heavy wheelset :eek: and, as I had predicted, since I put them on not a single flake has dared show its snowy face. You all can buy me beers to thank me for this balmy winter weather. ;)
Good news on the commuting front: after thinking about it for way too long, I finally broke down and got real lights -- the Dinotte XML-3 headlight/300R taillight combo. I had always fretted that having an external battery would be a PITA to fit onto my tiny bike, ditto with having to put a light on my already-crowded handlebar (my two Cateye headlights ride on Cronometer NOBs securely electrical-taped to the fork blades; and I like the beam being down lower, anyway.)
I was delighted to discover how unfounded all my worrying was -- the Dinotte headlight and battery were easy as pie to mount, feel nice and solid, and don't get in the way of anything. I did have room for the light on the handlebar, even with my cue sheet holder or handlebar bag there, but the beam was partially blocked by the rack trunk that I use on the front rack when I'm commuting. (That might be an issue when touring, too, when I have my ThermaRest pad there.) But it turns out that the light fits perfectly on the NOB on the fork, and I don't even need to use the longer cable -- the standard shorter one easily reaches the battery pack with plenty of slack to turn the wheel. It should be no problem there even with the front panniers on if I'm touring; the body of the Dinotte light is narrower than the Cateye, which fits with the bags just fine.
The 300R taillight has the battery built-in. It came with a wide assortment of mounting clamps, one of which fit perfectly onto the rear rack strut. The quick-release is a tiny bit rattle-y; I could use the screws to attach the light more permanently, but that would make recharging it -- and moving it to the other bike -- more difficult. Have to see how it feels on the road; I suspect I won't even notice it, and it doesn't at all feel like the light is going to work loose or anything.
I charged the lights last night, and put them on this morning. I walked the bike outside, into my (very dark) backyard, turned them on -- wow! The difference, particularly in the headlights, is stunning. I had the Dinotte on the left fork; curious, I turned on the Cateye that was still on the right fork, too. The light from the Dinotte on the left completely washed out the right-hand Cateye's beam; I couldn't even tell it was on.
The difference in the taillights wasn't as dramatic, but still very noticeable. The major thing is that the 300R has two very large circles of very bright red, in contrast to the Cateye's two rows of 4 or 5 much tinier, dimmer circles. I might leave the Cateye taillight on the commuter, though; it has sideways light visibility, which is kind of a nice feature.
I didn't ride in to work today because I had a very early meeting that I would not have gotten to in time. I'm excited to see how the lights look on the road tomorrow morning!
Sort-of bad news on the commuting front: I'm moving, sometime in the next few weeks, to a different practice group that is in a different physical location, in the National Business Park near Route 32/MD 295. It's going to make my commute a few miles longer, a little bit more hazardous (I'll have to bike across the on/off ramps for the Baltimore-Washington Parkway on MD 175), and a bigger logistical hassle (the showers are not in the same building in which I'll be working.) I may have to deal with some sketchy traffic circles (I don't like them even in my car), but maybe not -- they have been putting more buildings in the northern end of the park, and I think the plan was to extend the National Business Parkway all the way over to connect to Brock Bridge Road further north, .8 of a mile south of 175. Google maps shows the roads as already connected at that spot, but I don't think they are yet. I'll have to do some reconnaissance. :)
Glad the lights seem like they'll be working well for you! :thumb:
I hope the new route turns out to be less hazardous than you imagine.
blogger gets blogged
@ GB: nice write up, glidey:) I believe you did invent that word. hope your knee heal by Sunday.
@Max: how goes life, I'm moving as well next month. My commute via bike decreases from 22RT to 16RT. I welcome the change but dislike the move. Going to be lots of work packing up our lab.
We lost a big bill yesterday, Federal Transportation bill. Essentially less $$ for peds, bikes & mass transit. More allocation for roads and increases in weight for trucks.
Hey GB Is the Rando ride on regardless of the weather? My fear is icy roads, my studs are on my work bike. I guess I'll make my decision in the AM.
Ramble is def. still on. I've always thought it good to begin the rides no matter what.
We can decide as a group (or as individuals) to shortcut or abandon when we see what we're dealing with.