LED Lights on a Reflective Vest, Zipping Around Hampden

LED Lights on a Reflective Band Zipping Around HampdenI took the bike out for a couple of rides today, first to Waverly to meet R. and O. for some scheming and then home again, a quick stop for lunch and a pep talk with N. I didn’t have plans to go out again, necessarily, but I wanted to do a little night riding to test out my brand new light-up reflective LED safety vest. I waited for the sun to go down–just a little after 5pm, a pox on you, wintertime!–and got myself all suited up for cold temps and strapped on the vest. And then I turned the lights on. I was all lit up like a Christmas tree, and I felt like the Safety Monitor as I pedaled west and north. Cars gave me a wide berth, dogwalkers looked on admiringly, and the folks waiting at the bus stops waved and clapped. Continue reading

Live 929 Student Apartments at Ashland & N. Wolfe

Live 929 Student Apartments at Ashland & N. WolfeI wasn’t in much of a mood for a bicycle ride, but N. gave me a task to be completed at the new Target, so I followed her instructions and hopped on the bike for a ride to that suburb-in-the-city, Canton Crossing. As soon as I was on my bike I was glad I was there, riding on the slightly foggy streets on a much warmer day, feeling that speed that comes from freshly-pumped up tires. I decided to take an early left, before Mount Royal, to see if I could get myself lost. I found myself zig zagging around Greenmount Cemetery, past new-ish housing developments with their brightly-colored doors that never quite hide the signs of capital’s abandonment, but they look pretty, and then going up and down the streets of northeast Baltimore, past row after row of abandoned row houses and other houses decked out with balloons and signs–two new baby girls and a baby boy came home to East Baltimore this weekend. Continue reading

Cloudy Skies Over the Wetlands Restoration Area at Fort McHenry

Cloudy Skies Over the Wetlands Restoration Area at Fort McHenryOh, what a beautiful day for a bike ride on Thursday! The sun was out between the frothy layers of clouds, I had finished my work for the day, and I had nowhere to be but on the bike. I headed down the hill toward the Inner Harbor bike/ped path, took my right turn to pedal around, and then headed up to Fort Avenue and the slight downhill to Locust Point for a ride around Fort McHenry. I’ve done this ride so many times at this point, but I still remember the first time–it seemed so far away. Continue reading

Rough Road Sign at Remington & Wyman Park Drive

Rough Road Sign at Remington & Wyman Park DriveI’ve been down with an annoying cold for the past week or so, and I was also out of town for work, so I hadn’t been on my bike in practically a week. And I was cranky. Fortunately, I had some time in the afternoon before heading to work for meetings; unfortunately, today was cold and windy–the windchill below freezing, even. Turns out, though, with the right kind of ridiculously layered combination of fleece and wool, it was just another toasty day for a ride in the sun. As my pops would say, There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Continue reading

Lunch/Dinner For Sale at the Royal Farms on 36th & Roland Ave.

Lunch/Dinner For Sale at the Royal Farms on 36th & Roland Ave.Plans for a long Tuesday bike ride were scuttled by this season’s cold, but that didn’t mean I was going to drive to my meeting in Waverly, lunch date in Station North, and acupuncture appointment in Hampden. I mean, really–drive there? Please. And contrary to what some folks might think, having a cold is no reason to lock yourself in a metal box to get from place to place, no siree. And the rides were beautiful–the yellows, reds, and oranges of Guilford Avenue, the empty streets of Waverly and Station North in the late morning, and that afternoon ride to Hampden ran me in to several other cyclists, all with different stay-warm and stay-safe strategies. One woman asked me when we were stopped at a red light if I ride year round and at night, and if it’s safe. Continue reading

View of the Gwynns Falls Along the Leakin Park Branch of the Gwynns Falls Trail

View of the Gwynns Falls Along the Leakin Park Branch of the Gwynns Falls TrailOh, I needed that bike ride on Saturday. I headed out for a lap around the reservoir at Druid Hill Park to see the fall colors, made a stop for food and some community acupuncture in Hampden–I play to type–and then I headed west in a vain attempt to accidentally run into Leakin Park, at the request of N. I rode out Gwynns Falls Parkway for a bit until the unruly traffic pushed me onto the sidewalk and then to the right to get away from screaming drivers (no, I do NOT belong on the sidewalk, actually). I pedaled through a park that I thought might be some far edge of Leakin Park (nope–it was Leon Day Park, I think), disturbing a field full of blackbirds that all flew to the trees in unison where I could not longer see them. They are the best communicators, birds are. Continue reading

William Bennett Sculpture Behind Shot Tower at President & E. Fayette

William Bennett Sculpture Behind Shot Tower at President & E. FayetteI spent Thursday working on a grant application, asking for money to do a little something something with the artists I’m working with on a project that takes shape as it moves–my favorite kind. After getting a draft out to the co-conspirators I took the rest of the day off, hopping on the bike and heading down the hill to Harbor East to catch a movie. As I waited to cross Fayette from that tiny road between the church and the Brutalist postal office, one of the turning cars in the far lane stopped and waved me and a pedestrian across. I appreciate that kind of sharing, but as other cars backed up and started honking, I let it get to me and got off the road altogether, walking my bike across the cobblestones surrounding Shot Tower. Continue reading