Sunday’s ride took me up to Hampden for a late breakfast–I think they call it “brunch.” The ladyfriend came too, riding her sexy pale blue 1972 Miyata 10 speed bicycle. Oh, life is better when the people you love want to take their bikes, too! We locked up to some road signs in the neighborhood, put our names on the list, and settled in to wait. I watched as the easy flow of mostly-white folks wandered up and down our Avenue, a million miles away, it felt, from the Baltimore we’ve all been talking about. We saw a bunch of people we knew, shared our hellos and our stories, and ate well and did some window shopping before getting back on our bikes. Unreal privilege right here, I tell you. Unreal.
And then we biked down to the Jones Falls Trail down to Falls Road and down to the bike shop. The ladyfriend loves her bike, but the braking system is a little meh for a safety girl like her. We inquired about how to get new brakes and handlebars, were advised to get new rims for added stopping power, and a new chain, and by the time it all added up, I thought, perhaps a new bike is in order for that price, one that meets her needs a bit better–braze-ons for a rear rack and bottle cage, more gears, flat handlebars for an easier riding position. Casey gave her one to test ride, and suddenly we were leaving the place with a new set of wheels to add to the family. We rode back up the trail and headed home, stopping to snap this picture over the Jones Falls on Wyman Park Drive. We’re heading in to full-on summer greens over here, and she’s got a shiny new bike on which to take it all in, and you never get to peek at this view in a car. You don’t see much in a car, in fact, and I wish everyone in the city could take a bike and ride this place for a bit to see the many layers of lives and histories and realities that so many people have called “my city” in the past week. Which city are you talking about, anyway? I’d suggest somebody take a ride on the Miyata, but the ladyfriend’s already plotting its repairs–that first bike gets a hold on you, that’s for sure.
I bought a bike last year and didn’t get a lot of use out of it because I was nervous not knowing the best ways to get around the city. Any insight on the best route from Hampden to Locust Point? I’d love to use mostly bike paths etc. due to being new and a little scared.
Hi, Mary! My suggestion would be to start easy with rides around your neighborhood to get used to riding in the street. Bikemore offers great resources and maps to find your way down the hill. I’m afraid there’s not bike-route-only way to get over there, but if you can find your way to Guilford, you can take that to the Fallsway bike path and then around the Inner Harbor and up into Federal Hill. I’d also suggest going with a friend as you get more comfortable. I hope to see you out on the roads!