Columbus – March 2019 – An Afternoon Circus

The Ohio Expo Center (aka – State Fairgrounds) has numerous events every weekend, with the past weekend offering such diverse events as an Archery event, Gymnastics competition, a Roller Derby bout, and the circus.

While we intended to check out the roller derby, we ended up at the Shriners Circus.





The ringmaster tried to energize the afternoon crowd.



The local shriners were the clowns, entertaining the kids with their shtick.








With circus’s today retiring most of the animal, the acts were a collection of skilled entertainers – such as the BMX bike riders.







This lady is the perfect spouse, she could change from one outfit to another in (literally) 2 seconds. After seeing this I looked it up on the internet and apparently ‘quick change artists’ is a growing act.





The circus featured an act with a car that would do all sorts of things on it’s own, terrorizing the driver.





A group of trained rescue dogs were the best act – why bring jumps when the hostess can do handstands.









A father – daughter duo did an act where they were 50 feet in the air on these poles that swayed back and forth, until they finally traded poles.





The finale featured a couple of guys on their motorcycles doing jumps and flips.





Given the relatively low ceiling, their jumps took them into the rafters. While not the greatest entertainment we have ever seen, the performers gave their best and the profits all goes to a good cause.







Volo, Illinois – December 2018 – Movie Cars and More

Late December found us back in Chicago again. For this cold, rainy day we made our way to the far (far) suburb of Volo to check out the Volo Auto Museum

As it turned out it was far more than an auto museum.

But first we passed through Niles, Illinois – and the Tower of Pisa (half height replica)

Finally we arrived at the Volo Auto Museum. It is a collection of 18 different buildings and shelters. Volo is unique in that almost everything is for sale so we saw a great collection of classic cars with prices on them.

As we made our way into the first building it was apparent that they had far more than just cars including a collection of nicely restored jukeboxes.

A Zoltar from the movie ‘Big’. There is a large collection of movie props scattered throughout the museum.

Pedal Cars – They had one of the largest collections I have seen (Gilmore had more, but not by much)

Motorized Bicycles – the famed Whizzers.

Kiddie Rides galore

As noted previously, they have a large collection of props from movies, or marketing from the various entertainment groups like Disney or Warner Brothers.

And a small, but classic, camper collection

A great scooter collection.

Snowmobiles.

A very early Ford with tractor drive wheels and ski’s on the front.

But we are here for the cars.

Some of the ‘cars’ are very custom designs – like a Skate Car

Lots of movie and TV cars. All of the cars you see in the movies and on TV are really one of many of the exact same car (often 10 or more). Volo prides themselves in getting one of these original cars.

Usually they are looking for the car that was used for the publicity so it is not all beat up.

Let’s start with KITT from Knight Rider.

Terminator 3

The Beverly Hillbillies Movie

One of the first Fast and Furious movies

The Ecto Mobile from Ghostbusters.

Ninja Turtles

The Bluesmobile.

A more recent Mad Max movie car

A really wacky one from a movie called Son of the Mask

Vehicle and prop from Alien

One of the original 1960s Batman TV show cars.

The Munster’s Car

Christine. Stephen King made us all afraid of this car.

A later Batman movie car

And finally – a prop car for the Flintstones! The Volo Auto Museum is quite the place – well worth a few hours of wandering around.

Cleveland – July 2018 – A Day in Town

Having come to Cleveland for the Fuel Cleveland event, we had enough time to check out a few other sights.

I had recently read they had a velodrome in the Slavic Village neighborhood, so on the way into town we went to check it out – only to find that the freeway was closed due to construction.

Never fear – we eventually made it there.

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Amazingly there are only 28 velodromes in all of America.

When we arrived late morning there were a few people practicing.

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The track had a steel structural frame with what appeared to be layers of plywood for the track.

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I was surprised at how steep the banking is.

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We watched them run a few laps and headed out.

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After the motorcycle event, we headed over to Edgewater Park and Wendy Park, where the restoration of a classic old coast guard house continues.

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With a warm July day watercraft of all sizes were out.

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Many seemed content just to park and hang out.

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The railroad lift bridge was down for an extended time, causing a backup of boats – but the trains over-rule pleasure boats every time.

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A sailboat with the high rise apartments in Lakewood in the background.

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An interesting mix of old an new – the newer apartments and Lakefront Rapid (light rail) framed by the old Shoreway Bridge and some of the older buildings that have been restored.

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A mix of skyscrapers downtown.

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Look familiar? It is the light house on this blog’s home page – just not covered in frozen mist.

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I am always amazed that the kayaks will get in the same water as the massive ore boats. Note a view of a portion of the Cleveland Browns Stadium on the right.

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The top of a Cleveland landmark – the Terminal Tower.

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A lift bridge and a skyscraper.

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From upper Edgewater the view across the harbor shows just how busy it was on the water.

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While on land some artwork makes for an interesting setting for hanging out.

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While we were there 4 different wedding parties came along for their photo opportunity. Running of the Brides Cleveland version.

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Pittsburgh – July 2018 – Bicycle Heaven

Another repeat visit that was totally worth it was a second trip to Bicycle Heaven, located on the North Side of Pittsburgh.

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When you collect a few thousands bicycles you also end up with nice collections of parts – the Schwin exhibit.

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In addition to the massive used bike inventory – they have some new ones that have unique designs.

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There are some nice miniatures along the counter.

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Small bike backed up by large banana seats.

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There are some true vintage bikes scattered about the collection.

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As you walk through you see huge piles of bike parts – need a tire?

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Perhaps a chain guard?

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This is known as the Groovy Cranky Panky Sprocket Room.

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There are a few non bikes features.

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A great old peddle airplane.

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Bikes high and low.

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An 1890 bike mixed in.

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Oreo bicycles – must be double stuffed Oreos.

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Bicycle Heaven is always worth a visit, or two.

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Cincinnati – June 2018 – Hyde Park Blast

The Hyde Park Blast is a fundraiser for cancer research that has been held in this Cincinnati neighborhood for the last 17 years.

One of the highlights of the Blast is a day of bicycle racing.

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While the racing takes place all day we were able to watch two of the 45 minute long races – including the Intermediate Men’s race.

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The course was a mile loop up and down Erie Avenue, the main street in the neighborhood.

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At the far end they made a turn through a couple of the side streets.

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Hyde Park has always been one of the nicer areas of the city. Note in the background someone tore down one of the classic old houses to build a large modern house. While I love this type of architecture, there is a place and this clearly isn’t it – they must have thought they were in Seattle.

Still it makes a nice background for the racers.

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Coming down the small hill and making the turn back onto Erie Avenue.

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The racing was close throughout.

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The intensity is shown on the faces of the racers.

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And a final sprint to the finish.

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The second race we saw was a women’s race, including the Ohio State championship.

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One of the racers took off ahead of the pack and built a 20 second lead.

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Only to eventually be caught.

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This race too came down the the final sprint. The racer who had broken away only to be caught did manage to hang on and win.

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But the real reason I wanted to check out the Hyde Park Blast was the Chariot Racing!

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The Chariots  are pulled by two humans with one in the Chariot.

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Costumes were encouraged.

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There were two groups of Chariot Racers – social ones with better costumes, and serious runners who designed for maximum speed.

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Although the various running clubs still had some style to them.

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Clearly not one of the serious groups.

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Sharks might be fast in the water, but not on the streets of Cincinnati. Still the Chariot Races made a great finish to a good day of the Hyde Park Blast.

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Baltimore – May 2018 – Kinetics Race

Baltimore hosts the largest Kinetics Festival/Race on the east coast. For the 20th consecutive year human powered works of art have taken over the streets of the city.

 

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While not quite as large as the one in Humboldt County, California, the Baltimore race still featured a number of well done sculptures, as well as coordinated racers.

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Even the spectators were interesting.

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Many dressing for the occasion.

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While the teams got ready for the 15 mile race around the streets, into the bay and through a mud pit.

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Eventually they were off and made their way up Federal Hill.

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Which provided a nice backdrop of the skyline.

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The machines had all sorts of designs, some better than others (although this one used their arms and hands, not their legs, which proved troublesome).

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Eventually they made their way into downtown.

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With a highlight being Patterson Park and the mud pit. The crowds were 5 deep on both sides.

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And the mud was deep.

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But with 48″ alien wheels the mud was no problem.

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Which made for happy aliens.

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Cincinnati – October 2017 – Cyclocross

A ‘cyclocross’ (cross country bicycling racing) was held on a cold Sunday in the Cincinnati suburb of Fairfield. The event took place throughout the streets and fields of a park.

With teams from throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and beyond the pits were filled with an impressive collection of tents, trucks and bikes while the technicians readied them for the races.

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There were numerous classes, including this one the start of a multi-group female race. This race had under 23s and over 35s.

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Miles of blue tape outlined the course up and down throughout the park.

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Some racers were more bundled for the cold weather than others.

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Famed baseball player Satchel Paige had a quote ‘don’t look back someone might be gaining on you’ – clearly she didn’t head his advice.

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A sand pit results in some small jumps, although nothing like a BMX track would yield.

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It did however cause some of the racers to get a bit off course.

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Given Halloween is near a couple of riders dressed for the occasion, like the human taco.

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A few got hung up on a small hill and had to dismount.

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Racing to the finish.

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