My dad was in town for a visit and I had the day off work, so we rented him a bicycle so we could ride around Baltimore together. I had about a thousand rides to take him on, but we didn’t have forever and he rented a bike not built for climbing, so I just took him down the hill and on the Gwynns Falls Trail around to Middle Branch Park. I led the way, using my hand signals, being reminded to point out road hazards, and thinking just a few turns ahead. Continue reading
My dear New Orleans friends D. and M. are in DC for a few days this week on a work trip, so I took my non-teaching day to head down to corridor for a little taste of home. We weren’t going to be riding bikes, so I left Brompty at home and just took the Surly to Penn Station where I searched for a spot on the couple of bike racks before awkwardly locking up to the side of one. Continue reading
I started my morning with S. and J. and our Sunday Morning Hiking Club, which is really the best thing going. I mean, what day isn’t better when it starts with a brisk walk amidst some good old fashioned natural beauty, especially when it’s followed up by a seasonal latte? After warming back up at home it was time to take the bike out for a ride. Continue reading
Ok, so this isn’t what I saw riding my bike around today. It’s what I saw riding my bike around today. It’s what I saw yesterday when S. and I lugged our over-buffet-ed Thanksgiving selves up the side of the hill that felt like a mountain, and as you can see, we weren’t the only ones who had the idea yesterday. Continue reading
After a many-hour morning at the coffee shoppe grading papers it was time to get back on the bike and spin along on this beautiful sunny fall day. I headed down the hill, around the harbor, and up through Federal Hill toward my favorite pedestrian mini mall called McHenry Row. Continue reading
I have been away at another conference, this time in San Juan, Puerto Rico where it was warm and humid–easy weather for dressing this girl who is still stocked for living in New Orleans. I had a good trip seeing friends and colleagues, thinking and talking about new ideas, staring at the ocean and swimming in it, and maybe gambling some pennies away, but oh boy, was I happy to come home to Baltimore. Continue reading
Finally, I got to take a bike ride again. This out-of-town-and-working business is really putting a dent in my bicycling time, amongst other things. I only had about 45 minutes to spare on this busy work day, but I took what I could get and hopped on the bike toward Druid Hill Park for a few quick laps around the reservoir. Continue reading
I’ve been at a conference in Oakland, CA for the past several days which has meant no bicycle riding–too busy, too tired, no bike. But I see bikes everywhere. There are lanes in downtown Oakland, signs directing riders all over town. My dear friend S. reports there’s going to be a bike lane on the new Bay Bridge when it eventually opens. Tonight when I took the BART into San Francisco for dinner with D. and P., there were bikes boarding trains, a space in the car set aside for bikes, and a pamphlet on the floor from August when bikes could ride in any car on Fridays. I snapped this picture of bikes lined up on racks at the 16th Street BART station–so many riders! Bikes are clearly just normal here–they can be normal. The infrastructure is built with the assumption it will be used for biking, and it clearly is. How, though, do y’all get up some of these San Francisco hills? Next time I best find out.
I am still under the weather with a pesky cold probably picked up from my germy students, but I’m leaving town without my bicycles for much of the next two weeks, so I had to get a decent ride in today to stave off the fussiness that takes over when I can’t pedal about. I headed down the hill and took a left on Biddle to see where it would dead end. I finally ran into Edison Highway, took my right, and then a quick left and past stacks and stacks and stacks of something-I think roofing material-and one of Baltimore City’s storage and repair facilities for city vehicles. The snowplows are out on the street, but I’m assuming that’s for show, because I’m not ready for snow. I followed the dead end signs to the dead end, got off my bike, and walked us around the barrier. A couple guys were working an a car. They popped their heads up, and one said, “If you’ve made it this far, you’re almost home.” It took me a few minutes of riding around the neighborhood to figure out what he meant: I had survived black neighborhoods and was home in the white neighborhood. Shudder. The lawn signs were all No on 6 (our same-sex marriage act), and though I’m certainly no fan of aligning life chances with the arbitrary achievement of grabbing a supposedly permanent monogamous romantic relationship (that we do that is so weird, if you think about it), those signs are really just voting no on queers existing. Nothing but bigotry, really, and this white picket fence is just putting lipstick on that pig. This was Armistead Homes, formerly public housing turned into co ops after war housing was no longer needed. They can vote on who is allowed to live there, and surprise, surprise, the neighborhood is over 87% white. I rode around but quickly found my way out and snakes through Northeast Baltimore until I was back in the segregated neighborhoods that have become familiar to me in my regular rides. And then I was on Gough, Lombard, Pratt and Fait~though not in that order~and I was back in Fells Point, a quick stop at the gym, and up the hill to home. It was a good ride that left me thinking about the difference between the fates of public housing complexes~much to learn there. Good thing I get to teach about it next semester. I wonder how long I’d have to live here before finding this little northeast neighborhood if I didn’t ride my bike around aimlessly.
I’m a bit under the weather, but I had a long-standing lunch date down in the Inner Harbor. What was I going to do–drive there? Nah. I layered up and headed out the door for a zippy race down empty streets, Maryland Avenue through Mt. Vernon and the Westside and over to the giant Hilton. As always, as soon as I was on my bike I was glad I was. Continue reading