One of the highlights of the Baltimore skyline is back and it’s in fighting trim. Disemboweled it limped along a shadow of its former self for almost two years. The clockworks were removed to Maine for a much needed restoration. A clocktower with no clock, that counts as disemboweled don’t you think?
On the last Saturday in April a U-haul truck pulled up in front of 21 S. Eutaw Street. It was filled with clock parts. All that morning the folks from Balzer Family Clockworks unpacked that truck like it was Santa’s sleigh. Shaft, gear, and hand found their way from the curb to the clockroom 15 stories overhead.
Clock techs spent the rest of the week reassembling the tower’s Seth Thomas four faced
gravity fed time piece. The pile of gears and chains morphed into familiar form. For the month of May the staff and volunteers at the Bromoseltzer Arts Tower kept their joy and excitement under their hats. With minimal fanfare they displayed their not so hidden treasure. That all changes on Saturday, June 10, 2017. On Saturday the clock will be rededicated and the Maryland Glass Museum will officially open to the public. During the celebration self guided tours of the clock room will be offered on a first come first serve basis. The tours will be free, but as always the staff welcomes the generous donations of visitors.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake accompanied by high rollers in Baltimore’s transportation and bicycling circles got together to pat themselves on the back for a job well done. How well done it was depends to who one talks to. I was happy to see some electric bikes on the street. Of course this all happened two months ago, so I hardly remember what anyone said. Everyone smiled a lot while saying what ever it was that was on their minds.
After the speeches everyone jumped on a bike to head over to Harbor Place for a party. The Baltimore City Police were on hand to wave riders through intersections. It was quite a spectacle. I had to ask several people how to find the electric bikes. Would have thought that would have been part of the introduction. Anyway, there is a lightning bolt on the rear fender. Getting the thing started was a jerky affair. This might have something to do with my not having been on a bike in quite a long time. The assist comes on after a few revolutions of the crank. How many revolutions is the mystery of the morning. Suffice it to say it works pretty well.
I’ve only taken a ride on a couple of occasions. I am very much a fair weather rider. The bikes don’t handle like normal bikes – at least not like any bike I’ve ever ridden. They feel longer and heavier. Maybe more practice is the ticket. Traffic is the big limiter for me. Between the pot holes and frost heaves, it feels like I’m taking my life in my own hands. Add it insane downtown drivers and it becomes a white knuckle ride. The saving grace is the Maryland/Cathedral/Liberty bike track. Two way bike traffic sheltered from the kamikaze vroom vroom class by a row of parked cars and lots of painted white stripes is definitely the way to go. If anyone is listening, a bike track on Baltimore Street between Patterson Park in the east and Martin Luther King Blvd on the west would make my riding life a whole lot less nerve wrecking.