So today I decided to ride my bike somewhere out of traffic where I could just pedal for 15 or 20 miles to see how far I could go without stopping. My big charity ride is months away, but it’s 140 miles–I need to start racking up time in t he saddle now. The sun was shining, temps in the mid-40s, and aside from the pesky wind machine, it was an awfully good day for a bike ride. I hopped on and headed toward Lake Montebello for as many trips around the circle I could stand. I had a lot of feelings in the 20 miles I spent there. My first thought was, damn, this was going to be a seriously dull affair, even if I did have music in my ears. One trip down, 15 or 20 to go, oh my this will be a long day.That feeling lasted about six miles, and then it started to feel mindless, a feeling I really, really struggle to access, and that made me happy. No cars to avoid, stop signs to run, just pedaling away, predictable headwind on the south side, tailwind on the north, pedal pedal pedal. I passed the same walkers, joggers, dogs, and that whole family that politely let me through each time–they were having a most lovely day from the looks of it. Every lap I looked deeper and deeper into the surroundings, in search of a bathroom. Are you telling me they don’t have a public toilet there, a park filled with people, even on a chilly and blustery Sunday morning? And then I decided to follow the sign pointing to the Herring Run Park trail, so I got off the circle and headed that way, but the trail was full of mud and loose gravel and buckled with tree roots–made me miss the circle, especially when the trail started crossing streets, but no curb cuts. Seriously? No curb cuts on a bike/ped path in a city? Well, there you go. I headed back to the lake, did a few more turns, and then it was time to head back to the city. I took my earplugs out, got back into my I’m-a-car position, and biked to Charles Village for a waffle and then down the hill to that abandoned park at Chase and Barclay to meet D. and others for her Weaving Bee. She’s using this and that and this and that to weave whatever she can at this used-to-be park, and also a giant welcome mat. I grabbed some stuff, sat down, and got to weaving, and we talked about this particular corner. She told me about how people are happy to see these homes torn down because nobody lives here, but the woman in that one house, she’s not going. They’re making her leave anyway, in March, but the developers are happy to see someone beautifying this lot. There’s a new playground a block east, sponsored by a bail bonds company in a particularly gruesome example of that school-to-prison pipeline that runs through neighborhoods like this one. What do we do with all of this? Today I rode in circles and wove some sparkly garlands through some railings, and then I rode back up the hill to home, already planning the next ride.