Cloudy Skies at Preston & Howard

I checked the weather report before I got on my bike to ride to work this morning: high winds and a 90% chance of rain. I looked at the sky: blue with clouds out my bedroom window, ominous gray outside my west-facing living room (and I was heading west). Yeah, everything said don’t take the bike, but I wanted to ride, so I tossed my new rain cape in my bike bag and headed out, hoping to maybe beat the weather. Continue reading

Cloverland Green Spring Dairy at Loch Raven & Exeter Hall

Oh, bicycle, how I’ve missed you! I hopped on my bike, S. hopped on hers, and we rode up to Waverly for waffles with J. It felt immediately good to be pedaling along, like being back at home. After tossing back some fruit, maple syrup, and whipped cream with my waffle and flipping through a guidebook to Eastern birds on the roof in the sunshine, S. and I zipped down the hill and then rode aimlessly around the neighborhood–my favorite kind of ride. Continue reading

View Down the River From the Bridge at the Appalachian Trail Crossing at Harper’s Ferry

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The first few days of the week were rained out, and the week has ended on vacation with E., who doesn’t ride a bike, so I haven’t gotten to pedal in forever.but I have gotten to walk, which I did today, all over Antietam National Battlefield and Harper’s Ferry, where I snapped this picture. Oh, it was a beautiful day, and I learned the heck out of it. I’m not on my bike, but I’m nursing the curiosity I’ve been cultivating from that seat. Yep, life is better since I started riding, and I can’t wait to get back on the Surly and spiiiin. Can’t. Wait.

Old Town Mall From the Parking Lot at Orleans & Forrest

Today’s ride took me over to Hampden for brunch and some time reading about the history of Hampden–trippy. It was a mill town, set apart from the rest of the city, populated by native-born rural whites who moved there to work in the mills, live in company housing, and shop at the company store. And then there was a strike, and they lost, because the mill owners just flat out refused to bargain. There’s more, about how public space is controlled as a way to control labor, for example, but then it was time to get back on the bike and ride on streets I’m not used to, hoping to end up vaguely downtown. Continue reading

Apples For Sale at the Waverly Farmer’s Market

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I woke up early and at S.’s behest, hopped on my bicycle and pedaled up the hill and back down again to the Waverly farmer’s market. Every part of me thinks farmer’s markets are awesome. I mean, dedicated market, local food, small farms–Our Farms, Our Future, as my license plate says. I have no idea why a brief jaunt that way hasn’t shaped every Saturday, but there you go. I got a cup of coffee, a spinach empanada (using that word very loosely), and then did a tour of the offerings. I picked up some arugula for the spiciness, sweet potatoes for the sweetness, and, after milling about these most lovely apples, some pears. I piled my stuff in my bike bag, made a stop at The Book Thing–all the free books you can carry!–and rode home. What a lovely way to start a Saturday.

Painted Train at Hollins & Lipps

It has suddenly turned cold in Baltimore, so I bundled up a little extra as I took my bike out to ride to campus for an afternoon “party” with the Dean and some new colleagues. The fancy fleece jacket kept me warm, but the headwind was strong enough to keep me pedaling, even on the big downhills. Sigh. Fortunately, I was in a chipper mood, so pedal, pedal, pedal I did, and it felt good. I wonder if I’ll ever get over the pleasure of the rhythmic round-and-round of the bicycle–let’s hope not. The commute now feels like it comes in four parts: down the hill, taking a right/going west, the uphilly part, and Arbutus. I snapped this picture as I took the soft left onto Lipps from Hollins. I’m guessing that used to be a brick wall, and now it’s just the remnants of one, but the leftover bits do look like a train, which is what I think is painted on here. There are so many scenes like this all over town, helped along by the seemingly endless remainders that make up Baltimore City and its canvases. But this is a pretty face to paint on the block after block after block of crumbled, abandoned, blighted, burned, and decaying homes and businesses that make up that 9.2 miles ride. But really, sometimes, what are you going to do? Gotta put some beauty in here.

State of Maryland 201 W. Preston Street

I spent my morning working from home and wondering if the gray skies were going to turn to rain before deciding to just risk getting caught in it and heading out on the bike to run a few errands. I signed up online for an account with my local credit union weeks ago, but I hadn’t gotten my paperwork in the mail. I’m tired of banking with the big guys, so I went to the local SECU branch to open an account in person–you can apparently still do that. Continue reading