Repairing a Water Main at Centre & Cathedral

I spent the morning reading and writing and finishing this and that before I had to head to the mechanic’s to pick up my *gasp* car with its new windshield and scrubbed headlights; the State of Maryland has some stringent standards before they let you drive a car on their roads. Another hour and a half waiting at the MVA and I can officially drive here! But oh my goodness, I don’t want to. I headed straight home to get the bike to run some errands. Seriously, why drive for errands when you can ride a bike, especially when The Earth finally turned the lights on? Continue reading

The Other Side of the Gym

I had to get to the office early today and stay late for a meeting, so I won’t get a chance to ride my bicycle today. I did, however, have time to hit the student gym where the only open cardio machine was the stationary recumbent bicycle. I haven’t been on one of those things since a shoulder injury and surgery left me with no other option–and thank goodness the option was there–but I went ahead and hopped aboard to see what it’s like. I mean, am I going to be sitting on that thing all through the winter season? God, I hope not. So boring. I like riding a bicycle because I like seeing what’s going on outside, the people, the neighborhoods, the streets, whatever (though I did get a chance to memorize all the teams in the America East conference, since their banners were the only things in my line of sight). It was also so much easier to just pedal in place–no cars or wind or weird folds in the asphalt or acorn shells trying to toss my wheel to the side–and that’s just not my speed. I like thinking about riding a bicycle when I’m riding my bicycle. Spin, spin, spin, la dee dah, and I was done, happy to have been moving, but a little scared about this thing You People call “winter.” I will have to find a way to bike and walk in wintery weather, because my soul cannot be forced to die on the recumbent bicycle.

Brick Supports Under the Baltimore Basilica

I didn’t have to go to the office today, so I spent the morning reading for fun before taking the bike down to the coffee shoppe to meet V. for a little reading and writing and eavesdropping on our neighbors. I got some good thinking done and then it was time to get back on the bike for a quick stop at the fancy public library for my brand spankin’ new library card and then across the street to visit the Baltimore Basilica, America’s First Cathedral, designed and built from 1806-1821, because there’s little I like more than a visit to a place with tours or history or at least a brochure. Continue reading

Retro Water Fountain in Druid Hill Park

I did not want to ride my bicycle today, surprise surprise. I was tired after a long weekend and a long day, but I knew if I got myself on the bike I would be glad I did, and I was. I headed toward the park, up the hill, pant pant pant, and turned onto the Jones Falls Trail. I narrowly avoided a head-on collision with a bike, and another bike after that (we might need a light at that particular intersection) and ended up at the reservoir. I did a lap as fast as I could to get out some nervous energy and then slowed down a bit to do a second lap. I dodged a whole bunch of pedestrians, got lapped by other cyclists, and avoided the guy doing shoulder raises as he sped-walked around the oval. I stopped at this water fountain at the entrance/exit and groped around the thing trying to figure out how to get water to come out. Um, there’s a foot pedal. And when you press down on it–with your foot–the drain-thingy on the inside rattles and rises up, and then there’s the gurgling until the water sputtered out. It was like stepping back in time! Thank you, Murdock, and I hope this one lasts a hundred years, like they say it could. I rode home via Hampden, up and down the hills, happy to be back on the bike.

Dean Spade Speaking at the Radical Book Pavillion at the Baltimore Book Fair

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I hadn’t been on my bike since Wednesday, which was far too long, but I wasn’t driving–I was just in New York, where nobody I know ever even thinks about cars. Oh, it is magical there! I didn’t have time for a bike ride, busy as I was with the fantastic Barnard Center for Research on Women conference and a side trip wandering through Harlem, visiting a couple national parks, but there were bikes and bike lanes everywhere, and C. reports the one on Second Ave is about to go all the way to the tippy top of the island. I can’t wait to bring my bike there and just go wild. Sigh. I took the train back to Baltimore, rested a bit, and then took my bike to the book fair to hear D. talk and lead the kind of discussion you hope to get at that sort of thing but rarely do–thing is, the state is the site of so much violence, we kind of need to think of strategies other than going to that same state for redress or protection if we really want all of us to be safe, in the most expansive sense of that term. It was a weekend full of reports, ideas, new plans, and old friends, such a treat. But it was good to ride my bike to the coffee shop, grade some papers, and then climb back up the hill, because that’s the sort of thing that feels like home.

Baltimore City Police Department 24/7 Believe Blue Light Camera at 22nd & Calvert

Tonight’s ride took me down to the pizza place for dinner and wine with the new colleagues. We were set to meet at 7:00pm, the same time that Troy Davis was set to die at the hands of the state of Georgia. It was a strange feeling, riding my bike down the hill for pizza when the state was setting up to kill a man. Continue reading

Streetscape Sculpture at the Public Works Museum at the Inner Harbor

Today’s bike ride took me over to Hampden for my favorite brunch and some work in my workbook and then down to the Inner Harbor to check out the art show. I did a quick zip around the booths and then decided to hit up the Public Works Museum, because I love me some public works–sewer systems, water treatment, streetlights and stoplights, all of it. Continue reading