Daffodils at Druid Hill Park Overlooking I83

Daffodils at Druid Hill Park Overlooking I83I took Wednesday afternoon off after a week of marathon grading and teaching and meetings, and oh, it was lovely. I brought hardly anything with me for the ride over to Lake Montebello for a few laps with other bicyclists (they all had their spandex on–I was totes under dressed), kiddos on their way from school to wherever they go after school, and the many walkers, some in regular clothes, others in their suits that make you sweat more, which I guess technically means losing more weight–hey, whatever floats your boat. Continue reading

Daffodils and Green at Mother’s Garden in Clifton Park at 32nd & Harford Road

Daffodils and Green at Mother's Garden in Clifton Park at 32nd & Harford Road Monday’s ride was far too short, the day given over to grading and emailing and fire-putting-out, but hey, at least I got out for a quick pedal around the neighborhood under our springtime skies. My first stop was across the border of 33rd Street for a surprise visit to R.’s place. I had a book to give her, but that was just a ruse because I wanted to see her face and watch her perfect grey cat slink through the spring flowers. Continue reading

Waiting in Line for Tickets at Oriole Park at Camden Yards at Camden & Eutaw

Waiting in Line for Tickets at Oriole Park at Camden Yards at Camden & EutawTuesday’s ride was a surprisingly muggy one downtown to meet the shuttle for the ride to campus. I let the hill do the work on the way, locked up, and chatted with a colleague from the Classics department on campus. He’s an archaeologist who also hates driving, and we had a lovely time discussing the merits of fixed rail versus bus, bike versus everything else–you can guess where I fell on this debate. One of my favorite things about public and shared transportation is this kind of thing, though–that you get to chat with people you probably wouldn’t talk with otherwise. Continue reading

Community Gardens in “Eager Park” in Middle East at Durham & Chase

Community Gardens in "Eager Park" in Middle East at Durham & ChaseIt was a shockingly beautiful day, and I spent much of it on my bike, skirt waving and bare arms under a sunny sky. For the first time in a very, very long time I was on my bike with nowhere in particular to go. My first stop was in Station North for a long overdue lunch with R. We parted ways in the early afternoon, and I headed down the hill, taking the first left I could from Guilford past Mount Royal, on Biddle Street, to snake my way south and east, south and east to see the sights of east Baltimore on a perfect day. Continue reading

New Street at 26th & St. Paul

New Street at 26th & St. PaulFriday’s ride was a quick one, just over and up the hill for a follow up visit with the doctor. She was happy to see the tonsils had gone down, but sad to hear the relentless fatigue was still making me feel like a two mile bike ride required close-to-heroic effort. We could do the test for mono, she said, but no matter what it says, all we can do is treat the symptoms. Not one for tests for testing’s sake, I declined and headed out with orders to keep taking it easy, to finish off that course of antibiotics, and to fill one more prescription. Continue reading

View Down the Sidewalk on Penn Street in Ridgely’s Delight

View Down the Sidewalk on Penn Street in Ridgely's DelightI was still feeling pretty terrible on Thursday, but I wasn’t about to miss class after all the snow days we had last month, so I went ahead and suited up (i.e. put on clothes that weren’t pajamas) for the morning ride down the hill to the shuttle to work. It felt amazing, even if a bit chilly, to ride without leggings on, the morning breeze on bare legs. Yep, I’m still dressing aspirationally–for the weather I want, not the weather I have, though I don’t think weather has anything to do with health, so whatever. I locked up to the now almost full bike racks at the University of Maryland Medical Center, and then walked up the few blocks to meet N. for the ride to work. Continue reading

Trash at St. Paul & Mount Royal

Trash at St. Paul & Mount RoyalThe weather’s better, so I’ve been on my bike basically every day. Unfortunately, though, that’s mostly because I have to be to get where I’m going. I’m never sick, but I’ve come down with a case of tonsillitis that just won’t go away. My tonsils are so inflamed and swollen that my primary care physician (yes, I have one of those! they’re awesome!), who never shows even a stray emotion betrayed one with a raised eyebrow and a toneless statement: “I have to admit those are larger than I expected.” They’re practically touching, and just a little bit of talking or heavy breathing, such as caused by biking uphill, for example, clogs the tiny throat hole that remains and makes it hard to breathe. It’s not exactly a recipe for pleasant biking, but there you go. Tuesday’s ride was a quick one down the hill, the bike doing all the work, and I was plenty chipper with my good mornings and how-you-doin’s. I shouted my apologies that I had no tools to help the guy dealing with a dropped fender and wondered why that guy was walking in shorts when it was still in the 30s until I noticed it was my friend C. walking to work, so I yelled my confession that I’d just run a red light. I didn’t get it all the way out, my throat clogged by its own self, but it mostly just felt great to be a part of the world.

The ride back was less fun. I was tired out, because being sick can tire you out, so I just put myself in an easy gear and took my time. I got off the bike to walk across the intersection of St. Paul and Mount Royal. I peered over the railing to watch the cars zooming underneath on I83, glad not to be in a car, at least. I snapped this picture of all the trash accumulating back there. What makes a person just toss their trash here instead of walking it to a trash can? What flavor Cold Stone did that person enjoy? How thirsty were you that you chugged that water and just threw the bottle over your shoulder? Or did the trash all blow in from somewhere else? There’s not a bus stop here, so why would someone stand on this particular corner and throw things here? And will it ever be cleaned up? Littering’s the worst, even when it’s just a bit out of sight, like this pile. And then I was back on my bike, a slow pedal home, eyes up. Here’s to feeling better soon.