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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Cleveland – March 2017 – Piston Power

This mid March Sunday was another cold, dreary one, so the decision was made to go to yet another car show. This one was back at the IX Center in Cleveland, but the thought was ‘better than sitting around the house’.

Billed as the Piston Powered Show, it turned out to be far far more than a car show. Their motto is ‘anything with a piston’, but in reality there was even more than that.

Among the categories seen: Classic Wood Boats from the 1940s and 1950s, Airplanes, Motorcycles, Bicycles, Trucks, a huge collection of cars, custom vans, small train maintenance cars, model building competition, art competition, a large display that someone made with matchsticks, a bumper car made into a go cart, a small soap box derby hill with racers, old campers, construction equipment, military equipment and one lonely snowmobile.

After 6 miles of walking around this massive hall, we went home agreeing this was one of the best shows we had ever seen.

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New Bremen, OH – March 2017 – Bicycle Museum of America

The very small town of New Bremen, Ohio sits in far western Ohio, not far from Indiana. It is a very unlikely place for a world class bicycle museum, but it is there, the Bicycle Museum of America. 

 

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The museum’s content was purchased by Jim Dicke, who owns Crown Equipment Corporation. Crown’s primary business is fork lifts, and business must be good because it allowed Jim to purchase the collection from the Schwinn family which had displayed it on the Navy Pier in Chicago.

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Among their holdings is the oldest existing bicycle in America, built in 1815. Their collection of pre 1900 bikes is amazing. Also of note is the collection of bicycles that challenged standard engineering, including direct drive bikes, one with a massive gear in front, spikes for riding on ice, and many others.

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The first floor has the showpieces, a collection of 1800s bikes including some high wheeled ones.

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On the upper level is a nice display of Ohio made bicycles, as well as some Whizzers.

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The day we were there they opened the lower level where they store the others not normally shown. While impressive, it pales in comparison to the quantity that we saw at Bicycle Heaven in Pittsburgh. This is no way takes away from the stunning collection upstairs. It is clear Bicycle Heaven has the quantity, this museum has the quality. Both are well worth a visit, and spectacular in their own way.

This was our second visit, and I am certain it won’t be our last.

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