Hells Angels Headquarters at 21st & Hargrove Alley

Hells Angels Headquarters at 21st & Hargrove AlleyI spent Saturday walking to the bus to the museum with N., followed up with a reverse route to home by way of fried pickles and wings at Harborplace at the Inner Harbor. N. was driving back the way we came for A.’s annual Ladies Harvest Party, but she suggested I ride my bike instead. Good call. I layered up with my fall/early winterwear, strapped on my reflective safety belt, flipped on my front light, and I was zipping down the hill. Continue reading

Giant Red Tree at the Convent at Ellerslie & Parkwyth

Giant Red Tree at the Convent at Ellerslie & ParkwythFriday started with a relatively early ride over to Waverly to meet R. for another brainstorming session and some quality time with her handsome gray cat. We had so many good ideas, and I felt so excited about what we’re going to do next, that I just had to ride my bike around after instead of heading home. Continue reading

Cars Turning Left at President & E. Fayette

Cars Turning Left at President & E. FayetteTuesday’s bike ride took me to Locust Point, but I took a different route than I usually do. Usually I take Guilford down and up to the Inner Harbor bike/ped path around  and up through Federal Hill, but on Tuesday, the very last thing I wanted to do was dodge pedestrians. I took Maryland Avenue down instead, dodging the cars turning on Franklin/40 and merging into one lane on that steep hill at Saratoga. I love taking all the lanes in this part of just-west downtown because there aren’t quite so many cars and besides, it’s just the safest way to travel. Continue reading

Emptying Parking Lot at the Giant at 33rd & Old York Road

Emptying Parking Lot at the Giant at 33rd & Old York RoadIt was a fall-chilled sunny and breezy day in Baltimore, a perfect day for a bike ride, but I had so much work to catch up on I had to stay inside and work. Bah. Fortunately my latest project required an evening trip over to Waverly to help R. assemble our carnival-style popcorn machine (don’t ask– come out to the corner of 31st and Greenmount tomorrow to find out), and the last thing I’m going to do for a quick trip under 2 miles is drive a car. I flipped on my front life, strapped on my reflective triangle, and pedaled my way over there. The chill was mild, but I had visceral memories of last winter’s bicycling, and the winter before’s, too, and oh, I love the open streets of winter riding when everybody else seems to be hibernating. We put our machine together, I pet all the cats, and then it was time to head home. I stopped at the grocery store for a thing or two, and snapped this picture of the almost-empty lot, the moon in the far background, the street light lighting up the tree they’ve put here to make it look like something other than a parking lot; it kind of is more than a parking lot–most of us are using it as a through-way from that side of Waverly to this one. I left behind these last couple of cars and zipped home, looking forward to more empty streets and chilly breezes in my immediate future.

Tree Stump on Rutland Between Chase & Eager

Tree Stump on Rutland Between Chase & EagerToday started with a zippy ride down the hill and to the right to the GLCCB in Mount Vernon to meet up with my fellow tour guides and goers for Baltimore Heritage‘s LGBT history walking tour of the neighborhood. We did our slow walk around the neighborhood, learning about the first gay bars and nightclubs, the first screenings of John Waters’s very queer films, the Friday night lesbian supper clubs of the super-rich in the late 19th century, and Gertrude Stein’s Baltimore homes where she learned to smoke, box, and not wear corsets. It was a perfect way to start a Saturday, made better by the brunch follow up and the post-brunch solo bike ride. Continue reading

Folks Heading to the New Target at Canton Crossing at the East End of Boston Street

Folks Heading to the New Target at Canton Crossing at the East End of Boston StreetIt was a beautiful and empty (for me) Thursday, so I took advantage and enjoyed a ride all over town. I started with a pedal down the hill to meet K. for lunch, sitting outside on Charles Street, swapping stories about how dumb we were as undergraduates and why Baltimore is a siren song. She headed back to work and I headed over to my regular route down the hill, a stop at the museum to inquire as to the membership card that hasn’t come in the mail yet (it should be here any day now, they say) and then snaked my way east, just enjoying the free feeling of the wind up my skirt and easy roll of newly-inflated tires. Continue reading

View Up the Block From the Northeast Corner of Charles & Chase

View Up the Block From the Northeast Corner of Charles & ChaseThe last thing I felt like doing after a long day of work was riding a bicycle, to be honest, but I had a meeting in Mount Vernon, and it is against my religion to drive a car to that neighborhood–it’s less than two miles away and parking a car there has made me cry more than once, the price I pay for being a sensitive bird when it comes to driving. I swapped out my teaching skirt for my biking skirt, changed my shoes, and felt better the second my wheels started turning. A quick glide down the hill and up again for a quick meeting and I was quickly back on the bike, riding home in the gloaming. I know, dramatic word for 6:30 on a Monday in Baltimore, but the hints of sundown are so pretty, and they feel better from the seat of a bicycle. I snapped this picture as I made my left on Charles because look at that urban layering, the old and new buildings marking time and reminding us that people have been here before, building stuff and hoping people would come. I took a long way home, grateful for the reminder that taking the bike out, even if for just a minute, is always a good idea.