Thursday’s ride took me all over town, up to the Arcadia neighborhood in the other side of Lake Montebello to talk about what the city might look like of we prioritized the quality of the soil and worked out way up from there and then down to Southwest Baltimore for a ride around that neighborhood and a reminder of the power of MLK Avenue to slice a city in two, and then up to Charles Village for coffee with a filmmaker and a chat about what, if anything, has changed since theorist. My answer: I don’t know. It was the perfect day for a ride, all sunshine and blue skies, and I was grateful to have so many places to be and a bike to ride to get between them. West Baltimore was so unlike the other places I rode to and through on this day– so many vacant properties, so few throughways to the city on the other side of the street, so many different scars from urban renewal and subsequent attempts to renew again. I snapped this picture of advertising on the side of one of the many crumbling buildings over here. Steve Jobs changed everything, I think that movie argues. Lots of things changed everything, I thought, depending on who and where you are and what you’re looking at. What do people see when they see this place, and what change it’s visible to whom? I capped off the day with a drink before riding back home, best Thursday in awhile.
I’ve been doing plenty of around-town riding lately–to work and back, errands, doctor’s appointments–but last weekend I got to put my bike on the back of R.’s truck, all cozied up to her Surly Long Haul Trucker, for a drive out toward Harper’s Ferry and a ride along the C&O Canal. We had a general plan, but then exited early to follow signs to the canal. We weren’t sure we were going the right way, but then we saw the railroad tracks–a sure sign a canal is in the area. Continue reading
Wednesday’s ride was back to the ol’ commute, down the hill early, lock up at the racks by the med center, shuttle to campus, a full day of teaching, meetings, and writing and emailing and emailing and omigod so much emailing, and then back on the shuttle, pick up the bike, and ride up the hill to home. It was a long day and my legs felt heavy, so I found myself very much wishing it could be up the hill to work and downhill on the way home. I took the lane, grumped at fellow cyclists who didn’t ding a bell or say “on your left” as they passed or even return my how you doin’ (why are so many cyclists so unfriendly? isn’t part of the point of being on a bike is you aren’t trapped in a metal box and so can say hi to everybody?), and eventually got to that place where I’m glad I’m riding my bike because look at me, looking at all the things! Continue reading
Tuesday was one of those perfect early fall days that feels like late summer. I got up early and got my day’s tasks done, hit the gym with my favorite gym buddy, O., joined her for lunch on her sunny back porch, and then it was all me and my bike. I headed south and east and south and east, a quick stop for froyo at a place where I got myself a gift certificate a few months ago–planting a present for future me–and then kept heading south and east, under the freeway, a left and a right and then I was in Dundalk, riding its bike lane which is also a parking lane, but I’ll take what I can get. Continue reading
And suddenly it’s cold and rainy and I’m in my rain coat and cheapo rain pants, still riding my bike, because it’s still the best way to get around. If you don’t ride a bike, or you don’t ride a bike in this stuff, it can look crazy. A co worker asked when I got in today, You drove, right? I’m never going to drive, but when this rain turns to ice, I’ll take the bus. There’s always an option that isn’t a car, and on rainy days like this I’m glad for the options, but I’d still rather be on my bike. What a relief to not have to look for parking when I just want to duck in out of the rain for a minute and watch the rainy day go by over an afternoon coffee. Cheers.