roadtrip post #2

Headed out wednesday morning. Got to Greenville SC in a few hours. Not much in the way of bike news on this stop, although we did stop through Sunshine Cycle Shop, which is where I realized that I left my helmet in Atlanta.

Thursday I drove to Baltimore the weather was ridiculously cold and rainy.

Friday I decided to wear jeans and a sweatshirt on my ride to downtown. As soon as I stepped outside I realized it was a bad idea, but I had taken so long doing other crap to get ready to go that I just said “screw it” and went anyway.

Once I hit the road I was LOVING it. It is soooo different riding here than riding in Georgia. The roads have a parking lane which is a full lane wide, but when cars are parked against the curb they only come out about 3/4 of the distance, so basically, until you get deep downtown, there is always lane space to ride in. You just have to watch out for folks opening their doors.

Heading down holabird ave, I passed a place we used to session on bmx bikes.

The slant is actually much steeper than my camera interprets. Dunno why my camera is like that. Anyway, we would have to hop the curb to get a decent run at it, but you could pop off the slant and do a sweet fence ride.

The next part of the ride was really fun. I take a route that goes through a sort of industrial area that is heavily trafficked by big rigs, which I spent a good deal of time just inches from while riding. I could have easily reached out and got a pull. Danger level high, fun level high. The industrial area eventually makes way for some re-purposed turn of the century factories that now house trust funders and yuppies alike. Kept pushing on til I got to Aliceanna st, then headed to the Inner Harbor.

Did ytou know that the bike lanes in Baltimore encourage you to wear oversize 70’s headphones?

Once I was on Pratt St I decided I would head over to Federal Hill. At the bottom of FH is another spot we used to session:

Tough to really do anything with the cobblestones and all, but what you can’t see is that this wall goes for probably about 1/4 mile, so we would just do long faaaast carves on it which was fun.

Heres Federal Hill from the bottom:

Its pretty high, and I am not going to lie, I walked it. I was already dying in that sweatshirt. Once you are in the fedral Hill neighborhood, the streets are made of “glassphalt”, which is asphalt mixed with chunks of broken glass. SERIOUSLY! It glitters when the sun hits it right.  From the top of Federal hill is probably the most photographed view ever of Baltimore.

My good ol hometown! While I was up on FH, I saw this weird building over to the left

Upon inspection it turned out to be the American Museum of Visionary Art. It looked pretty interesting…I mean, check out this thing that was parked outside:

Its covered in chuncks of broken mirror! I decided to head inside and see if I could find a brochure. Locked the Pooj up next to a bug made out of some old container or something:

The desk babe said that since the second floor was closed, that admission was only 5$, so I decided to check it out. Pretty nice outsider art bizness. No photos allowed. They have 3 buildings total, but one was closed. When I got to the third building they had all these kinetic toy type things that you activate with a little button, they were really cool. They also had a 15foot high pink kitten that is a pedal powered boat, and a 10ft / 1000lb light up UFO. Pretty weird, which of course I really liked. Wrapped things up there and saw  this as I rode by leaving:

Next up I headed out to find Shop Gentei. This was the best part of the ride. Friday afternoon early rush hour deep downtown. It is what I imagine riding in NY will be like. I used the sidewalk a few times…but I saw other people doing it too so don’t bug out on me. Sometimes there is simply not enough room when you are on streets that have a parking lane that turns into a driving lane during rush hour.

On the way there I saw this guy

Baltimore Book Fest! Unfortunately they seemed to be shutting down for the day so I couldn’t really check much out. I knew I was close to my destination, but I had to break out the GPS to get the rst of the way.

Shop Gentei was pretty cool. Clean. I didn’t expect to hear ambient music inside but thats what was playing. The fixed gear portion of the store consists of a single display cabinet, but it is chock full of all the neccesary gear. I browsed around a few minutes, and realized that since I had spent $5 at the museum, I was 2$ short on picking up some clear/smoke plastic Animal pedals for the fixed.

I was about to leave and this guy who had been hanging there the whole time is like “Hey Bobble!”, and it turns out I he knows me from waaaay back. I dunno how he would spell his name but I think it is Mar. We chit chatted a bit about riding in Atlanta. Wild that I would walk into a place I’ve never been, zillion years after I’ve left town, and run into someone I must have been party buds with back in the day!

The ride home was kind of brutal. Rush hour was in full effect. The downtown portion was the full danger, but once I got past the Inner harbor it leveled out. One the way back I grabbed a shot of a another place we used to session before they filled in the flat and ruined it:

Good times riding this spot, on skateboard and bike.

I was glad to get home from the ride. Pulled about 15miles all told, which is kind of a big ride for me on the fixed. It would have been much better if I’d worn shorts and a t-shirt

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