Green and Yellow at Southwestern and Tom Day

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N. texted to say she wished she was riding her bike today, a most excellent sign for a happy future on a bicycle, and I agreed, but she had to work, and so did I, so there you go. Fortunately, I bike to work, so I *did* get to ride on this blustery day. I zipped down the hill, folded up the bike, and got on the afternoon train. It’s a different train then. The commuters are already where they’re going, so this was all tourists and first timers, and I felt myself getting all superior and get-it-together-people like a real jerk. I took a deep breath, put down my Candy Crush machine, and looked around, wondering what we’re all missing now that we’re staring at our screens instead of idly chatting while we wait. And then it was my stop, a quick unfold and I was on my way, stopping to snap a picture of this corner that’s got itself all blinged out for spring. This is my first spring biking past this corner, and I made a note to myself to watch it this year for a full season of changes. So much new right now, so much new.

Two Bikes Snuggling Under a Flower Tree at Druid Hill Park

Two Bikes Snuggling Under a Flower Tree at Druid Hill ParkThe park was buzzing with folks enjoying the 80+ degree day–walking dogs, teaching kids how to ride bikes and scooters, handholding and necking and springtimeromancing, jogging, picnicking, engagement-photo-shooting, and just generally being outside. I rode my bike there to meet N., who lo and behold got herself a bicycle that morning. Oh, what magic! What fantasy futures of riding together to the ball game and to get ice cream and out to the water to count ducklings! I’m happy to ride by myself–I prefer it, generally, because the bike is the one place I can reliably be alone, but also with strangers–the contact zones of the city open up when you get out of the car. Continue reading

Truck Dumping Bales of Hay at Druid Hill Park Conservatory

Truck Dumping Bales of Hay at Druid Hill Park ConservatorySaturday was another sickeningly sweet day, so when N. suggested a trip to the spring flower show at the Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park and asked if I wanted to meet her there on my bike, the answer was an easy YES. I pedaled out without even a just-in-case sweatshirt, and I wasn’t the only one out there. The whole city seemed to have emerged in shorts and t-shirts and sunglasses, and I was happy to join them. I beat N. to the park, because bikes are faster than cars, especially when the car gives a guy who just missed the bus a ride to the train station–N. is such a peach. Continue reading

Flower Trees at Roland Avenue & Northern Parkway

Cherry Blossoms at Roland Avenue & Northern ParkwayI remember when I first got to New Orleans, and I was quite certain that I had never seen a more beautiful place on earth, at least when it came to the everyday flora. It’s all banana trees and palms and brilliant azaleas and oh my, it is just so pretty there. Baltimore, well, it take a minute longer to grow on you–or at least me. But then there was fall, winter, and then springtime. The flower trees flower in waves, first the white crabapples, then the pink cherries, and then, well, I have to wait to let the parks and streets remind me. Continue reading

Rows of Brick Houses at Rexmere Road and Chestnut Hill Avenue

Rows of Brick Houses at Rexmere Road and Chestnut Hill AvenueSpring is here, finally, and oh, it felt good to be out on the Surly on Wednesday, skirt waving in the wind, sun on my face! That whole rebirth-in-spring business isn’t just for bunny rabbits and Jesus Christ–it’s for bicyclists, too, even those of us who ride year round. I started my ride heading up the hill and to the right for a trip to the dentist before heading to Lake Montebello for a few laps with a slew of pedestrians and one very, very cute puppy: “He’s not as good as he looks–he already ate two pairs of shoes!” Continue reading

Tent and Safety Barrel Under the JFX at Gay & Fallsway

Tent and Safety Barrel Under the JFX at Gay & FallswaySpring has sprung, and that means the return of the Farmer’s Market under the JFX in downtown Baltimore. That’s on Sunday, though, so on Saturday I walked up to the year-round Waverly Farmer’s Market with N., both of us aspirationally dressed–it wasn’t nearly as warm as we though it should be, apparently. That didn’t stop me from wearing the same outfit for an afternoon ride down to Pigtown to celebrate A. and K.’s impending baby–I can’t wait to get her her first balance bike! So yeah, it was a chilly and super-windy ride, worth it, though, to feel air on naked legs as my skirt blew back in the breeze. Continue reading

Flower Buds and Plastic Bags Waving in the Wind at 24th & Saint Paul

Flower Buds and Plastic Bags Waving in the Wind at 24th & Saint PaulFriday was a windy three-meeting day that stuck me inside when I really wanted to be outside, riding my bike. Then again, I also like having my job, so that day’s ride consisted of a speedy ride down the hill to the train station–I was running late in that way you run late when you’ve got five hours of meetings ahead of you–and a slow ride home to enjoy the early sense of spring. Continue reading