Sunday, March 27, 2011

Marvin Gaye Day Ride, Saturday April 2nd

Hey riders! Saturday, April 2nd.. Gather at the coop 11am, departing at noon -riding to remember and honor Marvin Gaye.

We'll tour through DC and MD, visiting neighborhoods and institutions that played major parts in Marvin's young DC life such as Freedman's Hospital, Cardozo High School, and Benning Terrace.

We'll visit a bike shop opening at 101 Maryland Park Drive, a short distance from Marvin's old address of 12 60th ST NE. Maryland Park Bicycles is enthused to receive us, providing pizza and a little party for their arrival, Marvin's birthday, and the birthday of friend and neighbor Kennis Henry, who's been busy trying to make you aware that MD Senate will soon consider passing motorist accountability measure: HB 363.

This ride must be magical with the music of Marvin Gaye, so we will be accompanied by a boombox rider to provide the sounds of our absolute gem of local crooners. Ever had motown stuck in your head while cruising FL Ave?

This approximately 26 mile ride will feature a few major hills, in beautiful parts and harder to reach parts of the city on a so-far pretty nice spring day! There are several stops through out to tell a bit of Marvin's story and the Gay family story. The ride will end at approximately 7:30 pm, back at the Mount Rainier Bike CoOp.

** This weather update is brought to you by mrBikeCoOp... Saturday 4/2: high of 57 with a passing shower between noon and 4.

If it's raining at noon, the ride will alter becoming a straight shot to MD Park Bicycles' opening day at 101 MD Park Drive.

All updates will be mentioned here

                            Hello DC!

Look at those defined lines of water ways melting into a darkened triangle of warm and busy geography. It says to me, "Get up! Get up! Get up1 Get up!, Let's make love, tonight!" It's Marvin Gaye's Birthday and I want to caress its curves on a bike. Let's make love to the city on Gaye Day!

It rained at noon thirty as we three departed the bike coop for the rain-deflecting awning of near by Kaywood Theater on Arundel Road. It rained hard on us and it was decided to ditch the boombox. Though well tethered to handle bars, it is an instrument of rocking parties, and this ride of three would be a more intimate affair.

After leaving the boombox at a near by home, we took towards WHUR on Bryant St at 5th NW. This is the building where Marvin Pentz Gay jr was born on April 2 1939. The building hosted Freedman's Hospital then.

Then we darted west to Cardozo High School at 13th and FL Ave. We considered our time and saw we 3 were traveling smartly through the land. We were mostly dry from the earlier rain and enjoying the sun and all the flower's greetings. We knew we could pace it easy to hit all the advertised stops. We aimed our ease towards Eastern Market, where colleagues of the bike coop were presenting operations like another fresh flower.

We hovered east on Q, south on 1st and swung around Union Station contrasting it's brilliant white stone against the clarity of the blue sky you see before and after summer, but smudges towards whites and greys in warmer summer months. A great day to explore the space, besides the two rushes of summer-style storms. But this next one hit while we were in Eastern Market, going for the crab soup and rolls. Mmmm, spiced nice.

We swung through Lincoln Park too meet any riders who'd decide to join us there. Nobody thought such, so we darted east on East Capitol Street, following the trail eastwardly on the west-bound side of the road. After bridging over teh Anacostia river, one can link to the grid north to Benning and cross there. Or one can be direct and continue on East Cap. That way, the sidewalk descends under the bridging over of 295/Kenilworth. Then the concrete wall separating you from the fast traffic of East Cap closes in on you! Among the deserted dust and debris of seldom visited grimey roadside, there is the trekker who attempts to cross 295, the railroad tracks and the Anacostia river. This is the infrastructural no wonder that helps to keep neighborhoods apart from knowing eachother, affecting eachother, from becoming together. We hop our bikes over when head-on traffic is nil. We cross the exit ramp, step up the curb on the other side and get on our bikes to cruise the next tight highway-hugging sidewalk, passing a cop doing the work of tracking motorists speed. He nods hello to us. We live to tell the story of riding the tight sidewalk of East Capitol tunnel. Emerge to a cloverleaf of an exit ramp and step through it's dark boggy mud and awakening bright grass. Hello Anacostia-side!

We head for Benning Terrace -south on Benning right on F. At F and 46th, we are alone again.

Here at the place of Marvin's childhood upbringing, we look through many fences and see peaks of proud hills.

Well on our way to the end spot, the grand opening of Maryland Park Bicycles, who'd ordered pizzas to share for many visitors. We drift east on F and into Marshall Heights. We see a few families and small groups of men hanging near their cars, saying "Hi" to riders visiting their streets. Marvin Gaye Day, a good day for social intimacy. Hello! Hello! Hello! What's going on? Lot's of fences..

We stop by Blaine and 60th, where Marvin lived as a teenager, and very close to Maryland Park Bicycles at 101 Maryland Park Drive. The fences have grown much over since I last visited in January of 2006. We can't even get next to where his house once stood, before whatever blind force allowed it to be razed.
                                           No intimacy here today.

We head north towards Clay and right on the eastern tip of of the Watts Branch trail, experiencing the super practical location of this new bike shop, Maryland Park Bicycles at 101 Maryland Park DR. Once a rider exits the eastern tip of Watts Branch, you join a small road that turns into Maryland Park DR and voila! Your're there when you reach the end, right before it meets the woah! of Central Avenue.

Here, we finally meet friends and family!

 Mother of, and shop owner and operator John Epps:

Not only were there two towers of Pizza, but there was a great big delicious cake. Birthday cake, not at all for Marvin Gaye, actually, but for Kenniss Henry! Our courageous neighbor has been working really hard lately to have House Bill 363, the Vehicular Manslaughter Law, pass in Annapolis. The struggle is in climax right now, and we need to make Senator Frosh of Montgomery County allow this law to go to committee.

Scott is ready to roll. Always ready to roll. Barbara and Scott are true navigators of the region. So roll we do with much ease westwardly up the Watt's Branch Trail first greeted by Marvin Gaye Park..

Look at the mosaic curb near this building that hosted the moving doo wop of the young Marvin 60-some years ago...

Sweet trail.

 The end of the trail features a great big Marvin mosaic.

                                            What's this?
Someone left Marvin Gaye a cookie! Marvin get's a cookie! "On your Birthday!", it said.

We crossed underneath the railroad tracks and 295 at this rare opportunity underpass, and went south on Kenilworth to Benning RD. After crossing, we meandered through Trinidad and then north on Bladensburg, to our homes in the valleys and hills of the Anacostia headwaters. Great ride. Ours is a beautiful region.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

34 riders turn out for another full moon ride

Saturday, March 19th, 32 riders assembled at the coop with their bikes and picnic goods. Many stickers were distributed and acquaintances made as we waited for the dark towards 8, a red hot perigee moon emerging from the horizon past the fire station. We started north on 36th street, then cut over to 38th street to take the trail there. The moon above water is a very rewarding scene to ride in. Magic is had in Brentwood. 2 more riders joined on the trail, making us 34 rider blinky light parade seem like a clicking swarm of giant fireflies. 34! 34 people chose to gather with neighbors and strangers to picnic in the dark and ride under the moon, for free! We passed the amphibian amphitheater, a spot where you can hear several kinds of frogs and toads croaking free near the trail. After passing over the bridge of Bladensburg Waterfront park, we enjoyed a picnic under the moon with the caboose and we were visited by a passing train. We rode back to the coop and ended our short gathering by 10.
See you at the next Full Moon gathering...on bikes! Sunday April 17th, 7pm.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Open Shop report - Mon 21st MArch 2011

Our first springtime shop of the year brought in mild temps and mild-mannered riders.
Laurie brought in a bike for tuning and turned out he knew a Co-Op member who vols on Wimmen's nites and said his house had another 3-4 bikes that are in need- he helped sweep up the shop in our spirit of "you give you get".

Carl, Will and Deana showed up as well as Dave M to work on his rear gears, and we had a regular visitor who scored a Gary Fisher off Craig's list for FREE - lucky bugger!

Shop got cleaned but the Bike room is looking a mess ... again, we need to really decide on how much work is needed before throwing them in the back room.

Also it looks like Timmy left his bike on the rack-hope it stays there !

that's about it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Another Full Moon, Another Full Moon Ride!

To be basic, the MRBC Ride Coordinators want you to equate a full moon with a fun free gathering in our neighborhood...on bikes. On the night of a full moon, there will be a gathering at 7pm. Canceled only if raining at 7.

The next full moon falls on a Saturday! March 19th is squeezed in between St Patty's Day and the Equinox, so it could be a festive feeling warm night.

Last time we gathered, we were a little too many to all find a place to sit in Franklin's. We split into groups and ended up regrouping at a little house party. This time, we want to accommodate all and officiate an end point. So, bring your dinner. This time we'll picnic together where the moon takes us, outside of establishments and free to not spend money. To keep it fun for everyone, we won't go too far or too fast and we'll be back at the CoOp by 11pm, if not earlier.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

MD Bike Symposium connections

Back to February 22 in Annapolis, the MD Bike Symposium. Among the few dozen people who'd made the trek to MD's decision center, were us two bike coop enthusiasts, Kenniss Henry of Cheverly, and some people from College Park. The other bike coop enthusiast did go on to a planning meeting the next day to support biking space be made around Capitol Heights Metro Station, particularly from Watt's Branch trail to near his garage on East Capitol Street, Maryland Park Bicycles. A good success! Anyway, Prince Georges County had a strong presence in pieces. Energy focused on rte one through College Park, I soon found, is being collected on this interesting website:
A contributor of the blog connected me to another enthusiast of the blog who lives in Mt Rainier. Today we met and shared some time and words. We have an affinity for making the town scape one for biking, strolling, connecting and foraging.
Josh commutes from Union Station to Largo MD. He chooses a variety of difficult pg county roads to take. Friday 3.5, Josh's Commute Ride was quickly and quietly organized to quench a desire to increase in number this regular, lone venture of a MRBC rider. We met at Union Station, stopped by the coop, then continued down rte 202 going by through Cheverly and Landover. 202 was dark and wide with lanes. There were many hills, a few small a few tall. Traffic was all auto and fast. Strip malls and gas stations much of the way. Fast cars, curb debris, strip malls...

Weird art at union station. Weird is nourishing at union station. 

End point, at one among an ocean of strip malls. This one has a starbucks that is said to attract Jack Johnson and for a short time, Michael Steele.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Open Shop 28th Feb 2011

Quiet night with Will Carl John & myself.

Focused on cleaning and organizing shop - ran through procedures and documentations, helped a couple of late arrivals and friends of Will's with their bike and Bill with some wheel trueing.

Mike T has fixed the lock box and I have fixed the Cable Modem/Router (again) which is now working fine, as is the printer ! Do not adjust.

-Dave C