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Biking Baltimore with the Kinetic Sculpture Race & Pizza at Barfly's

 

Here's an excellent opportunity to enjoy the color and excitement of Baltimore's Kinetic Sculpture Race by combining it with a relaxed biking tour of the city's most popular neighborhoods.  Instead of being stuck watching the race from one spot, our group can move along with the racing teams on our bikes to see them in action the whole way.

Our group did this last year, and it was a BLAST.

We'll ride the same 15-mile route used by the racing teams on road lanes separated from car traffic, so this is a rare chance to see Baltimore's best sights without getting run over.

Our route takes us through Federal Hill, Inner Harbor, Little Italy, Fells Point, Canton, and Patterson Park, as well as many famous streets along the way.  You can see the entire race route, the estimated time schedule to reach each point, and costume suggestions on the Spectators Guide:

http://www.kineticbaltimore.com/KSR/Spectatorsguide.asp

Following our ride, we'll head over to Barfly's in Federal Hill to enjoy their terrific pizza and beer.  Barfly's is located just two blocks from where we parked our cars at the start, so it's a convenient place to end up and socialize.  Scroll down to check out the details for Barfly's.

Baltimore's Kinetic Sculpture Race

Each May, the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) hosts the East Coast Kinetic Sculpture Race Championship along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.  Kinetic Sculptures are creative human-powered works of art custom built for the race.

Although they're lots of fun to watch, the Kinetic Sculptures must be able to traverse miles of city roads and be amphibious.  The eight-hour race covers 15 miles on pavement, but also includes a dip into Baltimore harbor and a trip through the mud and sand of Patterson Park.  This year, the organizers expect about 40 entries from teams that have invested a lot of imagination, time, and money building these inventive contraptions that must bear the brunt of the race all afternoon.

It's all in fun to create a colorful spectacle of artistic design, clever engineering, and human bravado by the many contestants who eagerly propel their machines along Baltimore's streets and waters. The crowd becomes part of the event with their own outrageous costumes and cheering.  There are awards presented at the end for everything from best artistic design to worst entry into the water at the Canton ramp.

Here are some of the entries from previous races:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sure to check out the COMPLETE COLLECTION of colorful photos from the 2012 Kinetic Sculpture Race.  It's guaranteed to get you excited about seeing the 2013 race:

http://www.kineticbaltimore.com/KSR/2012/default.asp?Page=0

The Bike Ride

Our group will meet at the parking lot by McDonald's in the Southside Market shopping plaza on E. Fort Avenue.  You can get there directly from I-95 by taking the Key Highway exit or by driving through Federal Hill from Inner Harbor.  The shopping plaza has ample free parking, and it's located right on the route of the Kinetic Sculpture Race.  So we'll get a great view of the racing entries from there without encountering any big crowds.

After watching the Kinetic Sculptures pass by in the morning when the teams are still fresh and vigorous, we can ride our bikes over to the Cross Street Market on Federal Hill to have a nice lunch and some refreshments.  Bruce Lee's wings and burgers are Rev. Jake's favorite, but Nick's sushi bar and beer is quite popular with the healthy folks.  Both places are fun as you stand in the market aisles while eating and drinking on barrel tables.  And there are many more eating options available in the Cross Street Market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following lunch and refreshments, we'll bike along the Kinetic Sculpture Race route to catch up and follow them through Inner Harbor and Fells Point to the water launch at Canton Park.  The racers take a while there to get in and out of the harbor water, and then they go up to Patterson Park for the mud and sand section which also takes some time.  We can watch the race and enjoy the attractions of the Canton area if things get slow. Then we'll follow the racers back through Inner Harbor, along Key Highway, and up to Federal Hill where the the race ends.

Helmets Are Required For All Riders

This is a slow easy bike ride that's suitable for anyone who can breathe and pedal at the same time.  Newbies are welcome, but you must be able to keep up with our group during the afternoon.

Post-Ride Pizza at Barfly's

After the bike ride, we'll walk two blocks to Barfly's to share some refreshing drinks and excellent pizza.  We've been there several times, and it's always a great adventure in a real Baltimore bar.  Barfly's is located at 620 E. Fort Avenue.

Our group's standard procedure in restaurants is to infiltrate them as individual customers so we get faster service and separate checks.  Then we can mix and mingle without the hassles of finding large group seating and getting an automatic 18% tip added to a single gigantic bill.  Figuring out who owes what and paying each share at the end of the evening is an unpleasant chore that detracts from having fun at our group meetups.

So just sit down and order what you want when you enter.  Don't worry about trying to find room for all of us at once.  Everybody will get in and have a good time.  We always do...

More details and Yelp reviews below:

http://www.yelp.com/biz/barflys-baltimore

Final Details

As this is an outdoor event, we need good biking weather to make it successful.  Check here on Saturday morning before 8:00 am if the weather looks doubtful.  I'll post an update if we need to change plans or cancel.

Call Jake at[masked] if you have questions or need to find us.

I hope to see you there!

 

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  • Kim

    Lookie- FIFI made GMA ! A colleague knows the guy who got engaged in the mud-pit

    http://gma.yahoo.com/blogs/abc-blogs/15-foot-pink-poodle-delivers-diamond-ring-mud-214233912.html

    May 13, 2013

  • Kim

    The BEST pic was JAKE violating FIFI the PINK POODLE and the BEST COMMENT was the owner FIFI who said "Nice, Buddy, Nice" while shaking her head ruefully.

    May 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Awesome day, even if we managed to get separated from the group and somehow stay that way. Really enjoyed the event and meeting everyone and hope to do it again soon. Maybe after the sunburn on the back of my legs heal. ;)

    May 5, 2013

  • Jean

    Fun day from beginning to end. The amazing photos say it all. Great choices for our rest breaks too! Thanks Jake!

    May 5, 2013

  • Margie

    Not usre how many of you were lucky to catch the engagement that occurred in the mudpit, just before FiFi came thru. I just posted five pics to show the before and after. I had a great day and delighted in everything I saw.

    May 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thanks for sharing the photos. Looks like it was a fun day! Go Baltimore! (errr, I mean stay Baltimore!)

    May 5, 2013

  • Ben

    It looks like you guys had a great time on the land. I had a great time on the water!

    May 5, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Good times. Thanks Jake.

    May 4, 2013

  • David M.

    Wonderful outing, the race was super cool, Baltimore looks better each time I see it and Barflys is a great place.

    May 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Another great meet-up organized by Jake. Thanks!

    May 4, 2013

  • Gloria

    What a fantastic day! The kinetics, the good food, the wildflowers, the cool people... just wonderful. Thank you Jake for these great urban adventures. I love it!

    May 4, 2013

  • Jake

    Another great day in Baltimore. Perfect weather, the Kinetic Race spectacle, good cheer everywhere, fun companions, and good beer and food. Bruce Lee wings rule...

    May 4, 2013

  • Peggy

    Great time. The weather could not have been more perfect for the day.
    I was fascinated to see the creativity, time, money and effort that went into the kinetic art work. Just amazing efforts.

    May 4, 2013

  • Julie S.

    Call us with the combi

    1 · May 4, 2013

  • Tom

    Car issues :( sorry to miss it.

    May 4, 2013

  • Mimi

    Won't be able to make it this year! Have fun!

    May 3, 2013

  • Mimi

    Won't be able to make it this year! Have fun!

    May 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Having brake problems that need repair!

    May 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Having brake problems that need repair!

    May 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Awesome!

    May 3, 2013

  • Ben

    I hope to see you guys. I'll be providing kayak support for the Splashdown at Canton Waterfront Park. Cheers!

    May 3, 2013

    • Ben

      Gloria, "The Crawler" will have to wait until next year for its debut.

      May 3, 2013

    • Gloria

      I've been reading the HILARIOUS descriptions of the entries. I thought "AMS Crab" might be yours. Although the description says it's an eagles nest. Have fun paddlin'!

      May 3, 2013

  • Jane

    Thanks for the invite. That could be a plan. Any idea what time time you might be doing that? Just a ballpark idea of time frame.

    May 3, 2013

    • Gloria

      Based on last year and the schedule (which I just printed out and will bring along) we should be at Cross St. Market between 11:30 & 12:30ish. Then to catch the water section at Canton and wave at Ben around 1ish and then hang out in Patterson Park from 2-4ish. We should be at Barfly's around 5-6ish. It's all flexible so call Jake's phone to find us!

      May 3, 2013

    • Ben

      Yaay - not only do I get to watch/support/paddle away from the kinetic sculpture vehicles in the water I get to wave at you guys too! :-)

      1 · May 3, 2013

  • Donna M

    Sorry, I won't be there but will catch up with you Sunday.

    May 3, 2013

  • Jean

    Thanks for laying out the plan! Sounds like it's going to be a fantastic adventure.

    May 3, 2013

  • Jane

    I kept forgetting I don't have a bike. LOL

    May 1, 2013

    • Gloria

      Jane, come hang out with us at the Market, Patterson Park or Barflys!

      May 2, 2013

  • Julie S.

    Looking forward to Saturday's ride! Are we supposed to wear costumes? I'm looking for soccer balls to donate to the local kids in my low income neighborhood in Annapolis. Do you have any in your garage you're not using? Bring em on Sat!

    May 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, but I have to cancel this time. Have fun!

    May 2, 2013

  • Dottie S.

    Sister visiting! Have a great time. Sorry to miss this

    April 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    April 29, 2013

  • Mel

    I would like to go..I have a brand new portable bike. but I dont want to drive that far unless anybody south of DC will give me a ride.I can help with the gas.. any one? I live in woodbridge. va

    April 29, 2013

  • HelenB

    still limping :(

    April 28, 2013

  • Alison

    great festival!

    April 17, 2013

  • Donna M

    Not sure I can make this but will try. Jake, while we're there we should check out Blue Agave and Little Havana. Just a suggestion....Blue Agave is a tequileria with really good food. Haven't been to Little Havana but it's on Key Highway so they are all close to Barfly'sand if not this time, next time:)

    April 16, 2013

  • Bobbe

    hmmmm........maybe group costumes?? :)

    April 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have never been... Good opportunity !

    April 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    +3

    March 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Love this event last year!

    March 17, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Would love to carpool and help with gas

    March 16, 2013

  • Bobbe

    hmmmm........maybe group costumes?? :)

    January 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'd rather be a cheerleader for this event

    January 19, 2013

  • Alison

    great festival!

    October 21, 2012

  • Joan

    Something to look forward to!!

    October 20, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Jake, this event has the ingredients to be termed "gears and beers".

    October 19, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Does this mean that we can just skip over winter? Sounds like fun.

    October 19, 2012

  • Gloria

    I can breathe and pedal at the same time so I qualify for this ride! If you add gum chewing, then I'm out ;-)

    October 19, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    If I am still alive Jake.

    October 19, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great Idea Jake! I'm In!!

    October 19, 2012

  • Kim

    Can't wait!

    October 19, 2012

  • Jake

    SHR will have a full winter of events, but it's never too early to plan on attending the Kinetic Sculpture Race, which is one of our FAVORITES!

    October 19, 2012

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