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Thursday, June 21, 2007
While riding through Leesburg on our way back from Purcellville last weekend we spotted this late 50's Plymouth or Chrysler perched atop several oil barrels. The image brought back lots of old memories; this was my first car, purchased from my brother while I was in college. Mine was the two-tone green color, a classic big fin American car. The brakes eventually wore out and the drums froze to the wheel. The sound when applying the brakes drew lots of attention from onlookers. For all I know it may be perched outside some auto parts place somewhere in Michigan.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
National Gallery visit Rode down to the National Gallery last week to view some of the drawings now on exhibit. The best show was the exhibit of drawings from an anonymous private collector. The show, Private Treasures: Four Centuries of European Master Drawings, is an excellent collection of drawings. It will be at the gallery until September 16, 2007.
The Eugene Boudin show is worth a visit, as is the show of Jasper Johns prints and Claude Lorrain: The Printer as Draftsman: Drawings from the British Museum.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Dauphiné Libéré Stage 5 David Zabriske and Levi Leipheimer are 5th and 6th in the overall standings after stage 5 of the Dauphiné Libéré.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Philadelphia trip Took a long weekend trip to Philadelphia again this year to watch the pro race on Sunday and do some riding on Friday and Saturday. This is about our 10th trip to watch the race that was formerly the US Pro championship but has since morphed into a top prize money pro race. The crowds this year seemed smaller than in years past and I wonder how long the race will continue now that the US Pro race has moved to Greenville, SC, home of George Hincapie, winner of last year's race.
On Friday we arrived in the early afternoon and took a short ride into Manayunk to climb the infamous wall and to watch the start of the amateur wall climb race. There were no other recumbents to be seen but we managed to make it up in a respectable time during the warm ups for the race.
We then rode along the Schuylkill River Trail for a few miles before heading back to town and dinner at Rembrandt's Restaurant for an excellent meal.
On Saturday we decided to check out a new trail, the Delaware Canal trail on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware River, and the Delaware and Ruritan Canal Trail on the New Jersey side. We parked at Black Rock Rd parking area and rode north to Washington Crossing Historic Park, where George Washington crossed the Delaware in the winter of 1775, on Christmas Day. His troops went on to defeat the Hessian troops in Trenton. The event was memorialized by the famous painting Washington Crossing the Delaware.
We asked the park ranger about riding the trail to the north and we discovered that due to recent flooding, it was closed not far from the park. The alternative was to cross the Delaware and ride north on the Delaware and Ruritan Canal Trail. Both trails are crushed gravel. The trail on the NJ side is much wider and in slightly better condition. Both trails are passable with hybrid, or in our case, recumbent bikes with medium width tires.
After lunch in Lambertville after riding about 16 miles, we returned to the parking area. That night we had another good meal at Jack's Firehouse, a short walk from our motel.
Prior to the Sunday race we entered the Fun ride, a chance to ride the race course just before the race start at 9am. It meant getting up at 6am to be on the course before the 7am start. This year's ride was a fund raiser for the Bicycle Coalition of Philadelphia. There were many fewer paying participants than in previous years, possibly due to the $45 entry fee. Since the course was open, many people rode without registering for the official ride. One advantage of the smaller crowd was that there were fewer people to dodge as they jumped off their bikes after attempting to ride up the wall. Many people walked, but it wasn't a problem weaving through them to get to the top. We caught a glimpse of another recumbent early in the ride.
We then milled around for a while, watching the men's and women's pro race starts and checking out the expo, much small than in previous years. J.J. Haedo was the winner of the men's group sprint after all of the earlier breakaways were reeled in. We didn't recognize many of the riders, a sign that we're not keeping up with the latest upcoming stars, and that the more established riders skipped this year's race. Ina Teutenberg continued to dominate the women's field, winning the women's race, her third win in as many races.
We're not sure if we'll return again next year. I sense that the glory days of Philadelphia pro racing are starting to wane. And yet many people seem to be riding now for basic transportation around the city on the many bike lanes provided in recent years. Philly is a good place to ride, although driver's attitudes still have a way to go before the city can truly be called bike-friendly.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
What the World Eats Fascinating photos of families and the foods that they eat in one week. Notice the lack of vegetables and fruits eaten by the U.S. and British families.
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Di Luca wins Giro
After 3442 kilometers and 21 grueling stages, Danilo Di Luca stood above all others atop the Milan podium Sunday, as overall winner of 90th Giro d'Italia. [Velonews]David Zabriskie, one of only two from the USA, finished 58th. George Hincapie did well earlier, getting in shape for the upcoming Dauphine Libere June 10-17.
I had hoped to catch the Giro action today on Vs. TV, but instead of being on at 5pm as it was last week, it was on at 2:30pm. I'll try to tape the repeat tomorrow at 5pm.
This morning we rode in the Arlington & Alexandria Community Bike Ride, a slow-paced ride throught the two communities. The light rain kept the temperature down and we had a good time, despite having to rise at 6am for the 8am start, especially difficult after being out dancing last night.