Pedestrian Underpass at Bank Street & Eastern Avenue

image

Today’s afternoon ride took me to Harbor East to catch a couple of closing exhibits at the Lewis Museum–Roberto Clemente was an awesome dude lost too soon, and there’s an important and often invisible history of African American/Native American relationships (though I think telling those histories is important for reasons beyond recognizing people’s identities, but that’s a different blog). The exhibits were of that new-fangled pop-up museum style, so hopefully they are travelling to a museum near you next. The day was unseasonably warm, so afterward I headed out for a ride with no plan; it had been far too long since I did that. I pedaled along, following the signs first to Patterson Park, where I watched a whole bunch of people feed a whole bunch of pigeons, and then toward Greektown by way of Highlandtown. I snapped this picture half way across the pedestrian underpass on Eastern Avenue. Now *this* is an underpass–spacious, covered in art, brightly-painted bridges above, carrying a train and framing yet another abandoned factory, but I’m guessing that just can’t be helped. I zipped through and around, did a quick turn on some Bayview side streets, and then headed back, hoping to be somewhere familiar by dusk. I passed through Brewer’s Hill, marvelled at the speed by which neighborhoods change and how a blighted warehouse district can become expensive lofts in virtually every city I have ever been in, stopped by Canton Waterfront Park for a photo of the sky on fire with sunset, and took myself to Fells Point for a cocktail and some fancy tapas to toast myself out of 2011, a day early. It has been a banner year for me, and I’m looking forward to my first bike ride of 2012, January 1. Oh, I do so like riding a bike around Baltimore.

William Wallace Statue at the Reservoir in Druid Hill Park

I was out with S. last night, and she suggested we get up early for a few laps around the reservoir at Druid Hill Park, her running, me on my bike. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but when I woke up all warm in my bed surrounded by cats, well, it seemed like a better idea might be to enjoy a vacation day in bed with coffee and books. But I said I’d be up for it, so I sent a text, sucked down some coffee, put on my wool layers, and headed out on the bike, and, as always, I was glad I did. Continue reading

View of Boats, Ships, and the Domino Sugar Plant From Canton Waterfront Park

I woke up excited to get on the bike for the first time in almost a week. I checked the weather report: 90% chance of heavy rains. D’oh! I follow this rule that I got from my pops: never start a bike ride in the rain, so I figured I best climb out of bed and get on the bike before it was too late. I opened the door to a light sprinkle, but hey, rules are made to be broken, and this kid needed a bike ride like nobody’s business. Continue reading

Bank of America at 32nd & St. Paul

I wanted to go on a real bike ride today, but it was windy and rainy, and I just didn’t have it in me for that kind of ride. But I did manage to take the bike up and down the hill to the Bank of America at 32nd and St. Paul to finally close out my account now that my credit union account is all up and running and I finally have my direct deposit business sorted out. Continue reading

Old Tire in the Sand at Elk Neck State Park

image

Well, I didn’t ride my bike there, but S. and I parked the car and walked the lighthouse trail to the lighthouse at Elk Neck State Park. This lighthouse was run by more women than any other lighthouse in the country–I smell a field trip! We walked down another trail, climbed over some rocks, and were on a little speck of sand on the Chesapeake Bay, which looked like a smudged watercolor in the gray light. It was beautiful. And then there was this wheel and tire embedded in the sand. Yes, there are people here and everywhere, and our crap is washing up and rolling down all over the place. Bah. But between you and me, even this was lovely yesterday. This part of the world is so, so pretty. Sometimes you have to leave the bike at home to see what you see by walking.

Beer and TVs at a Sports Bar in the Can Company

image

It’s nearing the end of the calendar year, and I have money in my FSA that I just haven’t had time to spend. That means it’s time for another trip to the spectacles shop, and none too soon, seeing as how the right temple of my current pair of glasses is held together by first aid tape. S. and I picked out my frames last week, so today I bundled up and hopped on the bike to the Can Company for the one hour eyeglass shoppe to put lenses in for me. But then my prescription was out of date, so I waited fo an appointment. And then I waited some more and some more, and finally, four hours later, I am looking sharp, as are things in a distance, and a whole bunch of grading is in the bag, and now it’s time to visit this weird sports bar for a well-earned beer and a sandwich. All these kinds of sports bars are the same, and tonight this predictable sameness is just what I want before I hop back on the bike and shiver home. The day was lost in a single errand, but I mostly did the errand so I could take a bike ride, so I say, success! Rides of five miles or less? Take your bike. But note to self: it is time to cover those ears, for real.

Blurry Lights at The Patterson at SE & Eastern Avenue

image

K. moved to Baltimore several months before I did, and we were going to be best friends, but you know how it is when you’re both starting new jobs and she’s taking on a life project and I’m learning to ride uphill, so when she asked me to join her for a show at the Creative Alliance where she works, I jumped at the chance to finally hook up. But the 5 mile bike ride in the cold at night when I’m already tired? Sure thing! Because as it turns out, getting a nice ride in is the best way to get your energy up. I cobbled together a frankenoutfit of layers, turned on my lights, and rode down the hill. As I pedaled east along Baltimore Street, I kept my eyes on the cars and signaled every time I moved even a little bit into the lane. There’s a whole lot of trust going on when you ride in traffic, and there’s not necessarily evidence that the trust is well-placed. All you can do is be as predictable as possible and communicate as best you can. Folks think riding a bike, especially at night, is incredibly dangerous, but if you follow basic safety rules, it’s actually a pleasure, and no car came even close to knocking me down. The sidewalk along Patterson Park where they suggested I ride? That’s an entirely different story. In fact, every fall I have had–and if you ride, you will fall, and you will learn that it’s ok because you just get back up–has been caused by road surfaces. Well, except for that one. Anyway, I took my turn on SE and followed the shiny lights of the Patterson Theatre. They are all a blur here; you will just have to come for a visit. What a cool place. Let’s hope I’m as chipper for the colder ride home.