Spring has sprung, and as usual, I’m overly-excited, which meant rushing out of the house with hardly any clothes on and onto my bicycle for a zippy ride in the still-chilly wind, down the hill to the train station for a ride to Halethorpe on a Monday mid-morning. I felt naked, out without leggings or a jacket, and it felt amazing. Oh, I missed you, almost-sun on bare legs! The ride home was just as lovely, if even a little chillier as I snapped this photo looking down, skirt flapping in the breeze. We’ve got another winter blast coming in a couple of days, but for now, I just want to say yes, and thank you, earth, for turning.
Thursday’s commute was another chilly one, and slow, because sometimes it is all just that exhausting. I flew down the hill, folded my bike and myself into the train, and folded us out for a trudge up the hill, everything feeling a little too heavy. A meeting, a couple of classes, another meeting, some writing, and the weight was lifted by the promise of a free evening–the sort of free that feels extra special because you’ve knocked so many things off the to-do list, and everything else can wait, really. Continue reading
It was sunny, dry, and over freezing, and I had a whole lot of errands to run, so I got to pull out the Surly and go for some rides today. It took less than a block on the bike to feel at home; I love Brompty, and she’s made life without a car so much easier, but oh, Surly, that’s my home bike. The first leg took me just a bit up the hill to Waverly to meet with O. and R. to talk about art and history and girls and cats. And then it was a zippy ride down the hill to meet with D. to drink coffee and talk about material culture and museums and representation and race. And then it was a slow pedal back up the hill for lunch with J. and to talk about the War of 1812 and the difference between “slave” and “servant” and what happens when you use them interchangeably. Yeah, I’ve got a pretty good life with pretty good people in it, and then it just got better. Continue reading
Monday was another snow day, this one covering up a layer of ice, so that meant no biking for me and a whole lot of hoping that all road surfaces would miraculously melt and dry for Tuesday’s commute to campus. Sure, I could grab a ride with a friend, ask a student for a ride home, but I want to ride my bike and use my train pass and be in some control of my own movement–plus I’m really stubborn–so I layered up and left early so it I had to walk or wait for a bus, I’d have to time to do so. The ride down the hill was fine, though I could feel (and hear–quit honking your horns people, there’s nowhere for me to go!) the irritation of drivers as I took a whole lane in morning traffic because the bike lane was filled with plowed remains. Continue reading
Friday’s bike ride took me up to Roland Park for a doctor’s appointment, and it was so cold that even the long climb didn’t warm me up. It was the kind of ride I never would have taken back when I had a car, but now it just makes sense that I’ll take the 30-40 minutes to get there on the bike, which isn’t that much longer than it took to drive. I headed up Calvert and took my left onto University Parkway, past the lacrosse fields and the veganeverything restaurant, down the hill past the ghost bike that reminds me every time I pass it that bike lanes don’t guarantee safety–nothing does. Ride defensively, indeed–and drive that way, too. Continue reading
And Thursday it was back to work, and the ride took me down the hill in 14 degree temperatures to the train station, and I swear my eyeballs were going to freeze right there inside of my skull. Oh, New Orleans, I miss you and your 70 degree late February days! I folded up the bike and got off two stops later, meeting A. unexpectedly on the platform for a Brompty reunion and ride up the hill to work. We complained about the weather and the left turn traffic light that seems to work randomly. A. is secretly happy to have that mystery to keep her commute alive, she admitted. We shared our desires for a tow rope up the hill in to campus, and then I split off for a busy day at the office.
Monday was my last day in New Orleans, and I used it to bike as many places as possible. When I first moved to NOLA in 2007, there were no bike lanes. Then the St. Claude bike lane went in, and then there was one on Broad Street, and that tiny stretch of Magazine in front of the WWII Museum, and the protected bike lane out in Gentilly, and now they are all over the place, and I wanted to ride them all. I wanted to take that favorite ride out through City Park and to Lake Pontchartrain to see the bayou and look for pelicans. I wanted to get lost out in Gentilly and do laps around Audubon Park and ride the Mississippi River Trail out to the end to see what they’ve done to that riverfront park in Kenner and if that abandoned suitcase is still there. Continue reading