I’m on my annual roadtrip to Baltimore to see my Mom. My goal was to come early enough in the year that it wasn’t broiling hot. Last year I came on the actual hottest week of the year in August and it was just miserable. So far it seems like my strategy this time around is working out well.
Friday April 30 was my first morning here. Having not ridden the entire week leading up to vacation, I was ready to get some seat time so I started the day by heading out towards the Baltimore Inner Harbor.
Holy crap I love riding in an actual urban environment! My folks live about a mile from the city line so the infrastructure gets real city-like real quick when you head south. To get to the Inner Harbor from here I use a route that takes me through a bunch of old school industrial sites, then kind of skirts along the waterfront for a while before hitting several main drags that lead all the way downtown.
One of the most awesome things about riding here is that there is almost always enough shoulder to ride in without holding up cars. Also, the telepathy between bike riders and drivers is different here…I would even go as far to say it is more advanced than in Georgia. Drivers don’t seem as perplexed by bicyclists here, and tend to react more comfortably and synchronized with them. When you feel that, you can ride more comfortably and to be honest, it actually encourages me to be more mindful of lights and stop signs and traffic laws. In Georgia I feel like I am always trying to get away from sketchy dangerous drivers who are intent on claiming their dominance over the road. In Baltimore I feel like we are all part of the same mechanized blood pulsing through the streets.
At the top of Federal Hill you get what is sure to be the most frequently photographed view of the Inner Harbor and downtown Baltimore. Here is Ye Olde Talera mugging for the glamour shot.
Lol, the Talera is such a CHOPPER with that fork rake! Actually, the Talera with slicks turns out to be a fantastic city bike. I have really been into using the big chainring while riding it lately. Riding in the middle or granny if I am not on dirt feels like cheating.
On the way back I actually locked up the bike and took a quick walk around HarborPlace. It always smells so good in there from all the different types of food cooking. Just did a quick pass through…long enough to scope out a shop filled with Baltimore Orioles gear sporting the old school logo.
LOVE that logo!
Continuing on back towards Dundalk I made a detour down Broadway to scope out Fells Point. Thought it was pretty funny that there was an entire Natty Boh gear store. Riding a bike through Fells Point is like Baltimore’s answer to Paris-Roubaix since it is paved entirely with cobblestone. A trip through Fells Point is never complete without checking out the landmark building where they filmed the TV show Homicide: Life On The Street.
After that it was back through the industrial wasteland, back up Holabird Ave and back to my mom’s hut. It was a FANTASTIC way to start my vacation.
Later that evening, it was time to go out on a ride with mom. Riding with mom is always important to me because just a few years ago she had a scary battle with lung cancer. For a while she had to be on a portable oxygen unit which she carried around with her, but over time she was able to breath unassisted. Still, a trip up a normal flight of stairs gets her seriously winded, so a bike ride is a pretty big effort for her. She did so well…1.98 miles, which is awesome for her very first ride of the year. Her record is just over 4 miles. Over the course of the ride I showed her how to get on and off her bike without hurting herself because she was having a little trouble. I am so proud of her. The rides with mom are a highlight of my year.
Overall the two rides were a great way to start the vacation. My strategy of coming up earlier in the year so that it isn’t too hot out seems to be paying off.