Friday’s bike ride took me first to the train station and out to Catonsville on Brompty for a day at the office before swapping out for the Surly for a ride with N. down to Camden Yards to watch the O’s take on her beloved St. Louis Cardinals. It’s more than a little embarrassing to go to a game with your ladyfriend all decked out in enemy colors, but she donned an O’s wristband, so there was that. The ride down there was a bit slow–my left knee hurt on the inside and I was making the mistake of worrying how the ride back up the hill would feel instead of enjoying the ride down there. Staying present’s a tough job for this cat, but I’m working on it. My spirits lifted considerably as we approached downtown and the lovely blend of Otakon cosplayers and O’s fans that decorated the Inner Harbor all weekend. People get really into whatever they’re into–it’s one of my favorite things about people, and I’m always cheered by enthusiasm, whatever it’s for. And then we began our hunt for a bike rack–they were all full for this near-sold-out game that ended with a celebration of 60 years of hall of fame baseballers (I’ve been told I have Cal Ripkin eyes, so I probably should have been honored after the game as well). All the racks being full, I asked one of the people wearing a giant pin that said “FAN ASSISTANCE” for assistance locating another rack. They were absolutely no help, so I just asked if we could lock up to one of the signs in the parking lot. And then we were sent to ask a police officer if that would be ok. I know, just lock up, but too many people have had their locks cut and bikes confiscated by business owners downtown for me to have much trust. I mean, this is where the 1877 railroad strike was held, when the police state was called in to protect the railroad owners, not the striking workers who were basically being robbed and assaulted by capitalism, so I’m not exactly going to trust that the cops aren’t going to steal my bike because the O’s think it looks unsightly. The cop said he didn’t think anyone would care, and the game was starting, so we locked up and grabbed two seats together in the bleachers for what turned out to be a home run derby for the good guys. N. was all pouty, and not just because I’d asked for a cup of salsa instead of two cups of “cheese” with her nachos, but our spirits were considerably lifted after an excellent anniversary celebration and then the real magic of riding down Pratt Street without any cars as the cops held them for pedestrians at every single corner. It was like flying, and oh, what a perfect way to end the night, tight knee and all. Riding a bike on a summer night is pretty much as good as it gets, no matter the score.