Train Stalled at the Crossing at Warner & W. Ostend

Train Crossing at Warner & W. OstendAs soon as I slung my leg over my bike and clipped into my right pedal I felt like myself again, and I couldn’t help but dodge back and forth in the lane, doing that little dance of welcome home. Oh, it was good to get on the bike and race down the hill and up again, for the sweet treat of coffee and talk with two of my favorite nerds, E. and R. Afterwards R. and I lingered to talk about bikes and girls and things, and then I was off toward downtown and the Gwynns Falls Trail. And then I was stopped in my tracks, or, rather, at the tracks, as a train slowly made its way past the stadiums. Cars lined up and I headed to the front of the line to wait. And wait. Not terribly long, sure, but when the train stops moving, so does time. I wasn’t in a hurry at all this afternoon, though, so I was happy to sit and remember fondly all the waiting New Orleans offered with its trains rolling back and forth and back again on no clear schedule; you could get caught for a very long time out on Press Street. A few minutes later, though, the gates rose and I continued on my way to the trail. Spring is summer already, and the green is lush and tall already. I crossed the bridge with a view of the casino construction on one side and two geese with their teenaged goslings on the other before zipping around the bus station, past the waste treatment plant, left at the old power substation, a right across the light rail tracks, and a  left into Middle Branch Park for a steady pedal past the Hanover Street bridge. On the way back I heard a thwip thwip thwip and got off to check my tire. I picked at the large piece of glass coming out of the tire and thought to myself, if you get that out of there the whole tire’s going to deflate. I picked it out and heard the whoosh as the tire went flat and I remembered I’d used my single spare tube a couple weeks ago and not replaced it in my bag. Will I never learn? Fortunately, I wasn’t in a hurry today, not at all, so I walked us back to the train and took it up to Mount Vernon for a walk to the bike shop and a quick fix before heading home. I needed a day just like today, and that wrinkle didn’t phase me one bit. I’m feeling pretty lucky right about now, in spite of the recent spate of flats. I’m home for the summer, couldn’t be happier.

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