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Red Canoe Coffee Shop Ride

by on November 26, 2010

This Ride: 48.3 miles
Kona Distance: 5,005.4 miles
Month to date: 366.3 miles
2010 Total: 5,491.8 miles

There is a tradition that the SPP rides into Baltimore on the day after Thanksgiving.  Last Saturday, some rode to the Firehouse Coffee shop and so our ride leaders went looking for a new coffee shop in Baltimore for today’s ride.  We settled on the Red Canoe Coffee Shop in northern Baltimore, and planned a 7:00 am ride.

During the week, as the end of the week approached, the forecast was not great.  Rain and cold was forecast.  I was surprised to wake up this morning to 56 degrees with some very intermittent drizzle.  The hardest part of the morning was trying to figure out just what to wear in those conditions.  Lori said I was worse than “a woman packing for the weekend” as I fretted over what I needed to wear.  I settled on a base layer, jersey, a very light rain jacket, and waterproof shoe covers.  It was all a good choice, but would have done equally well even without the rain jacket.  It did serve as a nice wind blocker.

Six riders (Clint, Chip, Jim, Steve, Jeff & I) met at the Rusty Bridge.  Chip was a little late because he had two flats, one in the garage when he pulled the bike out, and another when he rode down the driveway.  The trail surface was damp, and the air was dry until we pushed off.  Then we caught a drizzle for about half the ride to the Red Canoe.  Just before getting into southern Baltimore, we looked back and discovered Chip wasn’t with us.  We rode back, and found him changing yet another flat.  We made short work of that flat, and were soon back on our way, winding our way through the Inner Harbor area and then through the near north side of Baltimore.  We rode through housing projects, boarded up row houses, and then finally into some of the nicer neighborhoods of northern Baltimore.  Clint’s Garmin led the way.

We arrived at the Red Canoe at about 9 am, and had great service, excellent coffee (in large red ceramic mugs) and were in one of 3 separate rooms in the coffee shop.  It was a nice place.  The food options included muffins (some very good, and some not so good according to those who had them) and breakfast sandwiches (egg, cheese, bacon on toasted bagel or toasted english muffin) which were very tasty and went down fast.  We all agreed that this destination is worth repeating.  Too soon it was time to climb back on the bikes in damp, cold clothing and push off again.

Photo by Clint Provenza

Except, my front tire was flat.  We provided entertainment for some in the coffee shop as we changed the tire, then clipped back in and headed south.  We took a short detour to see Lake Montebello.  The wind was whipping strong across the lake, lifting whitecaps.  A lady in a van stopped and asked about our group.  Peggy runs some kind list of cycling events in Baltimore.  Clint gave her a card, and then remembered meeting her at some other event.  Is there anyone on a bike Clint hasn’t met?  If so, it won’t be long.

We pushed on into downtown Baltimore, negotiating ourselves through the light holiday traffic, back around the Inner Harbor, and then back toward home.  I struggled on some of the hills on the way back.  My blood donation two weeks ago still results in an out of control spike in heart rate once I’m above about 155-160.  At least twice my heart rate was 170 or above as I climbed a few of the longer hills.

As we got back onto the trail, I heard a noise from my rear tire, felt softness, and sure enough had another flat.  Jeff pressed on home because of another commitment, and the others stayed and helped repair the flat.  Soon we were back on the way, and split for our homes.  Just as I got home, very light drizzle started again.  We commented often on the ride how lucky we were for warm temperatures and relatively dry conditions.

This was a great ride to burn off a few of the excess calories from yesterday’s feasting.  Through Baltimore, we had many people at bus stops and convenience stores waving and commenting on this bunch of crazy guys riding bikes in the rain.  It was indeed a “Friendly Friday” ride.  Clint was taking some photos, and if I can, I’ll add some of them to this post later.

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From → Cycling

2 Comments
  1. You seem to have had a rash of flats lately. Any thoughts as to what is causing this? Perhaps it is just the Law of Averages catching up with you.

    • ponderingpastor permalink

      I’ll be pulling the tires off the bike this weekend and checking them carefully. Riding in the wet streets of Baltimore doesn’t help either. All sorts of things stick to the tires because they are wet, and work their way through. Law of averages? Yeah, that possible too. These tires only have 1000 miles on them, so they should be good.

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